The term “eco-friendly” gets thrown around a lot — you see it on labels for everything from sandwich bags to sheet sets. Since it’s used so often, it can be hard to understand the importance of eco-friendly lifestyles and products. And if you aren’t sure what the word truly means, there’s a greater risk of being misled by companies claiming to be conscious of the environment.
According to Merriam-Webster, the official definition of eco-friendly is: “not environmentally harmful.” When it comes to products, that means everything from production to packaging needs to be safe for the environment. But here’s where it gets tricky: The FTC Green Guides say that in order for a product to be properly labeled as eco-friendly, the packaging must explain why it is environmentally responsible. Otherwise, it might not even be safe for the environment based on how consumers actually use