November 06, 2022 4 min read

While the language comprises confusing theories and terminologies, it’s hard to distinguish between sustainable and eco-friendly. Well, you aren’t far away! Often, you see that many of such terms have identical meanings when you’re talking about creating a healthy environment for humankind. Nonetheless, there's a slight difference between a sustainable and eco-friendly commodity. When you talk about its foundation, eco-friendly implies any given item that doesn’t affect or harm the planet negatively. 

On the other hand, sustainability or sustainable is referred to as meeting the requirements of the present without sidelining the potential of future generations to meet their needs. But, if you still don’t know what we’re talking about or referring to, here is an in-depth guide on what’s a part of eco-friendly and sustainable practices and how they tend to affect customer behavior. 

What makes something sustainable?

Balance is pivotal when we speak about things that are sustainable or referring to the environment. Moreover, when observing sustainability, you would want to check how natural systems operate and how such systems produce everything. This is viable when it’s a healthy balanced ecology in question. Namely, every other thing we require on a daily basis should come from the natural environment and resources. Besides, anything more than that goes away from being sustainable by definition. 


Don’t forget, if you are to utilize products, they must be environmentally sustainable. Such products must offer advantages to the environment in the short and long terms. As a result, they should be used throughout their lifecycle. Hence, be cautious and mindful of greenwashing exercises like brands promoting pseudo-biodegradable plastics or missing transparency concerning their environmental and social policies. In the end, when it comes to sustainability, you must know that there are three primary development pillars to check. 


We are referring to sustainable awareness and legislation. So, do not go elsewhere. Namely, ensuring that we’re preserving society from toxic chemicals and pollution caused by activities of businesses and corporations that do not care about the ethical notion of operations. Such an act can vary significantly by continent and region. Environmental production and development and product consumption in Europe are still evolving in 2022, with nations like Norway ahead of the entire curve in a few topics. Speaking of which, did you know that Norway recycles close to96% of its plastic bottles? Norway is 10 years ahead of the Union’s target date. 

Such forms of initiatives are navigated by the protection of people and social awareness through legislation. But, a similar thing can’t be quoted for other countries like the United States and others in smaller areas like Latin America. Nonetheless, it’s important to make everyone conscious of the impact of their buying exercises. 


When it comes to getting any individual or corporate to administer sustainability, this can get quite challenging. Convincing them to observe their procedures will almost come down to financial aspects. Making a business eco-friendly or sustainable is linked directly to economic incentives. Since we all reside in a consumerist industry, change has to impact both the macro and micro levels. As a result, getting customers to alleviate their expenditures is the foundation of any economic sustainability development.



For instance, fashion veterans have started to demand that eco-friendly products should be on top of everyone’s list. In that case, what would happen? What are the consequences or repercussions of such a dire need? Moreover, because of these individuals, the companies might have to make slick changes and address the requirements without wasting time. Or else they will risk losing out on market shares. 


The objective is to prevent as much as possible, whether products, events, or situations that can negatively affect our dear planet. This 3rd pillar is the leading result of the first 2. In order to preserve the environment, whether through environmentally friendly applying swaps or utilizing a significant amount of energy, we must be vigilant. So, keep an eye on technology and products that can harm the planet. And, if you find one, it’s time to raise a voice. 

What is the real difference between eco-friendly and sustainable?

While sustainable refers to activities or actions that solve an issue without repercussions in the future, eco-friendly alleviates environmental harm with activities that can better be used through the available resources around us. 


This term is used more on a daily basis. Being eco-friendly comprises many exercises that will not affect the surroundings. Moreover, promoting green practices would prevent pollution in the first place, amongst other environmentally severe actions. But wait, there’s some good news. There’s a growing number of eco-warriors integrating eco-friendly products and practices in their use habits. 

But, the issue with such a term is that it’s pretty straightforward to use, manipulate marketing, and market products. Moreover, when it comes to the differences vs. sustainable definitions, eco-friendly mentions can also lure your interest. Namely, if you tend to purchase an eco-friendly product produced by utilizing a lot of energy that harms the environment, what’s the point anyway? How would it be eco-friendly?

What does eco-friendly mean, and why does it make a difference?

An individual must remember that just because a commodity is advertised and promoted as green does not imply that it’s an eco-friendly product. Being green refers to benefits concerning the environment. However, your products don’t need to refer to Earth as a whole. While you may contemplate a few factors, consider observing the ingredients for any environmentally friendly commodity you purchase. 


For instance, natural products are associated with eco-friendly terms. Besides, it doesn’t comprise a legal standard per se, like fair trade or organic products. Consequently, an ideal solution is to look for sustainable, eco-friendly products that do not contain toxic elements. Making constant efforts to alleviate your carbon footprint is one way to begin your eco-friendly journey. This can begin with replacing commodities in your inventory. 

Final Thoughts

Sustainable procedures and products are linked to eco-friendly. This is where you must understand and observe the difference between both. Ideally, you would want to apply both of them, utilizing sustainable, eco friendly products and processes. Products that do not harm the surroundings and leave a positive impact on the coming generations are what define this logic. Thus, it’s not a discussion of sustainability vs. eco friendly, but instead a harmonization of both. So, whenever you’re in doubt, doing the sustainable way will ensure you’re tackling an entirely ethnic way of living.