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WHAT MAKES A PRODUCT ECO-FRIENDLY?

Resource Center » What Makes a Product Eco-Friendly?

You can make eco-friendly choices by remembering the principles of reducing, reusing, and recycling.

The use of ecologically-friendly products like recycled tote bags is increasing in popularity; more and more people are becoming aware of limited global resource availability and the impact that technology has on the environment. Here is how you can feel confident that eco-friendly products make a difference.

Eco-Friendly Items Reduce the Impact
In general, earth-friendly products will make less of an impact on the environment than their traditional counterparts. Some companies try to make their ecological footprint smaller by avoiding excess packaging; extra plastic, styrofoam, and other packing materials will sit in a landfill long after the item is removed from the package. Buying products with minimal packaging will reduce the amount of garbage that you discard.

Organic Gusset Tote Organic items are specifically grown to have less of an impact on the environment. Just like chemical pesticides are not used on organic fruits and vegetables, organically-grown cotton (used in clothing and other textiles) is also grown without the use of harsh chemicals. Livestock can also be organically-raised if they are fed organic foods instead of foods containing hormones or antibiotics. Organic produce, meats, and eggs can be purchased at grocery stores or from family farms.

A good rule of thumb for household cleansers and personal care products is that the more environmentally friendly products will have more natural ingredients on the labels. Unpronounceable chemicals and ingredients are generally not eco-friendly, and they are more likely to negatively impact the earth. Read the labels of the products that you buy and find less toxic products whenever possible.

Eco-Friendly Items Can Be Reused
Reusable products, like many tote bags and food storage containers, also help to reduce environmental impact because they cut down on the amount of daily waste in landfills. In addition to eco-friendly products, everyday items like plastic grocery bags can also be reused. Many people use plastic bags as garbage can liners or take them back to the store they came from instead of just throwing them away, which has a significant impact on the earth over time.

Another way to reuse items is to purchase them used. A used item is usually more ecologically friendly than a new product because it prevents an item from ending up in the garbage and it is one less new thing that must be manufactured. Go green by making use of a friend's unwanted furniture, toys, and clothes and you'll gain far more than some sparkly new belongings - you'll also be preventing excess garbage from getting tossed into a landfill. White Anvil Ladies' 1x1 Rib Knit Long Sleeve Scoop Neck

Eco-Friendly Items Can Be Recycled
Glass, paper, and many metals and plastics can be recycled. The packaging of earth friendly products is usually recyclable. Once the product itself has served its purpose, it should be easily recycled if it cannot be reused. Some paper and plastic products are made from recycled materials. This prevents older items from ending up in a landfill or polluting the land or water. If an item is made from recycled materials, there is usually a label on the item that indicates as such.

Contact your department of public works to find out what materials are recyclable in your area. In some cases, certain plastics or metals might not be picked up regularly by the local sanitation department, but they can be brought directly to a recycling plant. Try to buy recycled products when available and try to actually recycle them when they've served their purpose.

Article By Jill Tooley
Jill Tooley

Jill has been obsessed with words since her fingers could turn the pages of a book. She’s a hopeless bibliophile who recently purchased a Kindle after almost 6 years of radical opposition, and she loves stumbling upon new music on Pandora. Random interests include (but are not limited to) bookstores, movie memorabilia, and adorable rodents. In addition to managing the QLP blog, Jill also manages the content development team, assists with the company’s social media accounts, and writes like a fiend whenever given the chance. You can connect with Jill on Google+.

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