Eco-friendly “literally means earth-friendly or not being harmful to the environment’”. This term most commonly refers to products that contribute to green living or practices that help conserve resources like water and energy. Eco-friendly products also prevent contributions to air, water and land pollution.”
Being Eco-friendly these days is not only associated with hippies or an alternative way of life. It is becoming more and more common that the human race is becoming increasingly environmentally conscious. It is through our awareness of climate change and the effects our day to day living is having on our planet, that a large portion of the world’s population is making smarter choices about what they buy and how they impact the environment we live in.
Everything from the food we eat to the clothes we wear, to the cars we drive, to the houses we live in, to the energy we consume; every decision we make, has an impact.
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If we all do our bit and made small changes to help reduce waste and pollutants generated, the world would be a much richer & happier place to live in.
Reusable Shopping bags
A lot of the leading super markets are no longer supplying plastic shopping bags at the check out. Consumers are encouraged to bring their own reusable shopping bags or asked to pay for recyclable bags the super markets provide.
A change like this is never easy, and was met with resistance almost everywhere it was introduced. The good news is that more and more consumers have accepted the change and have adopted this new habit regarding their shopping experience.
TIPS: Purchase quality canvas bags that will hold a substantial weight. Consider a range of different sizes, this way; items such as meats and cleaners can be separated to avoid contamination.
Fruit and vegetable bags
Mesh drawstring bags are a great alternative to using plastic bags or purchasing pre-packaged items at your local market.
Simply place your loose items into separate mesh bags. This way they can be weighed at check out, emptied when you get home and packed away for the next use. No Waste!
TIP: The mesh fabric is the perfect solution, as the bags are lightweight and items can be easily seen at checkout.
Purchase a number of mesh bags. If you and your family are big fruit and vegetable eaters you may require a larger number.
Lunch boxes come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and vary from simple to Lux models.
Invest in quality and buy 1 lunch box for life.
TIP: Lunch boxes that contains dividers, for easy separation of items, will help to eliminate the use of extra wrapping.
A metal lite weight lunch box that is dishwasher safe is a hygienic solution and will last for years. A snap lock seal will also help to keep your food cool and fresh.
Plastics when heated can admit toxins that could transfer into your food. Lunch boxes made from fabrics are less hygienic and will not last as long, due to wear and tear
Avoid purchasing bottles of water when out and about. Invest in a good quality drink flask and carry with you.
It has been proven that drinking out of a glass or metal is much better than drinking from a plastic bottle.
When a plastic bottle is exposed to high temperatures i.e. Dishwasher or the sun, the plastic emits pollutants. These pollutants seep into the water, which we ultimately we drink.
TIP: Purchase a large flask that is BPA Free- and holds at least 1 liter of water. This way you can keep track of how much water you are drinking too and will not be required to keep filling it as often.
Are you are a coffee drinker? Try a reusable coffee mug/ cup.
They come in a range of cool colors and designs and can be used time after time. The good news is that they help to eliminate a huge waste problem that is caused from disposable mugs.
Skin care products
The world has gone mad when it comes to skin care and the number of products we have on offer. There is a lotion and potion for every type of skin, all promising miracle cures and a youthful appearance.
Do they really work?
Our genetics, diet, avoidance of the direct sun, alcohol consumption and smoking are all over riding factors that help to determine the state of our skin.
Using a skin care range can also help to improve the texture and overall appearance, by keeping your skin clean and hydrated.
Choose a range that is eco friendly. These brands tend to focus more on natural ingredients and ancient remedies rather than chemically modified potions developed in a lab.
An eco-friendly product is not only better for your skin (the largest living organ in your body), but is better for the environment. When we wash our face the excess solution gets washed down the sink and goes into the waterways, harming the environment. Eco-friendly skin care products are gentler and less harmful.
Eco friendly cleaners
Eco friendly cleaners tend to smell less potent and resemble a much more natural less pungent smell.
