Given the amount of information out there about “California” or buying “eco-friendly“, it’s difficult to know what’s important and what’s not. Ultimately, we all must make decisions we can live with based on the information we have at that point.
At Every Little Bit, we use the following 5 criteria to assess the true “greenness” of a product:
Ideally, the products should be produced closer to home, so it travels less distance to reach the customers, reducing the emissions and gas consumed, excess packaging needed for travels, and in the case of food, the use of preservatives. Also, avoid countries of origin that do not adhere to the same safety standards. I.e. China has a history for products that tested high in lead and plastics laced with Bisphenol A.
It can be hard to find the information on how products are manufactured, but it is worth the effort to do a bit of digging. What are the facilities like? How much energy do they use in production? Do they give back to the environment, or the community?
Many of us assume that products are made in environments similar to where we work – reasonable compensation, supportive management and colleagues and good working conditions. Apparently not. Do your best to ensure the products are made in a sustainable manner. Are the wages & working conditions fair? When products are manufactured abroad, does the company support fair trade and fair labour practices in the manufacture and production?
Ingredients (or components)
Take a look at what’s in the products you purchase. Are the ingredients in your cleaning and personal care items organic, non-toxic and safe? (Recognizable terms are better). Avoid plastics when possible since they have high chemical use in production and even recycling eligible plastic requires significant energy consumption. Select products that are harvested in a sustainable manner, for example bamboo, hemp, or organic cotton. Consider recycled content in paper products like towels, tissue paper, notebooks, etc… Is the packaging recyclable?
Life Span of the Product
Strive to purchase things that will last. While a deal is tempting, think of quality workmanship and longevity of the product. Where possible, avoid single-use products (i.e. plastic water bottles) and opt for a reusable choice. How does the product affect the environment when in use? I.e. can the detergent be used in more energy-saving cold water and is it biodegradable so it won’t affect the water table? When disposing of a product, is it easily recyclable? Could it be repurposed elsewhere or donated?
You may not be able to address all of the criteria when selecting products, and we all know that life is a series of trade-offs and choices, but hopefully it gets easier to make the green ones.
A Way of Life - Toxicity in Our Environment and Eco-friendly Cleaning Products
By using eco-friendly baby products and organic baby accessories, you are taking a positive step towards keeping our environment clean. Also, using earth-friendly baby products is very important for your baby's health. In light of global warming, there needs to be drastic measures taken worldwide to curb the effects of this phenomenon.
Earth changes such as melting polar ice caps, climate changes, and many other concerns that we face, affects each and every one of us on this planet. Every bit of effort is vitally important in saving our world and our children's future. Let us take a look at some great ways to help both your baby and mother earth.
Natural Organic and biodegradable diapers
Millions of diapers, both disposable and cloth, continue to fill up landfills every year. Yet, many of these diapers are made from plastic, chlorinated materials and other undesirable compounds. The plastic is not biodegradable and chlorinated materials pose a serious threat to our waters. Other undesirable compounds can also cause health problems to children.
By using 100% natural, organic, non-chlorinated cloth diapers, you will be helping both your child and the environment. You can find them made from a variety of fabric such as cotton, wool, and hemp suitable for baby and the earth. Use natural cloth wipes instead of disposable wipes. Disposable wipes contain chemical ingredients that can be harmful to babies sensitive skin. These wipes may also contain fibers that are also not biodegradable.
Convenience can be a huge factor for busy lifestyles of families with young children wearing diapers. So, it is to no amazement that millions of disposable diapers are sold every year. These types of diapers do not meet the criteria of concern for baby and the planet. Though, there seems to be a company out of Oregon (gdiapers.com) that has met all the requirements for safe, biodegradable and convenience through a flushable product. Could this be true?
The presence of Bisphenol-A (BPA) in plastic bottles is a very serious concern especially in baby bottles. Tests have shown that BPA leachesthrough the repeated use of bottles containing the chemical. BPA is known to cause health problems in animals and considered to be harmful to humans and the environment. Some plastic bottles leach can leach adipates and phthalates that are linked to reproductive problems and liver cancers in mice.
