Consumers are increasingly voting with their wallets for businesses that sell sustainable and eco-friendly products, so the biggest To Do for any Amazon Seller this 2024 is to ride the wave – and not just for the sake of sales, either, but for the sake of our planet! The shift isn’t just a fleeting trend; 89% of consumers are gravitating towards sustainable products, with Gen Z leading the charge. So, what are the best eco-friendly products to sell in 2024? And what can an Amazon Seller do to make the switch without breaking the bank?
Frankly, this growing demand presents an unparalleled opportunity for businesses, but navigating this green revolution requires more than just good intentions; it demands a deep understanding of what it means to be genuinely eco-friendly and how to communicate this commitment across cultures and markets. Let’s take a look at the best environmentally friendly products and what you can do to implement eco-friendly solutions in your product development.
Also, stay tuned – Jana is planning something sustainable herself – so you’ll have to keep an eye on YLT Translations to find out more in the months to come!
Let’s dive into it, and see what you can do to reduce your environmental footprint, while increasing your relevancy with your customer base.
What is an Eco-Friendly Product? Biodegradable vs. Sustainable vs. Compostable
Eco-friendly products are those designed, manufactured, and distributed in ways that minimize their environmental impact. This encompasses a broad spectrum, from the materials and processes used to how products are packaged and disposed of. Sustainability certifications play a crucial role, offering third-party validation of a product’s green credentials. These products, ranging from daily necessities to innovative tech solutions, share common traits: ethical manufacturing, low environmental impact, and the promotion of a circular economy.
Biodegradable meanwhile refers to substances or materials that can be broken down naturally by microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi, into water, carbon dioxide, and biomass. Unlike non-biodegradable materials, which can persist in the environment for long periods and contribute to pollution, biodegradable materials are considered more environmentally friendly because they return to the earth and minimize waste accumulation. However, the rate and efficiency of biodegradation can vary widely depending on the material in question and the environmental conditions, such as temperature and humidity.
For example, the ever-popular biodegradable toothbrush. Is it truly biodegradable? Toothbrushes with bamboo handles and plant-based nylon bristles, accompanied by eco-friendly packaging, are some of the most popular eco-friendly products on Amazon. Now, the bamboo handle and the paper packaging box are compostable (we’ll define that later), but the nylon bristles, despite being plant-based, are not compostable, and therefore require recycling – a challenge depending on the capabilities of local facilities. The plant-based wrapper may require industrial facilities to break down, which also may not be readily accessible in all areas.
Sustainability refers to practices, processes, and products designed to meet current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. For example, sustainable laundry sheets, which use less packaging, less air in the container, a compact design, waterless technology, and corporate social responsibility to minimize their carbon footprint.
Compostable products break down into natural elements in a compost environment, leaving no toxicity in the soil. This typically occurs under specific conditions involving microbial organisms, such as bacteria and fungi, to facilitate the decomposition. Unlike biodegradable materials, which can degrade over undefined periods and leave behind residue, compostable goods are designed to break down in a compost setting specifically, contributing positively to the nutrient cycle without harming the environment. Take for example compostable disposable plates, which are made from materials that are better for the environment like sugar cane, areca palm leaf, and so on.
So, that’s a little bit confusing, but in essence, sustainable, biodegradable, and compostable products are classified under the eco-friendly category. These terms each describe different environmental benefits, but all align with the principles of reducing harm to the environment and promoting a healthier planet.
- Sustainable products are designed and produced with consideration for the long-term environmental impact, aiming to preserve natural resources and avoid contributing to climate change, thus ensuring that future generations can meet their needs.
- Biodegradable products can break down naturally into water, carbon dioxide, and biomass by microorganisms over time, reducing the accumulation of waste in landfills and the environment.
- Compostable products go a step further by not only breaking down but doing so under composting conditions to become nutrient-rich compost, contributing to soil health without leaving toxic residue.
All these categories share the common goal of eco-friendliness by minimizing environmental footprints, conserving resources, and supporting the Earth’s ecological balance.
