Every object has its own ecological balance which is based on healthiness, duration, pollution of production processes, and obviously price. Take dishes for example: a heavy pan with a double bottom that allows you to cook even without fat or a sturdy copper pan that lasts a lifetime are an infinitely better investment than a common non-stick Teflon pan, which lasts a short time and the whose use is inadvisable for health.
The Teflon pan must be thrown away at the first signs of scratching and degradation, to avoid ingesting carcinogenic substances, and its duration therefore does not amortize theenvironmental impact linked to its production. The pan with the double bottom or the copper one cost more, of course, but if you evaluate duration, healthiness and environmental pollution, their ecological balance it is far better.
The same type of reasoning can be done, and should be done at the moment of choice, for all the objects we surround ourselves with; also taking into consideration the quality of the packaging, which in turn is polluting and a source of waste to the point of being sufficient in some cases to make negative energy balance of the purchase.
Another example is the clothes we wear. Synthetic fabrics should be avoided, especially for bedding, underwear and children's clothing because they counteract perspiration by trapping constant humidity that causes hygiene and in the long run health problems. Then taking into account the amount of polluting to produce them, theirs ecological balance it is definitely negative. The only positive side is the price, which is certainly not a negligible aspect, but is it worth it?
But even natural fabrics may not have a balance ecological positive. Cotton fibers can remain permanently impregnated by the defoliators used in cultivation. Furthermore, natural fabrics can undergo harmful treatments to obtain particular aesthetic or performance effects, such as waterproofing, anti-crease treatment or anti-stain treatments, with substances that are not eliminated even with washing.
The ecological balance of an object depends not only on the quality of the material of the individual parts of which it is made (including the packaging) but on the set of factors that contribute to this budget. In building insulation, cork and wood fiber originally have a ecological balance positive, but if they are treated with glues or additives the ecological balance becomes negative.
The only possibility to surround yourself with objects with a ecological balance positive is in the consumer's attention at the time of choice, bearing in mind that price is often a sign of quality but it is not always true that those who spend the most spend the best. This makes it quite difficult and certainly challenging to make truly green purchases.
Another related article of ours that may interest you is Eco-friendly clothing.