Eco Friendly Materials
and Promotional Products Glossary

Environmentally friendly, or eco-friendly, products or services, have little or no impact on the environment and its resources in the breakdown process. Our Glossary is intended to educate consumers on the benefits of buying green and the materials involved in creating every day products that leave virtually no carbon footprint.

Bamboo Garments – Bamboo is naturally grown material. Bamboo is 100% biodegradable, sustainable, and also naturally antibacterial.

Biodegradable – A material is biodegradable if it is capable of decomposing through the sole effort of biological agents. In other words, a biodegradable material breaks down naturally, returns raw materials to the earth, and has no negative environmental impact. Biodegradable cups are a great way to reduce waste!

Bonded Leather – Bonded Leather is an environmentally friendly solution to leather production byproduct problem. Bonded Leather is a man made material created with recycled leather fiber and leather scrap that would otherwise go to waste, and eventually end up in a landfill. Also known as Reconstituted Leather, Bonded Leather is usually made up of 66% recycled leather fibers, 30% (Natural) Latex, and 4% Tanning Oil.

Compostable – A compostable product is a product that is able to be biologically decomposed over time without leaving an unnatural byproduct.

Corn Plastic– Corn plastic is derived from corn and is a 100% biodegradable material. Try a corn plastic coffee mug for home or the office!

Cotton-Organic– Organic cotton is grown without the use of chemically altered fertilizer and is in no way genetically engineered. In addition, for cotton to be considered organic it must be grown in soil that has been completely chemical free for at least three years. Organic cotton ensures that cotton is grown with a minimal ecological impact.

Cyclepet – Recycling PET into fabric prevents it from ending up in the landfills.

Green – The green movement is a general term that refers to groups of people and organizations focused on environmental awareness and bioregionalism. The term “Green” is very often inappropriately used to lump in any effort to be more environmentally friendly, which could mean simply cutting back on environment damaging practices.

Organic- Organic products are made and grown without the use of chemically altered fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics, genetic engineering, or synthetic hormones. Organic growers and handlers must be certified by organizations that are accredited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Bring organic tote bags to the grocery store to reduce plastic waste.

OrganicLeather – Organic leather is often made from the hides of organically fed animals, but the true organic benefit comes from the fact that the leather is tanned using only plant tanners, vegetable extract tanners, and other tanners approved by TUV. By using these tanners, toxins created by the tanning process (run off & disposal) is reduced to zero. This is extremely important as normal chrome leather tanner produces toxic chrome when incinerated and will thus not fully decompose.

PET– Polyethylene terephthalate is the most popular thermo plastic packaging material used for drinks and food. It is lightweight, transparent, and has a good moisture barrier, making it good for bottled mineral water, food trays for oven use, videotapes, and mechanical components. PET soda bottles are the most recycled container.

Polypropylene & Non-Woven Polypropylene – Polypropylene is made up from carbon and hydrogen, and is manufactured without any dangerous emissions. Polypropylene can be recycled, incinerated, or land filled without any harm to the environment. When burnt, polypropylene will only give off water vapor and carbon dioxide, which is converted by photosynthesis. Polypropylene is sometimes known as “pp”.

Post-consumer material/waste – Term used to describe material that is being reused/recycled after it has been in the consumer’s hand (i.e. soda bottles, yogurt containers). Material or product used by the consumer for its original purpose and then discarded.

Post-Industrial material – Term used to described scrap or excess material that a manufacturer reuses or recycles throughout the manufacturing process.

Recyclable – A recyclable material is a material that is able to be reused. Such materials include glass of any sort, paper products, aluminum, asphalt material, iron and other metals, textiles, plastics and biodegradable waste.

Recycled – A recycled material is one that has been separated from the waste stream, reprocessed into a new material and subsequently brought back as a new item.

Recycled Cardboard –Recycled cardboard is made using cardboard that has been discarded or previously used by a company or consumer.

Recycled Content – The amount of pre-and post-consumer recovered material introduced in a material production process, usually expressed as a percentage.

Recycled Leather – Material is untreated and is made with leather scraps – recycled to save waste. (As opposed to scraps going into a landfill, they are recovered and reprocessed to make leather material.)

SAFEPlastic – SAFEPlastic is considered environmentally safe because it is completely biodegradable when introduced into landfills or smaller composting environments. There are no toxic effects to the environment if discarded, and SAFEPlastic can even be recycled.

Soy/Soya Bean – Soy bean or soya bean products are extremely environmentally friendly in that they are not toxic and 100% biodegradable.

Soy/Soya Wax Candle –A soy (soya) bean wax candle does not emit dirty soot, and because it burns cooler, a soy bean wax candle last approximately 33% longer than your standard candle. In addition, non-chlorine bleached cotton wicks also burn cleaner, cooler and longer. These candles are also 100% biodegradable.

Tree-Free – Tree Free paper is made with recycled (post consumer) paper in combination with industrial hemp / organic cotton. This paper eliminates the need to use bleached wood pulp to create paper, effectively cutting back on the need to log trees for paper production.

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