I’m sure you’ve probably seen these words everywhere, but aren’t really sure what the difference is. I have to admit, neither did I! It was only when I started to write more Eco-friendly posts do I realise how many ‘variations’ there were.

They were of course, not really variations, as they actually have separate meanings! So here, I’ve decided to once and for all, show you what exactly the difference is between Eco-friendly, green and sustainable!


I went around and found out that this word is actually commonly used to refer to products that are friendly and not harmful to our environment. Eco-friendly products prevent contributions towards the air, water, and land pollution.

Although my blog isn’t entirely a product, I use Eco-friendly more often as it is a more commonly used word, making it easier for people to understand.

Example: This is an Eco-friendly shopping bag.


Green, however, is a very general term. I’m not just talking about the colour green though! Rather, this word is now used commonly in colloquial speech for anything that contributes positively to the environment. This may include the environment itself, movement, architecture, products, and fashion.

Example: A green design/ A green dress / a green building.


However, sustainable on the other hand is the complete opposite of green. Sustainable is a very specific word that represents a larger scope of issues and activities that prevents future generations from meeting their needs.

The word sustainable generally focuses on the future, where our present actions should provide environmental, social and economic benefits for our future generation without using up too many resources or causing pollution.

Example: This is a sustainable house as it does not use up all the wood for our future generation.

In Conclusion

After researching the differences, I couldn’t believe how different they were. I am also a bit ashamed of myself for sometimes using it interchangeably when I talk to my friends and family.

I got most of my information from this blog post, so if you want further information on their differences as well as the difference between clean, ethical, fair trade, organic, non-toxic and conscious, you should definitely check it out!


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  1. I love that you outline the difference between these three terms. I think all of these terms are important but should be used appropriately. I like that sustainable focuses on the bigger picture, in a macro sense. I know I use sustainable and eco-friendly a lot but in different meanings. Thanks for outlining the differences.

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

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