Amazon has strict rules with environmental or green marketing claims in your listing, advertising, or storefront. When it comes to making green claims in your ads, it’s all about backing it up with solid facts, right there in the ad or on the click-through page. If you’re saying your product is “eco-friendly” or “green,” you’ve got to prove it, especially since these claims need to cover the whole lifecycle of the product. That’s a tall order! If it sounds a bit too challenging, you might want to consider specifying exactly how your product is kind to the environment, provided you’ve got the evidence to back it up, of course. For those products that are part of the Climate Pledge Friendly (CPF) program, just showing the CPF badge is enough, so no extra homework is needed there. But, let’s keep it real and avoid making sweeping statements like “Save the planet” or putting the guilt trip on customers. After all, clarity and honesty are key, and we want to avoid any mix-ups with bigger environmental pledges or initiatives.
What is an Eco-Friendly Product in the Eyes of the Consumer? Why is it Important?
In the eyes of consumers, especially those from Generation Z, an eco-friendly product is one that minimizes environmental harm throughout its entire lifecycle, from production to disposal. For Gen Z, who are particularly environmentally conscious and value transparency, authenticity, and ethical practices, an eco-friendly product typically embodies the following characteristics:
- Sustainable Materials: Products made from renewable, recycled, or upcycled materials that do not deplete finite resources or harm ecosystems.
- Low Carbon Footprint: Manufactured and distributed in ways that minimize greenhouse gas emissions, contributing less to climate change.
- Biodegradable or Compostable: Products that can break down naturally, returning to the earth without leaving harmful residues, thus reducing landfill waste.
- Minimal Packaging: Products designed with minimal, recyclable, or compostable packaging to reduce plastic waste and pollution.
- Ethical Production: Made under fair working conditions, supporting fair trade, and not exploiting labor or harming communities.
- Chemical-Free: Free from harmful chemicals and pollutants that can damage the environment and human health.
- Energy Efficiency: Products that require less energy for operation, or are powered by renewable energy sources.
For Gen Z, the appeal of eco-friendly products also lies in the brand’s overall commitment to sustainability, including transparency about sourcing, production processes, and the company’s environmental and social impact. They often seek brands that align with their values and contribute positively to the planet, preferring those that actively engage in environmental preservation and social responsibility initiatives.
That said, many generations have subscribed to the same philosophies. Using eco-friendly products isn’t just a trend, it’s a necessity, and consumers of all ages, genders, and walks of life have decided to pursue products that offer a sustainable solution. Granted, not all countries and areas are equally ready to augur a sustainable future, and recycling plants and technologies still need to be adapted on a wider scale world-wide, but we can all do our part to make a positive impact on the environment. It all starts with adding your brand on Amazon to the growing list of eco-friendly brands – it could be through corporate social responsibility, communicating with your supplier for ethical production and energy efficiency, using environmentally friendly products in your packaging, or offering everyday items that are made from organic and readily-found materials. The choice is yours, and there are many ways to turn your brand into the sustainable option.
What is an Eco-Friendly Product to Sell on Amazon?
The eco-friendly market is diverse, offering numerous opportunities for businesses looking to make a positive impact. There are many products to buy on Amazon that espouse a sustainable badge, and here are our Top 10:
- Black Box USA’s natural bar soap, which is a handmade cold process soap made from moisturizing natural oils
- HOMERHYME’s natural dish sponge, a biodegradable cellulose sponge. Its durability means you don’t have to keep replenishing the cleaning products.
- PATCH’s bamboo bandages, made of 100% organic bamboo fiber and mineral-based pressure sensitive adhesive – a great eco-friendly alternative to plastic plasters from the drug store
- ECOETBOO’s pack of 20 kids’ bamboo toothbrushes – the packaging is made from biodegradable kraft paper, and uses Moso bamboo, which pandas don’t eat
- LOLA’s Swedish dishcloths for the kitchen, which are made out of eco-friendly cellulose
- The makeup brush and sponge duo of EcoTools – the handle of the brush comes from 100% renewable bamboo handles and the compostable paper packaging is FSC certified
- Project Eco21’s eco-friendly gift box, which contains 5 environmentally friendly options to traditional products that are found in your bathroom, including reusable makeup remover pads, combs, toothbrushes, and so forth
- The foldable diatomaceous earth bath shower mat of WALL QMER, which is made from pure nature diatomite, an environmentally-friendly and sustainably sourced material
- Natwag’s makeup remover cloth – skincare products that are equivalent to 2000 disposable wipes each, helping you minimize waste and limit the disposables that go into landfills
- VENERATTI’s unscented lotion bar, which has a biodegradable container. Plus the lotion is made from plant-based ingredients, and a better alternative to traditional products, which are made up of 80% water.
