What does it mean for a company to go green? The words organic, natural and eco friendly are everywhere and the market of reusable items is booming. Find out why you should make your business more environmentally friendly and what earth friendly products are trending today in this article.
The popularity of eco friendly products is good news not only for the people concerned about ecology but also for retailers. It is profitable to sell reusable and disposable items since most of the people today care about what they buy, use and eat, but on top of that, it also gives a nice feeling of contribution to the global environment protection.
What is Go Green?
Go Green is a famous slogan and a common name of environmental movements around the globe. It unites people who care about nature, want to produce less waste and reduce our ecological footprint on the planet. The main idea of Go Green is to use eco friendly products, following a sustainable way of living, and, of course, the Zero Waste concept.
Eco friendly has become a buzzword in advertisements, social media and on TV. Customers love the products with green leaves printed on, minimalistic designs and soft colors that make them think that no chemicals were used in production. However, the first and foremost is to produce genuinely environmentally friendly products, not just make the product look like it is organic.
Eco friendly business is the one where the decisions are made with the awareness of the consequences to nature. Use of this word makes most people believe that the product is not harmful to the environment and can be recycled. Make sure that you are telling the truth when putting this word on the packaging of your product – do not disappoint your customers and meet their expectations.
Sustainability is one of the most challenging lifestyle concepts to follow. Making your business greener is good, but making it sustainable is a much greater goal which is harder to accomplish. The product can be called sustainable only when it is made from renewable environmentally friendly resources, but besides that, the manufacturing process should also result in some environmental benefits, require minimum energy and cause no pollution.
Zero waste concept focuses on prolonging the life cycle of the purchased item. It’s a significant part of 5R formula: Refuse, Reduce, Recycle, Reuse, and finally, Recompost. Zero Waste activists strive to reduce the number of landfills and incinerators and communicate the idea of multifunctional usage of the products. They do not believe that recycling is an all-pervasive solution. Zero Waste is also about learning to say no to impulse and unplanned purchases and refusing single-use items, plastic packaging, and if possible, packaging at all.
So, how to get to the point of all of this?
Like everything else, the answer is online. In social media or eco blogs of environmental movements or different organizations like famous Greenpeace, you can find the pollution statistics and check out the examples of green companies to get inspiration.
At the same time, we recommend you to be careful with the sources you get information from. Since the number of eco organizations is increasing, there are also a lot of fake ones – the companies that only pretend to be environmentally concerned. Misleading the customers by claiming the company ‘bio’, ‘vegan’, ‘eco’ or so is known as greenwashing.
The market now is stuffed with so-to-say “green” companies portraying their products not to harm and even contribute to the clean nature, emphasizing their efforts in green initiatives. How do they pretend to be green?
- Some companies produce vegan cosmetics but use toxic ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulfate, propylene glycol, and cocamide DEA.
- Back in 2018, new straw-less lids were introduced as a part of a plastic straw ban campaign. But this lid actually contains more plastic than an old straw and lid together.
- Some coffee pods manufacturers claim to produce 100% compostable coffee pods. But in reality their pods are decomposable only at industrial facilities, but not in the compost in your backyard.
We hope that you will not become one of them. This is a dark-side marketing strategy that retailers should avoid all around. Many greenwashers actually spend such an incredible amount of their precious time and money on making their product look greener, that they could invest in making it genuinely environmentally friendly.
If you still think that fake eco products can be cheaper and greenwashing marketing strategy can boost your profits, you should know that today people can easily check the credibility of the “green” company online. Such websites as Greenwashing Index and Sins of Greenwashing provide this information for free. The lawsuits from the concerned customers who notice the lying label can cause much greater pain to your wallet than going green for real.
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Why Should Brands Go Green?
Going green can turn from a huge problem into an excellent business solution. Promoting eco friendly products is, first of all, a great contribution to reducing the carbon footprint and helping people to uphold our role as high-minded and thoughtful stewards of the planet. But it can also make a profitable business – with the right marketing approach.
