- FSC-Certified Wood
- Organic Cotton
When you buy anything, check what is it made of and pick products that are made with sustainable materials, which means they come from a source that can be renewed, reused, and recycled. Anything made of organic matter is good, since it can be renewed by growing more. But it has to come from a source that can be renewed as it is consumed, rather than for example, chopping down trees in a forest that took 100 years to grow and consuming that forest faster than it can renew itself.
If you are buying things made of wood, look for items certified by the FSC, which is the Forest Stewardship Council non-profit organization that certifies wood sources as sustainable. Wood is a great material because it stores carbon out of the atmosphere, can be recycled back into the environment, and is non-toxic. Bamboo and eucalyptus can be a good sustainable wood sources because they grow easily and fast. Cork is also a good option. Hemp is another great material because it grows fast and is easily renewed.
Other natural materials are wool, leather, and cotton. Leather is not good to use in high quantities and should just be taken from the animal food industry, not from animals grown just for leather. But it’s good because it’s natural and can cycle back into the environment.
If you are not buying things made of organic materials that can decompose back into the environment, then you want to select materials that have been reclaimed/reused or recycled and have the ability to be reused or recycled again. Steel is generally fine because it can be reused and recycled many times. Glass is also fairly easy to recycle and can go back into the environment naturally without harming it.