The term “eco-friendly” is frequently used, and it can be found on everything from sandwich bags to bedding. It’s easy to overlook the full value of eco-friendly products such as eco-friendly water bottles Malaysia since they’re so common. And if you don’t know what the term implies, you’re more likely to be misled by corporations claiming to be environmentally conscious.
What is the definition of eco-friendly?
The official meaning of eco-friendly, according to Merriam-Webster, is “not environmentally hazardous.” When it comes to products, this means that everything from the manufacturing process to the packaging must be considered environmentally friendly. The FTC, on the other hand, has tight standards on eco-friendly claims, and this is where things become complicated: According to the FTC Green Guides, a product’s packaging must explain why it is environmentally responsible in order for it to be appropriately branded as “eco-friendly.” Otherwise, depending on how customers utilise the product, it could be hazardous to the environment.
At the Good Housekeeping Institute, we’re passionate about all things sustainable: our team evaluates products for the Green Good Housekeeping Seal, an emblem awarded based on a product’s environmental impact, and we host our annual Raise the Green Bar sustainability summit and Sustainable Innovation Awards. In a nutshell, we’re here to assist you in deciphering eco-friendly promises so you can make better decisions for your home and the environment.
To tell you the truth, our environmental specialists prefer the term “sustainable” to “eco-friendly.” Why? Everything has a negative impact on the environment when it comes to product creation (think: water usage, energy, product waste, etc. ), which implies there aren’t any products that meet the dictionary definition of eco-friendly. On the other hand, when we refer to something as sustainable, we are referring to a specific feature of the product that is environmentally friendly, rather than the entire product. Because it is frequently employed in false marketing claims, “eco-friendly” is also called a greenwashing word (keep reading for more on that topic).
A cheat sheet of “eco-friendly” terms
“Environmentally friendly,” “eco-friendly,” and “earth-friendly” are all synonyms for “not damaging to the environment.”
According to Birnur Aral, PhD, Executive Director of the GH Institute’s Health, Beauty, and Sustainability Lab, “green” is a “casual term that people adopt in exchange for any word linked to eco-consciousness.” “It’s a broad concept, but it generally refers to better practises that benefit both the environment and the people involved.” When we polled our consumer panel of over 5,000 consumers, we discovered that 65 percent of them believe the term “green” is synonymous with ecologically friendly and eco-conscious actions.
“Sustainable” and “sustainability” are terms that can be defined in a variety of ways, but Aral defines sustainable living as “the practice of ensuring that we do not deplete our natural resources while maintaining a prosperous economy for future generations.” “People, planet, and profit are regarded to be its three foundations. For a firm to be sustainable in the long run, it must prioritise maintaining the prosperity of its employees (and those connected to it) as well as limiting or even reversing its environmental impacts.”