Eco-friendly. It's a term we hear often now. The discussion about our responsibility for being stewards of the planet is growing and for good reason. Plastic waste is washing up on desolate shorelines, swirling in patches in the ocean as big as islands. Determining our part to reducing harm to the oceans, the soil and air is not a topic to be ignored. So, how do we live better in alignment with our environment? Using thoughtful, eco friendly products can be a good start, but does it really make a difference? Let's explore that...
A quick look online today and you'll find thousands of eco-friendly products available. Well, at least they are 'advertised’ as eco. Some consumers swear by these products, while others avoid them based on skepticism.
I believe that in a perfect world, every product would be eco-friendly. We would all benefit! The environment would fare much better but, unfortunately, I don't feel that will ever happen. I have hope but also know it's a big job to switch the gears of manufacturing.
The good news is there are products available today that are actually good for the environment in some way. I want to talk with you about three heavily used products and why they make a huge difference.
1. Cloth Diapers
Whether you have kids or not, you know that disposable diapers are convenient. But, that convenience comes at a price, and not just in the parents budget. Not only are disposable diapers really expensive, they also pose a major problem to the environment. Statistics say by the time a kid is potty trained, it's possible the parents have gone through more than one TON of disposable diapers. ONE TON! That's KRA-ZEE!! That puts disposable diapers among the top three items currently cluttering up our landfills, in line behind plastic water bottles and plastic bags.
Disposable diapers are non-biodegradable, which means they remain there for at least 500 years. It's not unheard of for the waste from the diapers to seep into groundwater. That is a situation that's not good for anyone. Cloth diapers require more effort on the parents part and that is only a decisions a parent can make. Are you a parent using cloth diapers? Please comment below - about the good, bad and the ugly.
2. Cleaning Products
This is a category I talk about easily. At Tangie, the goal is plastic-free packaging - even ‘no packaging’. But ingredients matter too. Cleaning products is one of those products that we use in almost every area of our live, whether it’s washing your hands to scrubbing the shower or washing windows. Many traditional cleaning products contain harmful chemicals that can be detrimental to your health even causing harm to aquatic life. Using ‘green cleaners’ will avoid those toxic chemicals. They do the job as good, if not better than traditional cleaners plus they do the job in a much healthier fashion. You decide each time you buy. Read the labels, use EWG.org to research brands and ingredients, LeapingBunny.org for compassionate products; or better yet, make your own cleaning products.
More and more consumers are choosing to make their own. Why? Mostly because the more we learn about there being zero no government regulations requiring the ingredients of a cleaning products, the more skeptical we get. Making your own cleaning products gives you confidence by knowing exactly what goes into them. You probably have many of the ingredients used in effective, natural household cleaning. Those ingredients are such as vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil. Not only are these types of ingredients readily available in almost all food stores, they are also very affordable while doing a wonderful job of cleaning all sorts of things. I did an article about vinegar and what it "may" be made from...legally. Be sure to take a look at it. The picture I posted here is a direct link to the article that will open in another window so you can read it later.
3. Energy-Saving Light Bulbs
For a long time I was unaware that when a fluorescent light bulb breaks, it releases mercury vapor into the air. Mercury is a very toxic substance! LED bulbs, which use very little energy and operate efficiently extreme temperatures, and are much safer for households with young children.
Energy-saving (LED) light bulbs have been available for many years but are just now gaining more popularity. Two reasons are causing more widespread usage: Cost and Safety. Since they are initially more expensive than their fluorescent counterpart it takes people awhile to catch on to the long term benefits. However, each bulb lasts up to ten years. When you take that into consideration, it adds up to huge savings in time, money and resources. According to Energy Saver is the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) consumer resource on saving energy and using renewable energy technologies at home traditional incandescents, energy-efficient lightbulbs such as light emitting diodes (LEDs) have the following advantages:
Next time you are surfing the web, do a little research of your own. Find eco replacements for the items you use most in your life. You will undoubtedly come across other eco-friendly products and may be quite surprised in the advancements made in just the last few years. Whether or not you decide to incorporate them into your daily routine is totally up to you.
The best part, if you decide to use just one truly eco-friendly product, you will be helping the environment in a small way. It may not seem like much, but the more people that share your opinion, the better off the planet will be. #earthdayeveryday