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Think green, act green

Think Green, Act Green

Eco-friendly products and practices are not only the need of the hour, they are also a major part of life today. With the environment groaning under the weight of problems like pollution, global warming, deforestation and more, it has become essential that everyone do their best to save the earth from further destruction. Eco-friendly products are one of the ways of doing this.

According to a survey conducted by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media and the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, even during these times of economic instability, many Americans are willing to pay extra for eco-friendly products. Half of the respondents said they would “definitely” or “probably” pay 15 percent more for eco-friendly clothes detergents (51percent) or for an automobile (50 percent). Forty percent said they would spend 15 percent more on “green” computer printer paper and 39 percent would do the same for “green” wood furniture.

As these statistics show, consumers are becoming increasingly environmentally conscious and, therefore, it has become necessary for businesses to follow suit too. According to Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD), the number of new products claiming to be eco-friendly has grown substantially over the past five years.

One such product is the reusable water bottle, most commonly made out of plastic, aluminum or stainless steel. The reusable plastic water bottles are made of polycarbonate plastic. Unfortunately, consumers have become more wary of these bottles due to the controversy surrounding the use of Biphenal-A, or BPA, in the plastics and whether it is a health risk. Aluminum and stainless steel bottles are considered better, and safer, options.

But with every legit “green” product, there is an equal number of products that are just capitalizing on this surge of interest in eco-friendly products. According to a study by TerraChoice, an environmental consulting firm, 98 percent of eco-friendly products resort to greenwashing, making false claims or pretensions about being eco-friendly.  Out of these, 22 percent of the products featured a “green label” that was quite meaningless. As a result, though it is important to be eco-friendly, it is also very essential to use your discretion and do some research while buying products that claim to be eco-friendly.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Purchasing eco-friendly products is an important way of saving the earth. Though recycling is also an option, not every product is recyclable, so incorporate reusable products as well. As a particular Kenyan proverb goes, “Treat the Earth well. It was not given to you by your parents. It was loaned to you by your children.”

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