What does “Eco” even Mean?

Eco (Adjective)
Definition: who the heck knows anymore?

“Eco” is only three letters, but it means a lot of things. Merriam-Webster defines it as “ecological or environmental,” but what does that even mean?

In my view, eco relates to the overall improvement of environmental and human health, but the definition takes new form depending on the context. For example, “Eco-Friendly Soaps” means they are likely made from natural, organic materials and contain no toxins. But “Eco Friendly Fashion” often has to do with the material, the sourcing, packaging, and more.

If the word “eco” was a tree, words like conservation, biodegradable and recyclable, would be branches. They are all different components of being environmentally-friendly.

We often refer to Zeeva.eco as an “eco-only Amazon” because we are focusing on only products/services that benefit the planet.

But there is more to it than that. Sustainability is also an overarching term like eco, but it expands beyond just environmental. For example, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) act as guidelines for individuals and corporations, and include cultural, economic, and social aspects. Goal number 10 is to reduce inequality and goal sixteen is about supporting overall peace and justice. 

Thus, the words “eco” and “sustainability” are intrinsically tied together – sustainability is like the roots of the eco tree. The roots aren’t as visible, but they are just as much a part of the tree. For example, climate change and immigration aren’t often thought of within the same frame — but climate change is very much a root of the problem. 

Drivers of migration include wildfires like those seen in Australia, rising sea levels affecting islands and coastal cities, the destruction of crops and livestock in sub-Saharan Africa, and more. These “climate refugees” will have to go somewhere.

Zeeva.eco will use the SDGs as a blueprint for how we run our business and throughout our seller application process. But we also want to help our seller partners understand and try to as well. Just as importantly, we want to help bring context to these broad terms, and ultimately help consumers shop towards a better direction for our future.

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