Look into using different bottles such as glass or #5 plastic bottles. Plastic bottles made of #5 are the most recyclable and have not yet been found to leach BPA. To prevent the presence of bacteria and injury you will want to periodically examine the bottles for scratches, chips and cracks. A safe choice for nipples would be silicone. Make sure they meet the highest standard. Also, look into aluminum and stainless steel water bottles which can also be recycled after repeated use.
When it comes to washing baby clothing and diapers, use laundry soap that is environmentally responsible. These soaps are 100% natural, plant-based and biodegradable. They are non-toxic, chlorine free, enzyme free, GM free, dye-free, hypo-allergenic and petroleum free. Clearly, they are the safest for your baby.
Natural organic clothing
Purchase baby clothes made from 100% certified organic cotton or 100% organic wool. They both are pesticide and chemical-free and are not treated with toxic dyes and formaldehyde before the finishing of the garment, all of which can contaminate our land, air and water. By dressing your baby in organic clothing, they will not be exposed to these dangerous agents and at the same time you will helping to support organic farming
There are many more baby products and baby accessories that are natural, organic and safe for your child. Keep in mind, due diligence is of the upmost importance in your search of these wonderful products. Not all products are 100% certified organic and they may contain the harmful elements to both your baby and the environment. May your journey be a contribution to helping our planet.
Going Green With Eco-Friendly Products – California
It's a good thing that "going green" is finally a trend. Big businesses are going green with environmentally safe products, environmentally safe fabrics and environmentally safe packaging. But, the trash isn't entirely off the streets yet.
There are still companies cutting corners and not only that, but we our starting to feel the crunch from the lack of valuable resources. Worrying about the environment is not just worrying about maintaining safe guidelines on resources we use. But, it also includes making sure we have resources to use in the future.
With new natural gas cars and gas plus electric models entering the market, our reliability on oil will be considerably lower in the near future. But, having a natural gas car means that you won't be able to take a cross country trip just yet. Natural gas facilities aren't everywhere like gas stations are now. Plus, filling up can take up to about sixteen hours as reported by Rex Roy, a Detroit-based automotive journalist who has recently released his first book, Motor City Dream Garages.
While gas consumption is a major concern, we also need to look at other issues we face. Taking gas consumption as a warning, it is imperative that we look around at other issues like pollution. Looking at a country like China can help us understand what could possibly happen to anyone else if eco-friendly measures aren't taken.
Hearing the numbers from China's present consumerism habits is almost breath taking. To watch what can happen to a country in need and devouring everything it needs is an eye opener and to think that those problems manifested out of its emulation of the American lifestyle is scary. We need to start setting a better example?
Remember when there were rules like take what you need and make sure you use all that you take? Waste is intolerable. But, until we feel the crunch from the lack of resources do we understand why those basic principles were so important.
The vicious cycle of consumerism becomes compounded by the waste left behind. If it doesn't go in the air, it goes in the ground. Either way, it's another issue to be resolved. So, we are burning both ends of the candle. And we need to learn how to do one major magic trick before our candle burns up completely.
We need to learn how to slow our consumption to a pace where everyone is full and nothing gets wasted while we maintain a healthy growth of future resources. Plus, we need to learn how to better manage the exhaust rate even when our consumption level is healthy. But, the major problem we face is making each individual understand that consumption is entirely up to them.
You can look at big business. But, supply and demand are actually dictated by the consumers. The more we want, the more big business will supply. If we could actually get our wants under control, they would become predictable. Predictability would mean that supply and demand meet. Waste goes away. So, while you might want to blame all of our problems on big business, it really does come down to one person...you.
So, start using natural cleaners like Arm & Hammer Baking Soda. Use organic pesticides like Citronella. Buy locally produced organic foods and have more barbecues with natural gas rather than charcoal. Recycle everything you possibly can and heat this winter with alcohol based gel fuel. You'll be very green and leading by example is the best way to get everyone else around you involved as well.
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