Sustainable Materials: What to Look for
From your clothes to your furniture to your choice of skincare products, it’s important to choose products made from sustainable materials. Consider the packaging that holds your latest online “retail therapy” purchase. Packaging made from sustainable materials protects the planet (allowing you to bulk buy to your heart’s content). Choose to support companies with sustainable materials and packaging. In doing so, you encourage others to follow suit. That’s something to get really excited about (whether you choose to scream or not). Here are some sustainable materials you’ll want to look out for:
Eco-friendly fabrics are made from sustainable materials that are often organic, recycled, or easy on the earth. Consider recycled cotton, organic hemp, and organic linen.
Recycled cotton is one of the best sustainable materials for clothes. It’s easy to recycle and common. Organic hemp is another amazing eco-friendly fabric. It grows almost anywhere, and it replenishes nutrients in the soil.
Lastly, organic linen from flax doesn’t need much water to grow. It’s also absorbent and helps to repel bacteria, making it the perfect choice for your workout clothes!
It can be tough to know what to look for when it comes to sustainable materials in packaging. Often companies will boast that their packaging is sustainable, but what does this actually mean? You’ll want to look for packaging made of recycled source materials and manufactured with renewable energy. This includes boxes made from recycled and biodegradable content like recycled cardboard or paper.
While plastic is usually not ideal when it comes to sustainable materials, many companies use 100% recycled plastic in their eco-friendly packaging. You can also find reusable bags made from organic fabrics like hemp or tapioca. Seaweed is becoming a popular packaging material (in addition to its use as a skincare or food product). This slimy green substance might truly be the most versatile of all (a bold claim, for sure).
Decorating your home sustainably doesn’t have to involve rescuing ratty vintage furniture from your local thrift store.
If you’re looking for sustainable materials for your home furnishings, avoid anything with volatile organic compounds (VOC). You’ll also want to avoid products that use flame retardant chemicals or fluorinated stain treatments.
Choose furniture made from sustainable materials such as reclaimed wood or anything that’s GREENGUARD certified. This will protect the air quality of your home and ensure low chemical emissions.
Other third-party certifications that ensure sustainability include Cradle to Cradle, Environmentally Preferable Product, and SMaRT Certified.
Sustainable Materials: What Are You Made Of?
Most people have heard the arguments against plastic shopping bags and straws (although we’re all kind of rocking the new Starbucks sippy cups to be honest). But how often do you really think about whether or not your latest chaise lounge is made using sustainable materials? By training yourself to look out for recyclable packaging and eco-friendly fabrics, you can help support companies with a low carbon footprint. Sometimes a little effort is all it takes to make some drastic changes.