How Eco-Friendly Products Can Help You Live a Better Life

Eco-friendly products are products that have a minimum or no negative effects on the environment. These products are often made of natural materials and are free from harmful chemicals. Studies show that individual and household consumption have a significant impact on the environment. Therefore, it is our responsibility to use more eco-friendly products and do our part in helping conserve the environment.

According to an article from Pacific Institute, one of the main UN messages regarding socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 is, “we must learn from this crisis and collectively work towards 17 Sustainable Development Goals so that we can face a future crisis in an efficient manner.”

“An intelligent person resolves a problem. A wise person avoids it.” – Albert Einstein

What are Eco-friendly Products?

Eco-friendly simply means minimally harmful to the environment. The United States Environmental Protection Agency describes eco-friendly/green products as “a product which has no or very less impact on human health and the environment throughout its life cycle – from raw material to its disposal.”  By buying more green products, you not only protect the environment, but you can also help your own long-term health.

Why Should You Use Eco-friendly Product?

  • It reduces carbon footprint:

A carbon footprint is the total amount of carbon dioxide and methane emission caused by an individual or a product. As per theNational Climate Assessment (NCA) report, “Global climate is changing rapidly compared to the pace of natural variations in the climate that have occurred throughout Earth’s history. Human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide affect the Earth’s climate system. The faster the Earth’s climate system is changed, the greater the risk of unanticipated changes and impacts, some of which are potentially large and irreversible.”

Climate change can result in many serious issues including disaster-induced displacement, the spread of disease, increases in wildfires, water scarcity, an increase in hurricanes, and floods. By using eco-friendly products, you can reduce your carbon footprint and help to save the planet.

“Climate change is a terrible problem, and it absolutely needs to be solved.
It deserves to be a huge priority.” – Bill Gates

  • It preserves the environment & animal habitats

We are already facing major environmental issues like pollution, overpopulation, deforestation, and water scarcity. Eco-friendly products help to conserve our environment and to promote sustainability. For example, using bicycles is a healthy eco-friendly option to stop pollution.

“Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth.”
– Henry David Thoreau

One of the biggest issues is plastic waste. Plastic waste is very toxic to the environment and very hard to recycle. Plastics stays in the environment for hundreds of years and is very harmful to any species on the planet. Thousands of birds and fish intoxicated or strangled and killed by plastic bags every year.  By using eco-friendly products like a reusable cotton bag instead of a plastic bag for shopping, we can significantly reduce plastic waste.

Here is an informative video by the United Nations to show the damage that plastic waste can cause to all creatures who depend on the ocean for their food – from birds… to us.

Plastic Ocean
  • It protects your health:

Eco-friendly products not only help save the planet, but they also ensure a safe and healthy life for you and your family. The use of natural products reduces the risk of diseases, illness, and auto-immune disorders induced by harmful chemicals. For example, many cosmetics have harmful chemicals like lead which can be very harmful to your body. On the other hand, eco-friendly and natural beauty products protect you from exposure to toxicants and save you from contracting serious illnesses.

  • It is Economical:

Eco-friendly products are great for our economy and our wallets in the long-run because they are reusable and recyclable! They often last for a longer time as well. A good example is solar panels – they are more economical than conventional lights in the long-run. Although some of these may be more expensive at the moment, as more of us buy these products, the greater the price will be reduced in the future!

Only when the last tree has died, and the last river been poisoned, and
the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money. – Cree Indian Proverb

How do I know if something is Eco-Friendly?

You can identify whether the product is eco-friendly or not from its eco-label. There are hundreds of environmental performance certifications present world-wide but the few most common USA ecolabels are Energy star, Green-e, USDA-Organic, and Recycled. Find out which eco-labels are used in your country and make sure you have that label on the product before you buy them.

How can I make my consumption more sustainable for the environment?

Reduce:

Reduce your consumption of resources (this also includes basic resources like water!). Before buying anything, ask yourself “do I really need this?”. Try to do more with fewer resources. For example, use energy-saving bulbs when possible! Reduce the purchase of non-green products which may have toxic and harmful chemicals; instead, buy nature-friendly products.

There is a great need for the introduction of new values in our society,
where bigger is not necessarily better,
where slower can be faster,
and where less can be more. – Gaylord Nelson

Reuse:

Instead of buying new every time, buy products that you can reuse again and again. Reusing not only saves money, but it also reduces waste and helps to save resources that can be better used elsewhere… More examples include using steel straws instead of paper/plastic straws or using cloth napkins instead of paper napkins.

Zero waste is a waste prevention system where all the resources are preserved by reusing all the products and packaging without harming the environment. If you are interested in that lifestyle, check out this video on how to get started:

Nature provides a free lunch, but only if we control our appetites.
– William Ruckelshaus

Recycle:

Recycling refers to converting waste into reusable resources by reprocessing them. Recycling helps to reduce air/water pollution, water & soil contamination and protects ecosystems.

Use products and packaging which are easily recyclable. Recycle everything including paper, glass, and fabrics. For example, recycling glass saves a lot of energy and other resources than making new glass.

