One thing to do, to make our lives eco-friendly is to consume only eco-friendly products. However, in most occasion, we cannot avoid using non-eco-friendly products like what we are going to tell you about.
Being eco-friendly means we contribute to saving this earth from destruction. Indeed, this is not a complementary thing and rather is an obligation. But most people today still consider it as a choice rather than a must.
Our everyday lives are indeed surrounded by non-eco-friendly products. Many of us already know how to avoid using them, but most people in this planet still don’t realize that they are using non-eco-friendly products. The reason is because only a few information say that the products are not eco-friendly.
Even if you are fully aware of your daily consumption of non-eco-friendly products, you might not be able to avoid using these products yet. Here are some products that most people don’t realize not eco-friendly.
Most parents are familiar with this product, or maybe they cannot avoid this product. Mostly, baby diaper is used since the earlier years of babies up until they are able to do their business by themselves around 3 years later.
Data found that most babies consume about 2,500 and 3,000 disposable diapers every year. Or in total, it can reach around 7,500 to 9,000 disposable diapers during the first 3 years. And that’s just for one baby while we have around 350,000 new babies each day.
The problem is, conventional single-use diapers are not biodegradable since it is made of plastic-based ingredients. According to SmartLabel, most popular ingredients of disposable diapers are polypropylene/polyethylene, polyacrylate polymer, fluff pulp, polyester, thermoplastic polymers, petrolatum, stearyl alcohol, aloe leaf extract, and perfume.
From the ingredient, you can see how many varieties of petroleum-derived ingredients are used. Let alone the diapers cannot be recycled and reused, making them end up in either landfill or the ocean after just one use.
But how to take care of our babies without using disposable diapers at all? In case you forget, we have traditional but eco-friendly alternative to disposable diapers. Using cloth diapers that can be washed and reused indefinitely is the best option for this planet.
Menstrual Pad (And Tampon)
For you women, your menstrual period might also be the most non-eco-friendly period. The reason is because of your consumption of menstrual pads and/or tampons during this period. Fact is, they might be made of non-biodegradable ingredients.
Even though those two things can be non-biodegradable, they tend to slip off our radar. Just because there is no regulation requiring the manufacturers of those things to include list of ingredients for their products.
Most of your disposable menstrual products contain almost similar ingredients just like disposable diaper for babies. And every year, we consume a lot of it. In Britain alone, around 1,5 to 2 billion menstrual items are flushed down toilets. Each of them requires 5 to 8 centuries to break down completely
However, menstruation is natural cycle of woman’s body. We cannot prevent it to happen every month for every single woman. That’s why, our best option to reduce the non-eco-friendly waste is to find alternatives to it.
Menstrual cup is a good option, considering it can be reused for years and functions as good as the two conventional products. Most menstrual cups are made of silicone which is safer to human health and the environment, compared to plastic.
Wet Wipes Are Non-Eco-Friendly
Wet wipe is the next non-eco-friendly product we are going to talk about. But before talking about the product itself, let’s talk about fatberg. Fatberg is a mass of discarded rubbish which can contain human waste that we secrete and other rubbish.
Most of the rubbish included in fatberg is wet wipes, and it comes from our bad habits of flushing wet wipes used to clean ourselves. In 2017, London sewage system was clogged with fatberg the size of football field. That’s how serious the problem with this product.
Many people don’t know that wet wipes are not made of biodegradable materials. Just because it looks like cotton, doesn’t mean that it is biodegradable. In fact, wet wipes are made of polyester and polypropylene instead of biodegradable cotton.
Tackling this problem is quite easy, by the way, because most of the time we don’t really need to specifically use wet wipes. Using wet cloths or simply toilet paper is much better than using single-use wet wipes.
And if our lives really dependent on wet wipes, there are many products of wet wipes made of bamboo available in the market already. This is important to reconsider our wet wipes consumption because it requires more than 100 years to decompose naturally, let alone in a condition like sewer.
The last non-eco-friendly product we are going to talk about is a little bit controversial. Condom is both the best and the worst way to accompany us during our intimate time with our partner. The best because of its function to prevent bad things, and the worst because of its disposability.
Most condoms are made of latex that will biodegrade in relatively shorter time than plastic. It can also prevent two avoided things in one time, which are sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy (if we are not planning to make a baby).
But on the other hand, most condoms are contained in small plastic sachets each. In addition to that, the lubricants can contain horrible petroleum-based chemicals. Even though the latex condom itself is relatively safe to the environment but the things it comes with can be destructive.
However, there are so many complex things we should talk about before deciding to never use condoms anymore. One of which is the safety it offers, that actually excels among other contraception methods.
According to an expert, condom is “the single most important environmental innovation”. Using condoms can prevent future and further destruction “As simple birth control continues its spread across the globe, it leaves behind happier healthier societies with significantly less impact on the planet,” as said in the article.
Thus, we don’t think we need to find alternatives to condoms. Just make sure to use the eco-friendliest one that is not contained in plastic sachet and contains no petroleum-based lubricant like the products mentioned by PETA.