Guidelines for Determining Environmentally-Friendly Products by #Green
At #Green, when determining the eco-friendliness of each product, extensive research is done on the product’s ingredients/nature, manufacturer, future use, and its disposal. Please read below our guidelines for each product we recommend:
At #Green, we look the full use of toothbrush and the materials used to create this item in order to determine its environmental friendliness. Most toothbrushes are made of nylon bristles, which normally contain BPA (Bisphenol A). This chemical can pose serious health problems including endocrine disruptor, brain damage, reproductive disorders, and risk of heart disease (AHMC Anaheim Regional Medical Center, 2019). In addition to these health hazards, nylon and plastic toothbrushes normally end up in landfills without being recycled properly, both on the user and producer.
Bamboo toothbrushes advertised on #Green are biodegradable and recyclable, unlike its plastic or metallic competitors. The bristles on these bamboo toothbrushes are BPA-free, yet some cannot be disposed in any recycling bin. Thus, proper disposal for some of the advertised toothbrushes would be to remove the nylon bristles and allow the bamboo handle to degrade properly. Other brushes are made of components that 100% biodegradable so recycling of the entire product is fairly simple. Bamboo proves to be an efficient material for household products because it is an abundant species in the environment that grows at a quick rate. Another significant aspect of the eco-friendliness of these products come from their longevity of use. Many of the packets of these toothbrushes contain a years supply, so transportation and delivery of the brushes for a single year can reduce carbon emissions from these deliveries. Also, bamboo is a durable wood that will not splinter easily and will last a few months as a toothbrush. We also indicate whether or not packaging is eco-friendly.
Most hair brushes are composed of plastic and silicone with synthetic, normally nylon, bristles. With 79% of plastic produced ending up in landfills across the United States, it is important to change the amount of plastic used in products we use everyday (2). The hair brushes advertised and reviewed on #Green account for non-plastic alternatives that can be used. Our hairbrushes are packaged and produced with non-plastic or recycled plastic and aluminum components.
These hairbrushes have had a safe production process where materials used for the product are from biodegradable or recycled materials. It is important to note that using bamboo in products allows for sustainability due to its high growth rate in the wild which can be replicated and discarded easily. Further, the bristles on typical hair brushes are made of non-recyclable plastic components that would be difficult to decompose in normal landfills (1). That is why the bristles on the hairbrushes #Green advertises are made of bamboo or boar bristles or are made from recyclable synthetic bristles. When disposed, these components break down quicker than plastic or silicone in the environment and allow for reuse in other products.
1. “Hairbrush Bristles: Natural vs. Synthetic.” Counter Culture: C.O. Bigelow. 2017.
2. Parker, Laura. “Planet or Plastic?: Here’s How Much Plastic Trash is Littering the Earth.” National Geographic. December 2018.
III. Hair Wash Soap
Chemicals in many hygienic soaps have toxic and harmful effects on the environment in the process of production, how ingredients are extracted, and disposal of ingredients. The hand soaps on #Green are carefully researched in the quality of their ingredients and any environmental-friendly recognition they have achieved. These indicate the effectiveness of the companies that sell these products and their consciousness towards the environment. Also, the packaging of these products indicates their eco-friendliness as many soaps are packaged in plastic containers that have great risk towards the environment. This is why some researchers have found that bar soaps have less environmental damages than liquid soaps. Liquid soaps account for 20 times more energy use for the production process and 5 times more for energy for raw material extraction than bar soaps (1).
Further, the ingredients in these soaps allow for an examination of their environmental consciousness regarding disposal and extraction. The soaps on #Green contain ingredients such as those that are plant-based and non-harmful. These ingredients substitute palm oil, due to its negative impact where greenhouse gases are released, with substitutes such as olive oil and kernel oil. Also, many of the chemicals that cause fragrances in hand soaps are eliminated from those advertised on #Green. This is due to the toxicity of the extraction of the components from the environment that make these fragrances, and the risk of these chemicals of ending up in aquatic ecosystems which would cause harm to species habitating there.
1. Tyler, David. “Bar Soap vs Liquid Soap.” Conservation: The Search for Environmental Intelligence. University of Washington. May 2013. https://www.conservationmagazine.org/2013/05/bar-soap-vs-liquid-soap/
When regarding utensils, #Green considers the materials and production process to determine if the products we advertise are environmentally sustainable. Utensils that can be bought in bulk, made of biodegradable and/or reusable materials, and are packaged in a sustainable fashion abide by our guidelines. Thus, when regarding utensils, #Green considers the materials and production process to determine if the products we advertise are environmentally sustainable. Utensils that can be bought in bulk, made of biodegradable and/or reusable materials, and are packaged in a sustainable fashion abide by our guidelines. Thus, utensils made of bamboo, wood, and other biodegradable materials leads to less waste in landfills and ecosystems in the environment. The silicone, for instance, used in certain products is reusable and it's the materials used to make it is FDA approved, thus environmentally conscious. In addition, the purpose of buying these products in bulk allows for less emission of toxins and greenhouse gases in the environment when products are produced, packaged, and shipped.
A significant concern for shampoo and conditioner use that #Green wants to combat is plastic reduction in our ecosystems and landfills. Thus, our shampoo products are contained in biodegradable materials like bar form or in recyclable containers. These containers contribute significantly to the eco-status of a product because of energy used on plastic products and the waste of plastic bottles in the U.S. With plastic accounting for 10% of global waste generation, the substitutability of plastic is necessary, especially for everyday products like shampoo (1).
Further, the ingredients in shampoo advertised on #Green are non-toxic, sustainable, and good for the environment. For example, some ingredients in these products are made from natural resources found in honey, plants, oils, and spices. The extraction process of these ingredients from the environment is safer than other components used in some shampoo products. Also, the substitute of palm oil are great in these shampoos, including coconut oil, argan oil, and hemp oil. The substitutes of these oils lessens the harmful effects of palm oil extraction on the environment.
(1) Leblanc, Rick. “An Overview of Plastic Recycling.” Small Business: Dotdash Publishing. December 2018.
VI. Beauty Brushes
The composition and packaging of beauty brushes determine the environmental consciousness that #Green values. Firstly, many beauty products are packaged in unsustainable materials including plastic and non-recyclable silicone. The beauty brushes on #Green are contained in reusable pouches/bags made of synthetic fibers. Also, the components of these brushes are equally important to their eco-friendliness. The handles of these brushes are either made of sustainable materials including bamboo, which is a highly abundant, fast-growing plant, or recycled aluminum. The bristles are mainly composed of synthetic materials that have been produced with non-toxins. These beauty brushes on #Green can be recycled and the handles, made of bamboo, are biodegradable in the environment.