Many of your customers believe that going green implies immediately throwing away half of the closet, switching to a restrictive lifestyle and never ever again enjoying those simple things that they love. You can prove them wrong and inspire to try something new and help turn their life on the better, more sustainable path. The industry of eco-products is the one where brands become more than just companies people buy from – they share their values and make customers listen.
Eco-friendly movement is winning more and more economies all over the world. Thus, the demand for eco friendly products is rapidly booming, and greenwashing brands lose customers and money. According to the Environmental Performance Index, Europe is the leader in protecting the environment. The EPI includes almost all countries and measures the actions they take to go green. Such actions also influence the market trends and consumer behavior. At the top are European countries such as Switzerland, France, Denmark, Malta. While the US takes 27th position in the ranking, which is not that bad.
Speaking about the US, the eco friendly trend is already gaining popularity. Statistically, over 48% of US consumers are ready to start buying only eco friendly products to save the environment. Today, sales of products with eco friendly labels make up 22% of the total store sales. The popularity of sustainable goods has grown 3% points since 2014. On top of that, it is expected that eco friendly products will make up 25% of store sales by 2021 .
Go green has already become a classy trend. Customers recognise green brands and appreciate them. The demand for eco-friendly products is high as never before, especially among Millennials and Generation Z . They are the ones who will experience the consequences of trashing the planet most, and since Millennials and Generation Z representatives are the main social media and internet users, their awareness about eco problems is much higher than with other generations.
Considering Baby Boomers and older generations, we see a large gap in attitude towards sustainable purchases. Statistics show that Millennials are twice likely – 78% of respondents – to change their shopping habits. While only 33% of Baby Boomers would like to buy an eco friendly products to contribute to environment protection . Millennials are also willing to pay more for sustainable goods – 90% of customers, while only 60% of Baby Boomers agree to spend more. But, telling the truth, 60% is a rather high score, and we are making progress in protecting the environment of the US and other countries.
How do top brands Go Green?
Top brands have already shown examples of how you can combine environment protection initiatives with making a profit for your brand. Let’s consider sneakers manufacturers. The average American has up to 30 pairs of sneakers, and throws aways over 5 yearly . But each pair of shoes emits up to 13.6 kg of carbon dioxide. While the production of materials for running shoes contains toxic materials such as leather, nylon, synthetic rubber, plastic and viscose.
Adidas is one of these companies that discovered a solution. The company has produced 7,000 limited edition sneakers made completely out of plastic recovered from the ocean. The sneakers sold out instantly, and Adidas is set to make a billion dollars from another production of five million pairs. Besides these famous plastic shoes, they also make clothes and sneakers out of recycled polyester which is trending among eco fans.
Another brilliant idea is in supporting coffee shops to protect the environment. The US is the world’s leading consumer of coffee, with Americans drinking over 400 million cups of coffee each day. But coffee shops are the top businesses trashing the planet. You might be surprised but the coffee business is a culprit of deforestation, harmful emissions and non-biodegradable waste.
To make coffee shops more sustainable, they do the following:
- Replace disposable stirring rods with spoons.
- Switch from styrofoam containers and cups to biodegradable packaging.
- Opt for organic ingredients and products.
- Offer vegan products with a much lower carbon footprint as an alternative. Such products include soy, coconut and almond milk.
- Support local producers by sourcing ingredients from their farms.
- Provide customers discounts if they bring their own reusable cups.
- Donate used coffee grounds to local farmers who can use them as a natural plant fertilizer.
Many coffee shops in the US already follow all these recommendations. But it was recently calculated that it will take decades to make the entire industry sustainable and cost more than $4 billion and take decades to make the entire sector sustainable.
However, it doesn’t mean the focus should be on transforming your store into a green farm. We only offer you to get more aware of the options for any business and leverage the popularity of green tendencies that drive growth, yet help the environment. Save the planet and get rich, what’s not to like?
