What does Eco Friendly really mean? A Startling easy guide.

What does eco friendly really mean? The term green has come to mean far more than just a colour. There is a strong mainstream expectation for businesses to adopt and implement green alternatives. The speed and convenience of information exchange requires business to be transparent within their practices. Because transparency provides greater authenticity to ‘green’ claims.

The words eco friendly and sustainable can be used synonymously. The meaning of these words can be lost if there is a lack of clarity around their meaning. Doggy Eco makes ‘eco friendly’ the central tenet to our practises. Because of this we want to remain transparent with what we mean when we use these terms.

Girl and dog walking through the woods

WHAT DOES ECO FRIENDLY MEAN?

The term eco comes from the word ecology. Ecology describes a system of relationships between living things and their environment. The word friendly implies responsive or harmonious. Within this context we can infer eco friendly is synonymous with asking, is my product harmonious with the environment?

WHAT IS AN ECO FRIENDLY PRODUCT?

A good argument can be made that no product is truly ‘eco friendly’. This is because all products have a particular scale and impact on the environment. For instance, the textile cotton sounds like a wonderfully earth friendly textile. However did you know that cotton production in Uzbekistan required so much water it emptied a whole sea? (the Aral Sea in Uzbekistan).

The Aral Sea was the world’s fourth largest lake and home to 24 species of fish, forests and wetlands. Draining of the Aral Sea for the commercial growing of cotton resulted in the release of salts and pesticides into the atmosphere. Loss of the Aral Sea has been recorded as one of the worst environmental disasters in history.

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SOME PRODUCTS ARE MORE ECO FRIENDLY THAN OTHERS

As a comparative analysis hemp uses one quarter of the water required by cotton. Hemp also takes up less space by agricultural volume and does not require pesticides to grow as a commercial crop. Within this context cotton production has not been harmonious with the environment. So a question for earth conscious consumers may be, is my product eco friendly or is it only a more eco friendly option than existing practices? Find out more about Hemp used as an eco friendly textile.

The terminology of eco friendly therefore requires the eco conscious consumer to place their considerations into context relative to other available alternatives. By extension these same considerations can be drawn with Doggy Eco’s recycled plastic dog leads and collars. Plastic is an inorganic polymer which takes thousands of years to breakdown. Extensive environmental disasters can be attributed to the dumping of plastic waste.

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As a comparative analysis one ton of Doggy Eco recycled plastic yarn reduces 67,000 plastic bottles. Recycled plastic yarn reduces 4,200kg of C02, Saves 36.4kg of Oil and saves 6,200kg of water. Recycled plastic was once destined for landfill. Doggy Eco Leads and Collars keeps plastic out of landfill in comparison to the creation of new inorganic products such as virgin polyester.

WHAT DOES SUSTAINABILITY MEAN?

Sustain can also mean to tolerate or endure. Put simply we can say that a sustainable product or practise considers the future and next generation. The word sustainability is more encompassing than eco friendly. Sustainability considers financial, resource volume, product life cycle, energy and likelihood of future production.

A handsome man and two dogs in the water in Queensland Australia

Within this definition sustainability considers if a product is also earth friendly. However earth friendly does not consider if something is sustainable. When a product claims to be eco friendly it may only be referring to one product attribute. It does not necessarily mean the entire product or method of production is earth friendly. Given there is no such thing as a truly eco friendly product the term sustainability can be considered a higher order of measuring how ‘green’ a product or process may be.

Environmental catastrophes can be shared across the globe at the speed of a mouse click. Earth conscious consumers are more informed and want clarity in how their products are made, placing a greater requirement for businesses to be transparent with their products and processes. Given that no product is truly an eco friendly product is it even possible to reach a point of eco-sustainability? or is it a rather a process of continual never ending improvement? For more on earth friendly words checkout Clever’s Green Glossary to help you shop smarter.