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 Los Angeles. 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 Los Angeles
Greenwashing is prevalent. It is hard to discern what is really sustainable and eco-friendly in today's market place. This becomes extremely important when you are seeking to market your green janitorial cleaning service; select safe and green janitorial supplies for your operation; or developing green janitorial specifications for your service providers. To help you there are several reputable and reliable certifications available to help guide you.
Green certifications are not just a green colored label on the product. It is something that provides you with confidence that the product has undergone rigorous, scientific based, analysis and evaluation so you know you are using green janitorial supplies and chemicals that are safe for the planet and human health. Since we cannot (and likely do not want to) become a chemist, it is important to leverage valid green certifications. This way you can be confident that the chemicals are in janitorial chemicals, especially in green cleaning products and green janitorial supplies are safe, nontoxic and sustainable for our environment. It is for this reason that eco certification programs were developed and are closely followed. One of the oldest and most respected certification programs in the US is Green Seal.
Green Seal is dedicated to safeguarding the environment and transforming the marketplace by promoting the manufacture, purchase, and use of environmentally responsible products and services. In fact their mission is to use science-based programs to enable consumers, purchasers and companies to create a more sustainable world. They provide a third-party review and certification for you.
What does a third-party review mean to you? First, second, and third-party levels of review define the degree of separation between the reviewer and the company whose product is being reviewed. This is especially important when certifications are involved. Most marketing claims, material data safety sheets (MSDS), and product specifications that are provided by the company are considered first-party declarations and have not been independently tested or verified. Second-party review may be more credible because a trade association or outside consulting firm in the industry is presenting a verification of the company claims for you. One concern about a second-party review are the potential conflicts of interest (real or perceived). Whenever an independent third-party conducts the product testing and awards the certification the end-user, whether a residential or a commercial consumer, you can have the highest level of confidence in the claims.
Green Seal is a third-party reviewer. Since 1989 they have provided independent, objective, science-based guidance to the marketplace and to consumers. They are a (501(c)(3)) nonprofit organization that is funded from numerous sources, including contracts, grants, special projects, and revenue from certification and monitoring fees.
The Green Seal organization certifies everything from coffee filters to hotels. Standards that are issued to cover over 230 product and service categories. There are presently 8 standards for cleaning products for household and industrial / janitorial applications and 2 standards issued for cleaning services.
Green Seal Standards for Green Cleaning Products:
- GS-08 Cleaning Products for Household Use
- GS-21 Powdered Laundry Bleach
- GS-34 Cleaning and De-greasing Agents
- GS-37 Cleaning Products for Industrial and Institutional Use
- GS-40 Floor-Care Products for Industrial and Institutional Use
- GS-41 Hand Cleaners for Industrial and Institutional Use
- GS-52 Specialty Cleaning Products for Household Use
- GS-53 Specialty Cleaning Products for Industrial and Institutional Use
Green Seal Standards for Green Cleaning Services:
- GS-42 Commercial and Institutional Cleaning Services
- GS-49 Residential Cleaning Services
Any product displaying the Green Seal trademark means that it has passed stringent tests; demonstrated it works as well as or better than others in its class, and that it has been evaluated without bias or conflict of interest. Because of this rigor, Green Seal standards have been recognized and used by the US federal government, many state governments, and other key entities.
Products only become certified after rigorous science-based evaluation including a life cycle assessment that evaluates a product from the raw materials through the manufacturing process and ending with recycling or disposal. The Green Seal certification mark states the product has demonstrated the green janitorial supplies and green cleaning products have gone through a stringent process to show that it has less impact on the environment and human health.Â
Need more? Here are 6 More Reasons why Green Seal Environmental Certification is so strong. This will further expand your confidence the Green Seal certification program:
- The Green Seal mark represents compliance with a rigorous set of criteria designed to achieve leadership levels in sustainability, including on-site plant visits
- Some of the factors considered in evaluating the products are that they are: non-toxic, biodegradable, absent of any carcinogens, mutagens, and reproductive toxins, low-level of sensitivity with respect to eyes, skin, contains no heavy metals, phthalates or other prohibited ingredients, has minimal volatile organic compounds (VOC) or ozone depleting substances, and is non combustible.
- Green Seal is one of the largest eco labeling organizations in the US
- Green Seal is the U.S. member of GEN which consists of 26 of the world's leading eco labeling programs, including Germany's Blue Angel certification program and the Nordic swan.
- Green Seal meets the US EPA's Criteria for Third-Party Certifiers, the requirements of ISO 14020 and 14024, and the standards of the Global Eco Labeling Network.
- Green Seal certification is not just a "one-time deal". Companies establish an ongoing commitment to health and the environment through annual compliance monitoring and work towards continuous improvement.
Avoid greenwashing, seek products with one of the green certifications such as DfE, Ecologo, and/or Green Seal.
Eco-friendly Products Do Wonders
Today, it's more important than ever to consider eco-friendly or "green" products and materials when you improve your home. This is of course because we want to do our part to keep the environment healthy, but it's also because most of us can't afford to waste money on inefficient homes. Many products and materials that are eco-friendly can also help your pocket book--think inexpensive heating and cooling bills, low water bills, and affordable gas or electricity bills.
Fortunately, there are many options today for those who want to make eco-friendly home improvements. Here are 10 ideas to get you started:
1. Tons of water is wasted each year in the bathrooms of homeowners, so take a look in there when you're doing your green remodeling. For the toilet consider a dual flush model. These are designs that use two different flush settings depending upon what you need (usually a powerful mode that offers 1.6 gallons and then a nice and gentle .8-gallon flush as well). This can greatly help reduce water consumption in the home over the course of a single year.
2. Paint goes a long ways in adding curb appeal to the outside of a house or cheering up drab spaces inside. It's also an easy and relatively inexpensive home improvement that will make a huge difference. When you are selecting paint, stick to only brands that use non-VOC or non-volatile organic chemicals. Typical paint has high levels of VOCs, which is neither eco-friendly nor particularly healthy. You may need to search for brands and special lines that offer low and reduced VOC levels, but they are becoming more readily available. Just ask at the paint department of the home improvement store, and someone should be educated enough to help you find an eco-friendly paint that will suit your needs.
3. Flooring is one of the first things people think of when they remodel, and there are lots of ways to get what you want and still be eco-friendly. For those who are looking for a natural type of material then cork flooring is a great option to explore. It is durable, comfortable to walk on, and also boasts the use of no toxic adhesives that can harm the environment. There are a wide range of colors and designs for cork floor tiles, showing that the material is not meant just for walls and bulletin boards anymore.
4. Your floors may not really need to be replaced at all. Reusing and refinishing already existing materials is a hallmark of the green movement, so another viable home improvement option that you can look into is refinishing the floors that you currently have. This is especially plausible if you have wood floors underneath any other type of floor in your home. While it may take some work to make them shine again, it is worth the effort.
5. Carpets can be eco-friendly too. Sometimes it's hard to beat the warmth and softness of carpets, but if you want to be green and healthy (carpeting is well known for harboring dust mites, pet dander, and mildew, all of which are hard to get out even with steam cleaning), consider carpet tiles. These are typically created from recyclable materials and are very easy to install as well as clean. This makes them a beautiful choice as well as a simple option for carpet across an entire room. You can even get outdoor carpet tiles to spruce up balconies or rooftop decks.
6. If you're going with carpets, know that carpet padding isn't always necessary. Skip the carpet padding if possible. This is usually additional material that is used when using traditional carpet and involves additional labor, materials, and chemicals and also makes it much harder to keep the carpet clean without the use of harsh chemicals.
7. In the bedroom look for organic bedding. Many off-the-shelf bedding products are treated with a chemical called formaldehyde, which is intended to make them soft, but this is a huge toxic chemical and very hazardous to the environment as well as your own personal health. Look for organic bedding to avoid the dangers to your health.
8. As for the bed itself, consider eco-friendly mattresses. There are several companies that have them available; most are typically made from a material called natural latex rubber, which is friendly to the environment. Also these mattresses pose fewer problems when it's time to replace them.
9. Think solar power whenever possible. This can save you a lot of money in the long run. For example, if you are replacing your water heater, consider a solar powered model. This will reduce energy usage, lower your power bill, and ensure that you always have plenty of hot water on hand, even if the power is out in the rest of the house.
10. If you're not ready to take the big remodeling step, you can make green choices just in your home furnishings. One of the best things you can do is purchase used furniture. This helps to keep old furniture out of the landfills, and it reduces the demand on forests and materials to build new pieces from scratch. Also, older pieces tend to be higher quality than what's put out today (i.e. solid hardwood instead of particleboard), so you may actually get a better piece of furniture just by sanding and staining an old coffee table or perhaps reupholstering old chairs and sofas. Getting used furniture is a great way to save some money and be eco friendly all at the same time.
There are far more home improvements to save money and create an eco-friendly home than listed here, but these should get you started. As you go down the remodeling road, you'll find plenty of other ways you can create a home that is healthy to live in and is friendly to the environment.
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