While there seems to be a dumbfounding number of labels that claim to certify organic products, many Canadian products are switching over to the "Canada Organic" label that will soon be mandatory for Canadian organic products traded provincially or internationally. For American products look for the USDA label certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
EcoLogo is North America's oldest certification, set up by Environment Canada two decades ago. Found on retail goods, electronics, forest products, textiles and other products, it monitors the environmental footprint of how the product is made, used and disposed of.
Recognized worldwide, Energy Star certifies that a product is significantly more energy efficient than average.
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) based in Britain offers a well-respected label that certifies sustainable fisheries worldwide. Many local certification schemes offer more region specific labeling, such as the Vancouver Aquarium's "Ocean Wise" and Manitoba's "Lake-Friendly."
Products that don the Composting Council of Canada or the U.S. Composting Council logos have packaging that will decompose relatively quickly. The product has to break down by 90 per cent in 84 days to be certified in Canada.