Our products are made with 100% organic materials...
Our products are made sustainably...
Our products are certified eco-friendly...
We’ve all heard it before, you know. These phrases the big corporations and companies throw around like a football, just playing catch on who can get to the new “clean” name the fastest. In fact, over the last few years we’ve been hearing it more and more, but do they even have a meaning anymore?
Truthfully, I’m not really sure that they do. With companies like Netflix, Crave and YouTube releasing more documentaries about our environment and the sustainability of our planet, it becomes clear that all these corporations aren’t living up to the Marketing and PR campaigns that they’re putting out.
So if they don’t have a true meaning anymore, then what are they supposed to mean?
Well for starters, the true definition of the word organic is, producing food and clothing without the use of chemicals, pesticides and other artificial agents. Now I know it might be difficult to figure out what products really are certified organic and that companies will try and greenwash you into believing that their products are over 95% organic which is the USDA threshold for organic products, but with the help of Arbor you can make sure that a company is following your sustainability practices that align with your version of a healthy lifestyle and environment. Purchasing from companies that do not align with your values is harmful to our environment as the chemical waste from producing the foods slowly seeps into the ground and atmosphere causing harm to the wildlife and natural balances that we need on this earth.
Which leads me into my next point...
Sustainability. This one's doozy, because after all, every company and individual has a different meaning of the term. Although there's only one good meaning. So what is it exactly? Sustainability means meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In addition to natural resources, we also need social and economic resources. Sustainability is not just environmental-ism. Embedded in most definitions of sustainability we also find concerns for social equity and economic development (McGill University). So to give you a better understanding, that means each time we take away, say a cow, there needs to be another cow to take its place without the population numbers decreasing. Sustainability isn’t just leaving “enough” for the future, it must mean that we grow the population of all species as our world population grows.
Now I know it can be hard to find a balance when it comes to sustainable clothing and food, but it does exist. We just have to find a way to take the power away from the corporations who control the decision to eliminate hundreds of animals for the gain of one. And with that being said, we can help you figure out exactly how sustainable your favorite brands are right here in the drop down of our browser extension.
Lastly, this one has been up for debate for quite some time, but in reality it's pretty straight forward. With many products claiming to be eco-friendly, what does it mean? Eco is an abbreviation for ecology, the system of relationships between living things1, and with their environment. Friendly implies beneficial, or at least not harmful. It should follow that the term eco-friendly, when added to services or products, indicates positive, or at least not harmful, effects on living things (Global Ecolabelling Network). This one seems straightforward right? Just check out the label to make sure it's okay to recycle, or let decompose or wash down the drain. Well if you say yes, you're right. It is one of the more simple ones to discover the impact you're making as an individual.
But, if you as a consumer are doing the right thing, then why is the climate still severely threatened?
Well that's because it's also up to you, as the consumer to know which brands you're buying from. The products they’re selling on the shelves may have low emissions and environmental impacts but what about the way they are produced, the way they are manufactured and packaged? It’s our responsibility to make sure that we’re not purchasing from companies that don't align with our values and that's exactly why we came out with Arbor. We’re here to make sure your money and your values are aligned with the stores you purchase from. So you can in fact, be a part of changing the way we view the environment.
Be sure to check out our browser extension and click download (we'll even plant a tree in your honour if you do) to see the ways your favorite companies are impacting the world!