Biodegradable Products

The benefits of biodegradable household products

Biodegradable products are defined as those which will, over time, break down from their current chemical makeup into naturally occurring elements. These natural elements can then be reabsorbed into the environment.

However, while many biodegradable household products are ecologically safer than those that aren't, they aren't always harmless. Some compounds, particularly biodegradable cleaning products, contain a chemical known as nonylphenol ethoxylate that breaks down into benzene, which can be harmful to both plant and animal life. When shopping for biodegradable household products, look for options which do not contain nonylphenol ethoxylates.

Types of Biodegradable Products

Some of the many different types of biodegradable products available on the market include:

  • Biodegradable hair products. You can get environmentally friendlier shampoos, conditioners, hair treatment products and styling aids. Proponents also claim that these products promote superior scalp and hair health, since they're made primarily of naturally occurring ingredients.
  • Biodegradable cleaners. These cleaning products rely heavily on naturally occurring compounds, especially those found in citrus fruits, which have inherent cleansing and disinfecting properties.
  • Biodegradable plastics and packaging. While choosing items made from recycled paper whenever possible is also recommended, you have many biodegradable packaging and storage options, including biodegradable boxes and paper as well as biodegradable plastic bags and containers.
  • Biodegradable sunscreen. You have environmentally safer alternatives when it comes to both sunscreen and sunblock. In fact, some popular tourist destinations require visitors to wear biodegradable sunscreen as part of an effort to reduce water pollution by chemicals that are harmful to aquatic ecosystems.

Other Factors to Consider

You should also be mindful of the average length of time it takes for a certified biodegradable product to break down. Using disposal methods that facilitate the breakdown of biodegradable products is essential.

For example, creating a compost pile helps all the food scraps you put on it break down more quickly than they would on their own. Thus, you should avoid throwing biodegradable materials out with non-degradable waste, as this will almost always delay the amount of time it takes for the product to break down.

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