The green movement is not necessarily a new trend that has developed in recent years. The Modern Environmental Movement started in the 1960s when people became more concerned with air and water pollution. In fact, the first Earth Day was commemorated in April, 1970. There is no doubt that since that time we have witnessed a lot of new developments, and that the Modern Environmental Movement has changed throughout the time. In the past couple of years, the subject of eco-friendly products and saving the environment has become an increasingly important topic due to the growing evidence that our actions do indeed cause a detrimental impact to the world around us. In this article, we discuss the benefits of eco-friendly products and explain the benefits of making a shift in lifestyle.
'Eco-friendly', 'going green', 'Earth-friendly'... what does it all mean?
There are a lot of buzz-words associated with the Environmental Movement that is currently trending in article titles and you can come across them on products' labels. Most of them are just synonyms of the term 'eco-friendly', however, some of the phrases can indicate being eco-friendly, but in fact only mislead the consumers. That is why it's crucial to understand those terms - to make sure you are choosing the right products and companies.
In simple words, 'eco-friendly' means it is not environmentally harmful. This term is usually applied to products that contribute to helping with conserving resources such as water and energy. It means that everything from the production of the product to packaging is safe for the environment - for example, helps with preventing air, water or land pollution. A truly eco-friendly product is safe for both humans and the environment; it needs to be non-toxic for starters. Other eco-friendly attributes include the use of sustainable ingredients which are produced in a way that does not harm the ecosystem. Eco-friendly products use organic materials that are produced without toxic pesticides or are made from recycled materials, which can contain plastic, glass, wood or metal reclaimed from waste.
Greenwashing - be careful!
Being eco-friendly became a trend in the past years, hence why a lot of brands and companies try to label their products environmentally friendly, even when it's not necessarily true. You may see labels on the products that state being eco-friendly, but you should always look for products approved by groups like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or the Green Good Housekeeping Seal. We suggest spending some time on research and finding out which agencies or programs guarantee eco-friendliness of the product, and then decide to go shopping. You may also consider using local brands instead of big corporations as they tend to be more open about their production process and give more details regarding their connection with the Environmental Movement.
The benefits of eco-friendly products
Changing your lifestyle is not the easiest thing. You are probably used to buying the same shampoo, washing liquid or some cleaning supplies for years now. You remember exactly in which shops they sell it the cheapest and on which shelves the products are stored. However, you should take into consideration that not all changes are bad. They may take a bit of time, but in the long run they will help you with changing your life for the better. A more mindful lifestyle will be beneficial not only for the environment, but it can yield huge benefits for the individual as well.
Here are some benefits of using eco-friendly products.
- Saving the environment
What we are going to say now may sound very obvious to some people, but it seems like there are still groups that don't necessarily understand that statement - without a healthy environment, we will cease to exist. The massive problem we are dealing with currently is pollution and contamination, and it threatens our future. Without drinkable water and clean air, we won't be able to survive. This applies not only to our generation, but also for the future ones - caring about the environment now means building a better future for our children too.
“If we want to address global warming, along with the other environmental problems associated with our continued rush to burn our precious fossil fuels as quickly as possible, we must learn to use our resources more wisely, kick our addiction, and quickly start turning to sources of energy that have fewer negative impacts.”
- David Suzuki
- Saving money
There is also the longer, environmental cost on the environment. The further degradation of our planet will lead to further costs down the line. Therefore, preventing further damage can save costs for society in the long run.
On an individual level, many environmentally conscious decisions can actually save you money. This ranges from buying a reusable water bottle instead of plastic bottles, changing to eco-friendly energy providers, etc.
“The reality is gas prices should be much more expensive than they are because we're not incorporating the true damage to the environment and the hidden costs of mining oil and transporting it to the U.S. Whenever you have an unpriced externality, you have a bit of a market failure, to the degree that eternality remains unpriced”
- Elon Musk
- Improving health
As we mentioned before, eco-friendly products are not only beneficial for the environment, but also for you and your family. Those products don't contain harmful, toxic chemicals that can often be found in the items and materials produced on a massive scale. By using green products, we are not at risk of developing illnesses and diseases. Moreover, natural products don't contain additives which can be found in a lot of commercial products. This point applies especially to all cleaning and hygiene cosmetics.
