Are You an Eco Novice?

Do Eco Friendly Products Really Making a Difference?

Eco-friendly products are the new “go-to” and are available all over the market today. Just because they are ADVERTISED as being eco-friendly, doesn’t mean they actually are. Many consumers swear by these products, while just as many (or more) consumers avoid purchasing the same products due to skepticism.

Of course, in a perfect world, all products would be eco-friendly. The environment would certainly fare better if that were the case. But, unfortunately, it would be hard to happen due to the price.

There are many products, with the promise of this benefit, that are actually good for the environment in one way or another. Here are a few products that really do make a difference and the reasons why.

Energy-Saving Light Bulbs

Finally, energy-saving (LED) light bulbs are making their mark. They’ve been available for many years but were more expensive than their fluorescent counterpart. Each bulb lasts up to ten years and adds up to huge savings.

Many consumers are unaware that when a fluorescent light bulb breaks, it releases mercury vapor into the air. Mercury is one of the most toxic substances known to man. LED bulbs, which use very little energy and have no difficulty operating in very hot or very cold weather, are much safer for households with young children.

Cloth Diapers

Disposable diapers are convenient, but that convenience needs to be weighed against the facts that they are very expensive and pose a major problem environmentally. Are you aware that by the time the average child is potty trained, it’s possible for him or her to go through one TON of disposable diapers?

According to recent statistics, disposable diapers are among the top three common items that currently clutter up our landfills. They are non-biodegradable, which means they remain there for at least 500 years. It’s not unheard of for the waste contained in all of these diapers to seep into the groundwater either. It’s a situation that’s dangerous for everyone.

Cleaning Products

Many of the traditional cleaning products that we grew up with contain harmful chemicals. It has also been found out that these can be just as detrimental to a person’s health as to the environment. Green cleaners, on the other hand, do the job in a much healthier fashion. You have the option of purchasing them commercially or making them yourself.

More and more consumers are deciding the second option. Why? There are no government regulations requiring the ingredients of a cleaning product to be listed. So, there’s no way to be sure of what harmful chemicals you’re introducing into your home.

By making cleaning products yourself, you know what goes into them. Common pantry ingredients such as vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil are very affordable and do a wonderful job of cleaning all sorts of things.

If you have time to perform a little research of your own, you will undoubtedly come across other eco-friendly products. Whether or not you decide to incorporate them into your daily routine is totally up to you.

Keep in mind, however, that even if you decide to use just one truly eco-friendly product, you’re helping the environment in a small way. It may not seem like much, but the more people that share your opinion, the better off the planet will be.

Are You Sure You’re Getting Safe Products?

How can you ensure that the products you’re purchasing are safe for you and your family? Here are some useful tips for identifying what brands you can trust, if you are a health-conscious consumer.

Stick with Trusted Brands

If you have used products of a certain brand before and have been satisfied, it’s likely that other products of that same brand will also be to your liking. Large, trusted brands carefully monitor the quality of their products and are usually willing to hold themselves accountable if something is not to your liking.

You’re less likely to get a refund from a smaller, less reputable brand. Also, brand names tend to be under more strict guidelines and regulations than off-brand or homemade products, especially when it comes to food.

Check for Product Recalls

The producer issues a recall of their products if an error has occurred during the manufacturing process. This ensures the safety of the consumer; whether it be an injury risk due to inconsistent manufacturing or a health risk from food products that may have been contaminated.

Watch for recalls of products you regularly use and watch how often they have to issue product. Chances are if companies need to recall several shipments of their products semi-frequently, it is a good idea that their factories and manufacturing plants may not be at optimum efficiency or a problem with hygiene.

Read Product Reviews

The internet allows consumers from all over the world to share their experiences with certain products or brands. Before investing in an unknown product, see if you can find any honest reviews online. Reviews tell you if a product is good, or if it poses a safety threat to you or your family.

Read the specifics of good reviews and bad as well. What problems have others had with a product? Many people make video reviews of products, allowing you to see something in action before you decide to buy it. These are especially useful if you plan to order online.

