4US2BE offers a series of articles dedicated to eco-friendly technology, inventions, organic products and ways to a modern green lifestyle.

The term “eco-friendly” is used to describe activities which are good for the environment. It is a shortening of “ecologically friendly,” and you may also hear terms like “environmentally friendly” or “green” used to describe similar activities. There are a range of ways in which activities can be eco-friendly, ranging from products which are constructed in an environmentally friendly way to making lifestyle changes which are designed to benefit the environment.

People engage in eco-friendly activities because they are concerned about the health of the environment. Environmental issues were first pushed to the forefront of the collective consciousness in the late 1900s, when people realized that their activities were having a negative impact on the environment. Pollution, rampant use of natural resources, and other activities were questioned in light of information about how these activities hurt the environment, and people began to look into more eco-friendly ways of living and doing business.

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Many savvy companies realized that investing in green product development would pay off, and lines of eco-friendly products can be found in many regions of the world today as a result. These products are usually made in factories which are environmentally friendly, such as facilities built from recycled materials which use solar panels for power, and they are made from components which are also good for the environment, like plant-sourced ingredients for soaps, or recycled metal for electronics. Product packaging, advertisements, and other materials may also be eco-friendly.

Strictly speaking, eco-friendly products still have an impact on the environment, but the impact is greatly reduced when compared to conventionally produced products. In some cases, eco-friendly products may even have a positive benefit, depending on how the company does business. Many such products are also aimed at lifestyle changes which benefit the environment, so even if the product itself is not totally neutral, the actions undertaken by the consumer after buying the product are beneficial. For example, eco-friendly light bulbs require energy and resources to make, but they save energy once they are installed in a home.

Products are not the only thing which can be eco-friendly. Activities can also be friendly to the environment, as in the case of things like carpooling, gardening, composting, and recycling. Some people think that eco-friendly products are only the first step, and that people who are really committed to the environment also need to modify their lifestyles, reducing the amount of resources they use by living more efficiently.

What is sustainable?

An object is sustainable when it is capable of being continued or maintained with minimal long-term effect on the environment.

Sustainability is a characteristic of a process or state that can be maintained at a certain level indefinitely. The term, in its environmental usage, refers to the potential longevity of vital human ecological support systems and how long they can be expected to be usefully productive.

What is compostable?

Composting is the aerobic decomposition of biodegradable organic matter, producing compost. A compostable material biodegrades substantially under the correct composting conditions. Compost biomass residues from a compostable material are fully biodegradable. The size of the material affects the rate of biodegradation.

What is biodegradable?

Biodegradable materials are those that are capable of being decomposed by the action of biological agents, especially bacteria. Biodegradation is the process by which organic substances are broken down by living organisms. The term is often used in relation to ecology, waste management, environmental remediation, and to plastic materials, due to their long lifespan.

What is recyclable?

Recyclable materials can be used again, passed through the cycle again, or undergo the renewal process to be created into new, useful products. Recycling involves processing used materials into new products in order to prevent waste of potentially useful materials, reduce consumption and reduce different types of pollution.

What is hybrid?

In genetics, a hybrid is the result of combining elements from different species. When it comes to cars and trucks, a hybrid refers to a vehicle whose powertrain combines the aspects of different technologies (i.e. gasoline and electric) to improve efficiency and reduce emissions.

In automotive terms, hybridization is nothing new. Hybrid cars and trucks that combined an electric motor with a gasoline engine date back to the turn of the 20th century. Hybrid diesel-electric locomotives have been in operation for years, and diesel-electric buses began to appear in the 1970s.