People have different attitudes toward the natural world, some feel in harmony with it, some feel ruled by it and others seek to master it. The rising awareness of health, wellness and the recognition that nature is in fact finite and fragile and can be destroyed or spoiled by the humans, makes people think and want to change their lifestyle and behaviors to the better. This new lifestyle of love towards the nature and natural things has created a sizeable market where consumers seek out everything environmentally friendly, organic, natural, green and sustainable. This market is also known by many as the “eco-market” and these words are all terms used to help consumers understanding what it means an what products are of good quality.
Picture 1. The European Union eco-label, the Flower.
Environmentally friendly is also called eco-friendly, nature friendly or green. It refers to any product and services, laws, guidelines and policies considered to inflict minimal or no harm on the environment, the atmosphere or surroundings. A friendly relationship between humans and their habitats. It also implies that the same precaution were taken in the manufacturing of the product. Environmentally friendly goods and services are often marked with eco-labels to make the consumers aware of it. But such labels are considered to be too vague to be meaningful of the International Organization for Standardization, that is because there is no single international standard for this concept.
Picture 2. Online survey done to see how many people are eco-friendly at work. Eco labeling system exist for both food and consumer products. The European Union has now a legislation for the rules of eco-labeling and also have their own eco-label (picture 1). Such labels make it easier for consumers to choose environmentally friendly products and also to encourage businesses to make goods and services that are better for the environment.
Environmentally friendly is all about humans taking good care of the environment they live in, both at home and in work. But how many people do so? Do we put in as much effort to be environmentally friendly in the workplace, as we do when we are home? A small online test was done in Australia by Esri-Australia to see how many people are eco-friendly at their workplace and their results were extremely positive (picture 2).
Organic indicates a product is natural though natural doesn't necessarily mean organic and refers to how it is grown or produced. The product has to be grown or created without the use of artificial ingredients, preservatives, synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, hormones, antibiotics or irradiation to be defined as organic. Also animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs and diary products may not take antibiotics or growths hormones. Picture 3. United States Department of Agriculture.
Food products labeled organic are highly regulated to meet strict standards set by the USDA, National Organic Program (picture 3). When the term organic is found on food products, at least 95% of the product uses organic ingredients. The name of the certifying agency must be displayed on the package. The USDA defines organic as follows: “Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. Before a product can be labeled "organic," a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets...
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