Top 20 Eco Friendly Products to Sell Online
A wide range of various products can attract customer groups of different genders and generations. Telling your clients about the importance of the modern ecological trend allows you to help them make a better choice. Besides, they will remember your brand as the one that has changed their life. Let’s consider the best eco-friendly products which are now in high demand among the people concerned about the environment.
Clothes Made from Recycled Fabrics: 1$ to $380
The clothes made of natural materials are much safer to your skin and can be recycled. However, an even better approach is to give your old jeans a new life. Amid a wave of second-hand stores gaining popularity, a series of garments are currently made from the clothes you bought last year. There are places to bring your old clothes: Goodwill or Salvation Army or so. Moreover, various stores give discounts if you bring an old textile. For example, bringing your old clothes to H&M, you get a 15% discount, while Levi’s provides a 20% coupon for a single item. You can even donate non-clothing textiles like sheets and towels.
Reusable Bamboo Items: $10
Bamboo is a great plant as you can make a lot of durable and handy sustainable products from it. Bamboo items look simple, and as we mentioned in our previous article about packaging – simplicity is attractive. Using bamboo, you can create and sell various items such as utensils, toothbrushes, combs, cutlery and plates. For example, bamboo utensils and other kitchen items never melt if left on a heating panel, don’t release toxins and need no specific chemicals to wash. Just remember that they can burn. Besides, think about it – how many toothbrushes you use during your life. And all of them are made from plastic. Nature won’t thank you for this, but it doesn’t mean you can’t have your teeth clean and white with the help of more sustainable solutions. Bamboo toothbrushes are gaining their popularity in the US, since they are originally antibacterial, biodegradable, and need no energy for material processing, therefore causing no harm to any extent. Also, bamboo items remain in good condition much longer than you would think. Need any other reason?
Environmentally Friendly Water Bottles: up to $20
Usually, one person drinks around one and a half liter of water a day. Imagine how much time you need to go to the store and purchase bottled water? Especially if you go to the gym and drink a lot of water while training. As a result, Americans throw away 35 billion plastic bottles annually. And all these bottles release BPA – toxin that can cause damage. As an alternative, we recommend stainless steel bottles which are 100% BPA-free or other silicone and glass water bottles. Such a sustainable product is not worse than plastic ones – you can choose the shape and color, put a sticker or a glitter. Another advantage is that some bottles can hold drinks either cold or hot up to 24 hours. You can also provide you customers with eco friendly lids, straws and lanyards to let them use 100% environmentally friendly bottles.
Reusable Grocery Bags: up to $40
How many plastic bags are already stuck in one of the drawers in your kitchen? Now, guess how many of them will remain on the planet long after your grand-grand children grow up. Eco bags are usually made of woven cotton fibres. They are incredibly stress-resistant and durable, and since they are not transparent, no one will find out you’ve bought one extra Nutella can. And even if the customers do grocery shopping online, they still may want to use a nice looking reusable grocery bag for carrying their regular stuff. Consider informing your customers that they get a discount if they use a reusable bag when picking up a purchased item.
Rechargeable Batteries: $24 for pack of 16
The main benefit of rechargeables is that they can be used over and over, so fewer ordinary batteries should be manufactured. In fact, rechargeable batteries consume up to 24 times less non-renewable natural resources than disposable ones. Why? Recharging is more efficient than buying and making new ones. In the long run, your customers will save money, energy and time. And if using a disposable one, download an app iRecycle to find recycling points for those often-forgotten batteries and electronics items in your bin.
Low Flow Showerheads: $17 to $100
Ten liters are the average amount of water people spend in the shower every minute, and about 50 liters just flow away. And the thing is not only in the water itself but in hot water. The more water is used, the more energy it takes to heat it up. The hot water additionally uses more heating, so you can save some money on electricity bills at a time. The water-saving showerhead works by squeezing the water in small holes, restricting the water flow up to by half, yet keeps the flow regulated and unwavering. Such low flow showerheads can decrease water consumption by 40% or even more, depending on the head.
