The idea of creating a sustainable environment has long before been in the process of development. The urge and need for such an environment elevated due to increase in pollution, depletion of natural resources and emissions of CO2 into the environment. As the population and the use of resources increased, it was necessary to improve the ailing environment. Since then, many organisations have come up with different ideologies to achieve the same goal – maintain the earth along with the existing resources for the future descendants of the planet.
The concept of sustainability is now been applied and expanded to various tiers such as sustainable resources, sustainable business market, sustainable supply chain, sustainable products, sustainable public health and much more. Sustainability can be seen in terms of:
· Environmental Sustainability has been in the forefront from the day the notion of sustainability was introduced. It starts from the very small act of using public transports instead of personal vehicles, saving water and promoting rainwater harvesting, recycling and using composts for wastes, adopting drip irrigations for farming and adequately using the energy resources.
· Economic Sustainability is related to how well we utilise and allocate the resources available to us so that it is economically fair to all sections of the society. It is also responsible for dealing with the value of the resources we have now and how much valuable they can be in the future. For example, the products designed and manufactured should be durable and made with renewable or eco-friendly materials and the process involved must use energy efficiently.
· Social Sustainability deals with the effect of how well the individuals in a society are benefitted from the business developments in a positive or adverse manner and how each member contributes to the sustainable development of the society.
One of the most evolving and successful tier is that of sustainable products. Sustainable products are those products which are beneficial to the environmental, social and economic needs and one which remains harmless to the eco-system all throughout its life-cycle. Nowadays, the market is abundantly filled with eco-friendly products starting from the most basic example of reusable bags replacing plastic bags to the introduction of bio-fuels.
Sustainable products are made out of raw materials which are recycled or does not harm the environment and the wastes which are emitted from these processes follow the three R’s – reuse, recycle and remanufacture. The financial costs of creating sustainable products are less as compared to that of a normal product as the energy resources used are renewable. Still, there are a lot of companies which find sustainable business difficult to handle and complex.
Since the impact of our decisions and actions can affect the coming generations, companies have started to think and perform in a greener manner. Some of the global companies have made a pact with sustainability. All these companies work on an eco-friendly method to contribute in a small way.
In general, consumers look forward to buy sustainable products which are made from recycled materials. But the major factor which holds them back is the belief that such products are very expensive. This can lead to a negative impact on the customers who wants to make an effort to go green as well as on the society which aims for a greener environment. People generally associate eco-friendly products with very high costs. But for the long run, it is worth the money we pay for rather than grieving about it when natural resources deplete and we have nothing left to survive.
Impact of Sustainable Products:
· Food Products:
Instead of purchasing vegetables and fruits from super markets, we can opt to buy them from local markets which are fresh and has less amount of chemicals. Another option would be to plant the vegetables and fruits by ourselves which can lead to a healthy diet for us while at the same time can contribute to the environment as no pesticides or insecticides are used for it.
The use of solar panels in houses can give a sizeable amount of energy to run a house. In addition to solar panels, the use of electrical appliances which use less amount of energy and which are certified with environmental friendly ratings can be used in homes as these can reduce the cost of electricity used as compared to those appliances which drain much of the electricity in a house. Bio-fuels can also be used in environment friendly cars. LED bulbs can also replace halogen bulbs as they consume less amount of energy and are durable for a very long period of time.
· Conservation of water:
The use of water conservative faucets and low –flow shower heads can reduce the use of water unnecessarily. These days, automatic sensor faucets are available at moderate costs. Such appliances control the flow of water and avoids drips and leaks. We can also collect and store rainwater in rain water tanks which can be used for cleaning and washing purposes.
· Household Goods:
A wide range of sustainable household goods are available in the market such as reusable plates and cups, decomposable garden pots and waste bags, recycled aluminium foil and water bottles, natural cleaning agents, etc. Another simple method is to create our own cleaning agents instead of purchasing chemicals from markets. In this way, it is beneficial to us both in terms of cost and health.
The use of cosmetics which are made from natural extracts is another way in which we can have a suitable skincare rather than using products which contain chemicals which can be harmful to our body.
· Paper Products:
Recycled paper products such as notepads, tissues, paper plates etc. are also widely used which can be recycled again over a couple of times.
Hence, the use of sustainable products in our day to day lives create a small contribution to the environment. With general awareness and increase in use of such products, we can do our part in maintaining the future of the Earth.