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Finding a natural solution

Everyday Sustainability: Eco-Choices to Meet Your Daily Needs

A study by Nielsen reveals that 55 percent of online consumers in 60 countries would pay more for products and services from companies with a focus on social responsibility. Among those surveyed, 52 percent said they have purchased at least one product or service from a socially-responsible company within the past six months.

Retailers and manufacturers are responding to the call for more environmentally-friendly products. However, choosing sustainable options in your everyday life extends past the food you eat and transportation you use. It’s entirely possible to redesign your life with sustainability in mind, from how you accessorize to the pet food you buy. Here are some tips to help you get started.

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Eco-Friendly Furniture

Make a positive difference in the environment by searching for furniture makers and retailers through the Sustainable Furnishings Council. This organization offers education in green home furnishings and certified training for manufacturers and retailers. The organization's members work to reduce carbon emissions and waste pollutants and to use materials from sustainable sources.

Sustainable Jewelry

Non-sustainable jewelry is often mined by stripping surface soils and using harmful chemicals that lead to soil erosion and contamination. Fortunately, it's possible to enjoy fine jewelry and accessories while still making ethical choices. Ritani collaborates with the World Gold Council to create jewelry with a green gold hue made from 80 percent 18 karat gold. They also use recycled sterling silver and recycled 18 karat yellow gold for its SLANE collection. Spending a little more for sustainable options can last longer than their cheaper counterparts and help the environment at the same time.


You can even make sustainable choices for how you communicate. Fairphone works to integrate materials for their products that support local economies. Its manufacturers are also invested in worker's safety and well-being. Consider how much waste smartphones add to the planet: PC Advisor claims that the average iPhone is broken within 10 weeks or less. Instead of striving to sell new phones, Fairphone designs its products to be durable and to have the ability to be easily repaired.

Smart Sunglasses

Skip the cheap, plastic sunglasses at the drugstore and pick up sustainable options instead. Companies like Grown sell sustainable and organic sunglasses and frames. Founded by a group of surfers and shore dwellers, the team uses its proceeds to help fund sight-restoring surgery or eye exams for adults and children. Grown uses durable bamboo, Zebrawood and other hardwoods that are free from toxic elements.

Natural Pet Food

What your pets eat can make a contribution to sustainable living. Choose pet food that is produced from companies that use natural ingredients and sustainable practices. Purina works to responsibly source ingredients, water and raw materials. It also uses recycled packaging and transportation methods that optimize sustainability. The company's employees also focus on recycling and environmentally-friendly volunteer events to raise awareness about other eco-friendly practices.

Eco-Conscious Hair Care

Don't let your hair have a negative impact on the environment. Sustainable companies, like Davines, use natural ingredients and are involved in projects that help benefit and protect the environment. Davines partners with nonprofit organizations, such as the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation, to help alleviate world hunger by planting orchards where they can serve the community for generations. The partners also fight against global warming and strengthen communities. Davines also contributes part of its proceeds, from its collection of carbon-neutral Zero Impact products, to a fruit tree project that harnesses oxygen to further help offset waste.

Susan Finch is a freelance writer with a passion for travel and helping small businesses find their online voice through content marketing, blogging and beyond. She is an eclectic writer with more than 10 years of experience contributing to guidebooks, magazines, iPhone apps, online publications and more.