Reusable Coffee Filters: up to $20
There is no need to explain that coffee remains popular. What a hectic life would it be without this cherished warm drink? In the eco-friendly stylish bamboo cup, of course. But whether you love it with almond or soya milk, the coffee beans have to be brewed somehow. The costs and taste of the coffee depend on the filter. Aside from common recyclable paper filters, the options include metal filters, nylon and even golden ones. A sustainable organic cotton filter seems to balance both. This one absorbs a bit of oil but lets the acid flow, and will serve you for years saving you a lot of money.
Eco options can be used for machines as well. Reusable filters fit almost any coffeemaker and are definitely worth buying since a single filter can give much more than a one-off plastic. It is a bit more expensive but can make a coffee for a small coffee shop. And being easier in use you will be enjoying your morning coffee quicker than ever before.
Erasable Notebooks: up to $37
Do you also think that old-fashioned pens and paper notes are more personal and easier to use than laptops? You probably do not want to snap on the laptop during the whole meeting and would prefer writing down regular notes. Erasable or reusable notebooks are a perfect solution if you care about the environment. Say no to paper waste and your life will never be the same. Such books can be used endlessly by wiping clean with a damp cloth. For example, Rocketbook allows you to connect the notebook with a cloud and save data there, if necessary. Scribble down whatever you come up with, make a draft, then another one, then a scheme, and once you are ready, erase everything.
Natural Cleaning Products: $12 on average
We clean our houses with various different chemicals. Maybe they make the rooms smell nicer but are you sure that they are healthy? Many people are already concerned about this problem, especially those who have kids who try to taste everything they come across. So retailers come up with a solution – natural cleaning products. They are claimed to be made out of safer materials. Eco friendly companies release multi-surface products made with plants and mineral based ingredients and essential oils. The top environmentally friendly companies include Mrs. Meyer’s and Citra Solv. However, the slogan written on the pack is one thing, but the ingredients should be formulated clearly and transparent.
Safety Razors: $6 to $60
You might think that durable razors are a thing from the last age. Then, you will be surprised that they are catching on today. More and more people become aware of the fact that some brands are trying to make our regular replaceable razors quite durable but not enough to last too long – to make you buy another one soon. Safety razors are known to be sharper, they reduce irritations, and shave bumps, while you have only one blade to your skin at a time.
Eco-Friendly Phone Cases: $2 to $40
Did you know that plastic phone cases might need 100+ years to decompose. While the majority of users buy a new one phone case once a month and throw aways the oldest. Imagine how harmful they are for the environment. It’s better to choose 100% composable brands of phone cases. Such cases can be made from silicone, wood or modern bioplastics. As a result, your old phone case will need from 6 months to a year to decompose. For example, Grovemade makes iPhone cases from discarded skateboards.
Protect your most usable device with a cute and gentle earth-made case, and you will ditch the plastic habit for sure. Being gentle to the environment, such cases are still durable. The creativity and uniqueness of designs will surely capture your friends’ attention.
LED Light Bulbs: $20 for 24 pack
LED bulbs live longer than regular ones and are more effective. 95% of the energy in LEDs is converted, and only 5% is wasted as heat. Less energy use reduces the demand from power plants and decreases greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, the average efficiency of an LED bulb is 78 lumens per watt, while ordinary are from 13 to 18 lumens per watt. They might cost more, but they help you save money and not throw away a bulb every month – it protects the environment. They are available in many shapes and can fit the craziest design of a light fixture.
Artisanal Soap: $5
These pretty little things have become an important part of bath decor and a nice present or souvenir to give. Pure beauty from pure nature. Who wouldn’t like to have this aroma piece of inspiration? The artisan soap is made of safe and natural ingredients. Moreover, the soap is created using the slow cold process method. So, without heating, natural ingredients do not lose the quality and vitamins. Besides the advantages of artisanal soaps, customers realize the downside of chemicals in regular supermarket soaps that they use many times a day. As a result, many customers started to look for a healthier and more sustainable alternative.
