Last week I wrote a post about all kinds of eco-friendly products that are great replacements for single-use/disposable plastics – check it out here.
As I was writing that post and seeing all these great products, I couldn’t help but wonder – what makes these products eco-friendly?
My thought process has always been that if you can use it more than once, it’s automatically better for the environment. After all, you’re not throwing something away after you use it one time – i.e. a straw or plastic cup. If you can get more than one use out of it, it’s already a step in the right direction.
While this is a step in the right direction, it’s not the whole truth.
There’s a lot more to a product, especially stainless steel and silicone, that makes it eco-friendly. And here’s why:
- 100% recyclable
- An extremely long time span
- Made up of:
- 25% Old scrap such as end of life products
- 35% New scrap which is returning from production
- 40% New raw materials added
- Low emission footprint in terms of air, water, and carbon
- Not harmful to people during its production or it’s use
“A protective layer forms naturally on all stainless steels because of the inclusion of chromium. The passive layer protects the steel from corrosion – ensuring a long life. “
- Highly durable; lasts much longer than plastic
- Endures extreme temperature fluctuations without melting, cracking, or otherwise degrading
- Silicone resists oxidative deterioration for decades
“In fact, studies have shown that silicones thrive on challenges, including exposure to extreme heat and cold, harsh chemicals, sterilization, rain, snow, salt spray, ultraviolet radiation, ozone and acid rain, to name a few.”
- Not toxic to aquatic or soil organisms
- While not biodegradable, can be recycled after a long life of use
Instead of breaking down into tiny harmful pieces that end up poisoning animals, when “disposed of at a landfill for incineration, the silicone (unlike plastic) is converted back into inorganic, harmless ingredients: amorphous silica, carbon dioxide, and water vapor.”
- Odor and stain resistant
- Hygenic and hypoallergenic – no open pores to harbor bacteria making it great for food containers and lunchware
- Does not stain or scratch
Related: Eco-Friendly Gifts
There is so much information out there as to why stainless steel and silicone are eco-friendly products and it completely blows my mind. It’s interesting to me because we can all use stainless steel products or silicone in our everyday lives, especially as replacements for plastic.
Plastic is incredibly harmful not only to humans but to the environment in every way. It pollutes our soil, oceans, it’s killing sea and land animals.
We’ve talked a lot about how harmful plastic is, check out these articles below.
Am I the only one that found this interesting? What do you use stainless steel or plastic for that might be unique or different than what we’d expect. Let me know in the comments!
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Christina is a twenty-something living with her beagle, Mash, and husband, Nate in their van. She loves traveling, shopping, art, and photography. She’s also a vegetarian, pop-culture enthusiast, book-lover, and Dave Matthews Band fanatic. Catch her somewhere around the country in a converted camper van or at home in Florida for a visit.