Going Green: Natural, Eco-Friendly Items You May Want To Consider Using

One of the biggest environmental new stories to hit the papers recently is how much plastic is in our oceans and how all that plastic has been killing ocean life slowly bus surely over the last few years. For those who aren’t aware, the amount of plastic in the ocean has reached the point where, if placed all together, has the same mass as a moderately sized island.

Naturally, this has caused quote a bit of alarm, even to people who don’t usually react to environmental news. This has driven quite a few people to consider using eco-friendly alternatives to plastic, from metal straws to reusable shopping bags. Here are some alternatives that you may want to consider using:

Canvas Grocery Bags

eco-bags

While people are already going with paper bags or reusable plastic bags for their shopping and groceries, they tend to overlook the fact that these options may not always be the most eco friendly. Reusable bags are often made of plastic, and therefore part of the problem, while paper bags are made at the cost of trees being cut down fro a temporary measure.

Canvas bags, however, combine some of the best elements of the other 2: not only are they biodegradable, they’re also more eco-friendly than paper while also having the sturdiness of their plastic counterparts. The best part is, if you get a plain one, canvas is a much better medium for painting or coloring the bag as compared to paper and plastic.

Metal Straws

straw

While some may argue that metal straws don’t usually count as natural products, we think that they’re right at home on this list. Like we mentioned earlier, plastic is a serious threat to our oceans. Given that almost all straws are made of plastic, metal straws provide a reusable, eco-friendly alternative. They’re also hands down way better than paper straws!

Keep in mind, however, that metal straws have to be washed regularly to prevent buildup inside the straws. This shouldn’t be a problem as most companies that sell these straws come with cleaning kits to make sure that your straw is still useable.

Beauty

skin-care

While there are a lot of chemical and synthetic materials that are still very popular in people’s beauty regimen, there are also a lot of alternatives that people who want to look good can use that are natural products. One of the beauties of beauty products made up primarily of natural products is that these products usually carry the generally beneficial properties that their ingredients have.

Studies have also shown that beauty products made from natural ingredients are less likely to cause skin irritations with repeated use. Just don’t go to overboard, of course! Allowing your face to “rest” without any cosmetics once in a while is always a good idea, no matter what type of beauty product you’re using.

What alternatives made from natural products do you use regularly? Alternatively, are there products that you find essential that can’t be replaced by something that primarily uses natural products?

Natural Growth: How Natural Products Support Local Communities

One thing that most people will agree on or, at the very least admit to, is that natural products have benefits for the human body thanks to their natural properties. What a lot of people take for granted, however, is that natural products can do more than benefit individuals; they can benefits whole communities as well. Here are some of the reasons how:

Supporting Local Businesses

While there are some big companies out there pushing natural products, a lot of the companies that revolve around natural products aren’t actually that big. This means that rather than importing or having large amounts shipped in from the huge commercial farms, these smaller businesses tend to source locally due to better prices and availability.

While it already helps local suppliers, it can also help local farming communities by providing them with and alternative crop to focus on given that they may be struggling to match the prices and volume of produce created by the larger farms. By providing them with a steady “cash crop”, natural product manufacturers support local growth, which leads to the next point:

More Jobs

Local suppliers having to increase their supply to meet demands means expansion: possibly more land for crops, or hands to operate the harvesting and processing machinery. This means that as the industry grows, so does the need for more product and hands to work the farm, creating more jobs.

This increased interest can also lead to other members of the society eventually investing in or aiming to start their own natural product based businesses. Like growing the farms, growing the industry means that manufacturers of natural products will also need to expand their staff to meet the need of a growing company.

Education

If there’s anything an American community has in spades, it’s community pride; if a town is known for something, you can be sure that the residents take pride in what they do. A community that has a strong natural product presence, especially if the manufacturer or supplier farm is one of the larger businesses in the area is sure to embrace this communal focus.

This also means that the residents will be more open and interested in natural products and the benefits they offer. This is a very good thing as it will help overcome the mistrust and skepticism that many people have when faced with the fact that natural products can be just as good, if not better than their chemical or heavily processed counterparts.

These are just a few of the benefits that the natural products industry can provide for small communities beyond the health benefits that are now more economically available to the community the business is found in. Some farm-heavy communities try to combine tourism as a way to boost revenue as well as create a market for their products. Others focus on supplying fresh ingredients for manufacturers from nearby towns or cities.

Whatever the method used, however, it is undeniable that natural products can greatly benefit the communities where they are manufactured beyond that of the individual.