Reusable Diapers: $30 for 6 pack
According to global stats, you will need about 8,000 diapers for your child that equals to about $2500. Since the regular diapers are not recyclable, it is great damage to nature. Reusable diapers will definitely save you tons of money as well as they won’t hurt the environment that hard. They are soft and safe for a child’s skin, and you can just wash it overnight – forget about that stinky bunch in your trash.
E-readers: up to $200
Book is one of those things that makes you richer after you pay for it. There is no doubt about it but how about applying the acquired knowledge to make our consumption level lower. We won’t be able to print all of the ideas of future generations if it takes as many trees as our planet has today. And here the technology tilts the odds in favor of green solutions. E-books are not only the best friend of a global forest but also so convenient. Download the longest books with just a few clicks and easily carry it with you. No need to struggle with a heavy encyclopedia in a backpack, no need to look for the latest book of your favorite author. Buy it online, download and have at hand anytime.
Beeswax Food Wrap: $19 for set of 3 Sizes
Beeswax wrap allows us to preserve food for up to a year. The wrap consists of a coated fabric, usually cotton, and can be wrapped around the food containers or foodstuff itself. It is reusable, composable and allows food to stay fresh for a long time with no electricity involved. After each use, beeswax wrap can be washed and air-dried.
Some companies like Bee’s Wrap have already discovered the ramping up popularity of this kitchen wrap and made their special item to sell. They come in different shapes, sizes and designs to meet the needs of anyone.
Eco Devices and E-accessories: up to $1,000
Did you know that only 12% of e-waste is recycled? Computers contain plastics, lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, and brominated flame retardants. The US citizens generate over 40 million tons of e-waste annually and half of them are computers and their parts. But modern companies develop new solutions. For example, ASUS produces laptops with bamboo covers instead of plastic. Besides that, all their laptops rank well in terms of energy efficiency. While Dell Studio Hybrid develops compact desktops that come in 80 percent smaller than usual ones and use 70 percent less power.
Biodegradable Garden Pots: $19 for pack of 50
If you want to save your garden from plastic and rubber pollution, you can try biodegradable pots. They are usually made from recycled materials such as newspaper, fibre, coir, peat or terracotta. If you need to use pretty pots for your flowers, terracotta pots are the perfect solution. While pear and newspaper pots are used to grow plants from seed to big plant in your garden, The benefit is that such pots break down naturally in a year and can be planted in the ground. Since roots of plants can push through the pot.
Wooden Jewelry and Sunglasses: up to $60
Jewelry often serves as an expression of a person’s mood and style. But any piece of jewelry, even the one you consider favorite today, is likely to find its way to the trash bin sooner or later. The jewelry industry does its best and finds inspiration in a forest breadth. The items have become more durable and truly special.
The wooden jewelry is presented in a wide range of items that also can be exposed to wood burning, and other techniques that aren’t possible to accomplish with other materials. Some items can be made with the help of DIY guides, so the jewelry piece you create will be one-of-a-kind. And to look stylish in the summertime there is a great deal of light handmade sunglasses to choose any design you can imagine.
Solar Chargers: $50
Solar chargers employ solar energy to supply electric devices or batteries. They are generally portable and don’t need ordinary electricity to work. Using solar chargers, you save money and protect the planet. Moreover, they are perfect backup generators for home or when you have a long trip.
The market of environmentally friendly products has been booming over the last 5 years, and now it is time for ecommerce to take a lead. With an opportunity to ship internationally, online shopping can bring more money and breakthrough innovative approaches in selling eco products worldwide. It is important to produce and promote eco friendly products as well as keep the manufacturing process sustainable. Small shifts in packaging and energy efficiency will not require much additional expenses or personnel, but it brings joy to the customer and your business.
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Going green allows you to become more self-sufficient and less reliant on electric energy and toxic materials. Today’s market provides a great variety of opportunities for switching to solar energy or cleaner materials and environmentally concerned customers will gladly support you along the way.
The number of people who prefer to shop from the retailers following eco friendly and sustainable trends is increasing. In most cases, they are willing to pay more for eco friendly products even if the options are more limited. Inspire the customers to change their consumer habits for the better and make the right choice.