Organic, Eco Friendly and Green Exactly What Do They Mean?

These days there are so many terms for natural, organic, holistic and so on and so on.  But exactly what do these terms really mean?  How organic is organic??  Often companies use these terms very loosely to get you to buy their products, however are they being truthful?

We all want to keep the planet green to live as harmoniously as we can with nature.  So in that light, here are some terms to help guide you through this bombardment of green terms in our life today.

Within this definition are 4 degrees of organic.

  1. 100% Organic made with 100% organic materials and procedures
  2. Organic 95% needs to be of organic materials
  3. Made with Organic Ingredients means that the product is made with a minimum of 70% organic ingredients. The remaining 30% has to be made with strict restrictions with no GMOs (genetically modified organisms)
  4. Less than 70% Organic If the product is made with less than 70% organic materials, they can list which ingredients are organic on the side label of a package, but can’t make any organic claims on the front.

Holistic  pertains to the whole  physical, mental, social, and spiritual aspects of a person’s life as an integrated whole.  When you visit a holistic vet, they will be treating your pet as a whole being and how the parts effect the whole.  They step back and look at all the reasons why you’re pet might be sick and not just zero in on one particular symptom.

Eco Friendly and Green Actually these terms don’t have strict guidelines set as of yet but are bandied about on every label you see.  When I think of eco friendly or green, I think of products that are made without chemicals, maybe some or all is made with recycled materials, or with renewable sources such as bamboo and cork.  Eco friendly is made with as little of a damaging impact on the earth, nature and people as possible.  The Oeko-Tek 100 Standard Certification has guidelines that I wrote about in a prior post.

Sustainability – Sustainability means that what we do on a continued basis has a minimal impact on the environment.  When we say that Bamboo is sustainable, it’s because bamboo grows so fast that the impact on the forest is minimal.

Durable Products Using products that last a long time are better for the environment because you don’t have to produce as much and it’s good for your pocketbook!

Locally Grown Buying products that are locally grown means that products don’t have to be shipped (trucked) as far reducing fuel consumption and emissions in the atmosphere.

Biodegradable means that a material will decompose by composting or in a landfill.  Microorganisms are either in the items using raw materials, or they are made with an additive that chemically breaks down the material at the molecular level.  Think bio doggie bags!

Recycling I’m sure we all know that recycling is processing old or abandoned materials to make new ones.

Lola R. Steele

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