Depending on who you ask, bamboo is the new, eco-friendly product of the season. Used to make everything from blankets to shoes to flooring, bamboo is a versatile and, more importantly, fast-growing and replenishable plant.

The ability of a material to decompose through natural processes and eventually be reabsorbed by the natural environment. Biodegradable products include all plant and animal material, paper, food waste and fibers. Plastic, glass and metals are not biodegradable. However, even biodegradable materials will not break down once they are buried in a landfill because they are deprived of oxygen, which is necessary for decomposition. Composting provides optimal conditions for biodegradation. The "Biodegradable" label on products like cosmetics, cleaning supplies, packaging or household items is not necessarily reliable because it is not verified and follows no uniform standards.

Conflict-Free Diamonds:
Diamonds produced without the involvement of violence, human rights violations or environmental degradation. The Conflict-Free Diamond Council examines the entire supply chain—from mine to consumer—before certifying that a diamond is conflict-free.

It may come as a surprise to wine aficionados, but cork is able to do more than keep bottles sealed tight. Found in Ugg boots, floor tiles, jewelry and everything in between, cork is fully recyclable, flexible and repels water.

Also known as "environmentally friendly" or "nature-friendly," eco-friendly refers to goods and services that inflict minimal harm on the environment.
Information provided by Elizabeth Rogers


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