Want to make the switch to green living, but feel a bit bombarded by all the jargon? What does ‘green living’ mean anyway - that you’re only allowed to eat kale, or just shower once a week to conserve water? Relax, it’s nothing that drastic. Luckily, small changes can mean big wins in the environmental stakes. But before you can start saving the planet, you need to understand the patter. Expand your eco-vocab with our ‘green glossary’, where we spill the (green) tea on the 5 most common eco phrases and their meanings.
The big one - you’ll hear this everywhere. In short, it means ‘the ability for humans to continue to exist without causing significant harm to the environment’, and there are three main ‘pillars of sustainability’: the factors that decide if a business model or initiative is sustainable (or not):
- environmental protection - does it reduce the negative impact on the planet?
- social equity - does it create inclusive opportunities for disadvantaged people?
- economic viability - is there enough funding to support it?
To pass the sustainability test, it needs to meet the above so-called ‘3 Ps’: planet, people and profit. It needs to be beneficial to the environment, reduce inequalities within the community and also be financially fruitful. And that’s what Evakind is all about.
This phrase has been used on so many products that it’s lost its impact in recent years. Short for “ecologically-friendly’, the ‘eco’ is often considered to be another word for ‘earth’. But ecology is the study of the relationships between living organisms (including humans) and their environment, meaning that ‘eco-friendly’ actually breaks down to ‘not harmful to living things and the environment’. At a bare minimum, that means the product is non-toxic, but it can also encompass sustainability (there’s that word again), organic ingredients and recycled or biodegradable materials. Unfortunately anyone can claim their product is ‘eco-friendly’, so to avoid being duped ensure you research carefully, or let platforms like Evakind do it for you ;)
You can’t turn a corner in your local supermarket without being confronted by this one. You already know that organic food is considered to be better for you, but did you know that’s because it’s typically processed without irradiation (used to extend the shelf life), solvents (used to extract fats, oils and flavourings), food additives or pesticides? (The last one you probably knew.) Organic farming methods reuse resources and protect the ecological balance (yay!) but unfortunately have higher production costs and lower yields (booo!), resulting in a higher cost to the end consumer. At Evakind, we search out affordable options wherever possible; however we firmly believe the benefits of organic are worth the slight extra investment.
The new kid on the block, ‘zero-waste’, ‘waste-free’ or similar can be interpreted in a couple of ways. You can have a product that has no packaging at all (like shampoo bars), so once the product is gone, it’s gone - nothing left. However zero-waste generally refers to products that do have some packaging, but all of that packaging can be recycled or composted, thereby going back into the earth and/or not creating any extra waste for the planet to deal with. And the less waste that goes to landfill, the less toxins that leach into the soil, groundwater and atmosphere, meaning less strain on the environment. To see examples, check out our selection of zero-waste products.
We’ve left the trickiest one til last. It’s common to think that ‘plastic-free’ refers only to single-use plastics, such as straws, drinks bottles, sandwich wrappers, etc. Although the fight against single-use plastic is vital, in reality there’s a LOT more work to do in reducing our dependence on plastic material as a whole. From health and beauty items such as disposable razors, sanitary towels, toothpaste, exfoliating creams, face washes and nappies to kitchen storage and pantry basics including pasta, rice and flour, there are tons of ways plastic can sneak its way into our daily lives. And once it’s there, it’s hanging around for a long, long time.
Now that we’ve demystified some of these phrases, feel free to get to grips even further with all this sustainability stuff by reading more of our Green Guides finding out more about Evakind [www.evakind.com], or exploring our selection of fab earth-friendly products!