Yes. I believe that you can make any product in a way that it would not have a negative impact on the environment. The problem is that in doing so, the product will likely have less quality than its non-eco friendly counter part.
Southwest Airlines, on the other hand, now has a passenger jet that is more eco-friendly. The Boeing 737 has been refurbished with an interior full of products that are environmentally safe, and good on costs. In essence, it’s the same quality plane, just eco friendly and cheaper.
If businesses took more time and money to research ways to make a quality product in an environmentally safe way, I think they could find a way to improve on the product itself. However, for most corporations, money is the key issue, not the environment.
I think that products can be made to have less of an environmental impact than they currently do, but I do not think we have the technology available to make every single product sustainable or entirely environmentally friendly. Take batteries for example. We don’t have a way to power all the products we currently use without batteries, which need metals and other chemicals to produce energy. There are some small solar batteries, but not all our products can function on them. I think over time as technology gets better, if we can use less rare and toxic materials, companies will in their own best interest and make more eco-friendly products.
It depends on how you define as eco-friendly. For me, I think the production, use and disposal of every product has some sort of environmental impact. Some impacts are minimal, some impacts are widespread and grave. The most eco-friendly products would be ones that act like things found in nature. Nature creates things that used/harvested and disposed and recycled of continuously and without harm like water or minerals. We need to make products that mimic how things are like in nature. I think the concept Cradle to Cradle best characterize this idea. If you have time, you should read the book, Cradle to Cradle by William McDonough and Michael Braungart. It talks about how we can make our products more sustainable.
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