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Know Your Environmentally-Friendly Products: Eco-Friendly Terms

January 25, 2010 10:45 by Jenn

Eco-friendly trends continue to bloom throughout the world. From one person to another, the seeds of sustainability are being planted each day. Likewise, each month our supply of environmentally-friendly products grows. It's clear that people are eager to incorporate eco-friendly items into their lives and into upcoming promotions.

However, many of the materials used in environmentally-friendly products, and even more of the terms used to explain them are not yet common knowledge. When you choose a biodegradable item we want you to know that it's got the ability to safely and quickly break down into the raw materials that nature embraces. Similarly, we want you to know the difference between organic giveaways and recycled giveaways.

To help every customer to understand the perks to any given environmentally-friendly product, we present this list of eco-friendly terms originally from Halo/Lee Wayne Green Promotions, 2010.

Bamboo – Bamboo is 100% naturally grown and sustainable, it is also naturally antibacterial & Bamboo fiber is 100% biodegradable. As the fastest growing plant in the world, bamboo grows to its maximum height in about 3 months and reaches maturity in 3-4 years. Bamboo is known to improve soil quality in degraded and eroded areas of land.

Biodegradable – The ability to break down, safely and relatively quickly, by biological means into the raw materials of nature and disappear back into the environment.

Bonded Leather – A recycled synthetic material containing elements of recycled leathers, leather scrap & tannery leather fibers, which otherwise would go to a landfill.

Compostable – A product made of materials that will break down over time in a landfill.

Corn Plastic – Derived from corn & 100% biodegradable

Cotton-Organic – Organic cotton is grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers, growth regulators, chemical pesticides, irrigation or genetic engineering.

Green – The movement that incorporates environmental awareness, social responsibility, bioregionalism, and nonviolence.

Organic – Products created through a system of farming that maintains and replenishes soil fertility without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers.

Organic Leather
– Made from skins that are tanned using only vegetable extracts and chemicals approved by TUV. All possible by-products are also re-used. Non allergenic.

PET – Polyethylene terephthalate is the most popular thermo-plastic packaging material used for drinks and food. It is lightweight, transparent, and has a good moisture barrier.

Polypropylene & Non-Woven Polypropylene – Made from carbon and hydrogen, and manufactured without any dangerous emissions. Can be recycled, incinerated, or land filled without any harm to the environment. When burned, polypropylene will give off only water vapor and carbon dioxide, which is converted by photosynthesis. Sometimes known as “pp”.

Post-Consumer Material/Waste – Term used to describe material that is being reused/recycled after it has been in the consumer’s hand (i.e. soda bottles, yogurt containers).

Post-Industrial Material
– Term used to described scrap or excess material that a manufacturer reuses or recycles throughout the manufacturing process.

Recyclable – Materials that can be reused. Includes glass, paper, aluminum, asphalt, iron, textiles, plastics and biodegradable waste.

Recycled – Term used to describe material that has been separated from the waste stream, reprocessed into a new product and then brought back to the consumer as a new item.

Recycled Cardboard
– The material is made from cardboard that has been discarded or once used by a consumer.

Recycled Content – The amount of pre- and post-consumer recovered material introduced in a material production process, usually expressed as a percentage.

Recycled Leather – Material is untreated and is made with leather scraps – recycled to save waste. (As opposed to scraps going into a landfill, they are recovered and reprocessed to make leather material.)

SAFE Plastic – Truly biodegradable in landfills & composting, environmentally safe, no toxic effects, can be recycled.

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