Eco-friendly and sustainability are two terms we have been hearing more often. Businesses are launching initiatives to be more eco-friendly and selling more products that align with sustainability and saving the planet. People are going out of their way to adopt eco-friendly habits and practices and investing in products and lifestyles that promote that. And you may be wondering why.
What Exactly Does It Mean?
Being eco-friendly means you are trying to live your life causing the least amount of harm or negative impact to the environment. It can also be referred to as environmentally friendly. Eco-friendly is often paired with the term sustainability or sustainable living. This means avoiding depleting natural resources with the intention of maintaining an ecological balance. Eco-friendly means being intentional, sustainable, balanced, aware, and kind to the environment.
You'll also hear the term footprint or carbon footprint tossed around. It's important to understand what that means. The Global Footprint Network defines the term ecological footprint as the "demand on and and supply of nature"—basically the effect you have on the environment. For example, what natural resources you use versus what harmful gases you produce. Carbon footprint is another term you'll hear often to the greenhouse gases we produce.
Why Should I Be Eco-Friendly?
Causes Less Waste
As the world's population continues to increase, resources are being used up and could be stretched thin, especially with the amount of waste we participate in creating. In 2019, 1/3 of all food produced worldwide was either wasted or lost. We are creating enormous amounts of waste: water, plastic, food, energy, and more. A lot of this waste doesn't decompose and harms the environment. When we harm our environment, we are increasing the possibility of harm to ourselves.
Helps the Earth (and Its Future Inhabitants)
According to NASA, the sea levels have risen nearly 7 inches over the last 100 years, the level of carbon dioxide in the air is at its highest in 650,000,000 years, 19 of the warmest years have occurred since 2000, and 2020 tied for the warmest year on record. The stats are sobering and serious.
We play a direct role in what is happening to our planet and our actions today build the future for those that come after us. Even the actions of one person can make a difference. And making this difference can lead to a greater sense of purpose and a happier life.
Helps Your Health
Some of the main ideas of being eco-friendly is reducing food waste and going organic. Eating organic and fresh foods (avoiding plastic packaged foods) can lead to a healthier diet and more energy. Eco-friendly living encourages biking and walking over driving causing you to be more physically fit and active.
Saves You Money
Starting out your eco-friendly lifestyle may feel like it puts a small dent in your bank account as you purchase organic and healthier foods, buy sustainable and eco-friendly products, and opt for eco-friendly habits. But over time, living eco-friendly can save you more than you think!
Conserving less energy and water will reduce your utility bills each month; buying natural and organic foods can help you avoid eating out often or buying expensive processed foods; buying reusable products or recycling can save you from buying disposable products whose costs add up over time.
As you begin to start living eco-friendly, you'll see the benefits to your health, wealth, and the earth.
Are you going to take the initiative to begin living more eco-friendly? Tell us how you'll start doing so today.