Green?

Terms like “Being Green” and “Eco- Friendly” have become buzz words on commercials and product packaging; however, the term “Eco- Friendly” has been used  vaguely for many products and  practices, its true meaning is in danger of being lost.  Understanding true “Eco- Friendly” can help you  implement practices that will lead to healthier living for  you, the planet and its inhabitants.

Definition

Eco- Friendly literally means Earth- Friendly or not harmful to the environment, and most commonly refers to products that contribute to green living or practices that help conserve resources like water and energy. Eco- Friendly products also prevent pollution to air, water and land.

Product Qualifications

Truly Eco- Friendly products keep both environmental and human safety in mind, often  the product is non- toxic.

 

Other attributes include the use of sustainably grown or raised ingredients, produced in ways that do not deplete the ecosystem. Organic ingredients or materials are grown without toxic pesticides or herbicides and products with “made from recycled  materials” contain glass, wood, metal or plastic reclaimed from waste products. In addition, “biodegradable” products break down through natural decomposition, which is less taxing on landfills and the ecosystem as a whole.

Practice Examples

You can employ Eco- Friendly habits to help you use less and make the most of what you  have. Turn off lights in empty rooms, recycle trash products, use a programmable thermostat so you’re only heating or cooling your home when it’s occupied for instance.  Make sure your trips to different stores are combined to save gas rather than multiple trips at different times.

Greenwashing?

Companies sometimes label their products “Eco- Friendly” or “Environmentally Friendly” without them truly being so. This is called “Greenwashing,” which is a marketing campaign perpetrating this practice for the sole purpose of helping companies increase their product sales by appealing to ecologically conscious buyers, despite the invalidity of true “Green” value. To avoid purchasing “Greenwashed” products, look for products approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Energy Star program or an ecologically conscious consumer- advocacy group such as the Green Good Housekeeping Seal.

Surprising “Green” Home Construction Products

Improve your home. Help protect the environment. The KCMA Environmental Stewardship Program (ESP) lets you do both. Whenever you buy kitchen, bathroom and/or other cabinets with the ESP seal, you can be assured that you’re doing your part to protect the environment. In 2006, the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA) created the Environmental Stewardship Program to help cabinet manufacturers demonstrate their commitment to environmental sustainability and help consumers easily identify Environmentally- Friendly products. After meeting certification requirements in areas of air quality, product and process resource management, environmental stewardship, and community relations, cabinet manufacturers can display the ESP seal on their products. The ESP seal helps you identify cabinets and cabinet manufacturers who are committed to protecting the environment. Nearly a hundred fifty cabinet manufacturers have already earned ESP certification and more are on their way to completing the review process.

Other green home improvement products that have been around for decades are wool carpeting, Marmoleum flooring, recycled wood floors often from recycling antique barns and homes, cork flooring, recycled glass used in wall tiles (any product that is recycled will do), LED lights, passive solar and solar upgrades, geo-thermal heating systems, water saver toilets, faucets, showerheads and appliances just to name a few.