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Green Versus Goliath

How three ecosensitive products stack up against their best-selling supermarket rivals.

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Laundry Detergent

TIDE
Price: $6.69 for a sixteen-load bottle at CVS.
Performance: High marks for the long-lasting fresh scent and excellent stain-fighting power that eliminated dark eyeliner and coffee stains. Towels came out remarkably fluffy and soft.

SEVENTH GENERATION BLUE EUCALYPTUS & LAVENDER NATURAL LAUNDRY DETERGENT
Price: $6.99 for a twenty-load bottle at Whole Foods.
Performance: Lifted coffee, food, and makeup stains fairly well, though darker spots left some shadowy areas. Towel softness was adequate. Lavender scent was weak.

Verdict: More bang for the buck with Seventh Generation (35 cents per load vs. Tide’s 42 cents), but Tide’s cleaning power and scent are superior.



Glass Cleaners

WINDEX
Price: $4.39 for 32.5 oz. at CVS.
Performance: Easily lifted dirt and left a brilliant, streak-free shine, but strong odor lingered.

CLOROX GREEN WORKS NATURAL GLASS CLEANER
Price: $4.49 for 32 oz. at CVS.
Performance:Lifted most dirt, but required more effort to cut through heavy grime. End result however, was equally spotless. The light, soapy scent faded quickly.

Verdict: The Green Works lacks ammonia, which Windex has, but it is less pungent. Windex gets the edge for quick cleaning power. Nearly identical cost.



Toilet Paper

SCOTT 1000 TISSUE
Price: $1.69 for 1,000 sheets at CVS.
Performance: Slightly more cottony and fluffier for one-ply. Generally lint-free experience.

MARCAL SMALL STEPS
Price: $.99 for 1,000 sheets at Food Emporium.
Performance: Looks like the Scott but palpably rougher; the paper makes a crinkling noise when folded. The less-absorbent Marcal requires a few extra squares for insurance.

Verdict: In cost and earth-friendliness, Marcal is the clear victor—Scott’s tissues are 100 percent virgin fiber while Marcal’s are 100 percent recycled paper. But it might be too big a trade-off for such an abrasive bathroom experience.

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