As this list proves, sustainably made products are easing their way gently into our everyday routines. You could go all the way and develop products made from sustainably sourced materials, or sell products to reduce plastic waste such as products with a long shelf life, or eliminate packaging that is made from plastic. Choose whatever works best for your business to encourage sustainable living among your consumers.
Not only will you be tapping into this growing trend (which, we reiterate, is a necessity and not a trend), you’ll be doing your part for the planet, one product at a time.
What is an Eco-Friendly Product Category?
As we step into 2024, the spotlight on eco-friendly products continues to grow brighter, especially on Amazon. Recognizing the urgent need for sustainability, Amazon introduced the “Climate Pledge Friendly” label back in 2020, a move that set the stage for sellers like you to align their products with the planet’s health. This label is not just a badge of honor; it’s a beacon for consumers who are in search of products that are kind to the environment. For sellers, this means an incredible opportunity to distinguish their products in categories ranging from groceries to electronics, all carrying the promise of sustainability.
There are more than 25,000 categories on Amazon that carry the label – ranging from groceries to household, fashion to beauty, and even electronics and furniture.
The initiative aligns with Amazon’s ambitious commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040, part of a broader strategy to mitigate climate change impacts. But here’s the catch: making such a massive shift is no easy feat. Amazon’s 2019 sustainability report revealed a 15% increase in greenhouse gas emissions from the previous year, highlighting the challenges that lie ahead. Yet, the “Climate Pledge Friendly” label serves as a crucial step toward encouraging both consumers and sellers to prioritize products that have a smaller environmental footprint. This label assures buyers that products meet stringent sustainability standards, certified by one of 19 different programs, including Amazon’s own Compact by Design.
Most products with eco-friendly characteristics fit into the following categories, but don’t be limited by these categories if you’re selling in a different one:
- Vegan pet accessories
- Solar energy devices
- Stasher bags
- Cleaning cloths
- Fair trade
- Recycled activewear
- Sandwich wrappers
- Sustainable coffee
- Washable mesh bags
- Recycled plastic patio furniture
- Ethical basics
Selling porcelain dinnerware or stainless steel water bottles? There is definitely a way you can go sustainable, little by little. You don’t have to limit yourself to these categories in order to make an impact. The idea is to do your part, no matter how small, and help your customers pave their way towards a sustainable home.
How to Sell an Eco-Friendly Product Worldwide
Let’s take a peek at what the European Commission is doing – the EU is particularly strong in pushing forth the eco-friendly agenda. The European Commission encourages sellers to go sustainable, making the EU more “resource-efficient, climate neutral, and pollution-free” – paving the way for a circular economy. The Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation hopes to improve EU products’ circularity, energy performance, and other environmental sustainability aspects.
What does this mean? The EU has big strides before it can hit its European Green Deal goals, which are aiming for a greener 2050. Essentially, it’s not just about how products still under warranty get fixed, it’s about repairing products past the warranty and ensuring a greener supply chain in order to lighten up our environmental footprint.
Folks in the EU spend around 12 billion EUR a year to buy new stuff instead of fixing up what they already have. Making new products eats up valuable resources, racks up emissions, and creates a ton of waste. So, the EU is on the path to encourage smarter, greener consumer habits, slashing emissions, and promoting a circular economy.
Sellers in the EU especially need to take all of this into consideration. Rethink product design to make it more long-lasting, and consider after-sales care. A couple of years ago, people were under the impression that many eco-friendly products weren’t durable, and would biodegrade or disintegrate after the initial use. Thankfully, this isn’t the case anymore.
Now, we’ve made a strong case for going eco-friendly and sustainable in your Amazon selling journey, but that’s easier said than done. As we mentioned above, not all cities are created equal when it comes to recycling and waste disposal, so the more durable your product is, the more sustainable it becomes, because it minimizes the carbon footprint that necessarily arises when a new product is made. (And what customer doesn’t want a durable product?)
In other words, you don’t have to sell a sustainable bamboo toothbrush just to say you’re going sustainable. Even electronic products can go sustainable, with fair trade manufacturing practices, philanthropic efforts, packaging made from recycled materials, and a large effort made to reduce the use of single-use plastic in packaging, manufacturing, shipping, and so forth.
