Eco-Friendly vs Sustainable Packaging: What’s the Difference?

You generate a lot of waste when you’re meal prepping for your family, so you want to cut down on your single-use plastics. You’ve heard about different ways to reduce your carbon footprint, but you’re not used to the jargon around going green. When you’re considering your first eco-friendly packaging purchase, here are some terms that you should know.

Green vs. Eco-friendly vs. Sustainable

When something is green, it connects to helping the environment. Green policies are laws, regulations, and executive orders that require people to take care of the environment. When people say that they are going green, they mean that they want to make their lifestyle less detrimental to the environment.

A more precise term is eco-friendly, which describes an action or product that does not damage the environment. Reusable custom mylar bags are eco-friendly because they do not produce waste the way that single-use plastic bags do. Walking to a store near you instead of driving your car is also eco-friendly because you are not consuming fossil fuels.

The most specific of these three labels is sustainable, and all activities and products that are sustainable are also green and eco-friendly. If something is sustainable, it can be produced and consumed in a way that does not impair the quality of life of the generations who come after you. Sustainable products are made from renewable resources, transported with fuels that do not contribute to global warming, and created through fair labor practices.

When you’re choosing between different products, packaging for frozen food that’s green or eco-friendly is better than regular packaging. If you have a choice, though, always choose sustainable products to lower your carbon footprint.

Clean vs. Nontoxic vs. Organic

Clean, nontoxic, and organic are also buzzwords in environmentally aware circles. Clean products are made from ingredients that do not hurt your health. These ingredients can be natural, such as vinegar and lemon juice, or artificially synthesized, such as soap.

Products with the label nontoxic are a step up from clean ones; they’re guaranteed to not hurt you or the planet. Generally used for cleaners, hygiene products, and makeup, nontoxic products are safe to use even if you’re camping because they won’t kill the wildlife.

Of these three, organic is the only term whose use is regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture. If a product is organic, its production does not require harmful, artificially synthesized chemicals. For example, fruits and vegetables are organic if they are grown without artificial fertilizers and with sustainable farming practices. Usually, this term is for makeup and food, but cleaners can also be organic.

Purchasing products that are labeled clean and nontoxic are great ways to promote your family’s health, particularly if you have little kids or pets. However, if you want to be sure that something is manufactured in a way that’s eco-friendly, look for the organic label on its packaging.

Educate yourself on the different buzzwords for environmentally-friendly products so that you can make the right choices for yourself and your family.

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