What Does Eco-Conscious Mean and How Do I Become Environmentally Friendly?

Learning how to become an eco-friendly family is much easier than you think! Here’s how to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

Are you wondering how to become a more eco-conscious family? If you are ready to live a more environmentally conscious lifestyle, you have come to the right place!

In this post, we’ll talk about what it means to be eco-conscious, why it matters, and how your family can easily transition to a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

Let’s jump in!

What does environmentally conscious mean?

image of family having a picnic

Merriam-Webster defines eco-conscious as, “showing concern for the environment”. But I daresay it is more than that.

I think being environmentally conscious is a state of being; a way of living in harmony with the Earth.

If you are eco-conscious, you are fully aware of your role as a human being on this big old beautiful planet. You understand your impact on it, and everything in it.

If you are environmentally conscious, you have a healthy respect for the world we all live in, much like you would your own house!

Simply put, it is taking good care of this planet so that we can leave it in tip-top shape for future generations to enjoy. 😊

Being environmentally conscious is about how we live our lives. When you become more aware of your impact on the world around you, you start to see the implications of your actions.

It changes the way you see things, which in turn, changes how you do things.

What do you call someone who is eco-conscious?

Someone who is eco-conscious can also be called:

  • Ecologically minded
  • Environmentally sensitive
  • Ecologically aware
  • An Environmentalist

What is the difference between eco-friendly and eco-conscious?

image of children holding plants in their hands

Are you eco-friendly? Or eco-conscious? What’s the difference?!?

I like to think of eco-conscious as the way we look at our world, and eco-friendly as how we react within it.

Let me explain.

Eco-conscious

Being eco-conscious means a person is aware of their environmental impact. They take personal responsibility for their actions and make informed decisions about what they consume.

They are environmentally and socially responsible.

Eco-friendly

Eco-friendly describes a person or company that is very focused on using materials or processes that do not harm the environment.

They strive to find ways to:

  • reduce waste
  • conserve resources
  • avoid toxic chemicals
  • use alternative energy sources

To be eco-friendly is to suggest that an organization or a product is designed with the environment in mind.  If something is labeled “eco-friendly”, it means it causes little to no harm to the planet.

It often refers to just a single product or service.

Similar terms you may want to know…

Since we’re talking about transitioning to a more environmentally conscious lifestyle, here’s a couple more terms you may want to familiarize yourself with:

  • Biodegradable: something that can decompose naturally.
  • Carbon footprint: the amount of carbon emitted as a result of your activities.
  • Conservation: refers to the preservation and protection of natural resources.
  • Ecosystem: describes a variety of organisms living within their environment.
  • Greenwashing: companies that claim their product is eco-friendly when it’s not.
  • Sustainable: sustainability means to create conditions where people can productively coexist in the environment.
  • Zero waste: a popular new movement where families try to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in the landfill.

Of course, there’s tons more, but this is a good starting point.

Why is it important to be environmentally conscious?

image of two hands and greenery in the shape of a heart

Besides saving our planet, there are so many reasons to become environmentally conscious!

1. It is economically beneficial.

As you slowly transition to an eco-friendly lifestyle, you spend less!

This is because you reduce, reuse, and recycle!

Your new eco-friendly habits will keep you from wasting family resources, such as food, energy, water, and yes, even your dollar.

You’ll naturally fix things, rather than throw them out and buy new. And you’ll buy products made from recycled materials, which will help society as a whole be more economical.

2. It’s healthy.

When you become economically conscious, you go clean (and green!) in every area of your life. 

This means being aware of the ingredients in every product you buy, and how it affects your family’s health, along with the environment.

Your new lifestyle might even have you eating healthier, living in a healthier place, and getting more exercise!

3. You’ll broaden your social network.

As you transition to this new lifestyle, you’ll get to know new people and be a part of new groups, all working towards one common cause. Environmentally conscious people often belong to “communities” of like-minded people.

4. It could provide a creative outlet.

Environmentally conscious people are always looking for new and unique ways to reuse things.

This might naturally lead to a creative or artistic ability that you have long since forgotten about! Or didn’t even know you had!

I know someone who makes beautiful garden and flowerbed ornaments out of everyday objects, such as plates, saucers, and bowls.

Old ladders become bookcases, shelving, or blanket storage. Vintage staircases become chairs. Books become shelves.

How do I become eco-conscious?

image of a light bulb with ways to become environmentally friendly

You care about our natural resources, and this kind of lifestyle sounds like exactly what you are looking for.

So, how do you get started?

It’s easier than you think!!

1. Educate yourself

The first step is exactly what you are doing – learning more!

Nice job!! You are already taking steps to live a more environmentally conscious lifestyle! 😁

Learn as much as you possibly can. Read books, listen to podcasts, watch videos, and follow blogs – like this one!

And then become more aware of your own habits. Pay attention to what you do on a daily basis.

What do you buy? Where do you shop? What do you do with garbage?

Just pay attention; be more aware. It’s a great first step!

2. Then start small.

You don’t have to be perfect! And you definitely don’t have to change overnight! 

Just start with small changes. 

