The term eco-friendly is used a lot. It commonly refers to products that contribute to green living or practices that help conserve resources. The official definition of eco-friendly is: not harmful to the environment.
Since it’s used so often, it can be hard to understand the importance of eco-friendly lifestyles and products. If you aren't sure what the word truly means, it could be easy to be misled by companies claiming to be eco-friendly.
Companies sometimes label their products "eco-friendly" without them truly being so. This is called "greenwashing," some companies do this in order to increase their product sales by appealing to ecologically conscious buyers.
Why should we try and be eco-friendly? As the definition shows, doing our best to be eco-friendly can lead to a healthier life and planet. In order to make a truly eco-friendly product involves keeping both the environment and human safety in mind. How so? At a minimum, the product should be non-toxic. Other eco-friendly attributes include the use of:
- Sustainably grown or raised ingredients, produced in ways that do not deplete the ecosystem.
- Organic ingredients or materials that are grown without toxic pesticides or herbicides.
- Recycled materials such as glass, wood, metal or plastic reclaimed from waste products.
- Biodegradable products which break down through natural decomposition, which is less taxing on landfills and the ecosystem as a whole.
We all as individual can develop eco-friendly habits to help you use less and make the most of what you have. Here are 15 ways you can develop eco-friendly habits or practices:
- Turn it off. Energy conservation is one of the most important things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint. Leaving your electricals on needlessly uses up energy.
- Switch to renewables. Changing your energy supplier to one that’s 100% renewable is a great eco-friendly tip for any home. Anyone can do it, switching is simple and hassle-free plus it is effectively zero carbon!
- Don’t waste food. Waste not, want not. This will save food, money and decrease the amount of CO2 being created in landfills.
- Compost. Instead of throwing away old food, chose to compost it. You can use it as a natural fertilizer and it will also reduce the amount of waste going to landfills.
- Recycle everything. You can recycle almost everything, batteries, paper and even cars. Before you throw it away, take a minute to find out if you could recycle it instead.
- Try to cut out plastic. Plastic has found its way into almost every single aspect of our lives. However, giving it up isn’t as difficult as you might think. Bring a canvas bag (or whatever bag you prefer) with you when you go shopping, buy your fruit and veg loose and stop buying bottled water.
- Use LED light bulbs. Not only do LED light bulbs last longer than conventional bulbs, they’re far more efficient too! This means that you’ll be using less power and you will be replacing your light bulbs less frequently.
- Insulate your home. By doing this you save power and energy, heating and cooling your house.
- Have your food delivered. This leads to less vehicles on their way to the store. This also helps prevent impulse buying, which can help reduce the amount of wasted food.
- Fix it, don’t throw it. Repairing or fixing something is more environmentally friendly than simply throwing things away, although the latter may seem easier and cheaper sometimes. The internet gives you access to the tools and information you need to fix practically anything, and if you still can’t fix it then why not try and turn it into something else?
- Use eco-friendly cleaning products. A lot of cleaning products have harmful chemicals in them that aren’t environmentally friendly. Repeated exposure to these cleaning products can affect your health as well as the environment. Green cleaning products use more natural and organic methods of cleaning which are far less harmful.
- Don’t drive. If you can walk, ride a bike or use public transportation, then do it. Unless you’re in an electric vehicle, driving isn’t very eco-friendly and can really add to your carbon footprint. When you do have to drive, make sure that you get the most out of your vehicle by keeping the speed down, ensuring tires are properly inflated and that the engine is running smoothly.
- Buy local. From clothes to food, the closer to home these products are made and bought, the less carbon is created with their transportation. Not only that, but you’ll be supporting the local economy which means that in time you’ll likely have even more local items to choose from.
- Grow your own. Growing your own vegetables isn’t just a good way to save money, it’s also a great way to cut down your carbon footprint and be eco-friendly. Don’t have any outside space? No problem, windowsill boxes are a great way to brighten up your view, filter the air coming into your home and offer plenty of space for herbs and small vegetable patches.
- Choose your personal care wisely. When it comes to personal hygiene there are several things you need to be careful to avoid for a truly eco-friendly lifestyle. The most damaging of these is microbeads, which are small bits of solid plastic which aren’t biodegradable and make their way into watercourses and ultimately end up damaging the environment by entering the food chain. Make sure that your body wash, toothpaste, face scrub and other products do not contain these beads.
Living an eco-friendly life can start out gradually. Even steps that may seem small can make a difference. Simple things like using glass containers when possible, using plastic bottles that are made from recycled plastic, using paper boxes for our bar soap and even reusing all packing bottles and paper that comes packed around our glass containers have helped our company become more eco-friendly.
We all can do our part to help the environment. Together we can work towards a better tomorrow. Follow our social media platforms - Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest.