Sustainable living: Eco-friendly brands

Y es, I gave in to the trend. As much as possible I can afford, I am now buying products that are certified eco-friendly, organic, sustainable, fair trade, you name it. What can I say? I have a soft spot for labels doing green marketing.

It all started with the washable menstruation pads. Or maybe even before that. I think it started when I was pregnant, when I realized the environmental impact of bringing a child into the world. Those babies are really one of the main sources of pollution. Just imagine all the disposable diapers filling up landfills around the world. I wanted to use washable diapers but found out early on that it doesn’t combine well with a full time job.

I guess you could say that as a means to compensate, the environment had become a major consideration whenever I shop, whether that’s a pack of milk, a bag of rice or clothing. I’m becoming one of those annoying shoppers standing in front of a grocery shelf for 20 minutes, magnifying glass in hand, figuring out if my can of sardines is actually caught in a sustainable way, preferably in the Atlantic Ocean rather than in the Pacific. And I don’t buy clothes made from polyesters anymore. I’m sticking to cotton, merino and cashmere. First world/rich people’s problems you might say.

I agree. Not many people can afford the green life. (It’s the new standard of wealth, people, so get into the bandwagon!)

Seriously though, buying organic products can make a dent in your wallet. If I’m a single parent with five children earning minimum wage, I’d probably be feeding the kids microwave dinners and €1 hamburger lunch from Mr. Ronald instead of wholesome food.

So I am not judging if you’re making other choices than I do. But if we’re on the same pay check and you’re also considering buying more green stuff and don’t know where to start, I’ve listed down some tips below, from household items to beauty products. I usually buy them online because, unfortunately, despite the surge of green marketing nowadays, big supermarkets are not carrying these brands yet. At least not all of them.

This list will be updated from time to time.

Seepje natural detergents
Sonnet dish washing tablets
The Good Roll toilet paper

Personal care
Simple Gentle cotton buds
ImseVimse washable menstruation pads
We Love the Planet deodorants
Sanex 0% bath gel

Bambo Nature disposable diapers
Eco Attitude wet wipes

Organic baby clothing

But let me get this straight, being environmentally-conscious is not only about buying eco-friendly products/brands. It’s a lifestyle and attitude change, a different perspective on consumerism. Without those, it’s just a shopping problem.

I think the most difficult part of this green revolution is convincing people to stop being selfish. Because if you think about, the efforts we’re doing now have very little effect on our lifestyle.

Instead it affects the lives of people in third world countries, those serving as landfills for the garbage of first world nations, whose lives are ruined with the rising seas and warming oceans.

And our children, who aren’t guaranteed clean air and clean water in the future. (I’m preaching now so I’ll stop right here.)

You might ask, what else am I doing to sustain my eco-friendly shopping ways? Simple things really.

  • I’ve stopped buying new jewelry (mining).
  • I recycle and use second-hand products.
  • I don’t use broth cubes.
  • I try to eat less meat (gasp!)
  • I choose local products (fruits, vegetables, meat, fish) as much as possible (I won’t give up rice though)
  • I take the public transport or run/bike to work few times a week.
  • I separate my garbage (to the irritation of my husband).
  • I don’t eat chips (they’re bad for you and the environment).
  • I travel less by plane.
  • I stay informed.