The next time you go to buy water bottles, purchase a refillable bottle instead.

The next time you scrape food out, toss it into a bucket and start a compost pile.

When you go shopping for school clothes, browse the second-hand stores first, before heading to your usual favorites.

Little changes every day add up to a big lifestyle change!

3. Pay attention to labels. 

While you’re out shopping, start reading labels. Make more informed choices.

Buy biodegradable bags for your dog’s waste instead of plastic bags, or a cleaner with no bleach, chlorine, or ammonia.

Look for products that use clean, all-natural, nontoxic ingredients and are eco-friendly, meaning they do not harm the environment in the process!

You can replace hygiene, beauty, cleaning, and household products with more eco-friendly options.

4. And finally, adopt the 6 R’s.

Yep, you read that right. It used to be three, but now it’s six!

♸ Rethink

Ask yourself before you buy: “Do I really need that?”

Half the time, we buy stuff (or upgrade stuff!) just because we want to, or because it’s a habit! But when it comes right down to it, we really don’t need it.

Do you really need a new car? Or will the one you have work just fine? What about that new iPhone?

Do you need those new shoes? Or do you want them because they are the latest trend?

I’m not asking you to go without the things you love. I’m just asking you to stop and think for a minute, before buying.

It’s part of being more eco-consciously aware of your habits.

♸ Refuse

Okay, this one is a bit trickier. It’s a play on words, really. All it really means is that you should avoid using or accepting something if you don’t really need it. 

How do you do that?

Refuse a straw the next time one is offered in your drink, refuse plastic bags by bringing your own reusable bags when you go grocery shopping and refuse to buy prepackaged produce.

Small changes!

♸ Reduce

Along those same veins, another thing you can do is reduce your consumption. You’ll automatically do this by rethinking and refusing.

But you can also do things like unplug appliances that aren’t being used, turn off lights when you leave a room, and turn down the thermostat.

All of these little changes will reduce your energy consumption.

♸ Reuse

Instead of throwing things out, find a new use for them!

For example, an old toothbrush can be used to clean with, glass jars can be used to store food, and gift bags can be used again next Christmas! 

♸ Repair

Instead of throwing it away, fix it!

If your phone battery dies, don’t buy a new one – get a new battery instead.

Repair appliances, clothing, toys, furniture… anything that you can. It’ll extend the life of the product, save you some money, and empower you!

If you don’t know how to repair it, just YouTube it!

♸ Recycle

The last R is recycle.

We’re all familiar with this one.

Recycle your glass, plastics, fabrics, papers, etc. But don’t forget things like electronics, steel, aluminum, and tin.  

Why is it important to buy eco-conscious products?

Eco-friendly products are better for you and the planet. They are healthier for our homes, families, pets, and even our environment!

  • They promote the use of safer chemicals, which reduces our exposure to toxic chemicals, both within our homes and the environment.
  • They encourage the use of renewable resources and renewable energy, which will help preserve our planet for our children.
  • They impact the amount of pollution we put out.

I know eco-friendly products cost more!! They have to because the companies that create them have to go to great lengths to ensure that the product is safe and not harming the environment.

This impacts every part of the manufacturing process, from where they source their ingredients to how the product is made and tested.

But they actually save you money in the long run.

Most eco-friendly products encourage long-term use and energy efficiency. This, in turn, saves you money.

And cleaning, hygiene, and beauty products are safer and healthier options, which could potentially reduce your medical bills, now and in the future.

You aren’t exposed to as many toxic chemicals if you use clean, all-natural products.

How can you tell if a product is a sustainable product?

Read your labels!

Look for official ecolabels developed by the EPA:

  • EnergyStar
  • Safe Choice
  • Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP)
  • Comprehensive Procurement Guideline (CPG)
  • WaterSense

Just because a product is labeled “eco-friendly” doesn’t mean it is! Read your labels carefully.

Keep an eye out for greenwashing

Greenwashing refers to products that are falsely advertised to consumers as being eco-friendly products.

These companies mislead and exaggerate claims of being environmentally friendly. They may look like environmentally friendly products, with their coloring, labels, and eco-friendly packaging, but they are not.

How do you know the difference?

Besides reading the labels, you can also check out the company’s website and social media platforms. Read reviews as well.

There are also apps that help with that, such as Think Dirty and EWG.

After the dust settles…

dad playing guitar for baby

Phew! That was a lot of information!

If you take anything away from this article, I want you to remember that you don’t have to make all of these changes today! Start slow.

Living an eco-conscious lifestyle requires a mindset change that will lead to a better life, for you, your family, and your community.

And, if you are ready to make the switch today, browse our line of eco-friendly home cleaning products!

Related to an eco-conscious lifestyle

Fresh Sacks: The Best Eco-Friendly Poop Bags for Dogs and Babies!

How to Compost at Home for Beginners: A Super Easy Step-by-Step Guide

The Soil Association: Here’s What They Do and Why You Should Care

The Ocean Cleanup: Here’s Why We Love to Support What They Do!

Healthy Planet Products: Creating a Cleaner Planet One Home at a Time

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