Eco friendly probably derived from Ecologically friendly
Main definition: A product that has been manufactured and distributed in a way that does as little damage as possible to the environment and using sustainable resources where applicable.
It can also be a product that once in use provides benefits to the environment or a product made from recycled or recyclable materials.
So, why is it so important to use biodegradable products?
With ongoing concerns about global warming and one of the causes of this being huge amounts of waste put into landfill every day we need to find ways to create less waste and at the very least make sure products we throw away are biodegradable.
We also need to be aware of the alarming rate at which our non renewable resources (oil, gas) are being depleted.
Buying biodegradable products not only helps negate the effect these issues are having on the world but helps change bad habits and gently steers you into a new way of thinking on environmental issues.
There are a number of reasons a product may be classed as Eco Friendly
If you’re not sure where to begin!
Start with Recycling:
- Recycling Tips
- Appliance Recycling
- Plastic recycle codes
- Recycle Batteries
- Recycle Computers
- Recycling Computer Monitors
Some of the most readily available green living products are green cleaning products.
Many cleaning products can contain nasty toxins including corrosive acids, formaldehyde which is classed as a human carcinogen (cancer causing substance) and chemicals known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
Not only can these exacerbate health conditions such as asthma and other respiratory problems but cause environmental damage to crops and vegetation.
There is no reason to use these toxin laden products when there are a host of eco friendly versions to be had.
This could mean buying from environmentally friendly brands such as Mrs. Meyer, Seventh Generation. Alternatively you could use natural products that are generally found in most households e.g. lemons, vinegar, baking soda.
The emission from high energy consumption is a global problem but there are loads of environment friendly products out there to help combat this and save you money at the same time.
Rechargeable batteries, energy saving light bulbs and plugs to stop you leaving things on standby are all a great start.
You can find nature friendly products in a multitude of categories and these include (but are certainly not limited to):
After all this talk of manufactured products we mustn’t forget that you can also buy a lot of ecologically friendly food products
Free range eggs and organic produce are a great way to get into the eco way of thinking and are often thought to be tastier and healthier than their not so environmentally safe counterparts.
You may be doing your bit for the environment but how does the place you live in measure up?
If you are looking to live in environment friendly energy efficient homes then your best bet is to move to Western Europe.
The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) ₁ is a list of 178 countries worldwide ranked on their environmental awareness, standards and policies.
The top 10 featured 8 countries from Western Europe with Switzerland coming out on top. It tops the charts due to its free recycling policy, incinerators that create energy for homes and some of the cleanest water in the world.
For those of you more ambitious, solar panels could be an option.
Harnessing the power of the sun they create energy for your home and save you a fortune in energy bills. They can cost a lot to install but pay for themselves in the long run.
Now we know how beneficial these products can be…
Surely there’s no downside, is there?
Whilst over all eco friendly is the way to go, there are a couple of disadvantages that I would like to mention.
One thing that can put people off giving environmentally friendly products a try – The cost.
They can cost more to buy but this is simply because they cost more to produce.
To create a product choosing the correct materials, using a manufacturing process that will not harm the environment and distributing it in as responsible way as possible to ensure it is as sustainable as can be, does not come cheap.
The alternatives are being churned out of factories by their thousands with keeping costs low the only consideration.
Unfortunately, not taking into account the harm manufacturing your product could cause to the environment is the easy option for companies to maximize profits.
Fair Trade organisations help offset some of these issues.
Another drawback would be that earth friendly things are not always easy to come by.
Energy saving light bulbs and reusable shopping bags may be readily available these days but what if you’re looking for an eco kettle or water powered clock?
You are not likely to find these in your everyday supermarket. Whilst some of you may enjoy the hunt to find what you’re looking for, those of us who want an easier life should get online.
You can purchase eco friendly products online from a multitude of great websites
All in all, the advantages definitely outweigh the disadvantages and if you are willing to spend a bit of time and effort researching what is available out there these drawbacks can be overcome.
During this research and when deciding who to buy from you may be interested to know what brands are really pulling their weight in the fight against environmental issues.
One of the most famous environment friendly brands is Ikea.
Flat pack furniture often gets a bad press but the materials used and easiness of transportation go towards making them a great earth friendly option.
Plus, Ikea prides itself in giving good value for money and stores can be found worldwide so you are not faced with any of the drawbacks previously mentioned.
Whether you kit out your entire roof with solar panelling or simply start using rechargeable batteries there are eco friendly energy efficient solutions out there to suit every lifestyle and budget.
Finding the right ones for you can start you on the path to a greener way of living that helps create a brighter future for the generations to come.
As famous environmental activist David Suzuki reminds us
Our personal consumer choices have ecological, social, and spiritual consequences. It is time to re-examine some of our deeply held notions that underlie our lifestyles.₂