Eco-friendly, sustainable, and ‘green’ often create 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 is the difference between eco, sustainable and green?
What does ‘eco-friendly’ and ‘environmentally friendly’ mean?
At Tri Nature, we pride ourselves on being both eco and environmentally friendly. 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 cleaning and personal care products the definition is a little more rounded and nuanced than that.
There are many factors to consider that go into nurturing and not harming the environment, from ingredient selection and sourcing, formulation, packaging and even how a product is shipped. For us, not using harsh, aggressive chemicals, pollutants and fillers in our product formulations and instead using naturally derived and biodegradable ingredients allowed us to create formulas that do not harm the environment. It also allowed us to develop formulas that are gentler and safer for our customers to use. These considerations along with using recyclable packaging, offering concentrated formulas that help to reduce packaging waste and even using recycled paper for shipping put us comfortably in the ‘environmentally friendly’ category.
Some brands promote themselves as environmentally friendly by taking creative licence with its official meaning by simply changing one thing about its process, its formula or 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.
What does sustainable mean?
As it pertains to cleaning and personal care products, sustainability typically refers to the environmental and social impacts of the product over its life cycle; from the extraction of raw materials to the impact of its use and then the final disposal.
A mantra that is often associated with sustainability is Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. On a small scale, you can contribute to creating a sustainable environment by making small changes like reusing glass jars in your home, growing your own produce, buying properly formulated concentrates, or reusing grey water. Small changes like these can be an extremely beneficial practice for both the environment and your pocket.
Tri Nature is committed to providing sustainable products now and into the future. We use naturally derived and renewable plant-based ingredients in our formulations. Our ingredients are obtained from reputable suppliers with environmentally compatible systems to ensure only the best products for our customers and the planet.
Our products are not only effective, which means you don’t need to use much, but they are also phosphate-free and biodegradable which means they are gentle to the environment during use. We minimise packaging waste firstly through our product concentrates and by not using fillers and secondly by using recyclable packaging. Our products are grey water and septic-safe which allows our customers to reuse greywater and reduce their water consumption. We are also very proud to manufacture Australian products right here in Newcastle, NSW which reduces the environmental impact of transporting products compared to products that are manufactured overseas.
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 provided. Some companies will simply use the colour green on their label with a picture of a leaf while not changing anything about their product or processes. This behaviour is typically known as “greenwashing” and can often only be detected when informed buyers start asking questions.
Typically though, green products have an environmental component; recyclable packaging, waste reduction processes, and general formulation efforts to reduce toxic and harsh ingredients. The trick is doing some research to figure out what a brand’s version of ‘green’ is before making assumptions about what that might be.
At Tri-Nature, being green is about leaving as little footprint as possible while still producing an effective product that meets our customer’s needs. We are 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 journey, we are always here to answer them.