Eco-friendly products help the environment in many ways

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Photo via foodbusinessgulf.com.

Everyone can have a green thumb to benefit the planet.

Everyone has heard the phrase “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”. Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, according to a 2018 survey, the national average of people in the United States that actually recycle is only 34.7 percent.

Many teenagers mostly recycle water bottles or extra papers. While recycling at all is a good step, there is so much more that could be done. Trash that is not recycled or biodegradable sits in landfills for years. Believe it or not, a plastic bag can sit in a landfill for anywhere from 10 to 1000 years.

There are also many alternative options to the standard non-eco-friendly products.

“I use reusable bags, cups, and straws,” said junior Evelin Ogrodniczuk. “I have purchased biodegradable bamboo toothbrushes and recycled notebooks.”

Many companies specialize in making eco-friendly products or products made out of recycled materials. Products range from toothbrushes and backpacks to clothing and shoes. There are also many options for reusable products such as straws and even cotton swabs.

Unfortunately, these eco-friendly products are often significantly more expensive. The immense price difference between standard products and eco-friendly alternatives deters many consumers from moving in the planet-friendly direction.

“ I think eco-friendly products are more expensive to make, therefore they are more expensive,” said junior Bailey Gizzo. “In order to make a product that will positively impact the environment, quality materials, which are more expensive, need to be used for construction.”

Making the switch to more sustainable products can be very hard. In today’s society, most products are not geared toward being environmentally conscious. Many outside factors make being eco-friendly increasingly more difficult.

“If I switched to only using sustainable products, the change may last for a period of time, but I wouldn’t be very surprised if the change faded out,” said junior Jack Francis. “However, I believe that if I worked hard enough, I could definitely switch to only using sustainable products.”

Using strictly eco-friendly products can be inconvenient at times. It can be hard to remember to bring in the reusable bags to the grocery store or to always have a reusable straw on hand in order to not use a plastic one.

Most non-eco-friendly products are marketed toward convenience, which many Americans value over their impact on the environment. The convenience factor makes it hard to convince people to switch over to possibly less convenient, but environmentally beneficial products and goods.

Some of the epicenters for environmental issues are landfills. Trash sits for years, gathering piles of trash on top of it. A great deal of the trash in the landfills could be recycled, but it is not disposed of correctly.

The United States alone has 3,091 active landfills. There are also approximately 10,000 municipal landfills according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The average landfill is 600 acres.

These harmful landfills do not just damage the land, they also take away habitats from animals. These displaced animals can suffer from the harmful effects of the unhealthy environment, or they may even have to adapt to a different ecosystem. By using reusable or biodegradable products less waste is created which would slow the growth of landfills.

The Earth would benefit greatly from more people slightly changing their lifestyles to incorporate more sustainable, eco-friendly products.

“If everyone switched to eco-friendly products, the earth would benefit in many different ways,” said Francis. “It would definitely help marine life by reducing a large amount of waste emptied into the ocean. It would also create a lot more recyclable products because more objects would be recycled. However, waste would still exist. Although it wouldn’t be as large, the number of waste products used would still be very high.”

Reusable goods are very easy to find. Many stores carry reusable water bottles, sandwich and snack bags, and straws. There are many new options on the market with the intent to better the condition of the Earth’s environment.

Though some eco-friendly products are a little higher in price, many people believe they are worth it.

“Eco-friendly products are made with high-quality materials, unlike paper or plastic.” said Ogrodniczuk.”They require more skill and time to produce.”

Even the small act of recycling helps better the environment little by little. Anyone can help make a difference and better the Earth we all rely on so heavily.

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