Sunday, October 13, 2013

Understanding What It Means To Be Eco-Friendly: What To Look For In The Products You Buy


One of the biggest buzzwords of the twenty-first century is “eco-friendly”. Companies of all kinds are trying to tap into the market of those people who care about the environment, but consumers can be taken advantage of if they do not know what they are looking for in an eco-friendly product. If you want to start shopping green and reducing your carbon footprint, then there are several things you should be looking for in any product that claims to be “eco-friendly”. Consumers are learning what concepts like eco-friendly, renewable, sustainable, and eco-conscious really mean in today's world, TD Friends of the Environment donations go a long way to educating people committed to protecting the environment.

Materials


The most important thing to consider is what the item is being made from. There are basically two types of materials that you should look for when you are making an eco-friendly consumer purchase. The first of these is renewable materials, or materials that will come back when they are used. When companies make plastic for a phone case, the oil that is the raw material for the plastic is non-renewable, as it does not come back when it is used. On the other hand, a wooden or bamboo phone case is considered renewable since those items will grow back on their own. Related to the idea of renewable resources is sustainability, the other thing that you should be looking for. Sustainability means that companies can continue to use the materials and processes at a reasonable level for a long period of time without causing damage to the local environment. Clear cutting forests for wooden furniture meets the criteria for renewable resources, but it fails the sustainability check because the companies are cutting down the trees faster than they can regrow.

Durability


The next thing that you will want to look at in the products that you buy is the durability of the item itself. As an eco-conscious consumer you want to protect the environment, but you also want to make sure that the items you purchase will last you a long time, and they will be able to stand up to the wear and tear that you will put them through. Too many times eco-friendly products are made with renewable and sustainable materials, but those materials fall apart with heavy use and you wind up buying that product over and over.

Manufacturing


Finally, you should consider the way that the items are manufactured, if you want to be a true eco-friendly shopper. Most of the chemicals that are causing global warming can be attributed to power production and manufacturing, so you want a manufacturer who works hard to offset this issue. In eco-friendly terms these companies are called “carbon neutral” because they use renewable forms of energy for production, or they take actions, like planting trees, to balance the amount of carbon dioxide they are putting into the atmosphere. While there are many companies that are striving for carbon neutrality, most of the companies that you will have ready access to are not totally carbon neutral. With all other things being equal, if you want to be an eco-friendly consumer, go with the company that claims carbon neutrality or claims to have a lower carbon footprint.
Shopping in an eco-friendly way requires more time and more work than shopping without thinking about the environment; however, once you find those manufacturers that you like, shopping is a breeze. The important thing about eco-friendly shopping is to remember to look at the label and read carefully so you know exactly where the product is coming from.

I am Lindsay Barlow, and I am an eco-conscious shopper and an environmentalist. Sites like Bambooki are great for finding eco-friendly products that are perfect for all of your home needs.


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