You have undoubtedly seen products advertised as eco-friendly, but do you know what that means? The basic definition of eco-friendly is something that is not harmful to the earth or its systems. This could mean that it helps to conserve water, or reduces contributions to pollution. If we, as humans occupying our one and only planet, wish to be eco-friendly it is important for us to understand the ways in which the products we use can contribute.
What Are Eco-Friendly Products?
When a manufacturer wants to produce eco-friendly goods, they must consider both consumer and environmental safety. The product must be non-toxic and produced with methods that do not deplete our ecosystems. The product could be sustainably grown or made from recycled raw materials. The eco-friendly products must then be packaged in biodegradable packaging or materials that are not taxing on landfills. Reusable containers are a growing product trend that qualifies as eco-friendly.
Generally speaking, eco-friendly products honor the environment and consumers in three important ways:
- How it is used
- How it is produced
- What it contains
When discussing bath and body products, eco-friendly products will be especially mindful of the waste that will go down the drain and into our water sources and the packaging. Look for bath products that are:
- Sulfate free. Bath products containing sulfates are toxic to aquatic animals once washed down the drain. Sulfates are also derived from petroleum and their production has been associated with pollution and greenhouse gases.
- Made with sustainable palm oil. Palm oil is the most widely used vegetable oil in the world, but its production contributes to deforestation. Sustainable palm oil comes from manufacturers who have met the criteria for sustainability that includes no deforestation, peat development, or exploitation.
- Paraben free. Parabens are synthetic chemicals that improve the shelf life of many products. Sadly, they can also disrupt the function of our body's hormone production. Paraben free products are healthier.
- Plastic free. Disposable plastic is ubiquitous and incredibly harmful to our planet. It harms animals and fills our landfills at unprecedented rates. Buying plastic free products reduces the impact.
Will Using Eco-Friendly Products Make a Difference?
When we consider how much damage has been done to the earth and how much work it will take to repair the damage, it doesn't feel like one person can make much of a difference. One person can't make much of a difference alone, but if we all commit to purchasing eco-friendly products, we can collectively make a difference.
You may have heard the adage, "you can't manage what you can't measure." It is important to compound the impact of our daily decisions so that we can realize the long-term impact of our product choices. If you currently use liquid shampoo, you are likely using one normal bottle of shampoo per month. By switching to shampoo bars, you can reduce your plastic shampoo bottle waste by 12 bottles per year. If 100 people took the same action, that is 1200 fewer shampoo bottles in landfills. Consider what would happen if you and 100 other people switched to plastic free products in other areas- like cleaning supplies.
Making a personal choice to purchase eco-friendly products has a compounding effect that matters. The team at the Succulent Soapery is dedicated to reducing the harmful impact that products can have on the environment. That is why our products are paraben free, plastic free, sulfate free and we only use sustainable palm oil.