Look for this symbol to make sure you are buying a recyclable product. The symbol indicates that the product and/or packaging is made from recyclable material.

Eco-Friendly product ideas

The following are a few common eco-friendly products that you can easily include in your life – a great place to start for beginners!.

Reusable bags: 

Reusable bags are an environmentally-friendly substitute for using plastic bags. You can also use reusable/ washable containers for storing food instead of storing them in plastic bags. We cannot afford any more plastic waste damaging our aquatic wildlife. Did you know that according to National Geographic, 73% of all beach litter is plastic? For this reason, many countries have banned the use of single-use plastic! In fact, in Kenya, if you are seeing using plastic bags, you can be fined $40, 000.

Energy-saving technology:

 Our lives are revolving around technology. Eco-friendly technology saves energy and saves your money. For example, LED bulbs not only saves energy (and decrease your electricity bill), but are also more environmentally friendly than incandescent, halogen, and CFL lamps. Similarly, Energy Star appliances reduce your electricity bills by 20%! So take the environment into consideration the next time you go shopping for light bulbs or home appliances.

Cleaning products:

Use eco-friendly and biodegradable products to avoid exposure to harsh toxic chemicals like ammonia, chloride, and phosphate; these are harmful to the environment and to your health. Make sure your dishwasher/laundry soaps and other cleaners are manufactured using sustainable practices and are made from biodegradable materials.

Clothing & accessories:

Eco-fashion refers to the use of sustainable practices in the design, development, and transportation of clothes. You can help the environment by adopting the eco-fashion lifestyle. The non-eco-friendly textile industry creates a ton of soot every year and is also one of the most major sources of pollution in the world. Leather and fur production not only kill thousands of animals every year, but they also contribute to air and water pollution. Instead, go for natural, eco-friendly fabrics like cotton, silk, or bamboo. Make sure that your purses, belts, jewellery, phone accessories and hair accessories are environmentally friendly as well.

Home / Kitchen / Bath

There are many Eco-friendly household items available online, including utensils, bedding, curtains, reusable containers, , food wrap sets,pens, natural soaps, shampoos, steel/bamboo straws, reusable steel/glass water bottles, dish clothes, pet bowls, sandwich wraps, bath tissues, Eco-friendly toys, organic toothpaste, reusable paper towels, reusable paperbacks and so on.

Clean Beauty:

As previously mentioned, many beauty products contain harsh chemicals like parabens, chemical sunscreens, or synthetic fragrances; these can be harmful to your skin and can have serious health impacts. Replace these harmful toxic beauty products with natural eco-friendly ones. This will not be safe for your skin, but they are extremely effective and great for the environment.

Summary:

The products we use have a notable impact on our health and on our natural environment. Throughout the product life cycle, it can affect the environment in a variety of ways. They can result in air pollution, harming the ecosystems, loss of animal diversity, toxic exposure, and exploitation of natural resources. Therefore, it is important that we use our purchasing power wisely and always keep in mind the environmental consequences of our actions.

Humans are the only creatures in this world
who cut the trees, made paper from it
and then write, “Save Trees” on it – Unknown

We must understand that natural resources are limited, and we must value them as our global heritage. We must collectively raise  awareness about the 3R’s (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) and advocate for the protection of our environment.. Engage yourself in eco-friendly activities and be a green consumer. Reduce your CO2 emissions by trying alternative transportation methods like walking, carpooling or biking. Walking and biking also help reduce obesity and keep you healthy. If you drive, remember to do all emission tests and oil/filter changes regularly to avoid pollution. You can also help the environment by replacing all your energy-consuming appliances.  

We must stop overconsumption because it is the #1 source of waste production. Consume only reusable and recyclable eco-friendly products. By using the eco-friendly products, we contribute towards the preservation of our natural resources.

The first rule of sustainability is to align with natural forces,
or at least not try to defy them. – Paul Hawken

Over the years, awareness about sustainable living has increased and people (especially millennials) really want to buy from substantial brands. But according to an article in the Harvard Business Review, “65% said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, yet only about 26% actually do so. Narrowing this “intention-action gap” is important not just for meeting corporate sustainability goals but also for the planet.”

Being green is more than just buying ‘eco’.
It is an unshakable commitment to a sustainable lifestyle.
– Jennifer Nini

We must appreciate our responsibility and moral obligation as human beings and members of this ecosystem, to protect the environment and preserve our natural resources for future generations. We may not have much time – our resources are finite and our population is rapidly increasing. So, in preparation for our resource-constrained futures, we must start our sustainable lifestyles today.

Let’s do our part for future generations. Let’s go green!

How long till it’s gone
the beauty that we see
Everything that was made
wasn’t made for you and me
Each creature holds its beauty
each life source holds a key
Everyone has a role in life
so we can all live free
Power and greed took over
who’s got the most or best
we didn’t spare a thought
to each animal in their nest
The damage isn’t reversible
but here’s what we can do
To live from now sustainably
time for the worldwide breakthrough
For eyes to be opened
and for hearts to feel
Enough is enough
the destruction is real.
-Maxine Raggatt

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