Young people do yoga indoors

Relaxation is one of the best ways to defuse stress and improve your mental health. If you work a stressful job or if your personal responsibilities start accumulating, it’s important to take time to relax, develop some effective breathing techniques, and spend a few hours (or a few days) on yourself.

Unfortunately, many of the products designed to help you relax could end up harming the environment, so it’s important to build your awareness and choose those products carefully.

Why Some Products Are More Harmful

These are just some of the reasons why a product may be environmentally unfriendly:

  • Production. It takes energy and raw materials to make new products from scratch. That energy can come from burning fossil fuels, and those raw materials may be harvested unsustainably.
  • Packaging. Our throwaway culture has led to terrible packaging practices, so some products end up creating far more waste than necessary.
  • Shipping. If your product is shipped from hundreds of miles away, you need to consider the environmental costs of the fuel used in transporting it to you.
  • Energy consumption. The more energy your product consumes, in general, the worse it is for the environment.
Lavender herb and essential oil
Aromatherapy can help relieve stress. Photo: Adobe Stock

Products to Help You Relax

So which products are available to help you relax? These are some of your best eco-friendly options:

1. CBD Oil

CBD oil is a natural product derived from cannabis, which, unlike THC, will not make you high. Instead, CBD oil produces a calming, relaxing effect on most people. This oil is legal worldwide and has no psychoactive ingredients.

2. Organic Essential Oils

Aromatherapy is becoming increasingly popular, with essential oils like lavender and bergamot leading the pack in terms of popularity and effectiveness. However, the source of these essential oils can make a big difference; make sure you buy from a vendor who extracts and produces these essential oil products sustainably.

3. Organic Lotions and Scrubs

You could also rely on lotions and scrubs as part of your relaxation experience, rubbing down your body and improving the quality of your skin. Again, be sure to pay attention to the ingredients labels; make sure all ingredients were sourced responsibly and try to purchase from local creators whose production processes are sustainable. You can also make your scrubs and lotions at home!

4. Recycled Yoga Mat

Relaxing with yoga and/or meditation is one of the best ways to relieve stress in your life. Gentle exercise and clearing the mind can bring good things to your life, and you won’t need many products — other than a mat. Make sure you get a mat made from recycled materials to minimize your environmental impact.

5. Biodegradable Flower Pots

Gardening is a popular way to relax, and it comes with some added benefits when your flowers start to bloom or your crops start producing fruits and vegetables. However, you’ll still need to pay attention to your choices in products; for example, choose biodegradable flower pots to minimize the waste you introduce into the environment.

6. Solar-powered Grill

If your idea of relaxation is hosting a barbecue with your friends and family, you might want to invest in some high-quality, environmentally friendly equipment — like a solar-powered grill. While you’re at it, try to buy your meat, fruits and vegetables from local sources, and don’t use disposable plates or silverware. Try to keep your party as waste-free as possible; it may even help you enjoy festivities more!

When shopping for these products, try to buy locally. By doing so, you can help support your local economy and reduce the demand for fuel. You might even end up with better-quality products. Now you can spend a nice weekend relaxing — with the reassurance that you’re minimizing your environmental impact.

By Jenna Cyprus

Jenna is a freelance writer and business consultant who covers business, technology and entrepreneurship. She's lectured for several universities and worked with more than 100 businesses over the course of the past 15 years. She's a mother of two kids, and loves to go camping, hiking and skiing with her family.