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What does the term ‘Eco-friendly’ stands for?
“Eco” word comes from environment. Eco-friendly or environment friendly means, such goods or services that have minimal negative impact on the environment. In other words when we say something is eco-friendly, this means that thing has a very little or no negative or damaging impact on the environment. Being environmentally friendly has become extremely important now a days. Being eco-friendly goes far beyond just turning off lights when you leave the room. Separating your garbage for recycling – it is about changing the purpose of how you live. In today’s world, International organizations and governments are emphasizing different sectors to go environment friendly. Companies are labelling their products eco-friendly to attract customers and to keep up an image of a sustainable company.
During their production, delivery and use, eco-friendly products does not negatively impact the environment in any way. Green products is a term mostly use for products that have very less carbon footprint. They release less greenhouse gases and thus cause less climate change. Most of the time, Green and eco-friendly terms ae used interchangeably.
Difference between regular product and Eco-friendly product
If we take a look at our surroundings, we can see countless examples of products that we use on daily basis. These products are not environmentally friendly. Examples are single use plastic bottles and plastic bags. They contribute to plastic waste and end up in our oceans disturbing ecosystems. It will not be wrong to say that with dumping of every single use plastic bag, we are contributing to problems of sea turtles which are a resident of our very own planet.
Moreover, some products are partially eco-friendly. Like a shampoo, which is being made in a controlled environmental friendly environment, but sold in single use plastic bottles. Environmental friendly products are manufacture, sold and used in such a way that they will have minimum impact on our environment. A clothing made of recycled plastic is an eco-friendly product. A bamboo toothbrush is another example of an eco-friendly product.
How can we identify that a product is eco-friendly or not?
Understanding of making an Green product depends upon the manufacturers and end user’s understanding of protection of environment, government regulations and laws and social responsibilities. The most common way by which you can differentiate between and eco-friendly/green product and a regular product is by looking at its labelling. Although all eco-friendly products are not always labelled, yet most of them have some sort of signage on them that indicates that these products are eco-friendly like signage of recyclability etc. Some labelling standards are international for eco-friendly products and some are company specific. Example of Eco-friendly product logos are LEED, Oeko-Tex, Greenguard, Fair trade certified and many more.
How Eco-friendly products help us save the environment?
Earth naturally, is in perfect balance. Due to anthropogenic activities, earth is suffering some serious harmful effects. As the impacts of industrial and anthropogenic activities on environment became evident, the awareness about Green products started to increase. People now are aware that if we need to save our planet for our future generations, we have to opt for eco-friendly or green products. By choosing eco-friendly products we can, reduce waste from our planet, conserve non-renewable energy sources, reduce carbon footprints, reduce greenhouse gas emissions protect biodiversity and ecosystems and do many more things to save our only home, planet Earth.
Example include, when you buy a reusable water bottle instead of single use plastic bottle, you are indirectly contributing to harm of sea turtles. Those sea turtles are at high risk due to dumping of single use plastic waste in oceans. Another example is when you buy pre-used clothes, you are reusing a product, and thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions which would have emitted by production of a new clothing piece, if you would bought a brand new clothing. One more example is, suppose there are two companies A and B producing denim and you are the end user. Industry A treats its wastewater before releasing it into open canal. Company B doesn’t treat its wastewater. So if you buy from company B, you are contributing towards water pollution. This water pollution will ultimately affect you or your future generations in one way or another.
Regulations and Ethical Business
Governments have made some regulations regarding environmental protection to make manufacturers and service providers accountable for their actions. Third-party companies also have designed their labels keeping in view that people will tend to buy products having their labels on them. By buying eco-friendly products and promoting going eco-friendly means you understand your responsibility as a resident of plant earth to save our plant from ourselves and leave it in good condition for our future generations.
A Summary of Eco-friendly product
- Excessive waste and greenhouse gases are not produced
- Public health is preserved
- Earth’s pollution is reduced
- Quality of life increases
- Harm to ecosystems and wildlife will be minimal
- We can leave the earth in a better condition for our future generations.
Some companies also do greenwashing, which means they market their products as green or environmentally friendly without them being actually eco-friendly. So consumers must be really active to look beyond the branding that what corporations are really doing. For this, they have the necessary education and awareness to point out any ambiguity. Customers have to make smart and educated decisions before you purchase something new and looking for green/eco-friendly third party labels is the first thing they should do before buying any product instead of believing false claims done by marketing agencies.
To recapitulate, the need of the hour is to save the planet, for ourselves, and for our future generations. Buying eco-friendly products and doing eco-friendly actions will have long positive effects in our lives we should live by the motto “if we take care of the earth, the earth will take care of us”. So go green and buy eco-friendly and also encourage your peers and family members to buy and use eco-friendly products.