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[flagged] Show HN: Find Eco-friendly alternatives to Products You Use Everyday (ecoalternatives.to)
38 points by boudra 30 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 41 comments

I also see you use this website to promote Amazon products, with an Amazon Associate tag. First, your website does not comply with Amazon Associate rules (see the point "5. Identifying Yourself as an Associate"). Second, it may seem like this website, aiming to offer eco-friendly solutions, only try to sell more to people. A poor mix of eco-friendliness and consumerism in this case.

Re your second case: When economic incentives line up with environmental goals, progress is made. OP should have been transparent, but if someone makes a profit while improving other people's eco-footprints, it's a win-win.

Replacing disposable plates with slightly more "eco friendly" disposable plates isn't really improving anyone's eco-footprint. It's reinforcing the idea that disposable anything is eco-friendly.

Good is not the enemy of perfect. There are cases where disposable plates are more or less required. Food trucks/carts for example. One I frequent recently moved to using compostable plates.

The eco solution would be to use actual plates that customers return, and are then washed and reused.

>There are cases where disposable plates are more or less required.

I completely disagree, although there are cases where non-disposable plates are too expensive to have due to various reasons, but if that's the case you probably shouldn't be doing what you're doing.

Eco-friendly alternatives to plates are "Compostable Plates", followed by "Bamboo Plates"? This makes little sense. What about reusing plates, second hand market, or donations?

The sustainability and "eco-friendliness" of products is a complex question, and there is often no such thing as a simple list. See for instance the extensive study by DTU on plastic vs. paper vs. cotton bags: https://www2.mst.dk/Udgiv/publications/2018/02/978-87-93614-... The study shows, e.g., that paper bags need to be used at least 50 times to achieve the same ecological impact as the thin plastic bags (LDPE).

The purpose of this site is not conveying useful and unbiased information about ecological sustainability; it's purpose, from what I see, is to indiscriminately splay referral links all over the place. It's merely a spam site.

Many seem just an excuse to sell more stuff, but with a greenwashed label. I detect something of a bamboo theme. I guess bamboo is in right now?

A green alternative to steel cutlery is bamboo cutlery? Stainless will last 50 or 100 years, or more. Bamboo isn't going to.

Bamboo dinner napkins? WTF? Linen will last 20 years or more. So lets replace those with single use throwaway.

Also wonder how Biodegradable Cutlery in bulk is more eco-friendly than stainless steel lasting generations. Maybe it should be an alternative to plastic one-time use.

Don't get me wrong, I love this idea and hope it helps more be aware of what they buy and use. But maybe my hopes are for what is planned in version 3 of this. Good start, hope to see improvements

disposable anything marketing itself as eco-friendly is a joke. Shame on companies who attempt this.

This seems a user-contributed, user-voted site. So blame the users I guess. The most eco-friendly plate is a Banana leaf widely used in East Asia. Second is clay.

I didn't see any option to contribute to the website. Did I miss something?

It reminds me of the old, tongue-in-cheek piece by Joel Spolsky https://www.joelonsoftware.com/whattimeisit/

The described use scenario was as follows:

"...visitors are very upset if Mike has previously promised to meet with them at a certain time, but when that time comes around, Mike is nowhere to be found. This happens because Mike doesn’t know what time it is. At his secretary’s recommendation, Mike signs up for a WhatTimeIsIt.com account. Now, whenever Mike is wondering about the time, he simply logs onto WhatTimeIsIt.com, enters his username and password, and finds out the current time."

Years have passed and now, if Mike can't think of an eco-friendly alternative to a paper coffee cup, he can go to the ecoalternatives website to find out he could get a stainless steel coffee mug with autoseal and thermalock instead. Eureka! ;)

(I'm honestly not sure if that's really the equivalent of a paper cup - personally I'd think a regular ceramic cup, 10 times cheaper, would be more accurate in reproducing the same functionality, but let's assume Mike is capable of figuring this one out without a website).

But chances are you already have a ceramic cup, so that suggestion wouldn't generate any sales.

