Going Green is not just a trend. It’s a priority for all of us if we want to continue to live on a beautiful, life-giving planet. Thinking of ways of going green, however, is not always easy. Just because we buy organic food and recycle doesn’t necessarily mean we’re making much of a practical impact. We need to have a whole plan for Going Green. One element in that plan should be buying eco-friendly products or Elysian Park. But how do we find eco-friendly products? Well, one way is to buy products made from renewable resources.
Buying products made from renewable resources should be a priority for each of us when going green. These types of eco-friendly products insure that we don’t use earth’s resources too quickly. We need to let our planet replenish it’s natural resources at the same rate as we are consuming them.
So, what are good eco-friendly products– products made from renewable resources?
Here’s a list of 10 types of products made from renewable resources:
1. Paper products- while these should be used sparingly, they are better than plastic in that they are biodegradable and come from renewable trees
2. Cotton products
3. Spudware- biodegradable cutlery made from potatoes, corn, and soy oils
4. Solar energy- solar panels on your house, solar battery chargers, etc.
5. Bio-based tableware- for example, plates and bowls made by Earthshell
6. Bamboo products- bamboo furniture, bamboo cotton clothes, etc. (a good alternative to other tree products, as bamboo is highly renewable because of it’s fast rate of growth)
7. Digital products- Highly reproducible, long-lasting, only needing the support of electricity
8. Wind energy- support wind energy development in your city, county, and state; consider getting electricity from wind power at your home.
9. Bio-based fuels- while not always the most sustainable option, they are renewable
10. Plant-based cleaners- great products made from renewable resources to help you in going green and healthier for your body
Here are 5 products not made from renewable resources that should be avoided:
1. Plastics- while renewable plastics are being researched, currently plastics are made from petroleum a non-renewable resource
2. Many paper cups and plates- while the paper is renewable, the plastic coating is from petroleum and makes the product take about 500 years to biodegrade
3. Wood in furniture or other products from old-growth rainforests- while these are technically renewable, the amount of carbon released into the environment and the incredibly slow rate at which they replenish themselves makes them for all practical purposes non-renewable and definitely not eco-friendly products.
4. Energy from oil and coal- gasoline products and coal-based energy are highly non-renewable; unfortunately, much of our electricity currently comes from coal. Consider the switch to solar or wind energy in your home as your first big step in going green.
So continue on the path to going green by changing your purchasing habits. Decide to buy products made from renewable resources.
House Cleaning With Eco-Friendly Products and Elysian Park
Given the amount of information out there about "going green" or buying "eco-friendly", it's difficult to know what's important and what's not. Ultimately, we all must make decisions we can live with based on the information we have at that point.
At Every Little Bit, we use the following 5 criteria to assess the true "greenness" of a product:
Ideally, the product should be produced closer to home, so it travels less distance to reach the customers, reducing the emissions and gas consumed, excess packaging needed for travels, and in the case of food, the use of preservatives. Also, avoid countries of origin that do not adhere to the same safety standards. I.e. China has a history for products that tested high in lead and plastics laced with Bisphenol A.
It can be hard to find the information on how products are manufactured, but it is worth the effort to do a bit of digging. What are the facilities like? How much energy do they use in production? Do they give back to the environment, or the community?
Many of us assume that products are made in environments similar to where we work - reasonable compensation, supportive management and colleagues and good working conditions. Apparently not. Do your best to ensure the products are made in a sustainable manner. Are the wages & working conditions fair? When products are manufactured abroad, does the company support fair trade and fair labour practices in the manufacture and production?
Ingredients (or components)
Take a look at what's in the products you purchase. Are the ingredients in your cleaning and personal care items organic, non-toxic and safe? (Recognizable terms are better). Avoid plastics when possible since they have high chemical use in production and even recycling eligible plastic requires significant energy consumption. Select products that are harvested in a sustainable manner, for example bamboo, hemp, or organic cotton. Consider recycled content in paper products like towels, tissue paper, notebooks, etc... Is the packaging recyclable?
Life Span of the Product
Strive to purchase things that will last. While a deal is tempting, think of quality workmanship and longevity of the product. Where possible, avoid single-use products (i.e. plastic water bottles) and opt for a reusable choice. How does the product affect the environment when in use? I.e. can the detergent be used in more energy-saving cold water and is it biodegradable so it won't affect the water table? When disposing of a product, is it easily recyclable? Could it be repurposed elsewhere or donated?
You may not be able to address all of the criteria when selecting products, and we all know that life is a series of trade-offs and choices, but hopefully it gets easier to make the green ones.
Eco-friendly Products Do Wonders
Last week's article discussed eco-friendly summer events taking place around the country. These events range from discussion forums about eco-friendly living to music festivals that focus on staying green and having little impact on the environment. I had the opportunity to attend Rothbury, which is one of the eco-friendly music festivals. This event strives on making their event as eco-friendly as possible. Here is a list of the top 5 eco-friendly things happening at the second annual Rothbury.
1) Utensils made of corn: After ordering some delicious food at the festival, I noticed that my fork wasn't a plastic fork like I am use to getting but was instead made of corn. This corn made utensil reduced the amount of plastic at the festival. Having products made from renewable plant sources paralleled with their idea of having a green festival. The forks were sturdy and easy to dispose of properly.
2) Green Team: The Green Team was great at Rothbury. They were there around the clock helping Rothburians dispose of their garbage properly. All around the festival there were areas where someone was there to assist whether items should be placed in compost, recycling or trash. Having these people around was great and very helpful!
3) Think Tank: The Think Tank at Rothbury was a place for like-minded people to gather and talk about important topics surrounding the environment. They discussed such things as the green economy, green jobs and ways to reduce your energy bills. Having the Think Tank allowed for concertgoers to take a break from the music and have a discussion about these eco-friendly ideas.
4) Reclaimed art: Throughout the festival grounds, there were large-scale art that made bold statements about recycling, sustainability and being eco-friendly. All the art was made from reused, recycled and natural materials. These larger than life pieces were reflected all of what Rothbury was about. As one walked through the forest there was no choice but to stop at look at these pieces made from recycled materials.
5) Human energy to charge cell phones: This was the most eco-friendly thing going on at Rothbury and I found it to be very impressive. At this booth, people rode stationary bikes together to charge their cell phones! If that doesn't scream eco-friendly, I don't know what does. As Rothbury attendees peddled together, they were able to generate enough power to charge cell phones and even record music. The electricity was generated and then used to digitally record songs that were later available for download. Exercise, charge your phone, record music and be eco-friendly all at the same time!
Rothbury was a great 4-day festival that promoted sustainability. It was great gathering with people that enjoy great music and doing things great for the environment. Having festivals such as this one encourages people to be more eco-friendly which is always a good thing!
Guffly is a one product per day online store and community featuring eco friendly products and fair trade lifestyle goods like home, pet, clothing, office and personal accessories. We know that people aren't interested in ugly stuff, so you can bet Guffly's green products are stylish, fun and attractive - eco stylish if you will.
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