Question: Green Products - What are Green Products?
What makes products 'green' and how do we know for certain they are green?
Answer: The term 'green' has nothing to do with color, but the choice of name is appropriate because green is a color that is often associated with nature. Green products are considered kinder to the environment than non-green goods, in one way or another. The term is widely used and it doesn't take much for a product to be called green, so it can cover a wide range of consumer goods.
A product is considered earth-friendly if it is biodegradable, meaning that it will pose no threat to the earth and environment, when it is released to the air, water or earth while in use or when disposed of. These types of products usually decompose much quicker in a landfill, than similar items that are not biodegradable. Biodegradable household cleaners, soaps, dish and dishwasher detergents and laundry soaps are just a few examples of this type of green product.
If a product contains any amount of recycled goods in its construction, it is also considered green for two reasons. That's because recycling reuses a material keeping it out of the landfill, as well as saves on the environment when alternative materials are not manufactured and used for that component.
A product where packaging has been considerably reduced compared to other similar products requiring less shipping room and in turn reducing carbon emissions during transport to market, might also be considered green.
When a product's manufacturing process is designed specifically to save energy, reduce carbon emissions or use renewable energy to make that item, it can also give it a green label. In this case, the product really should also be earth-friendly, but this is not always the case.
Great strides have been made to manufacture green products in such a way as to reduce the manufacturing process and resulting impact on the earth, as well as making them earth-friendly when it comes to usage and disposal. Many countries, states and provinces also have green initiatives in place that encourage companies to look for ways to manufacture products in an earth-friendly manner. Every effort, even those that may appear minor to us, help to reduce the impact consumer goods have on our environment.
An unwanted or unneeded gift that is regifted to another person is also considered 'green' because the item is saved from landfill or waste, and another item does not have to be manufactured for the gift. Regifting is gaining popularity with those who love to recycle or simply want to better manage their gift budget. Many regifted gifts are very appreciated, but the gift-giver needs to adhere to some basic Regifting Rules to successfully regift a gift.
Read my book review: Regifting Revival! by Jodi Newbern
How do you know if your product is 'green'? Not all, but most green products have labels denoting the fact that they are either biodegradable, have been made from recycled goods or were subject to an earth-friendly manufacturing process. Manufacturers are well aware of the demand for green products and want to draw your attention to their wares, which they usually consider to be the best green products. However, consumers should read labels to confirm before buying to ensure they are getting what they pay for. It's just too easy to put the word 'green' on any product.
Note that green products are not the same as carbon zero or carbon neutral products which are in fact greener, though there may be similarities. Green can also apply to services or processes.
Green initiatives are undertaken in an effort to draw attention to the need to be kinder to our environment in everything we do. Green initiatives and green products are not same, though there is somewhat of a relation. Though green policies and endeavors should be conducted on an ongoing basis, there is much emphasis in the Spring when initiatives are often scheduled close to or on Earth Day every year. However, we really should be thinking green all the time.