Over the past few years, the popularity of sustainable practices and products has been on an upward trajectory.
Many modern manufacturers aim to produce sustainably by using organic materials or recycled materials in order to remain competitive in the green market while supporting the efforts to protect the environment.
Consumers also buy these products to enjoy better quality as well as saving money in the long run.
Although everyone has a role in creating a sustainable ecosystem, the consumers play the most critical role as we can decide what sells and doesn’t in the market.
Our purchasing choices have a significant influence on everyone’s path to becoming the inhabitants our planet deserves.
So, we ought to start buying products with low environmental impact and support manufacturers that take sustainability seriously.
While we aim to purchase sustainably, it is essential to beware of greenwashing.
Most manufacturers often analyse the market and have realised the increased demand for eco-friendly products.
To capitalise on the high demand, some unscrupulous companies are more than ready to paint a false impression that their products are environmentally friendly while they’re not.
So, it is essential to confirm if what you are buying is genuinely sustainable and to check out a brand's green claims before you put it in your cart or place an order.
Here are the top 3 things to look out for before buying a sustainable product...
Consider the Materials and Ingredients
The first step towards confirming the sustainability of a product is checking the specific materials or ingredients used to manufacture it.
Is the raw material genuinely renewable? Does the extraction/production of the materials cause air, water or land pollution?
For instance, organic materials such as organic cotton requires fewer potentially harmful chemicals than conventional cotton, meaning organic cotton towels are a more sustainable option than their traditional counterparts.
Bamboo towels are also a great alternative since bamboo is a rapidly growing renewable raw material and requires fewer resources to produce.
Always look for products crafted from renewable resources as these have a minimal impact on the environment.
Consider the packaging
Besides the ingredients, it is essential to be conscious of packaging before buying a ‘sustainable’ product.
Even though some products have sustainable raw materials, their packaging might not be eco-friendly. Avoid buying such products whenever possible, especially those with plastic packaging.
Packaging made of biodegradable materials, such as cardboard and wood cotton, is easy to recycle and is safe for the environment.
Many companies have adopted such packaging to minimise their carbon footprint and reduce waste.
So, in addition to choosing goods manufactured sustainably, ensure the wrapping meets the same standards. Choose products with less plastic packaging, or even better, no plastic whatsoever!
As well as this, keep an eye out for products with compostable packaging.
Consider the product's end of life
Even though sustainable products often have a longer lifespan, there comes a time when you need to replace them.
So, before you shop for a sustainable product, it is essential to ask yourself these few questions: How long will the product last? Can it be reused or recycled? How will I dispose of the product?
Of course, the easiest way to minimise waste is not to produce it in the first place. So, ensure you are purchasing a long-lasting product - like Misona's stone bath mat.
Also, choose items that fit the purpose; that helps minimise the need to buy multiple products with similar uses.
For instance, an instant dry bath mat is better than a regular rug, especially if you have a larger family, since it’s so durable, reliable and - you guessed it - this bath mat dries quickly, you won’t have to replace it or get a new one for a very long time.
With the rise of unscrupulous companies, it is relatively easy to fall for fake sustainable-branded products.
That’s why it is essential to do a little research before ordering or picking any ‘sustainable’ product from the shelves.
Find products and suppliers that can prove their eco friendly credentials and don't just take them at face value.
Perhaps ask for any labels or certifications they may have to prove their ethical practices, as any brand that has these credentials will always be transparent with their customers.
If you don’t have time to research, it is wise to opt for brands, such as Misona, with a proven track record of offering products that are actually sustainable as advertised.