Green Oil is a British-made product that claims to be the most environmentally-friendly chain lube on the market.
Apparently "most chain lubes have warnings and orange symbols on the back" saying things like "Irritant" and "Dangerous for the environment".
A quick glance at the various bottles we've got kicking around reveals just "Highly Flammable" and warnings not to ingest, but that's only four bottles so not exactly a full environmental audit of the entire market.
It's certainly true that the majority of chain lubes are based on petrochemicals or high-carbon-footprint synthetics of one sort or another, which makes Green Oil's naturally-occurring, plant extract ingredients look much more ecologically fluffy. As it's made in Britain, it hasn't had to travel far to reach your transmission, either. Plus which the HDPE bottle is recycleable (or you can send it back to Green Oil for them to reuse, which gets you 20p off your next bottle too) and the label is printed on recycled paper.
Of course, all of this would be for nought if Green Oil didn't work, but work it does. It's on the thick side and impressively sticky - in our experience it doesn't manage to hang around quite as long as our current favourite Finish Line Cross-Country, but everything runs quietly while its there. The thoughtful inclusion of a long nozzle makes it easy to apply, too.
Ups and downs
Impeccable tree-hugging credentials, impressive performance
Nothing much - recycled label gets tatty quickly, but who cares?
In defence of the chain lube industry at large, we feel obliged to point out that there are other lubes that claim to be biodegradeable and there are others that come in recycleable bottles. That said, Green Oil's recycled label, bottle trade-in scheme and British origins certainly put it at the top of the eco-friendly tree. And it works well, too, so you're not making any compromise there.