What is the difference between eco, sustainable and green?
Eco friendly, sustainable, ‘green’ and ethical often creates the same, or similar, notion in our minds as to what a product is when it has this branding or marketing around it. While these terms have their official definitions, they are typically lumped together and can create a lot of confusion in the market for people looking for ‘good’ products. As a company proudly offering products to people with this buying goal, we feel it’s important to clear up these marketing buzz terms and give you greater confidence in your purchases.
What does eco-friendly and environmentally friendly mean?
At Tri Nature we position ourselves as including both (and green). What this means officially, according to the Oxford dictionary, is ‘not harmful to the environment’. This does sum it up, but when it comes to products the definition is a little more rounded and nuanced than that. Mostly, this is because there are several factors in nurturing the environment, from ingredient sourcing to packaging and even how a product is shipped. For us, our removal of harsh, aggressive chemicals and fillers from our product formulations, as well as sourcing and developing these ingredients in ethical local in-house ways, right in Newcastle, puts us comfortably in the ‘environmentally friendly’ category.
Our focus is our formulas; making the consistent use of everyday products lighter on pollutants into the atmosphere and harsh chemical exposure to families.
However, brands can promote themselves as environmentally friendly by taking creative licence with its official meaning by simply changing one thing about its process, its formula and its packaging. Of course, any small change is a positive change nonetheless, and this should be strongly encouraged for all brands. But the umbrella term of ‘environmentally friendly’ is extremely broad, and as a buyer you may be purchasing on good faith that the environmental impact is significantly lower when in fact it’s only marginal or, at worst, the ‘environmentally friendly’ aspect does not balance out the environmental pressure other aspects pose. For example, a brand might have an environmentally friendly range, but still use environmentally damaging processes and ingredients in their major offering.
What does sustainable mean?
As it pertains to products, sustainability typically refers to the way in which a formulation or packaging is created and then, sometimes but not always, the reusability of the packaging. In theory, and on a small scale (like reusing glass jars in your home, growing your own produce or buying properly formulated concentrates), this can be an extremely beneficial practice for both the environment and your pocket. The aim of sustainable products is in the name: a product that sustains over time in lieu of being quickly disposable to greatly minimise landfill waste.
The plight for ecological balance means there are fewer instances of environmental efforts being redundant, as was mentioned in the earlier example. However, particularly in the reusable space, there can be some issues with true sustainability. Eco-friendly cleaning products, for example, require specific environments, package lining and hygiene/cleaning processes to retain their integrity, otherwise they may not work to their promise, or not work at all. These processes are extremely difficult to deliver on and there are currently no official checks on brands who use a reusable model to clearly identify who is doing this right, and who is not.
Our products include 1L and 5L concentrates to lessen packaging waste, and are grey water and septic safe, meaning you can reuse the water run off in the garden.
What is a ‘green’ product
This is one of the more broad terms that doesn’t offer any great insight into what brands mean by it, and with that anyone can state that they are green. A colour synonymous with earthy, natural and healthy products, it can be quite a deceiving and confusing term for buyers if further information is not easily provided. Typically though, green products have an environmental component; recycled packaging, waste reduction processes, and general formulation efforts to reduce toxic and harsh ingredients. The trick is doing some research in nutting out what a brand’s version of ‘green’ is before making assumptions on what that might be. If they don’t have information readily available, you can contact them directly. At Tri-Nature, being green is about leaving as little a footprint as possible without wasting customers money, and so creating unnecessary waste. With an ethically sourced product, using natural ingredients and making products that won’t be thrown out immediately, we are framing our ‘green’ in this way.
Tri Nature is dedicated to transparency with our ingredients, our processes and the information we share with our valued customers. If you have any questions regarding our environmentally friendly plight, we are always here to answer them.