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 Mount Olympus. 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 Mount Olympus
Greenwashing is prevalent. It is hard to discern what is really sustainable and eco-friendly in today's market place. This becomes extremely important when you are seeking to market your green janitorial cleaning service; select safe and green janitorial supplies for your operation; or developing green janitorial specifications for your service providers. To help you there are several reputable and reliable certifications available to help guide you.
Green certifications are not just a green colored label on the product. It is something that provides you with confidence that the product has undergone rigorous, scientific based, analysis and evaluation so you know you are using green janitorial supplies and chemicals that are safe for the planet and human health. Since we cannot (and likely do not want to) become a chemist, it is important to leverage valid green certifications. This way you can be confident that the chemicals are in janitorial chemicals, especially in green cleaning products and green janitorial supplies are safe, nontoxic and sustainable for our environment. It is for this reason that eco certification programs were developed and are closely followed. One of the oldest and most respected certification programs in the US is Green Seal.
Green Seal is dedicated to safeguarding the environment and transforming the marketplace by promoting the manufacture, purchase, and use of environmentally responsible products and services. In fact their mission is to use science-based programs to enable consumers, purchasers and companies to create a more sustainable world. They provide a third-party review and certification for you.
What does a third-party review mean to you? First, second, and third-party levels of review define the degree of separation between the reviewer and the company whose product is being reviewed. This is especially important when certifications are involved. Most marketing claims, material data safety sheets (MSDS), and product specifications that are provided by the company are considered first-party declarations and have not been independently tested or verified. Second-party review may be more credible because a trade association or outside consulting firm in the industry is presenting a verification of the company claims for you. One concern about a second-party review are the potential conflicts of interest (real or perceived). Whenever an independent third-party conducts the product testing and awards the certification the end-user, whether a residential or a commercial consumer, you can have the highest level of confidence in the claims.
Green Seal is a third-party reviewer. Since 1989 they have provided independent, objective, science-based guidance to the marketplace and to consumers. They are a (501(c)(3)) nonprofit organization that is funded from numerous sources, including contracts, grants, special projects, and revenue from certification and monitoring fees.
The Green Seal organization certifies everything from coffee filters to hotels. Standards that are issued to cover over 230 product and service categories. There are presently 8 standards for cleaning products for household and industrial / janitorial applications and 2 standards issued for cleaning services.
Green Seal Standards for Green Cleaning Products:
- GS-08 Cleaning Products for Household Use
- GS-21 Powdered Laundry Bleach
- GS-34 Cleaning and De-greasing Agents
- GS-37 Cleaning Products for Industrial and Institutional Use
- GS-40 Floor-Care Products for Industrial and Institutional Use
- GS-41 Hand Cleaners for Industrial and Institutional Use
- GS-52 Specialty Cleaning Products for Household Use
- GS-53 Specialty Cleaning Products for Industrial and Institutional Use
Green Seal Standards for Green Cleaning Services:
- GS-42 Commercial and Institutional Cleaning Services
- GS-49 Residential Cleaning Services
Any product displaying the Green Seal trademark means that it has passed stringent tests; demonstrated it works as well as or better than others in its class, and that it has been evaluated without bias or conflict of interest. Because of this rigor, Green Seal standards have been recognized and used by the US federal government, many state governments, and other key entities.
Products only become certified after rigorous science-based evaluation including a life cycle assessment that evaluates a product from the raw materials through the manufacturing process and ending with recycling or disposal. The Green Seal certification mark states the product has demonstrated the green janitorial supplies and green cleaning products have gone through a stringent process to show that it has less impact on the environment and human health.Â
Need more? Here are 6 More Reasons why Green Seal Environmental Certification is so strong. This will further expand your confidence the Green Seal certification program:
- The Green Seal mark represents compliance with a rigorous set of criteria designed to achieve leadership levels in sustainability, including on-site plant visits
- Some of the factors considered in evaluating the products are that they are: non-toxic, biodegradable, absent of any carcinogens, mutagens, and reproductive toxins, low-level of sensitivity with respect to eyes, skin, contains no heavy metals, phthalates or other prohibited ingredients, has minimal volatile organic compounds (VOC) or ozone depleting substances, and is non combustible.
- Green Seal is one of the largest eco labeling organizations in the US
- Green Seal is the U.S. member of GEN which consists of 26 of the world's leading eco labeling programs, including Germany's Blue Angel certification program and the Nordic swan.
- Green Seal meets the US EPA's Criteria for Third-Party Certifiers, the requirements of ISO 14020 and 14024, and the standards of the Global Eco Labeling Network.
- Green Seal certification is not just a "one-time deal". Companies establish an ongoing commitment to health and the environment through annual compliance monitoring and work towards continuous improvement.
Avoid greenwashing, seek products with one of the green certifications such as DfE, Ecologo, and/or Green Seal.
Eco Friendly, Solid Wood Furniture - Ask 5 Questions to Determine If It's Green and Sustainable
Eco-friendly technology (also known as sustainable technology) is a means of taking energy and converting it into usable power such as electricity, home heating, and so on... but from renewable resources which do not harm the environment. In other words, utilizing resources such as solar power which is constantly renewable, as opposed to burning off fossil fuels which only gets consumed without the source being renewed, and just adds to the growing carbon footprint we are stomping upon the Earth. What are some of these resources and how can we use them today? Let's take a look...
One kind of eco-friendly technology, as mentioned above, is solar energy. Since its big boom of popularity in the seventies, the energy output of photovoltaic cells ("solar panels") has greatly increased, along with the efficiency of its production, from more efficient and less expensive materials. Where it used to cost many thousands of dollars decades ago to cover a small home's roof with an array of solar panels to power most of the homes appliances, being only able to pay for itself many years down the road, these days people are spending less than a couple hundred dollars on cheaply procurable components to build a single solar panel on a weekend project to power a handful of appliances on the single panel alone.
Another type of eco-friendly technology involves the use of geothermal power. By driving a network of pipes into the ground below a house's foundation and running water through them, the heat from the Earth is transferred into the water which is then pumped through the house. This heated water provides the home with hot water and can also be converted into usable electricity through the use of heat exchangers and heat pump generators. This type of energy extraction from the surrounding environment is also utilizing a renewable resource, as the heat taken is constantly being provided by the sun as the Earth stores it day by day. It could actually be considered a solar-geothermal system at work here.
One final eco-friendly technology type we can look at here is wind power. There are many homes today which are fully powered by one or two windmill powered electricity generators, hooked up to battery cells much like those used for forklifts in order to store the surplus electricity generated and regulate the flow of it for constant in-home use for appliances and heating or air-conditioning equipment. These are just a few of the many ways in which we can take free energy from the surrounding environment in order to benefit from what nature gives us in constant supply, instead of relying upon the burning of fossil fuels which only get consumed and return pollution to the Earth and its environments.
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