How does one determine that a certainschool or organization is eco-friendly? According to Holzer (2017), environmental friendliness or commonly referred to as”eco-friendliness”, literally means “earth-friendly or not harmful”. This refers toproducts that contribute to practices that help conserve resources like waterand energy. Eco-friendly products alsoprevent contributions to air, water and land pollution.
One can engage ineco-friendly habits or practices by being more conscious of how they useresources. For example, shutting off the lights when they are not in use orsimply cycling instead of using a station wagon when going somewhere not thatfar or just by simply following the three (3) R’s, REDUCE, REUSE, and RECYCLE aregood practices of becoming an eco-friendly person. Further, “eco” is short for ecology, the sciencethat deals with the study of relationships between living things, and withtheir environment. “Friendly” impliesbeneficial or mutual, or at least not harmful. It should follow that the termeco-friendly, when added to services or products, indicates positive, or atleast not harmful, effects on living things. Unfortunately, there is no rule on the use of the term, which restrictsits credibility. However, it can becredible when the word is accompanied by evidence of environmental performancethat it has any empirical meaning, and can be used as a legitimate guide forconsumers, especially when weighing up the environmental preferred of productsor services.
Measuring the environmentalfriendliness of a product or an organization is a complicated yet importantprocess. Measuring environmentalperformance requires tests by an officially sanctioned or qualified body,against factual benchmarks defined and published by an independent party. When these are passed or attained, theorganization may issue an ecolabel. Eventhen, the label can have varying degrees of robustness. Thus, if one is skeptic about using a productbecause of the thought of it not being eco-friendly, look for its ecolabel. Someorganizations claim to be environmentally friendly whilst that not being thecase at all. Companies sometimes labeltheir products “eco-friendly” or “environmentally friendly”without them truly being so. This iscalled “greenwashing”.
Marketing campaigns perpetuate this practice,aimed at helping companies increase their product sales by appealing toecologically conscious buyers as said by Holzer (2017). Self-proclamations should not be trustedimmediately as it is skeptical without any proof to support that claim in thefirst place. To avoid purchasing “greenwashed”products, look for products approved by the U.S. Environmental ProtectionAgency, Energy Star program or an ecologically conscious consumer-advocacygroup such as the Green Good Housekeeping Seal says Holzer (2017).
There are some qualifications in order to be able to call a product”eco-friendly”. Making a truly eco-friendly product keeps both environmental and humansafety in mind. At the least, theproduct should not be poisonous.
Anothereco-friendly characteristic includes usage of organic or renewable resourceswhich will not affect the environment. Theseresources or materials are procured without any chemical interventions. Products made from recycled materials containglass, wood, metal or plastic reclaimed from waste products and made intosomething new. Biodegradable productsbreak down through natural decomposition, which is less taxing on landfills andthe ecosystem as a whole. With this, onecan now differentiate an eco-friendly product from the rest. If it does not fitin the aforementioned characteristics then it is not friendly to theenvironment.
Eco-friendliness also affects smallerorganizations like schools. Just likebusiness organizations, eco-friendliness affects schools in a positive way. Most conversations regarding the performanceof students, revolve around the design of the curriculum. The discussion revolves around which topicsto discuss during this quarter or that quarter and how do school adjust to thecurriculum. However, the design of thecurriculum is not only what we should be thinking of. Instead, we should also be thinking of theenvironment of the school itself whether it is conducive for learning or not.
According to an article by United StatesEnvironmental Protection Agency (2017), studies showthat one-half of United States of America’s 115,000 schools have problemslinked to indoor air quality (IAQ). Fedrizzi(2015) said that green technologies are the key to conducive and efficientenvironment for students. In 2010, theLake Mills Middle School in Wisconsin became the first LEED Platinum publicschool in America, in which they use green technologies in which they use highlyefficient geothermal system for heating and cooling, and energy-sippinglighting. As a result, the middle schoolsaves $85,000 a year on energy. Sanders(2010), said that the school’s students, staff, and district administrators inthe middle school have reduced respiratory illnesses; and the students’attendance improved greatly for there are fewer absences after the adaptationof green technologies.
Implementing environmentalfriendliness has many feats. Smith(2016) says that one might have a better shot at living a quality life withhealth if one chose to go eco-friendly. The researchers believe that developmentcomes from construction, ideas, innovation and strategies; but how aboutturning all goals and aligning it with the environment.
It will not only benefit the consumer but theenvironment as well. In order to promotethe factor of sustainability and to conserve nature, it is important for theconsumers to deviate from their conventional ways of greed and exploitation andlook for a better and brighter future. If individuals take the initiative of Going Green for a change,there will be better drive for development in the areas which are related togreen energies. Recycling is also awonderful activity through which we cannot waste the used material and use itover and over again, which in terms means using resources efficiently andsmartly. To put it into simple and arealistic scenario; millions of tons of materials is gone to waste every day,industries omit toxic chemicals in the oceans everyday making it harder for themarine life to live a quality life, smokes are omitted from cars and factoriesand thousands of trees our cut. Peopleare exploiting mother nature without bearing in mind that what will possiblyhappen in the future. However, if wetake on a different path, the things lost can be found once again.
The mainaspect of going eco-friendly is about sustainability. Since the world is corrupted with pollutionand toxic amount of materials, making it sustainable can be a good call. Business Queensland’s article “The Benefitsof an Environmental Friendly Business” (2017) supports this by stating thatreducing the environmental impact of your business will improve the sustainabilityof your business.
Regarding the market,less dependence on natural resources and the flexibility when situations ariseand threaten one’s business, these values can help prevent any unfortunateoutcomes. Thus, the sooner aperson makes their surroundings an environment friendly one, the better theirsand others’s lives will be.