Unless you have been living under a rock for the last decade or so, then you have likely heard at least a little about eco friendly products and the eco movement by now...maybe even from a politician!
Hi, my name is Janet. In many cases I have found myself to be more conservative in my views on the major issues of the last couple of decades, although concern for the environment and our health has NOT been a high priority of Conservative politics. I have come to sincerely regret that the environment and it's well-being have become such hot political issues lately, as I believe there should be such overwhelming worldwide agreement about what seems to be such a fundamental and basic reality.
After lifting my head out of the sand and listening to my increased awareness of how most of us become completely oblivious of our undeniable connectedness to the earth, everyone and everything on it, I thought it would be a good idea to conduct some of the tedious research on the increasing importance of living our lives in a more sustainable eco conscious way, so you won't have to do so much digging for the information and answers you are seeking.
After I acquire the knowledge and understanding of each eco related topic, product, concept or solution from several sources, this site will allow me to Assemble, Simplify and Display that information so that you will have convenient and quick access to it all in one central location.
I believe that it will be very fulfilling to be able to offer my thoughts and commentary on each topic that I research. My wish is that these thoughts, over the months and years to come, will add to the overall environmental conversation and assist humanity with the constant STRUGGLE that we seem to have when it comes to finding balance and congruency between ECONOMICS and SUSTAINABLE LIVING practices within modern society.
Now, I certainly won't have ALL of the answers, so I have made it possible for visitors like you to publish pages of your own or simply post comments to existing pages.
I hope the pages that I publish and the pages and comments that visitors publish, are Informative, Entertaining, Insightful and Saves You the Time and trouble of having to search for all of the relevant information on eco products, environmental awareness, or the newest eco friendly controversies by yourself.
There are many reasons and root causes for the social and political disagreements about our impact on the environment and I may touch upon these topics from time-to-time on the site. Maybe I'll set aside a page for Eco Thoughts, Politics & Philosophy 101, where you and I can address some of the causes for disagreement and solutions for going forward.
I intuitively knew as a child what has taken me more than 30 years to realize once again. The lost decades must be due to the incessant conditioning by government, media, and advertisers that have lead me down the road into that non-stop consumerism mentality - no matter what the consequences...
Sleep, eat, work, SHOP, and discard! - Sleep, eat, work, SHOP and discard! - Sleep, eat, work, SHOP and discard! ....and on and on and on.
Allowing ourselves to fall into or be manipulated into this never-ending consumerist mindset, perpetual consumption cycle and behavior pattern becomes the fuel that powers the wasteful and careless industrial machine that is directly leading to the continued exploitation of the Earth and our environment.
Yes, yes, I know...
Those of us in developed western society, which includes less than 10% of the world population, have been able to operate like this for five or six decades with, what seems to be, very little NEGATIVE impact on our lives and many POSITIVE impacts, such as standard of living, etc...
However, we have probably taken our standard of living too far, at our own peril, and now that one hundred other countries are actively seeking the economic growth that we have enjoyed, as a result of our high waste consumer-driven lives, a new sustainable collective approach appears to be absolutely essential.
The Earth's ecology will not likely be able to sustain a worldwide industrialized "Sleep, eat, work, SHOP, and discard" consumption-based way of life for five billion people. I think you might agree that there is evidence that our Planet is having enough of a challenge coping with the affects of only one billion people participating in this way of life.
Yes, I know and understand that I am going forward with the development of this site at the risk of being labeled an Environmentalist-Wacko by the same folks that have stood in line with me on Primary Election Day for many years. But, this is okay...I sure wish eco friendliness was not so political. Maybe together we can make this possible...
Hopefully, some of what I discover and publish here, as well as what you contribute, initiates some good eco conscious decisions of my own, as well as yourself and others abroad, no matter whether we consider ourselves to be Conservatives, Liberals, Oligarchs, Independents, Communists, Libertarians, Tea-Party supporters or any others I missed!
So, you have heard of the movement. But you probably have questions. Your first one might be...
"What the heck does "eco" mean, anyway?"
Well, to start with, the word eco comes from the Latin oeco, which means household. One way to think about it is that the earth is our home and eco reminds us to take care of our home as best we can.
Of course, Eco is also thought to be a shortened version of the words ecologically or ecosystem.
Eco friendly living refers to making choices and living our lives in ways that take care of the environment and recognize that resources are not ours to waste. Organic eco friendly products are ones that involve no synthetic chemicals or processes. And, in the case of food, are strictly of animal or vegetable origin with no use of drugs, hormones, chemicals or genetic engineering.
Eco friendly products are all the rage these days, for good reason. The world is facing an energy crisis, as we re-balance our dependency on oil with new, long-term sustainable forms of energy and wise consumption practices. As consumers, we contribute to this necessary change by educating ourselves about eco products that minimize energy use and are easy on the earth in their production, transport and disposal.
Check with your local waste disposal company before simply throwing old bottles into the garbage. You can also check with your city household hazardous waste (HHW) collection center. Most HHW sites will take in any cleaners labeled as toxic, poisonous, corrosive, flammable, combustible or irritating.
They'll also usually take products with "Poison," "Danger," "Warning" or "Caution" labels which will include most of your typical cleaners that contain bleach or similar ingredients. Some HHW centers will have days scheduled throughout the year for pick up at your home.
You should never simply dump the cleaning liquid down the drain or toilet as most of the runoff will end up in local water, which can cause damage. If you choose to keep using the products until they empty, you can recycle the bottles when you are empty.
You can also make your own cleaning products with a few basic ingredients such as lemon, distilled vinegar, baking soda and liquid soap. Find some great tips and recipes at GreenLiving.Suite101.com and www.care2.com
Many people think that eco friendly products are expensive, mostly hype, and also unreliable, since they are new products on the market.
Happily, in most cases these folks are wrong.
Eco-friendly product alternatives to the mainstream products are available nearly everywhere, many are cost competitive, and some (certainly not all!) are of excellent quality.
Which are the best eco friendly products?
There's not an easy answer to that question—with so many choices out there, it really depends on your priorities and preferences.
Yes, many new eco friendly products are coming out. So many, that it can be hard to define what an eco friendly product is actually like. There are cheap eco friendly products and expensive ones; items that are eco friendly because they are highly durable and last a long time as well as ones that are disposable but can be recycled or composted; eco friendly products that scream “green!” from across the parking lot and ones that look indistinguishable from conventional products.
There are a wide variety of eco friendly stores that sell eco products, including specialty stores that sell nothing else but earth friendly items. A good example of the range of eco friendly products can be found on the eco friendly stores page.
To find green stores with the products you are looking for, skip the yellow pages and go straight to the eco stores directory.
When you buy eco friendly products, you'll want to keep an eye out for more than just a "green" label. Look for the following claims on the product packaging: