1

Eco-Friendly Products To Help You Save the Environment

With pollution becoming more and more serious, companies are doing their part to help reduce their footprint on the Earth. A big way this is happening is with eco-friendly products. These products can replace almost any regular item. From cleaning products to sunscreen, and even clothing. By using these items instead of regular commercial products, you are helping reduce your effect on pollution. So, what are these eco-friendly products? How and where can you find them? It’s a good thing you came here because you are about to find out all you need to know.

 

What is Eco-Friendly

The eco-friendly definition is simply products that do not harm the environment. This includes during the production of the product, the use, and of the disposal. Plastic is a huge contributor to both land and water pollution. Almost every product on Earth uses it. Did you know that only 27% of plastic bottles are recycled? A lot of the other 73% sit in landfills decomposing, which can take up to 1,000 years.

Plastic also ends up in our oceans where it can greatly damage the marine life. You see those images of fish, penguins and such trapped in “six-pack” rings. That was featured in the movie Happy Feet, trying to raise awareness of plastic pollution. If that does not spark your interest, a study by the United States Centres for Disease Control revealed that nearly 93% of people tested positive for BPA. This is a potentially harmful chemical contained in products made of plastic.

 

Eco-Friendly Requirements

By using eco-friendly products, you are helping greatly to reduce all of that. For a product to be eco-friendly it has to keep the safety of both the environment and humans in mind. The product at least has to be non-toxic. Other attributes of eco-friendly products involve the use of sustainably grown or raised ingredients. Meaning that the production of the product cannot harm the ecosystem of which the ingredients are found. Sustainable ingredients. It also includes the use of organic ingredients or materials. This means they are produced without pesticides or herbicides.

These products can also be made using recycled materials which contain glass, wood, metal, or plastic from waste products. Companies use these waste materials and repurpose them for a number of different things. A very popular feature in eco-friendly products is biodegradability. This means that when the product is disposed of, it can be broken down through natural decomposition. This is much quicker than standard decomposition of plastics.

 

Eco-Friendly Products

Eco-friendly products are not just made to combat plastic pollution. There are products available to help with energy consumption, water use, and many more issues. As said before, there are eco-friendly products to replace almost every regular product. Here you will find a list of some basic items, as well as possibly some surprising ones.

 

 

  • Energy Efficient Light Bulbs- Popular energy efficient bulbs are compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Though they are priced higher than regular incandescent bulbs, they use less energy. Meaning you will spend less on your electric bill.
  • Solar Powered Lights- Solar powered lights harvest the power of the sun. They are convenient because they don’t require the replacement of batteries, nor do they require an electrical connection. These come in a variety of different uses.
  • Water Bottles- Stainless steel, glass, BPA free or aluminum water bottles can be washed out and reused endlessly. Eliminating the need to buy packs of water bottles. If you do use regular plastic water bottles, remember to recycle or reuse them.

eco friendly water bottles

  • Reusable Shopping Bags- Most places still give you plastic bags to carry your food and other groceries home. However, many stores have started to sell reusable, eco-friendly bags made of cloth or even use paper by default. Regular shopping bags should follow the same rules as water bottles, if you receive them, do not throw them out. Save them and reuse them.

