The trend toward eco-friendliness is firmly entrenched in popular culture. Thanks to it, truly useful products have appeared that help reduce the burden on the environment. But at the same time, the “eco-boom” provoked a number of myths in environmental marketing. And many products have become associated with the “green” movement, although in reality they do not do any good for nature. Here’s what we mistakenly think of as environmentally friendly, and what we can do about it.
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The first thing is as unexpected as the results of a game at a live dealer casino online because it’s a popular shopper. They are multifunctional, made of natural materials and seem like such an obvious substitute for bags. The mass introduction of cloth bags into consumer culture has created new problems – the cotton for shopping bags is often grown using pesticides, whilive dealer casino onlinech affects the environment and human health. About 2,000 liters of water are wasted in the production of one shopping bag, and chemicals are also used to dye the fabric.
Fabric bags sewn from cotton have a large ecological footprint, since it takes a huge amount of water to grow it, for example. Moreover, such things decompose when they reach the landfill, releasing methane, the greenhouse gas responsible for climate change. Subject to separate collection and presorting, they can be recycled into another textile product. But it’s important to note that the PVC-printed areas are not recyclable – they have to be cut out.
Of course, fabric bags are used longer – if they stay in your closet for more than one season, the negative effect on nature is leveled. But be prepared to wear the shopper for a long time – according to the New York Times, it takes 54 years to justify the production of one bag. So buying a “one time” shopper will not be an environmentally friendly choice.
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Paper and Biodegradable Bags
Paper and biodegradable bags continued the “eco-friendly carry on” theme. Over the past few years, stores have been actively switching to alternatives to plastic, as paper is mistakenly considered more “green” due to its relatively quick decomposition time. However, it’s worth considering that paper production uses 20 times more water than plastic production, and it takes 91% more energy to recycle a kilogram of paper than it does to recycle plastic.
Paper alternatives are not as environmentally friendly as is commonly believed. Paper bags emit 70% more harmful emissions than plastic bags, and the carbon footprint increases threefold. Furthermore, paper options themselves are flimsy and can’t withstand the weight – they wear out quickly and can only be used a few times.
Environmentalists also advise against using bio- and oxo-degradable bags. Marketers claim that these bags are designed to decompose faster in nature, but in fact, complete decomposition does not occur. On sorting lines, employees cannot tell if the bag in front of them is a regular or biodegradable bag. As a result, two kinds of plastic are mixed in the recycling process, and a batch of recyclables may be spoiled.
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By the way, the regular plastic bag, which is traditionally considered the most unsustainable, has the smallest carbon footprint compared to other disposable alternatives. At the same time, it’s strong and durable, and can be used many times and recycled. Nowadays, they have learned to make many useful things out of used plastic bags, from raincoats to park benches.
The most environmentally friendly alternative for carrying groceries is still the bag or bag you already have. What’s more, you can create and renew your shoppers by upcycling, thereby increasing the life cycle of the thing.
T-shirts and Other Cotton Products
It is not only cotton shoppers that are harmful to the environment, but also any closet item. Clothes made of natural fabrics are more pleasant to the body, hypoallergenic and, as many used to think, environmentally friendly. But in fact, this is not true – many scientists agree that it was the cotton plantations that led to the drying up of the Aral Sea, for example.
Cotton shirts, unfortunately, are recycled a limited number of times. And depends on the life cycle of the product on the length of the fibers – with each time the fibers are cut and become shorter. But as an alternative, you can use organic cotton. The amount of water, of course, it doesn’t save, but the pesticides harmful to the environment will be limited to a minimum.
Disposable paper cups are ubiquitous in coffee shops and cafes. Most people think that such utensils are made entirely of paper, which means they are more environmentally friendly. But in fact, manufacturers use a polymer coating that prevents the paper from becoming soggy under the influence of temperature and humidity. Both materials adhere firmly, which makes recycling a lot more difficult.
Paper cups can be replaced with reusable mugs. Some coffee shops even create their own merch with “thermoses” or give discounts if you bring your own container. Also, in certain establishments, entrepreneurs are replacing disposable utensils with glass or ceramic ones.
“Paper” cups are only paper on the outside. They are made of a composite material that is difficult to recycle. The most environmentally friendly option is reusable mugs and thermoses.