How to Shop Green and Eco Friendly

By | 03.03.2006

More and more lately, environmental awareness and “going green” is reaching people from all walks of life. We are all trying to find ways to do our part, how ever that might be. Some of us recycle, others ride bikes instead of driving a car, and some are conscious of the products they purchase. Shopping is something we all love to do, and just another way you can give back to the environment.

Purchasing Organic, “Green”, Eco-friendly products is a great way to enjoy a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle. However, in order to do this, we must first understand exactly what to look for. For example, when it comes to clothes or textiles, how do we know what fibers to purchase? Sticking to Organic products doesn’t limit our options at all, all the normal fibers you’re used to can be purchased organically.

Cotton, Bamboo and Hemp

These fibers are all grown in organically certified conditions, which means they are produced without harmful, toxic chemicals such as pesticides and insecticides. Cotton is highly versatile, with the ability to be colored in eco-friendly dyes, it won’t limit your stylish options when shopping. Hemp is often woven, and has a linen type texture, and commonly found in household items because of it’s resistance to mildew. Bamboo is fantastic for the environment because of it’s rapid growth without the use of chemicals, and it produces a fiber that is as smooth as silk. It’s breathable and blocks out the sun’s harmful rays, which makes it fantastic for summery clothing, and even kitchen and bath products.

Wool and Silk

Animals who produce organic wool must be raised in an environment organically certified, this can be wool from sheep, llamas or alpacas. Wool can be used for clothing, yarn, and other products. It is extremely useful because it is non flammable, and not susceptible to mold, mildew, bacteria, or other irritants that can cause allergies. Wool is also very comfortable, and known as an “all seasons” fabric because it can easily be worn all year around. Silk is spun by worms in Asia, and is a very versatile fabric. It is known for how soft and smooth it is to the touch, as well as being strong and insulating. Because of how pleasing it is to the touch, it’s often found in bed linen and clothing. Keep in mind that some strict vegans do not purchase wool or silk products because it is the by product of animals; this is something you should remember if you’re purchasing a gift for someone.

Fair trade, Recycled, and Second Hand

these are other terms you should look out for when shopping, in addition the fiber content on clothing and other products. Fair trade products are those that abide by international labor laws, which means you know they weren’t created as a result of child labor or an unethical work environment. Second hand products, vintage, or recycled products, are those that have been resold, or “upcycled” to create a new, sustainable garment with used materials which reduces waste.


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