eco friendly bags

  • Rechargeable Batteries- Rechargeable batteries are not just good for the environment, they also help your wallet by not having you buy brand new batteries when the old ones are dead. In addition, you can recharge these by using a solar charger. Dead batteries can leak dangerous chemicals into the water and soil, contaminating it greatly.
  • Biodegradable Flower Pots- Using plastic pots can harm the soil. As the plastic degrades, it can release chemicals into the earth. Instead, use biodegradable pots when planting. They also promote plant growth.
  • Cloth Napkins- Paper napkins are one of the leading causes of tree loss. Cloth napkins are wonderful. Once they are dirty, just wash them and they are ready to use again.
  • Recycled Paper- There are many sources for recycled paper. Using old paper waste and repurpose it for loose leaf paper, multipurpose paper, and even notebooks. GreenLine Paper Company is one of the best recycled paper companies.
  • Water Saving Shower Heads- Hygiene is one of the biggest contributors to wasteful water. Leaving the sink running while you brush your teeth, taking long showers, all use more water than needed. Low-flow showerheads use less water while providing the same water pressure.
  • Green Cleaning Products- Many cleaning products contain chemicals that can be harmful to the environment. An alternative is using green or natural eco-friendly cleaning products like laundry detergent, shampoo, all-purpose cleaners, and many more.
  • Compostable Plates- Paper products are greatly hurting our forests. By using compostable plates, they not only eliminate the use of plastic or paper, but they are biodegradable. They also release valuable nutrients into the soil as they decompose.
  • Dryer Balls- Dryer balls are a replacement for dryer sheets and fabric softener which use chemicals to get rid of static and make clothes softer. Dryer balls do the same without the chemicals.
  • Cloth Eco-Friendly Diapers- In addition to being very expensive, disposable diapers require many resources to manufacture. Even though cloth diapers seem very “hippie”, they can save you a lot of money and are reusable.
  • Recycled Toilet Paper- You can get toilet tissue made with 100% recycled paper fibers, bamboo or even sugarcane. This saves water, trees and reduces carbon emissions.
  • Biodegradable Trash Bags- These biodegradable bags are available for trashcans or even dog waste bags. Another option is using reduced plastic trash bags. They use less plastic in their manufacturing than standard bags.
  • Eco-Friendly Housing- There are a variety of eco-friendly housing products. Some examples are composite decks which use 95% recycled wood and plastic film, recycled floor mats, and solar outdoor lighting. You can also get eco-friendly flooring. This is made from bamboo or recycled wood, and eco-friendly countertops made from recycled glass, aluminum, or bamboo. Then mixed with a base of concrete, cement or resin.
  • Energy Star Products- Energy Star provides energy efficient appliances for every household. From electronics and office equipment to heating/cooling and many other appliances. Energy Star washing machines use less water. In fact, they use only 13 gallons of water with each load. Whereas regular machines use 23 gallons.  That saves 3,000 gallons of water each year.
  • Recycled Plastic Toys- Many children’s toys that are made from plastic contain harmful chemicals that hinder their development. Green Toys is a company that uses recycled plastic. Their toys exceed the United States and International standards for BPA and other chemicals.
  • Eco-Friendly Furniture- When looking to furnish your apartment, keep in mind that there are companies that made furniture using sustainable sources. Some of these companies are Bambeco, VivaTerra, Stem, and Eco Balanza. Almost all of these companies, and more, practice fair trade, use non-toxic materials and recycled or upcycled materials.
  • Green Paint- Eco-friendly paint is a thing. These paints perform like regular paints but without harmful odors, chemicals or added solvents. Examples of these paints are Yolo Colorhouse, Ecotrend Collagen Paint, SafePaint, Natura Paint and much more.
  • Natural Deodorant– Many brands of traditional deodorants have questionable chemicals in them like aluminum. We made a page on our best natural deodorants you can buy so you have a greater peace of mind!
  • Natural toothpaste- It’s inevitable that you will accidentally swallow some toothpaste while brushing your teeth. If you don’t want to worry about the effects, check out natural toothpaste options.

 

 

 

Eco-Friendly Clothes

There are numerous clothing companies that pride themselves on either using recycled products or fewer resources in their manufacturing. Many also donate part of their sales to charities or other companies who are helping reduce global warming. Examples of these eco-friendly clothing brands are Alternative Apparel use non-toxic, low-impact dyes and make over  80% of their clothes with sustainable materials. United by Blue which promises that with each product sold, they will remove one pound of trash from the oceans, beaches, rivers, streams, or lakes. EcoVibe which is powered 100% by renewable energy. They also make all of their clothes out of bamboo, modal, tencel, cork, and recycled polyester. Eco-friendly shoes are also available which use recycled materials like paper, rubber, and others.

 

Knowing If It Is Eco-Friendly

Many companies realize that brands with an eco-friendly claim sell more than the standard products. So, many have started to either claim that they are eco-friendly or that they are now using fewer materials in the production. Some claim to be natural or use natural ingredients but still include many not so natural chemicals. So what can you do to make sure a company is really selling something natural or eco-friendly.