Carefully Examine Labels

Most products have labels on the packaging that give you information on the product inside. Read labels carefully, especially when you’re shopping for small children. Manufacturers must warn of potential hazards, such as small parts or sharp edges.

Most packaged food products come with a seal that must be broken to open the product. While it isn’t exactly a label, you should still check to make sure that any seals are unbroken and that your product hasn’t been tampered with. This goes for over the counter medicines and drinks.

Safety First

If you can’t be absolutely sure that a product is safe, it is likely best to pass on it. Of course, if you can’t find any reviews online, that doesn’t mean the product is necessarily be bad. By deciding on a product that has reviews available, you can be sure you’re getting the right product for your situation.

If a product’s label leaves you with questions concerning its safety, you should skip it unless you want to contact the company to see if they are willing to address your concerns.

Choosing safe products for you and your family is the best way to keep them happy and healthy. Many products have guidelines that have to be followed when they are made and tested, to make sure that you stay safe.

The best thing that you can do is to obtain information about the product whether it be from the label, the manufacturer, or an online review. That way, you can make the most informed decision possible.

What is Being Eco-Friendly and How Can I Do It?

The question of today is, “How can I learn to become eco-friendlier?”  It’s the first step in regard to helping the environment. The more people who make the conscious decision to pitch in to help, the better off everyone will be.

So, what is eco-friendly? One of the simplest definitions is “not harmful to the environment.” There’s nothing complicated about it. One of the greatest things about becoming eco-friendly is that it normally doesn’t require drastic lifestyle changes. Start out small, then build over time.

The following information includes several suggestions for making yourself more environmentally conscious and giving Mother Nature a helping hand. No need to panic; it’s easier than you think.

Plant Trees

Trees are important, in so many ways. They clean the air, provide homes for wildlife, produce oxygen and prevent the erosion of soil… just to name a few. Taking the initiative to plant trees in your yard not only helps support all of these things, it also provides you with a shady spot to relax after a long day.

Recycle

The easiest was to become eco-friendlier is using your city’s recycling program. You just need to make yourself aware of what they will accept. You can just go onto their website where they’ll list the recyclables. The most common things to recycle are aluminum (cans, specifically), paper and cardboard, glass, and plastic. Outdated electronics and batteries can usually be recycled at home improvement stores and office supply stores.

Carpool

Next time you drive to work, look around. Are most cars filled to capacity or are their only passenger the driver? It’s unfortunate that the vast majority of vehicles on the roadways today are transporting a single passenger. If everyone tried carpooling, even once or twice a week, it would immediately reduce traffic on those days by 50 percent. This represents a HUGE difference! Not only does carpooling save participants’ money on gas and car repairs, it also reduces air pollution and helps to prevent the shortage of fossil fuels.

Buy Local

Buy local and not only are you helping local merchants and farmers, you’re also reducing your “carbon footprint.” You are helping reduce the demand of shipping from point A to point B. Less long-distance shipments means lower air pollution levels, fresher food on the table and a reduced chance of fuel shortages.

Conserve Energy

These are just a few examples on how to save energy, while sticking to your daily routine:

* Place weather-stripping around doors and windows

* Turn out lights when leaving a room

* Turn off water when brushing your teeth

* Use cold water for laundry purposes

* Unplug appliances when not in use

* Replace furnace and air conditioner filters on a regular basis

* Install skylights for more natural lighting

Take a few minutes to think about all of the things you do during an average day. Chances are, you’ll think of several eco-friendlier changes you can make to improve the state of the environment. Mother Nature will love you for it!

We’ve just talked about some of things you can do to be eco-friendlier. Obviously, you don’t have to do everything in one day. Taking it slowly makes it easier to get acclimated to a slightly different routine.

The changes you make won’t help the environment overnight. But, with a little due diligence, chances are high that your perseverance will make the world a better place for your family, for generations to come.

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