Substitute harmful, synthetic materials in a product with sustainable materials that are natural, renewable and carbon neutral and use less energy to extract.
Man-made, synthetic materials are often toxic or hazardous. Many of them do not biodegrade and can build up to harmful levels in the environment. For example, you can substitute out plastic for wood and substitute out synthetic fabrics for hemp or organic cotton canvas. Read more about the sustainable limits of various types of materials»
Many natural materials are not renewable, however. Whilst some non-renewable, natural materials such as iron and aluminium are abundant and can be recycled endlessly, some elements used in products are very limited including many rare earth metals as well as metals like lead, antimony, zinc and silver. Also, mining and extracting metals uses huge amounts of energy and does environmental damage.
Non-toxic and harmless
It is not just the end material that you need to worry about. The means of production can often use toxic chemicals. Make sure that you understand the lifecycle of the materials that you are using and don’t use materials that have been produced in harmful ways.
Example of sustainable materials are bamboo; wood; hemp; wool; linen; straw; clay, stone, sand; beeswax; and coconut.