 

Here are some simple tips to make sure you will not get fooled.

  • Looking at the labels is a foolproof way to filter the truly green products from the ones that are not. It is safer to buy products with labels that say “Made with 100% all-natural products” than labels that just say “all natural.” The latter could just mean that one ingredient is all natural while the others are not.
  • Other words to look for are non-toxic, organic, and carbon neutral.
  • More labels that you should pay attention to are
    • Energy Star for appliances and electronics that are energy efficient.
    • USDA Organic Seal for food and even make-up that is really organic.
    • Green Seal for cleaning products.
    • Forest Stewardship Council Logo for paper and wood.

 

Eco-Friendly Cars

Another big trend right now is green cars. These cars reduce our carbon emissions by offering either alternative fuel, better fuel economy or using better fuel. If you are looking for just a regular car and not an actual “green” car, there are things you can do to get the most eco-friendly car out of a normal car.

 

Efficient Buying

One of these things is buying a car with a lighter color. What this does is allowing your A/C to work less which saves a lot of energy. This happens because darker colored cars absorb more heat than others. Getting a car with a sport suspension will give you more control on the road meaning you will break and accelerate less which will save fuel. Cars with a manual transmission can boost your mileage meaning less fuel use.

eco friendly cars

Green Cars

If you are, however, looking to buy a bonafide “green” car, there are specific cars you can choose from. First one is electric cars. Obviously, these run solely on electric power and not a mix of electric and gas. Easily one of the most environmentally friendly cars out there. Next is the hybrid. These cars use a combination of electric power and gas. While it does primarily run using the electric battery, it switches to a fuel combustion engine when the battery depletes. They still emit much less carbon dioxide than a standard car and their engines tend to last much longer as well. Hybrid cars continue to get better and better with new technology.

Biodiesel cars run on fuels made from vegetable oils like canola, sunflower, soy, and hemp. Waste oils are also used. Imagine running to a fast food restaurant and asking to refuel your car using their french fry oil. Ethanol cars run using renewable fuel made from starch crops like corn. Most ethanol cars use 85% ethanol and 15% regular gas making it safer for the environment. However, dependency on farming will increase if ethanol cars become more common.

Lastly are natural gas cars. The cars can use two types of fuel, compressed natural gas, and liquefied natural gas. While there is a low carbon emission and the cost of this fuel is much cheaper, the engines require more upkeep because they are less resistant to corrosion. When we talk about eco-friendly products we often times forget about cars. This can be one of the easiest and fastest ways to have an impact. 

 

 

References

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/ecofriendly-mean-78718.html

https://www.onyalife.com/plastic-free/eco-friendly-products/

http://roogirl.com/20-must-have-eco-friendly-products/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/22/eco-friendly-products-earth-day_n_3118489.html?slideshow=true#gallery/293031/16

http://nymag.com/strategist/article/best-natural-organic-cleaning-products.html

http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs039/1101442661553/archive/1102110794885.html

https://www.buzzfeed.com/whitneyjefferson/eco-friendly-clothing-brands?utm_term=.onBE4Marb#.ky9jN7R0p

https://www.energystar.gov/products/appliances/clothes_washers

http://www.thegoodtrade.com/features/eco-friendly-furniture-brands-for-a-stylish-and-conscious-home

https://www.remodelista.com/posts/10-easy-pieces-eco-paints/

https://green.thefuntimesguide.com/green_products_revealed/

http://usgreentechnology.com/6-things-to-look-for-when-buying-an-eco-friendly-car/

http://www.cheapcarinsurance.net/the-environmentally-friendly-car/

Show Your Friends!
Patrick Sands
 

Hey, I'm Pat. I am a Millersville grad with a Bachelors of Arts in English. I love to write, play video games, watch movies and TV, basically be a total nerd whenever I can. Green and Growing is important to me because it allows me to help others be as green and eco-friendly as possible. With Climate Change being what it is, it is even more important for people to get educated about their environment. This website allows me to do my part in that. Also, I'm a huge goof who tries to add some humor into anything I write. Stay Excellent out there!

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 1 comments