Going Green is not just a trend. It’s a priority for all of us if we want to continue to live on a beautiful, life-giving planet. Thinking of ways of going green, however, is not always easy. Just because we buy organic food and recycle doesn’t necessarily mean we’re making much of a practical impact. We need to have a whole plan for Going Green. One element in that plan should be buying eco-friendly products or Echo Park. But how do we find eco-friendly products? Well, one way is to buy products made from renewable resources.
Buying products made from renewable resources should be a priority for each of us when going green. These types of eco-friendly products insure that we don’t use earth’s resources too quickly. We need to let our planet replenish it’s natural resources at the same rate as we are consuming them.
So, what are good eco-friendly products– products made from renewable resources?
Here’s a list of 10 types of products made from renewable resources:
1. Paper products- while these should be used sparingly, they are better than plastic in that they are biodegradable and come from renewable trees
2. Cotton products
3. Spudware- biodegradable cutlery made from potatoes, corn, and soy oils
4. Solar energy- solar panels on your house, solar battery chargers, etc.
5. Bio-based tableware- for example, plates and bowls made by Earthshell
6. Bamboo products- bamboo furniture, bamboo cotton clothes, etc. (a good alternative to other tree products, as bamboo is highly renewable because of it’s fast rate of growth)
7. Digital products- Highly reproducible, long-lasting, only needing the support of electricity
8. Wind energy- support wind energy development in your city, county, and state; consider getting electricity from wind power at your home.
9. Bio-based fuels- while not always the most sustainable option, they are renewable
10. Plant-based cleaners- great products made from renewable resources to help you in going green and healthier for your body
Here are 5 products not made from renewable resources that should be avoided:
1. Plastics- while renewable plastics are being researched, currently plastics are made from petroleum a non-renewable resource
2. Many paper cups and plates- while the paper is renewable, the plastic coating is from petroleum and makes the product take about 500 years to biodegrade
3. Wood in furniture or other products from old-growth rainforests- while these are technically renewable, the amount of carbon released into the environment and the incredibly slow rate at which they replenish themselves makes them for all practical purposes non-renewable and definitely not eco-friendly products.
4. Energy from oil and coal- gasoline products and coal-based energy are highly non-renewable; unfortunately, much of our electricity currently comes from coal. Consider the switch to solar or wind energy in your home as your first big step in going green.
So continue on the path to going green by changing your purchasing habits. Decide to buy products made from renewable resources.
House Cleaning With Eco-Friendly Products and Echo Park
Given the amount of information out there about "going green" 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 product 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.
Eco-Friendly, Green, and Consumer Conscious Choices
Eco-friendly technology (also known as sustainable technology) is a means of taking energy and converting it into usable power such as electricity, home heating, and so on... but from renewable resources which do not harm the environment. In other words, utilizing resources such as solar power which is constantly renewable, as opposed to burning off fossil fuels which only gets consumed without the source being renewed, and just adds to the growing carbon footprint we are stomping upon the Earth. What are some of these resources and how can we use them today? Let's take a look...
One kind of eco-friendly technology, as mentioned above, is solar energy. Since its big boom of popularity in the seventies, the energy output of photovoltaic cells ("solar panels") has greatly increased, along with the efficiency of its production, from more efficient and less expensive materials. Where it used to cost many thousands of dollars decades ago to cover a small home's roof with an array of solar panels to power most of the homes appliances, being only able to pay for itself many years down the road, these days people are spending less than a couple hundred dollars on cheaply procurable components to build a single solar panel on a weekend project to power a handful of appliances on the single panel alone.
Another type of eco-friendly technology involves the use of geothermal power. By driving a network of pipes into the ground below a house's foundation and running water through them, the heat from the Earth is transferred into the water which is then pumped through the house. This heated water provides the home with hot water and can also be converted into usable electricity through the use of heat exchangers and heat pump generators. This type of energy extraction from the surrounding environment is also utilizing a renewable resource, as the heat taken is constantly being provided by the sun as the Earth stores it day by day. It could actually be considered a solar-geothermal system at work here.
One final eco-friendly technology type we can look at here is wind power. There are many homes today which are fully powered by one or two windmill powered electricity generators, hooked up to battery cells much like those used for forklifts in order to store the surplus electricity generated and regulate the flow of it for constant in-home use for appliances and heating or air-conditioning equipment. These are just a few of the many ways in which we can take free energy from the surrounding environment in order to benefit from what nature gives us in constant supply, instead of relying upon the burning of fossil fuels which only get consumed and return pollution to the Earth and its environments.
Echo Park Carpet Cleaning Without Chemicals