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Does buying green products harm the environment?

Reusable bags aren't green if you keep forgetting them at home and buying more to replace them.
Reusable bags aren't green if you keep forgetting them at home and buying more to replace them.
Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

In the rush to go green, many consumers are buying green products. From the internet to the grocery store, they're popping up everywhere. While buying green products may seem like a good idea, many people are throwing out perfectly useful items to green their lives. Waste is never good, even if it's for a good cause. This blatant waste could harm the environment more in the long run. Throwing something away and then replacing it with a green product is not an environmentally sound concept.

Buying green products is a great statement.

It says that you refuse to use products that are not manufactured responsibly. Just don't forget, no matter how responsibly something is made, resources are still used to manufacture it. Yes, even if it's made from recycled products. If you are buying something you don't need, no matter how Eco friendly it may be, you are harming the environment. A truly environmentally conscious individual buys nothing until the object it's replacing is no longer useable.

Forget your green shopping bag?

Many of us have environmentally friendly cloth shopping bags. That's great if you do. I applaud the fact that you're not using plastic or paper to cart home your stuff. Here's the problem, though. Many people, when forgetting to bring their go green cloth bags to the store, will simply buy more. That's a wasteful practice. You don't need them. You have plenty at home. If you really want to go green how about going bag-less this time instead of buying more bags? Sure, it's an inconvenience, but it beats defeating your own purpose and harming the environment.

The sheer volume of green products

Just the sheer volume of new products produced for the green movement could harm the environment. Every entrepreneur across the country is seeing green dollar signs. Does that sound environmentally friendly to you? Yes, there are some wonderful concepts but aren't we being wasteful with our resources here? Don't be fooled by gizmos and gimmicks. Some of this stuff is just fluff. The sheer volume of it could harm the environment by depletion of resources. Yes, even recycled products can be wasted. Don't buy it unless you really need it. It's always more environmentally friendly to be frugal with the things you have.

A different approach to going green

Let's face it. There shouldn't even be a green 'movement'. We should have been doing this stuff from the beginning. We've known that our lifestyle has a harmful effect on the environment for many years. Nevertheless, we have many products in our homes which are not environmentally safe. What do we do with them when converting to a green lifestyle?

Anything that is truly toxic should be properly disposed of. As for the rest of the products, why harm the environment by discarding them needlessly? I have another suggestion. Use them to the full amount of their lifespan before replacing them with green products. Why add waste to landfills unnecessarily? Buying go green products when you already have something that will serve the same purpose is pointless. Go green responsibly and frugally, for the most benefit to yourself and the planet.

Portions of this article were previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.