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3 Ways to Support Eco-Conscious Brands

Do you know what materials your toothbrush and makeup brushes are made from? Even your yoga mat could be constructed with materials that are not so great for you or for the environment. How about taking eco-conscious shopping to a new level by not only looking at what the products we buy are made of, but also how they are manufactured and packaged?

Becoming familiar with eco-conscious materials and packaging, and ways to support brands with high standards for the materials and processes they use, are great ways for the eco-curious to achieve a healthier lifestyle.

3 Ways to Support Eco-Conscious Brands

1. Better Materials: Bet you haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about cork, right? While it’s definitely good for keeping your favorite wine fresh, cork is used in numerous other ways, too. The beauty of cork is that it is a sustainable, natural substance that can be turned into a variety of beautiful products.

Cork is a natural material with antibacterial and non-allergenic properties, and it’s so soft it practically feels like skin. It also has a pleasant earthy smell, like the trees it comes from. Harvesting cork from the skin of the tree is not only sustainable, but brings health to the tree. Brands who know how to process cork minimally and non-toxically are able to produce items that are not harmful to the atmosphere, soil and water. While most yoga mats are made of synthetic materials, cork mats are one example of this versatile, eco-friendly material in action.

2. Safer Packaging: From packaging and daily use items, to toys and workout equipment, plastics and their chemical components are everywhere. These end up in our landfills where they can remain, not de-composing, for up to 1,000 years.

Widespread usage of plastics and the process of their production create a toxic environment, using approximately 8% of the world’s oil production. Sadly, about 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans, every single year. There are 5 huge floating plastic islands, called gyres, that amount to around 7.25 million tons. Obviously, this plastic waste does the water no good, but it also ends up in the bellies of sea life, tangling up their internal organs and certainly killing them. Unfortunately, these numbers are projected to increase tenfold by 2020.

Brands committed to healthier practices are all too familiar with plastic overuse and will source other materials that are better for us and easier on the earth. Glass bottles and metal tubes are safer ways to store personal care products. Cardboard, cornstarch “peanuts”, and paper shreds are better choices for packaging. Check to see if the products you plan to buy are packaged in sustainable, eco-friendly, biodegradable and recyclable ways before you buy.

3. Natural Alternatives: A quick look around your home will probably turn up several items that are one-use plastic, disposable, or made with toxic materials. Food wraps and coverings are sustainable (and more attractive!) alternatives to plastic wrap and bags. Also, look for makeup sponges made of plant-based materials and toothbrushes and makeup brushes with wood or bamboo handles.

It may seem overwhelming to give up plastic at first. But a few changes to your regular habits and they will soon become routine. Plus, the advantages to humans, plants, wildlife, our oceans and soil greatly outweigh the convenience of using toxic materials.

Learn more about cork and how it’s sustainably harvested, here.

Check out our eco-friendly yoga mats, here, here, here and here.