What Should Eco-Conscious Consumers Know About the FSC?

What Should Eco-Conscious Consumers Know About the FSC?
Reading Time: 5 minutes

What Should Eco-Conscious Consumers Know About the FSC? Image Unsplash.

Reading Time: 5 minutes

What Should Eco-Conscious Consumers Know About the FSC?

If you have yet to hear of the FSC, you should know that this organization has the potential to change your life and influence the products you use. Maybe you’re new to the world of sustainability, or you’ve been searching for ways to lower your carbon footprint further. 

The FSC aims to benefit forests worldwide, and shopping products certified by them can leave you with a clean conscience. You’ll know where your product comes from and that it doesn’t leave any lasting damage.

What Is FSC and Why Is It Important?

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a non-profit organization based out of Germany that seeks to show the beauty of forests and all the life they hold. In 1993, the FSC first sought to advocate for worldwide sustainable forestry, hoping to make a change and better the world.

This organization wears many hats, but aside from educating people about forests, they also work with businesses and have their own sustainability labels on products. At the same time, they protect the lives of endangered species more than what’s required by law and conserve the resources and sites important to indigenous people.

The FSC indirectly created the standards for many countries by setting a global standard and allowing nations to adapt them to their environments. Over 1,600 companies work with the FSC to develop products fitting the labels, which has led to over 50% of consumers worldwide knowing what the FSC label entails.

What Does the FSC Label Tell the Customer?

Breaking down the FSC label is easy once you know what to look for. The trademark check and tree design is on every single one of the labels, which are usually green but might come in other colors. What might catch your eye first is the label’s title, which is directly under or beside the logo and website. A bit of text under the title tells you more about the title and what it represents. 

The titles you’ll see on the labels are the following:

  • 100%: This title means the product is made from wood only from FSC-certified forests that have been well looked after.
  • RECYCLED: The product with this title is made from 100% recycled materials.
  • MIX: This product was made from a blend of FSC-certified forests, recycled material and other sustainable sources.

Understanding the FSC labels is crucial to knowing the product you’re getting. If you want to support sustainability, you should be able to communicate why you chose a certain product — and being knowledgeable about the labels is the best way to educate others. 

When you support an FSC-labeled product, you’re supporting fair wages for workers while protecting animal species that balance the ecosystem.

Do FSC-Certified Products Cost More?

Generally speaking, many FSC-certified products do cost more than their non-sustainable counterparts. It might help to think of it as organic and non-organic food. When you buy organic, you expect to spend a bit more — in your head, that’s okay, because it means you’re getting a better-quality product for the extra dollars and cents you pay. FSC-labeled products are similar.

For example, FSC-labeled paper might cost up to 20% more than standard paper, but in many cases, the extra cost is little compared to paper that isn’t necessarily ethically sourced. If you’re on a budget, price-checking your options is the best way to go. Any wiggle room can be used to support companies that care about the environment and help you feel better about making a difference.

Why Would a Consumer Purchase an FSC-Certified Product?

If you can afford both options, why not go with the product that can make a difference? The FSC label shows that a product or company is certified sustainable. By using eco-friendly materials, a company can ensure that the products they create don’t lead to deforestation or provide any other harm to protected groups.

What does that mean for consumers? Well, a product just having the label might entice people to buy it, knowing they’ll make a difference by supporting a company that cares. It’s another small thing you can do to create a sustainable life and ensure you make the most of every choice.

1. They Know It’s Responsibly Sourced

Leading a greener lifestyle is plenty of motivation for some people to buy FSC-certified products. Many household items, like toilet or printer paper, can be FSC-certified. By incorporating more FSC-certified products into your home, you can feel good about where your things come from and know you’re contributing to a greener future.

People who want to change their lives and decrease their carbon footprints might choose something that is sustainably packaged and sustainably sourced. Zero-waste packaging is expected to grow to over $500 billion by 2030. If you adopt a new lifestyle now, you’ll be better prepared for the future. It’s never too late to learn how to recycle things properly, and it’s never too early to adopt eco-friendly products into your lifestyle.

2. Businesses Might Change

Businesses strive to meet the demands of consumers. If they realize there’s more stock in ethically sourced and produced items, they may opt for more sustainable packaging or strive to create eco-friendly items. Many businesses aspire to have an FSC label because they know the difference it could make in the world. With many corporations working together, lasting change could be a reality — leading to the preservation of protected lands.

Small businesses may lean toward greater sustainability once they become self-sufficient enough to opt for sustainable packaging — in the future, they might even move toward creating FSC-certified products. It could take a while for a business to pivot its values and reach new goals, but any company that plans to make a change is one worth following. 

3. It Makes A Statement

Your voice is one of the most important things in this world. Without a voice, you can’t speak up for yourself and let your opinions be heard. Speaking up for the environment — and putting your money where your mouth is — can make a huge difference that can impact corporations and cause them to pivot their intentions and goals.

Communities that have long been taken advantage of may not have a voice for themselves. Lower-income communities might not have the same environmental opportunities as those in higher-income areas and may need someone to speak up and amplify their voices. Endangered animals also have no voices to protest the wrongs done to them. You can use your money in ways to show that you value the lives of others, from the largest to the smallest creatures.

Eco-Friendly Lifestyles Made Easy, Thanks to the FSC

The FSC oversees products taken from forests. Anything from wood, paper, textiles and more can fall under its jurisdiction. To live an eco-friendly life, use the FSC labels to guide your future household purchases. You may still be able to make room for sustainable products in your home, even when you’re on a tight budget. 

When you start to buy more responsibly, you may notice yourself feeling happier and healthier overall. Knowing that you’re benefiting an ecosystem and showing corporations where your values lie can help you feel empowered — and ultimately, lead to you living a better life.

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