From plastic bags and bottles to forest-guzzling paper mills, everyday products are wreaking havoc on our environment in more ways than we'd care to count. Fortunately, people are becoming increasingly aware of this. The necessity for sustainable and earth-friendly materials is becoming increasingly evident, and consumer demands for "eco" products are rising as a result. Nowadays, eco-friendly products are being made from a vast array of materials. Some of these materials are all-natural, some are organic, and others are environmentally friendly by means of production. So which ones should you be looking for? We're glad you asked! We've made a list of eco-materials for conscious consumers just like you. You'll be amazed at the range of products each one has to offer!
Bamboo has existed as an alternative material for millennia. This amazingly strong and versatile plant is a naturally eco-friendly resource. It requires no pesticides or herbicides, and relies on natural rainfall for irrigation. What's more, it doesn't require you to compromise on aesthetics! Bamboo can be used for just about everything from buildings and boats, to keyboards and cutlery. For more amazing items, see this list of 10 Eco-Friendly Bamboo Products.
Hemp is one amazing plant. It's fast-growing, renewable, biodegradable and recyclable. Once harvested, industrial hemp produces a strong, hypo-allergenic fiber that is extremely versatile. Traditionally used to make paper, canvas, rope and even fuel, hemp has renewed popularity due to its potential as a sustainable, eco-friendly resource. Discover its many wonders with these 10 Eco-Friendly Hemp Based Products!
3. RECLAIMED MATERIALS
What are reclaimed materials? Just about anything and everything you can think of! Wood, paper, plastic, metal, rubber- anything, really- that has been reclaimed and re-purposed fits the bill. The reason reclaimed materials are so environmentally friendly is that they reduce our dependence on precious natural resources, and help keep waste out of landfills. Plus they inspire a wealth of creativity- see for yourself with these 8 Incredible Products from Reclaimed Materials.
4. ORGANIC COTTON
Conventional cotton is grown and produced with enormous amounts of chemicals; posing a threat to the health of people and the environment at every stage of production. Fortunately, organic cotton is becoming more popular as manufacturers and consumers seek safe, natural options for everyday items such as clothing, bedding, towels and toys. When it comes to cotton, go for greener options, starting with these 8 Eco-Friendly Organic Cotton Products.
Cork is an amazingly unique, eco-friendly, naturally sustainable material that has many uses outside the wine bottle! Cork comes from the outer bark of cork oak trees, making it a renewable resource that can be harvested without causing damage to the tree itself. Cork tree forests are carefully monitored by both the forest owners and environmental authorities to protect their health, and the trees themselves contribute to soil fertility and local biodiversity. Products made from cork are easily recyclable and biodegradable, including these 10 Cool and Eco-Friendly Cork Products.
6. RECYCLED CARDBOARD
Paper production contributes significantly to deforestation, as well as air, water and land pollution. It's uses are widespread, and as a result, paper waste accounts for 40% of all waste in the US. Recycling cardboard is a simple and effective way to reduce the amount that ends up in landfills, and reduce the amount of trees used in paper manufacturing. In addition to reusing and re-purposing cardboard, you can help by always recycling what's left over. It may surprise you to learn that everything from computers to chairs can be made from recycled cardboard. Check out these 10 Amazing Products from Recycled Cardboard for proof!
Jute is one of the world's most natural (and most under appreciated) eco-friendly materials. Long fibers are harvested from the skin and stem of the plant before being spun into threads for practical use; the most common of which are burlap and hessian cloth. A highly durable and inexpensive material, jute also boasts several environmental benefits. It requires few to know pesticides and herbicides to grow, absorbs high levels of carbon dioxide, and is both recyclable and biodegradable. Discover the many joys of jute today, with these 8 Eco-Friendly Jute Products!
8. RECYCLED PLASTIC
Now we know what you're saying. Plastic is bad news! You are right, but it's important to recognize that recycled plastic has great potential as an eco-friendly resource. While we don't want to encourage future production of plastic, we also don't want to see pre-existing products end up in landfills. Recycling plastic helps to address this pre-established waste problem. It also requires less energy and fewer natural resources than making plastic from raw materials. Plus, it's incredibly versatile, as demonstrated by these 10 Awesome Eco-Plastic Products!
9. RECYCLED GLASS
With so many new and innovative "green" products on the market, it can be easy to overlook the simple things, like glass. But we don't! Recycling glass is a great way to keep waste out of landfills, conserve natural resources, and reduce the amount of energy that is used in the glass manufacturing process. As well as being environmentally advantageous, recycled glass is an inert material that is both food-safe and impermeable. And it doesn't have to be confined to glass jars and bottles. Next time you're looking to go green, opt for one of these 7 Eco Products Made with Recycled Glass!
This post was originally published on One Green Planet.