At the end of the day, consumers want to know that you’re making an effort to go eco. And that applies to consumers all over the world.
Now, expanding your selling to other countries across the world – especially eco-friendly products – takes a nuanced approach, especially given that other countries may not be as good at recycling as others. Here are some suggestions:
- Cultural Adaptation: Did you know that Germany has the highest recycling rate in the world, recycling 66.1% of its waste? Turkey and Chile meanwhile only recycle 1% of their waste, and their total recycled waste is starting to diminish year-on-year. Nevertheless, environmental consciousness appeals to consumers world-over – it’s a country-neutral message that will resonate with customers in Germany, Turkey, Chile, and so on, no matter how difficult it may be to reduce, reuse, and recycle. The first step to cultural adaptation is country-neutral messaging – you’ve already done this with your pledge to combat climate change. The second step is to consider the recycling capabilities of the countries you sell in. Germany? Not a problem. Mexico and Japan? Not so good. Australia? Much better. Third step? Adapt your marketing messages, product descriptions, and sustainability claims to these different cultures, taking into consideration the widespread attitudes towards sustainability and recycling. Do your keyword research and see if “sustainable products,” for example, are still highly relevant in the countries that you sell in – then get creative if they aren’t. The idea is to get discovered, get bought, and encourage your customer base all over the world to do their part. Perhaps there’s a greater barrier in countries where recycling isn’t too well supported, but that’s not to say it’s an impossible feat. YLT Translations specializes in making eco-friendly products resonate with local audiences, breaking down language barriers and aligning with cultural values.
- Regulatory Compliance: Navigating the diverse regulatory landscape of global markets is crucial. Understanding and adhering to local regulations regarding sustainability claims can make or break your market entry. Each country has different regulations; just because you’re compliant in the EU doesn’t necessarily mean you’re compliant in Singapore, for example. Be sure to measure twice and cut once, as the saying goes, to appeal to your customers, fulfill your eco-friendly promise, and continue to operate in consideration of each country’s specific mandates.
Conclusion: Making a Global Impact with Eco-Friendly Products
As Amazon sellers eye 2024, the call to adopt eco-friendly products has never been louder or clearer. With the planet’s health at stake and consumers, especially the discerning Gen Z, demanding sustainable choices, now is the time for Amazon Sellers to pivot towards greener alternatives. The opportunities to contribute positively to the environment while capturing the hearts (and wallets) of eco-conscious customers are vast, and there are many easy ways to turn brands into more eco-conscious practices.
Amazon’s “Climate Pledge Friendly” label serves as a guiding star for sellers aiming to stand out in a crowded marketplace by offering products that not only meet consumer needs but do so in a way that’s kind to our planet. This initiative, rooted in Amazon’s broader commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2040, underscores the importance of sustainability in today’s retail landscape. For sellers, this means more than just riding the green wave; it’s about integrating sustainable practices into every aspect of their business, from product development to packaging and beyond.
Selling eco-friendly products on Amazon in 2024 is not just a smart business move; it’s a necessary step towards fostering a healthier planet for future generations. By focusing on sustainability, Amazon sellers have the power to make a real difference, offering products that customers can feel good about purchasing. As we look ahead, it’s clear that the future of retail is green. By embracing eco-friendly products and practices, Amazon sellers can lead the charge towards a more sustainable, environmentally friendly shopping experience.
Let’s make 2024 the year we turn the tide, making sustainability a core part of our business strategy and our contribution to the planet’s well-being. The best news is, YLT Translations can help you localize your listing to communicate your eco-friendly practices all over the globe – in over 15 languages – with a team of over 80 native speakers and translators. Put it this way, if you’re trying to sell baby products in Germany, the customers will probably ask if you use natural materials or organic ingredients, and if you’re selling items with plastic bottles in Japan, you’d do well to mention that the bottles are recyclable. That’s the sort of insight our translators can offer, in addition to translating your listings so they resonate with the specific eco-friendly ideologies of your customers world-over. Not to mention the keywords that are going to help your eco-friendly products get found on the algorithm.
Get in touch with us today – we see you, doing your part to make the planet a greener place to live, and we want to help communicate that ideology to your customers all over the globe, so they join you in your fight for a healthier planet!