Why You Should Buy Eco-Friendly Products

Why You Should Buy Eco-Friendly Products

    Nowadays it seems like everything we do as consumers, and as general humans are scrutinized in some shape or form. Whether this is the clothes we wear, the media we choose to consume or where we do our grocery shopping. A huge topic for discussion in today’s media is eco-friendly products, and individuals trying to reduce their waste. Some people have even managed to go zero waste! For us ordinary consumers who are attempting to be more mindful, we may raise the question ‘what are the real implications of eco-friendly products?’. Of course, not everyone will reach for the environmentally friendly product when given the option, but if I can convince even a handful of people to be more mindful of the products they choose, then I have succeeded.

    So, I’m sure we’ve all been in the position where an eco-friendly product is on offer to us, to replace our usual purchases. In this situation, you may think ‘will me buying this sustainable product make a difference?’ as you reach for the alternative product. You may think that one product, whether it be a plastic shampoo bottle or a non-reusable bag, will make a difference. The material that non-eco-friendly products are made from will not break down in air, sunlight, water or soil. This is a non-biodegradable product. For example, polystyrene foam and plastic also emit methane gas (greenhouse gas). The release of greenhouse gas also contributes to global warming. These products can get out to sea, which is not only detrimental to the eco-system of marine life but can also clog drainage systems, with sea levels rising the water will stay inland where there is heavy rainfall and cause floods. Non-eco-friendly packaging has toxins such as BPA’s, which can contaminate food and water, and is harmful to ingest.

    I am aware that it is so difficult to shop eco-friendly in today’s market. It seems like all products, especially in supermarkets, are covered in plastic and other harmful materials. You may be overwhelmed with where to start, but a small change is still a step in the correct direction. Now that I’ve explained the disadvantages of non-eco-friendly products, I should detail the benefits of purchasing eco-friendly products. There are many environmental and social advantages.

Saving money: while eco-friendly products may seem more expensive, do not let this put you off! Over time these products will save you money, e.g., buying a tote bag rather than spending approximately 99c per plastic bag.

Lower maintenance: some sustainable products require less maintenance than non, e.g., plastic toys will most likely have to be replaced sooner than wooden as they break easier, get dirty and can even have mold.

Convenience: If you have a reusable coffee cup, for example, you will not have to search for a bin when out for a walk with a coffee, you save up to 30c on your order and you have a more durable and most of the time insulated cup which will keep the coffee warm for longer, while also helping the environment.

Healthier living: If you are worried about BPAs in the likes of plastic water bottles, then a reusable bottle will put you at ease, while also ensuring you do not have to spend €1.50-3 on a bottle of water every time you go out.

    Now that you know the benefits of eco-friendly products, you may ask ‘what products are considered eco-friendly?’ The following products will help you do your bit for the environment:

• Reusable shopping bags.

• Reusable coffee cups.

• Metal straws.

• Tote bags made with recycled material/fabric.

• Shampoo & conditioner bars.

• Natural stick deodorants.

• Reusable cleaning cloths.

• Beeswax food wraps.

• Sustainably made candles.

    Other than the products you buy, there are many ways you can make simple changes to your lifestyle to be eco-friendlier. Creating a more sustainable environment in your home may seem like a challenge, but small steps such as separating your waste into recycling and landfill, donating items you do not use and actively trying to save water can make a real difference. We are aware that all of the scary statistics in the news may discourage you, or make you feel as though your changes do not make enough of a difference, but they do! If every household took these small steps weekly, the environment would be a lot better off. You can even create new hobbies whilst becoming more sustainable, such as gardening; growing your produce can ensure you do not ingest any pesticides, as well as not use any which contribute to air pollution. You can work on your fitness by walking instead of driving, when possible.

    Whilst not everyone will follow the sustainable trends that are becoming increasingly popular, your personal changes in your everyday life will make a difference to the bigger picture. Making these adjustments is a journey, you will have to figure out what products work for you and what changes are unrealistic for your lifestyle, as what works for one household may not work for yours. You may have situations where you have no choice but to purchase a non-eco-friendly product, and that is okay. You cannot always make the most sustainable purchases but recognizing that you would prefer to purchase something else is an achievement in itself.

    So, if you do decide to try some eco-friendly products, be patient with yourself. You can only change so many things at once before you become overwhelmed. The intent to change is only the first step. Research products, read the reviews and choose the right ones for you. We’re all only human, we are all trying our best to navigate this new market of eco-friendly and sustainable products. As consumers, we influence each other’s buying patterns, if you purchase an eco-friendly product you love, leave a review, tell your family and friends and encourage them to do the same. Even one purchase from your recommendation is a huge win. Enjoy your eco-friendly journey!

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