The Easiest Eco-friendly Products to Add Into Your Everyday Life
Updated: Sep 7, 2020
Living a sustainable lifestyle does not need to be difficult. Minor lifestyle changes such as replacing items with eco-friendly products used in daily life can make a big difference in the world and in your personal life.
Of course, there are so many things we can change in order to reduce our carbon footprint and make the world a better place such as growing our own food in a sustainable garden or reducing our negative environmental impacts by using fewer chemicals or fossil fuels.
These things can add up and may become overwhelming, so to start simple, let's take a look at one of the easiest first steps you can make by purchasing these everyday green products.
What does Environmentally friendly mean?
In short, being environmentally friendly means anything that a product or process is not harmful to the environment. This, of course, is a bit of an obvious statement.
The most common use of the term is usually used when referring to products that contribute towards green living or a sustainable lifestyle.
However, the term can be extended beyond physical items.
For example, an eco-friendly or a sustainable life could include:
Monitoring your water consumption
Reducing the use of oil and gas
Growing your own food
Avoiding poisonous chemicals
Reducing your use of electricity
The list could go on, and every individual will find their own unique ways in which to reduce the environmental impacts in their daily lives.
So in short, to answer the question of "what is an eco-friendly product" we could summarize it as an item that does not have a negative effect on the Earth or a very low carbon footprint from the cradle to the grave of the item.
Before we move on to some very easy eco-friendly everyday products it is a good idea to have a basic understanding of why we should make environmentally choices.
The importance of eco-friendly products
Perhaps you found yourself here because you want to live a more sustainable life, or maybe you are just looking to add a few more changes to your eco journey.
Whatever the reason may be, it is important to know some of the benefits of buying eco-friendly:
Higher quality of products - Because waste reduction is a key factor in green living, eco-products tend to be of a higher quality and therefore last longer.
Reduces waste - Closely linking to product quality, using good sustainable products can drastically reduce our waste, either because we buy and throw away less, or because many of the products are biodegradable and can simply be buried in our garden or added to compost piles.
Saves money - Once again quality over quantity can save you money in the long run. Green products may be more expensive initially but will save you money over time as you will need to buy less.
Better for our physical health - Many products are harmful to the environment, and many of these have an impact on our personal health too. Chemicals used for cleaning and washing that are toxic are avoided when shopping green.
Better for our mental health - Shopping sustainably is good for our mental health as it does not conflict with our morals. More and more people are aware of the environmental problems of the world and shopping green allows everyone to do something about them.
Better for the environment - This should be the main reason anyone chooses to buy organic and green products. We only have one world and it is our responsibility to preserve it.
If this is not enough to convince you to make this very easy lifestyle change then you can read further here about the benefits of running an environmentally friendly business.
Now that we have a simple understanding of what it means to be environmentally friendly and we know a few of the benefits of buying eco-friendly, let's take a look at some of the easiest eco-friendly products used in daily life.
#1 Alternatives to plastic toothbrushes
One of the most used eco-friendly everyday products in our household is a toothbrush. We use them in the morning, night, and sometimes even three times a day.
Most dentists will tell you that you should replace your toothbrush once every 2 - 3 months. This could result in an average person going through about 5 toothbrushes a year.
Let us just assume that we follow this method for 60 years of brushing. That is 300 brushes that we have used for only a few months which will remain as is for over 400 years.
Now 300 doesn't seem like that much but with 7 billion people all using them, the number looks a little scarier.
According to National Geographic, the USA throws away approximately 1 billion toothbrushes a year which is enough to circle the globe 4 times.
It should also be noted, as stated in the infographic below, that 50% of the environmental impact of plastic toothbrushes occurs during the production phase, and the problem is not only from the waste product.
Bamboo toothbrushes are bio-degradable and because of their soft, carbon-infused bristles, they last a lot longer.
Production impact is also reduced as they are sourced from renewable, natural material, and therefore require less manufacturing.
Remember though - just because they are degradable doesn't mean you shouldn't REUSE them for other things like cleaning or scrubbing your kitchen sink!
Choosing to use a bamboo toothbrush is a great first step in creating a green household.
#2 Plastic straw alternatives
If you haven't yet read my post about the war on straws, I will give you a bit of background.
Currently, there are approximately 3.75 million metric tons of plastic straws in the oceans. This is the equivalent to nearly 6 million fully grown elephants - that's A LOT of straws if you consider how light they are.
Although plastic straws do not compare to the amount of fishing gear that pollutes the ocean (around 640, 000 tons per year), they are a very simple thing to remove from our lives in order to make a difference.
This is not to say that we should not use straws at all. Many people with disabilities, children, and people of an older age may all require the use of a straw in order to drink from a glass.
What is the solution to plastic straws?
So in order to still enjoy your smoothie without putting your lips to the glass, there is a simple solution to plastic straws.
Replace them with a reusable or bio-degradable alternative.
Bamboo, stainless steel, glass, and even rice straws have become very popular alternatives to plastic ones.
Where a stainless steel straw could last you a lifetime, bamboo and rice straws offer the possibility of decomposition and can easily be added to your compost pile just like your bamboo toothbrush.
They are lightweight and can easily be carried around in your bag or purse.
Of course, when we are going eco-friendly our first choice should always be to reduce what we use, but if you are a straw loving type then these sustainable alternatives are a perfect way to reduce your daily waste.
If you have not already got your own reusable straw then now is the time to make that change.
#3 Reusable water bottles
The above picture says it all. Every minute a million plastic bottle are bought around the world and is expected to jump by 20% by 2021.
Although clean water is an everyday need, plastic bottles are not a everyday green product choice.
This is an environmental disaster and has been predicted to measure closely to the dangers of climate change.
"Mineral water bottle company do not sell water, they sell plastic bottles".
Massive corporations such as coca-cola (yes, I am naming and shaming) and oil companies monopolize the world and add plastic to our environment daily for the pure reason of profit vs cost.
Not only is there a massive negative environmental effect from plastic water bottles, but they will also cost you an arm and a leg.
With in the first month of owning a reusable bottle, you would have made your money back in savings and more.
This product is an absolute no-brainer when it comes to simple lifestyle changes and sustainable products. There are so many types that you will be able to find exactly what suites your needs. Don't be lazy, get your own bottle.
#4 Reusable produce bags
Have you ever been shopping for fruits and vegetables and had to put each item in its own little plastic bag?
The answer is most likely yes.
This is something that annoys me more than anything else. Surely there is a more sustainable way to go about this. Luckily for you, there is. Reusable vegetable bags are an amazing everyday eco-friendly way to reduce the amount of plastic we use.
They pack small and can always be kept in your bag. There is no longer a need to come home from a small supply run with 15 different, non-reusable little bags because we are trying to stay healthy and eat our 5 fruits and vegetables a day.
With many countries already working on permanently banning, and a large number of countries around the world that have already banned plastic shopping bags, we need to get use to the idea of bringing our own.
As a solution to this problem, muslin bags form a great alternative to plastic. They are lightweight and can be washed when dirty.
Every person that goes to the shop should have their own bag. There is no longer an excuse to not do this as they are so easily accessible.
If you want to know how to make a difference, then the answer is simple. Start with one lifestyle change and move on from there.
Changing unsustainable products around your house for environmentally friendly versions can be the biggest stepping stone towards a sustainable lifestyle.
Making small everyday eco-friendly choices can have a greater impact than you may think
As is said in a Chinese proverb: " The man who moves a mountain starts with just a single stone".
Don't forget to follow M.A.D Organics on Facebook for all our newest products and stories - and please, never be afraid to ask for help. We are in this together.