“We need to accept the seemingly obvious fact that a toxic environment can make people sick and that no amount of medical intervention can protect us. The health care community must become a powerful political lobby for environmental policy and legislation.”
- Andrew Weil
- Improving mental health
Using sustainable products is good not only for our general health, but most importantly for our mental health. Being eco-friendly can be very rewarding and give us a sense of accomplishment, as we are doing something good for ourselves and others. It gives us a purpose and makes us feel fulfilled, as we know we are giving our best to the world. Making your home eco-friendly is also very beneficial for your mental state. Green buildings diminish stress and help with improving the quality of your life. For example, huge windows and natural lightning provide us with a bright ambience that helps with enhancing and calming our mood.
“Our world faces a true planetary emergency. I know the phrase sounds shrill, and I know it's a challenge to the moral imagination”
- Al Gore
- Helping with personal morals
Eco-friendly products are not only good for the environment, but also for animals. These products are not being tested on any animals and don't use any animal byproducts at any stage of the production process. Moreover, buying sustainable products often means supporting your local businesses. This means that your money goes to the neighbor's family rather than to a rich CEO of a global giant. Supporting and changing to eco-friendly products is basically equal to supporting the elimination of destructive manufacturing, unfair working conditions and mass production.
“Our obligation to fight pollution traces the roots of its persuasion to that same moral mountaintop from which my father lent his voice to the voiceless. The pursuit of civil equality in health helped build our environmental laws.”
- Martin Luther King III
Tips on using eco-friendly products
There are many ways to start your journey with a more sustainable lifestyle. As we mentioned before, it may not be the easiest change, but it will be worth all the effort. We suggest starting with small steps and slowly improving your actions over time. No one says that you should throw away all the products in your house and instantly change them to eco-friendly items. Use that shampoo that is already in your bathroom. Finish all the cleaning products you currently store under the sink. But next time you make your shopping list, give yourself a bit more time to research and find more suitable products.
Buying food from local farmers and making sure that it is grown using organic methods can be the first step to your sustainability journey. This type of food is healthier and better quality, which means it will help with improving your physical and mental conditions. Not to mention, you will be supporting local businesses and helping the environment.
No to a plastic water bottle
Purchasing reusable water bottle should be on top of your list when deciding to go eco-friendly. Carrying a bottle like that with you at all times prevents you from buying a bottle of water in a nearby store every time you get thirsty. Instead of using plastic bottles that you will throw away straight after finishing drinking, now you can get a bottle that will last you at least a few years.
House cleaning products
A lot of mass-produced cleaning products contain toxic chemicals that can be harmful to the environment and for our health. Products such as air fresheners, furniture cleaners, detergents, toilet cleaners and many others, release harmful compounds and solvents into the atmosphere. This is not good for your health or the environment, hence why it is so important to switch to products that use natural ingredients such as vinegar or baking soda.
An alternative is to buy products from reputable businesses who create products that ensure minimal impact on the environment. It is this motivation that urged us to start Wattle Organics, as we believed that if people had greater access to these products, we could all make a huge difference. Everyday cleaning products have a huge environmental cost. We ensured that everything was done to prevent this hidden cost. We urge people to study all the products that they use in their daily life and to find ways of supplementing them with more environmentally friendly alternatives. The only way forward is if everyone contributes. Small changes can ultimately lead to huge environmental benefits.
We are all responsible not only for our own well-being, but also those around us. Being environmentally friendly means taking care of the environment, ourselves and everything that is around us. This article is just a glimpse into sustainable living, but we hope it helped you with deciding on the first steps into green lifestyle. If you are interested in any of our eco-friendly products, you can visit our collection here