Going green seems to be a hot new trend, but you may be doing it already ... and not know it. From paint to beauty products, some companies have already incorporated environmentally-friendly products into their lines. Lisa Drayer, contributing editor of Women's Health magazine, shares all the green information.
Whenever you have the opportunity to reduce, reuse or recycle, you should know that you are making a difference. Even if it's a small one, you should feel really good about it. Whether it's buying a used item on eBay or supporting eco-conscious companies, you're making a difference.
There are so many companies today that are paying more attention to how their products impact the environment that it has become very easy to incorporate “being green” into your life. Here are products that you may already be using in your daily life and didn't even know were eco-friendly:
Aveda and Body ShopThese two are the leaders in the industry, with a history of pure ingredients, packaging that is eco-conscious and a commitment to helping the environment through donations and awareness campaigns.
Kiehl'sThis is a line of products made with very natural ingredients. The company also has a number of environmental campaigns.
Paul MitchellAnother example of a company making donations, Paul Mitchell plants trees to offset the environmental impact for all of their Tea Tree products.
Stella McCartney CareThese products contain 100 percent organic active ingredients. No petrochemicals or silicones. And the outer packaging is paper, not plastic.
Lancôme has launched several eco campaigns. They will plant a tree for every unit of their Primordial Cell Defense line sold.
Crabtree & Evelyn has pledged to phase out toxins from their plastic packaging with a major reduction this year.
MACThe “Back to Mac” program accepts returns of original packaging. When you return six lipstick containers, they give you a new one for free.
This is a company with a track record of responsibility. They use natural ingredients and recycled packaging, and the details are printed right on the container.
Patagonia W's Capilene 2 V-NeckThis is a high-performance, base-layer garment with wicking capabilities (takes moisture away from the body). Made from recycled bottles. Patagonia is the green leader in the apparel industry. They have a line of recycled products, which are made from plastic bottles! They also invite customers to drop off old fleeces at their stores, which will then be spun into fleece once again.
American Apparel Organic Baby Rib Basic Short Sleeve T
American Apparel has a huge line, and created the Sustainable Edition (made from organic cotton) in an effort to be more green.
These products are made from organically grown cotton and earth-friendly plant dyes, and are every bit as stylish and comfortable as the favorite ones you may already own.
Levi'sThis well-known brand has a new line that uses a natural, chemical-free process to give the jeans a worn-in look. The cotton is organic, and being 100% cotton, they are naturally biodegradable.
Adidas Bamboo sport top and sport braThis sports bra top has eco-friendly bamboo fibers (to reduce odor). Bamboo is a versatile wood, which is both sustainable and plentiful. It is an amazing plant that can be used as a wood for flooring or as a fabric.
Everlast This company has a line of bamboo workout clothes that are naturally odor-resistant.
Reusable water bottlesOne of the easiest changes you can make is to purchase a re-usable bottle to use as often as possible in place of plastic bottles that are disposed after one use. Make sure you get one that is dishwasher safe so that you can clean it thoroughly.
Shower curtains and linersMost shower curtains are made from plastics such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Ever notice the strong odors coming from a brand new shower curtain or liner? Those odors are chemicals out-gassing from the plastic, and some of the chemicals can be toxic. Since PVC is one of the most common materials used in plastic shower curtains, vinyl chloride is a common toxin released.
Health concernsThe effects of vinyl chloride range from irritation of the eyes, ears and throat to respiratory irritation to neurological effects. Vinyl chloride is a suspected human carcinogen.
Tips and alternatives
- Purchase shower curtains and liners made from cotton (ideally unbleached, organic), linen or hemp. It is true these are much more expensive than the plastic curtains and liners, but hemp, for instance, is naturally mildew-resistant, durable, and will last a very long time. Gaiam makes a 100% organic cotton shower curtain
- Also, many (if not most) fabric curtains and liners can be thrown in the washing machine for easy cleaning, so you won’t need to replace them as often as the plastic ones.
- For more information on these chemicals, check out The Naked Truth Project.
The Preserve toothbrush and razorsThese plastic toothbrush handles are made from 100% recycled Stonyfield Farm yogurt cups gathered through Stonyfield’s recycling efforts.
Anna Sova’s 100% organic cotton towelsThese high-end towels are organic, eco-safe, earth and body-friendly.
Under the Canopy 100% organic cotton sateen 250 thread count sheetsThis company launched in 1996 with a mission to make a positive impact on the planet. They manufacture apparel and home goods and products that are made from innovative organic fibers and fiber blends, such as organic denim, organic cotton angora and soy.
You’ll find these laundry liquids on the shelves of your local grocery store. They are free of dyes, non-toxic and biodegradable, and they really work!
Preserve plates and cups
Like other Preserve brand products, Preserve tableware is made from 100% recycled plastic, including recycled yogurt cups. They are dishwasher safe on low-heat cycles and can be reused.