Eco friendly brands tend to consider the packaging the product is purchased in and will more often than not provide refillable solutions for later use, rather than throwing away large bulky containers.
The solution itself is also less harsh on the environment, which means is more likely to combust and compost in a natural manner, rather than pollute the environment.
Research the company you decide to use. This way you can be assured that you are getting exactly what you want. Stick with one brand and remain loyal. Should the company be a smaller independent business, you will help to keep the brand alive and thriving.
Toilet paper whilst not a glamorous item, and not often talked about does impact our environment.
A biodegradable toilet paper that is made from 100% recycled paper fibers, bamboo or sugarcane, is a smarter choice. Better for your bottom and the environment.
Growing our own vegetables is doable. Join a community gardening group and reap the benefits of sharing the workload. Prepare, grow and harvest fresh vegetables and share them with like-minded individuals.
Growing your own vegetables will not only benefit your health, as they are truly organic bursting with vitamins and minerals,
you also help to eliminate the impact buying your vegetables from the local supermarket have on the environment.
Commercial growers produce tons of fruit & vegetables each year that requires machinery to plant and grow, machinery to help pick and pack, trucks to transport and electricity to store the vegetables for what can be very long periods of time.
Harvesting your own vegetables requires a simple short walk and a mesh bag or carry bag to hold the items picked. No machinery or energy is required as the vegetables go directly from the garden to your dinner plate.
TIP: Should you not have access to a larger garden space, plant herbs, tomatoes and other pot friendly vegetables in larger pots, positioning them in a space with plenty of sunlight. Potted plants will need extra water, as the soil will dry out much quicker.
Eco Friendly clothing
A lot of clothing is made from cotton. An increasing number of brands are opting to use unconventional materials such as flexible plastic sheeting and plasticized fabric that is made from recycled plastics.
The use of recycled fibers is also trending as brands are becoming more conscious and consumers are demanding products that are sustainable.
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Choose to use a bike rather than a car, when possible. A bike only requires pedal power and does not rely on fuel or any other form of pollutant to run. Riding a bike is also a fantastic form of low impact exercise, but is great for the soul too.
TIP: Attach a basket our carry bags to your bike. This way you can take it to the shops and carry items home as needed.
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Worm farms are a practical way of reducing household organic waste. Not only are you feeding the worms, but beautiful rich compost is created that can be used to nourish your plants (vegetable garden), free of charge.
Worm farms are very clean and do not smell. They are extremely compact and do not require large amounts of space.
Especially where you are blessed with plenty of sun, it would be crazy not to take advantage of the sun’s energy.
Electricity bills are forever rising, Solar panels are a great solution to help reduce energy bills, take advantage of a natural resource and reduce our carbon footprint on the environment.
Simple practices we can all incorporate into our daily lives
Eco-friendly items and solutions may cost slightly more, but you can be assured that the product you are getting is quality and has had little to no impact on the environment.
Choose quality over quantity
Be more conscious about what you buy. Do I really need it? As an example, women tend to buy way too many clothes. Make a conscious choice to purchase quality over quantity. Look for brands that have cleaner and transparent manufacturing practices. The products are likely to cost a little more, this is because the manufacturers are not taking short cuts with sustainable practices are being implemented.
TIP: Check the dyes used and the fabric content. This is usually a good indicator of just how eco-friendly the manufacturing process is.
Donate clothing and other household items that you no longer use to a charity or create something new out of the item. I.e. cushions and or quilts are a great project and is a great way to repurpose older fabrics.
Other household items that are no longer loved can be transformed with some imagination into useful fun additions for your home.
Think carefully before throwing things away.
Support local businesses that practice eco friendly ideals.
Smaller businesses have fewer infrastructure costs and as a result tend to produce less. Producing Less means reduced the impact on the environment.
Eat less processed and refined foods. When food goes through this process not only does it lose its true essence and goodness, it also impacts the environment! Pollution is generated during the refinement of the food and the making of the packaging.
Eating simple whole foods, in the way nature intended is eco-friendly and delicious!
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