It would be useful if the alternatives had an explanation on how they are more eco-friendly. As it is now, it's a starting point for research, without any guarantees.

One of the things listed is ice trays. I was unaware ice trays were a problem big enough to deserve alternatives? Food packaging is probably a bigger issue (disposable lunch containers could be replaced with glass or steel).

> Steel ice trays are a more sustainable option than the typical plastic ice trays.

Citation needed. I've never seen anyone not using their plastic ice trays for a decade. Sometimes more like 3 decades.

Minimizing small sources of pollution is always good, but I'm seeing a huge pattern of greenwashing.

If people focus on ice trays and straws and forget large sources of pollution [1] we get what looks like an avoidance/displacement/procrastination behavior.

It's like taking vitamins as an excuse to delay a needed surgery, so to speak.

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2017/jul/10...

Some plastic ice trays can be pretty crappy though. Source: mine broke. I've got a silicon one now, not sure if it'll last longer though.

Steel, even stainless steel, can rust. So they don't have to last longer, it also depends on the quality

Should probably include how many plastic cups need to be avoided to payback investment into metal cup. Metal has a lot more energy poured into its construction and molding, plastic for its all longevity as trash is at least cheap to make. Without this contrast, hard for readers to analyze payback period.

No about page, no privacy page, no additional pages...

Yet somehow Google Analytics made its way into the source code...........

Really? An alternative made in China with cheap plastic? These green washers are everywhere.

Can recommend to add reusable diapers. If you buy gender neutral and get 2 children, you will save money on it guaranteed making it win-win for environment.

Congratulations on shipping something meant to do good for the planet!

I think you should add more context to each item. I'd like to see specifically why an item is bad and how the replacement is better.

The toothbrush is a good start but it would be more impactful if credible studies were linked. I have a hard time imagining that my toothbrushes end up in the sea.

Are paper actually better than plastic if the plastic ones are disposed of properly?

There's no alternative for toothpaste and no way to suggest one.

well, miswak replaces toothbrush AND toothpaste

Miscellaneous is mispelled, it's missing an l.

There are some stupid ideas on there..

Great job! I have two suggestions:

New category: deodorant, https://nuudcare.com/

New "product": shampoo, https://www.nopoomethod.com/

For deodorant a far more ecofriendly alternative would be to just use an alum stone

For both of those you can probably add LUSH's products. They have a nice website as well

why is this a great job? Can you elaborate? Are you a bot for this amazon affiliate website?

No. I'm not a bot. Very real person who is enthusiastic about the mentioned product and use of no shampoo at all.

It's literally just a list of referral links for greenwashed consumer products. Even if you're enthusiastic about "the mentioned product" (whatever one that is) doesn't mean such a low effort blatant spam site deserves a "great job," much less a "good job."

what product? Again, why is this a great job?

I'm relatively (I think?) well-informed on feminine products for a guy, but I didn't know menstrual cups were a thing. Women deal with more discomfort than we give them credit for.

Some of the items I'm confused about — are plastic ice trays so bad for the environment? I thought the "bad" plastic products were bad because they're typically not reusable (bags, straws, etc). Ice trays aren't single use.

In any case, great website!

Don't try to use logic against hardcore environmentalists. Plastic == bad.

This is a bad website to be honest, as ordering consumables off Amazon least environmentally friendly ways to distribute them. Far better to ship via pallet to a local supermarket.

Or... Eliminate the need entirely. We need to change our entire way of thinking from 'buy and throw away', to 'invest and re-use'.

I had an environmentalist complain about a leather guitar strap I've had for 10 years, and that I should throw it away and get one made from an eco-material, such as recycled denim.

The leather guitar strap was ...

* More durable than any other guitars strap I've ever had

* A by-product of the huge meat industry (I'm a veggie myself)

* In my possession and functional

A lot of the buzz around small changes to help the environment, but the real change needs to happen to the consumer lifestyle we all seem to have. There is no quick fix.

Sadly, I think you're right. The Penn & Teller: Bullshit! episode on recycling showed some pretty good examples.

I'm an environmentalist, but only with a little e.

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