What makes a product or service "green" ? Why should one use a "green" product ? How does a buyer identify a real eco friendly product among a host of products claiming to be the same ? How can buyers make their shopping process sustainable ?
Eco- friendly products
Eco- friendly products, or green products, are those that do not cause any adverse effects on the environment during its manufacturing, use or disposal. Green products invariably help keep carbon footprint to a minimum in different ways. Certain products may be termed green if they help conserve energy or emit little/no green house gas. They may further be non-toxic or keep pollution levels low. Still other green products may be bio-degradable or compostable in nature, and therefore do not disturb the ecological balance in any way when discarded after use. And finally,some products are simply green because they are "recyclable".
Green Products : Buyer's Guide
Re-created from existing products - after they have been used - recycled products help conserve natural resources as they reduce the need for manufacturing new products from scratch by extracting raw materials. They also reduce waste as the existing products, after being discarded, would otherwise have made their way to landfills or incineration centres.
Need for using green products
In this age of consumerism, products are being made, bought, used and disposed of at an alarming rate. In most cases, a product's impact on the environment during its life cycle is neither known not bothered about. The result is increased pollution and all its adverse effects thereof. But eco-friendly alternatives to conventional products, being less polluting and more energy-efficient, are environmentally safer and in fact more econoical in the long run.
Caveat : Green Washing
Greenwashing is a kind of deceptive ploy where a business may use advertising campaigns to give a wrong impression to customers that its products or policies are eco-friendly, without actually implementing the business practices needed to reduce environmental impact. Usually a business is suspected of greenwashing if the amount it spends on green marketing substantially exceeds what it actually spends on incorporating eco-friendly practices. A business may resort to such tactics if it wants to cash in on the growing market for green products/services even though its products or practices are far from being eco-friendly ! Greenwashing may result in making the customers skeptic of all green claims and can thus be a huge setback for the growing green industry. So there's a dire need for regulatory agencies to prevent or penalise such deception. It's an unethical practice that needs to be denounced globally.