Saturday, September 20, 2008

The "Eco-Friendly" Consumer

Biodegradable, organic, earth-friendly, eco-friendly, environmentally friendly....these are all terms that we are hearing and seeing. You cannot go anywhere, without any of these words jumping out at you. But is it possible to be a total eco-friendly consumer and at what cost?
First of all, has anyone noticed how pricey it is to save the earth? Hybrids cost more, solar panels cost more, organic materials cost more. Manufacturers increase the cost of these products, thereby increasing their profits while trying to convince consumers that somehow they are helping the earth in the long run. I care about our planet and I believe every little bit helps. However, I'm not convinced that paying more for my vegetables because it is grown in untreated soil, does a great deal for the earth, especially when those vegetables are put in a plastic bag to take home. I don't profess to be an Al Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio or David Suzuki, but I do my share. I use baking soda and vinegar to do my housecleaning, I take cloth bags on my grocery trips and I recycle whenever I can. I however, have never measured my carbon footprint, I don't do my laundry at 1:00 am to prevent carbon emissions into the atmosphere, I don't have a composter and I don't drive a hybrid. But then how many of you know people who do all these things? This is my point, it's difficult to be a total eco-friendly consumer. It does mean giving up some conveniences we've become accustomed to and going that extra mile to find products that are earth-friendly. That is not to say, it is impossible. There are more and more stores and businesses that are catering to the eco-minded consumer. Anywhere from food to furniture to clothing, all produced with the environment in mind. All these things however, come at a cost. Now I know some of you out there are saying, but if it's for the earth, then it's worth it. Of course, and I agree with you, but why does somebody have to make a profit for the earth to be saved? I'm not asking for these products to be free, but it's becoming more and more apparent that everyone is trying to make a buck off the earth these days.
The next time you are at a grocery store, look at the earth friendly products. You are sure to see the price hike. Remember, when buying eco-friendly products, always ask yourself, if this is a product you can continue to buy and use or if there is a cheaper eco-friendly alternative. If the purchase is because the earth is "in" right now and you know that on your next grocery trip, you will go back to your old fave, don't purchase the product, because the earth is not interested in a fly-by-night relationship. It requires a long-term relationship. It needs people in there for the long haul, through thick and thin. To nurture and to protect. Like I said, I use baking soda and vinegar, this relationship at times, also requires some elbow grease.

Earth-friendly sites for suggestions and ideas:

Cleaning with baking soda

Baking soda book

Vinegar Tips

It's easy Being Green


National Geographic

Happy Shopping!!


Anonymous said...

There are still some simple green choices for consumers. For example, I found an inexpensive product that is a small step towards sustainable living. Check out PrideGreen Trash bags. These bags are made with recycled plastic and they are biodegradable. I am a contractor and have been looking for affordable yet durable green trash bags. These bags were the ticket, They can be found on the web at:

Anonymous said...

I agree it's hard to be eco-friendly at every turn. But it is still worth making an effort even if its just small things. For example, I believe using biodegradable products is a great start. You can learn more about this at If everyone does just a little you'd be surprised how it will all add up when it comes to taking care of our planet.

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