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 Sunset Hills. 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.
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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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What makes eco furniture eco-friendly? It seems every furniture company is now touting their furniture as green, earth-friendly or sustainable but what does that really mean? How does a consumer make intelligent and conscientious choices when shopping for green furniture?
Here's a list of the Top Five Questions to ask your furniture salesperson to see if their wood furniture is indeed eco-friendly:
- Is the furniture made of all natural solid wood? Are any components of the furniture made with plywood or particle board? Solid wood furniture will endure, often for generations, whereas particle board furniture will likely be out on the curbside in 5 years or less.
- Where did the wood in my furniture originate? Was it grown in a sustainably managed forest, or was it harvested perhaps illegally in third world countries where the world's rainforests are rapidly disappearing? Local woods that tend to be sustainably harvested in the USA include cherry, maple, oak and walnut. If you're looking at furniture made out of tropical and/or exotic woods, like mahogany, teak or rosewood however, chances are quite good that they were illegally harvested from endangered rainforest habitats and brought to the USA with counterfeit documentation. Check with the furniture seller to be sure they know where the wood came from and whether or not it is certified as being sustainably harvested.
- Is the furniture free of toxic chemicals, dyes, stains, glues, formaldehydes, finishes and resins? This is not only an indoor air health issue, but an environmental issue as well. Look for natural solid wood furniture, with natural, non-toxic finishes and adhesives that do not off-gas. At a minimum, smell your furniture before buying it!
- Is the furniture made in the USA? American made furniture is built to higher standards than most imports which are produced cheaply in sweatshops in China and VietNam. And since you are closer to US manufacturers, you have a much better chance of getting them to resolve any potential problems, should they arise down the road.
- Is the furniture backed by a lifetime guarantee? You thought nothing was backed by a lifetime guarantee these days, didn't you? Believe it or not, many small furniture makers build their wood furniture to last a lifetime and they happily back it with a lifetime guarantee. It's a valuable feature that could save you many thousands of dollars in replacement costs over the years.
Asking a few questions about the nature of the eco friendly furniture you're purchasing will help you select truly sustainable items that will not jeopardize your family's health and will be heirlooms you'll be proud to own and enjoy for many years. Isn't it worth the asking a few questions?
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