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There is a growing awareness amongst consumers about our buying habits and how consumer-centric our society is. We buy so many things out of habit without giving it much thought. This movement is made up of people who want to make an effort to change this. They are looking for products that fulfill their needs, but in the least-impactful way to our environment. They know this is critical for the health of our planet and its long-term sustainability.
Eco-Friendly products are defined as “products that do not harm the environment, whether in their production, use or disposal” according to www.all-recycling-facts.com
So how do you look for Eco-Friendly Products? How do you know which ones are and if what they claim is true?
Don’t be fooled by neat and ‘earthy-looking’ packaging. It may have a picture of a tree on the label, but that doesn’t mean it qualifies. Products may be marketed with catch-phrases like ‘nontoxic’ or ‘environmentally friendly’. (That’s like a bottle of water being labelled ‘gluten-free’!) Search out products that have official certifications on their packaging and branding, like Green Seal.
One other helpful way to decide which products to buy, is to research the company. If they’ve received a certification for their products or services, it will appear on their website. Whereas, if they’re not - it will be conspicuously absent from their marketing. For additional help on learning about companies and how to make the most informed decisions possible, a subscription to the Ethical Consumer is a great resource.
Eco-friendly household products are a bit more familiar to consumers as they’ve been in the market longer - but an emerging area is clothing. Want to extend your earth friendly ways to what you and your family wear? Ensure the clothing is made from recycled products, helping to divert materials from the landfill or from non-petroleum-derived fibres. Good materials to look for are Soy, Hemp, and Bamboo.
The good news about this movement is that it’s growing! The type of available products is expanding all the time. You can bring eco-friendliness to several areas of your life; clothing, food, furniture, cosmetics, and even baby items.
Review the products you buy on a regular basis and see if you can take steps to move towards more eco-friendly options. Start with one facet of your life and build out from there.