Today, the planet is facing one of the biggest and deadliest environmental disasters ever seen before. Greenhouse gas emissions are increasing, the earth’s temperature is increasing, the global sea level is rising, biodiversity is gradually going extinct, health risks are increasing, and more. And the cause of all this is us- humans. As awareness about environmental issues continues to grow, many people are seeking ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle. One simple and impactful way to do this is by incorporating eco-friendly products into your daily life.
These products are designed with the environment in mind, using sustainable materials and production methods to minimize their impact on the planet. From household items to personal care products, there is a wide range of eco-friendly options available for you to choose from. In this article, we will explore the different types of eco-friendly products and the benefits of using them. Whether you are looking to reduce your carbon footprint or simply want to live a greener life, incorporating eco-friendly products into your daily routine is a step in the right direction.
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Global temperatures have risen by 0.08 degrees Celsius per decade since 1880. However, the warming rate is more than twice that: 0.18 degrees Celsius per decade since 1981. Greenhouse gas emissions are the reason the earth is warming up, and one of the main contributors to greenhouse gas emissions is waste pollution, especially plastic pollution.
Never before has the world produced, purchased, and consumed so many goods and services. The amount of money Americans spend during a single weekend is much more than half of the total they give to churches in a year. Thousands of K-Cups were thrown away in 2014, enough to encircle the Earth 12 times. Almost 40 percent of food in America is thrown away.
Most of the household products we buy, be it soap or clothes, are packaged in plastic. Approximately 8 million pieces of plastic enter the ocean daily. This destroys marine ecosystems and species and makes its way up the food chain.
As responsible creatures of this planet, we must ensure that the environment stays protected from further damage and that other species of the earth do not get harmed due to our greed and mistakes. One way to reduce your carbon footprint, have less environmental impact, and protect nature is by using eco-friendly products.
Eco-friendly products are designed to have less impact on the environment, thereby mitigating climate change and protecting ecosystems and biodiversity. There are several eco-friendly products used in daily life. Below are a few products that can be used or switched with plastic products.
Eco-Friendly Products Used in Daily Life
1. Bamboo Toothbrush
Nowadays, all the toothbrushes we get at stores and markets are made of plastic and even come with plastic packaging. A plastic toothbrush takes around 1000 years to decompose in a landfill or marine environment.
Today, with growing public awareness about climate change and its impacts, several manufacturers offer toothbrushes with handles made of bamboo and bristles made of castor seed oil. They are popularly known as bamboo toothbrushes. Bamboo toothbrushes last as long as ordinary plastic toothbrushes and generally come with plant-based packaging. Some bamboo toothbrushes come with plastic bristles, but they are still eco-friendly compared to plastic toothbrushes.
Bamboo toothbrushes have several benefits for the environment. Not only that, but one can avoid the risk of exposing oneself to Bisphenol-A, found in plastic toothbrushes, which can cause infertility in humans.
2. Handmade or Organic Soaps
We use soap daily to wash our hands, clothes, vessels, our bodies, etc. Humans use millions of tons of soap daily, and the compounds in the soap might end up in groundwater, lakes, and rivers, harming the environment.
Soaps usually contain chemicals and other harmful ingredients; these substances can act as algae fertilizers, which causes them to reproduce quickly. Too many algae deplete oxygen in the water and thus make the water uninhabitable for aquatic organisms.
Handmade, organic, or plant-based soaps do not contain harsh chemicals. Since handmade and plant-based soaps use organic and natural ingredients, it is good for the environment and skin.
3. Coconut Coir or Scrubber
Synthetic or green and yellow plastic kitchen sponges harm the environment. These ordinary kitchen sponges are made from synthetic fibers that could pollute waterways and are not biodegradable. Synthetic sponges sit in dumping grounds all around the world. Synthetic sponges take around 58 years to decompose in landfills.
The coconut scrubber is an eco-friendly product and is 100 organic and a renewable resource. It can decompose quickly, having no environmental impacts. Other benefits of coconut scrubber are its good drainage, high water holding capacity, and odor.
4. Reusable Containers
Reusable containers can be very helpful in daily life for storing things and carrying food. Food is packed in disposable plastic containers when purchasing food from markets, stores, bakeries, or restaurants. Around 7 million coffee cups get thrown away and land up at dumping grounds daily in the UK.
As these disposal containers, boxes, and cups are not biodegradable, they break down into microplastics that damage marine life, marine ecosystem, and human health.
Reusable containers are both cost-efficient and environment-friendly. Since it is designed for repeated use, it is much stronger and more durable than disposable containers. One can carry them to work or school for lunch. Reusable coffee cups can also be carried to coffee shops to avoid paper cups. One can carry containers to restaurants to pack food instead of using plastic packaging.
5. Paper or Steel Straws
Plastic straws pollute waterways and oceans and harm animals, plants, humans, and the environment. They take nearly 200 years to decompose. Plastic straws also contain deadly chemicals called polypropylene- which dissolves in water and disturbs human estrogen.
People worldwide are now beginning to leave plastic straws and use steel and paper straws. Both steel and paper straws are eco-friendly products used in daily life. Paper straws are biodegradable and only decompose for 2 to 6 weeks. Steel straws do not break or bend and thus last longer.
6. Cloth Bags or Bioplastics
Plastic bags take hundreds of years to decompose completely. Most of them end up in dumping grounds and the ocean, where they are burnt or broken down into tiny pieces that affect human and planetary life. It takes around 1,000 years for one plastic bag to degrade in a landfill.
Cloth bags are eco-friendly products used in daily life. Their biodegradable nature makes them less harmful to human and marine life and the environment. They can be reused often, decreasing the need for more plastic and other bags. Bioplastics are also eco-friendly compared to plastic bags. They are made up of 20 percent or more renewable materials. Benefits of bioplastic include less use of fossil fuel resources, a smaller carbon footprint, and quick decomposition.
Dr. Emily Greenfield is a highly accomplished environmentalist with over 30 years of experience in writing, reviewing, and publishing content on various environmental topics. Hailing from the United States, she has dedicated her career to raising awareness about environmental issues and promoting sustainable practices.