Being environmentally friendly is a term often used carelessly. Not many products are actually eco-friendly as they claim to be. And what does eco-friendly mean? Well, terms like “going green” or “environmentally friendly” have been used in so many products and scenarios that their meaning has been losing strength along the way.
What is being eco-friendly?
In simple words, eco-friendly stands for not being harmful towards the environment. As you may know, this term is used in products that contribute to a term we’ve discussed before “green living”, that in a way help conserve important natural resources such as water and energy. These products also keep things from bringing on more air, water, and land pollution. You can equate being ecofriendly to being conscious of how you use resources around you.
Well, one of the simplest ways to be eco-friendly and reduce your impact (and your family’s if you get them into the habit) on the environment is by using reusable products. Other products, such as plastic products, may seem more convenient at the time but their long-term impact is definitely something to worry about. Besides, there’s no need to use so much plastic on a daily basis. Start by changing your habits today. For instance, using glass cups instead of plastic ones. Getting silverware instead of using plastic knives and forks. And so much more.
You’ve probably heard this a billion times, but plastic is so harmful to our environment. Plastic can take up to 400 years to degrade on its own. An awfully long time for it to be piling up and contributing to pollution. According to National Geographic (2018), here are some facts about plastic by the numbers:
- Plastic production incremented, from 2.3 million tons in 1950 to 448 million tons by 2015 and it’s expected to double by 2050.
- Every year, about 8 million tons of plastic waste escapes into the oceans. That’s the equivalent of setting five garbage bags full of trash on every coastline around the world.
- Plastics often contain additives making them more durable. But many of these additives can extend the life of products with some estimates ranging to at least 400 years to break down.
However, reusable alternatives do exist. One-use products may be all the rage now, but they weren’t always. You can ask your elder relatives; in the past you would buy a product for the long-term. Disposable products weren’t really available at the time. However, today people prefer what’s convenient instead of what would be beneficious in the long run.
Still, reusable products do exist. You can choose to buy them instead of one-use products when faced with the option. It may be a bit more costly, but you’ll get more use out of them.
Use this, not that
Reusable items may be well-known, like for instance the ones we mentioned before. Silverware over plasticware, traditional plates over plastic ones, etc. However, today we also bring some favorites of products you should be using, bringing you long-lasting benefits.
- Using Tote Bags instead of plastic ones. Tote bags are excellent for carrying around anything you may need like books, water bottles, essentials, etc. And when they get dirty you can simply wash them in the washing machine. They are made from recycled cotton. It’s a much better option than paying for one-use plastic bags at checkout.
- Buying glass or stainless-steel straws instead of plastic. And if you don’t even need a straw, well that’s even better.
- Reusable grocery bags you can keep with you in your purse or in your car for any occasion.
- Use mason jars and glass containers for leftovers and drinks instead of plastic containers.
- An uncommon one but one you should definitely consider is opting for reusable food wraps instead of using plastic wraps to keep your food fresh.
- Paper bags may have been all the rage in the past but now you can go for more eco-friendly containers like plastic free lunchboxes.
- Get a stainless-steel reusable water bottle. This is not only better for the environment, but it’ll save you plenty of money in the long run. You can even buy a separate bottle for your drinks as well.
- Get some organic cloth or recycled mesh produce bags to bring to the grocery store, so you can definitely avoid the plastic options without turning back.
- Lastly, buy a traditional razor. You’ll only need to replace the head once in a while. Stop spending money on disposable razors that’ll only serve you for a one-use.