Eco-Friendly today is here to be your guide on everything to do with eco-friendly products. To start with we will be digging into what common materials eco-friendly products are commonly made from. These sustainable materials are selected for products for a variety of reasons depending on the product and what attributes it needs. These are also the “tested” materials of human civilization as many have been used going back thousands of years
There are a few tried and true sustainable materials out there let’s go over a few:
Hemp has long been used to make fabrics and it’s pretty clear why. When growing hemp is great for farmers and the environment. It only needs half the water compared to other crops and the range of soil conditions it can handle is vast. Add in a high level of durability and the minimal need for pesticides and you have an idea eco-friendly plant.
Hemp is primarily used in making textiles and fabrics. It has the trifecta of being biodegradable, versatile and long-lasting. Hemp can also be fashioned into rope, shoes, food, paper, bioplastics, insulation, and biofuel.
Bamboo is one of the oldest and most widely used sustainable materials to make eco-friendly products. Bamboo grows extremely quickly, depending on the type it is anywhere from 3 to 5 years to mature and be ready to harvest. While growing it does not need the aid of any chemicals, pesticides or fertilizers. On top of that, it doesn’t need irrigation and is fantastic for preventing soil erosion. The roots of the bamboo plant regenerate so bamboo farmers do not have to replant after a harvest. It is also a huge carbon sink, it drinks up CO2 and makes more oxygen than a similar sized tree. It is no wonder that all sorts of products are made out of bamboo from houses to golf tee’s.
The growing and harvesting of bamboo is certainly eco-friendly but what about the disposal? As long as no extra chemicals are added to it, bamboo will break down once exposed to the right mixture of moisture, heat, oxygen and microorganisms. Under perfect conditions, it’ll break down cleanly in two months!
Flax is most commonly known as what linen is made out of. Flax is a highly sustainable fibre, it uses considerably less water and resources than cotton. It also helps to fight global warming as one hectare of flax can suck up 3.7 tonnes of CO2. Linen made from pure flax is also 100% biodegradable.
Humans have been using flax since the start of recorded history and but some estimate it’s been with us along for the ride for about 30 000 years! We would like to see a higher rate of adoption of flax products, right now only a small percentage of textiles worldwide are made from flax.
Cork isn’t only for bottles it has a lot of great uses! Cork is a sustainable material in every sense of the word. Cork is made from tree bark. The beautiful thing is that the trees aren’t cut down. The bark is removed and will grow right back! Takes about a decade for the bark to regenerate and be ready for another harvest. Cork makes a great floor! Cork floors are popular because cork provides a soft feel and has a dampening effect. Cork is also used in the fashion industry to make wallets, belts, bags and footwear.