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Do the right thing with these eco-friendly products that help you save money, stay healthy, and reduce waste.
Paperboard is generally preferred over plastic because it can be recycled or composted. It’s even better if the paper-based packaging is made from recycled and/or FSC-certified paper. In the US, paper and paperboard are recycled the most, at around 75%, while plastics are recycled the least at under 15%. Most cities offer the option to recycle paperboard, which decreases the need for virgin material, but even if you can’t access somewhere to recycle it, paperboard will biodegrade in the compost.
Around 20% of the food we buy never gets eaten. Meal planning can help make sure you aren’t buying extra food that will go bad before you have time to eat it. Making a list is not only applicable to the grocery store, but can also be applied when visiting any other store as well. Thinking about and rationalizing your planned purchases before you go to the store can help you avoid buying unnecessary items, which take energy, water, and other resources to produce.
Litterati is a free app to join the community to identify, map, and collect the world's litter. Your input will be used to work with companies and organizations to find more sustainable solutions.
Doesn’t it feel like there are better cell phones, tablets, TVs, and computers coming out every few months? We are upgrading our current devices faster than ever, using raw material such as tin, cobalt, lithium, gold, silver, and copper and creating a lot of electronic waste or e-waste. Overall, the less frequently we replace our gadgets, the less strain we put on natural resources used to make them, and the less e-waste we create.
If you don’t need a receipt or can have one emailed to you, it’s a small way to reduce paper that can add up. If you do get a receipt, the kind that looks like actual paper is recyclable or compostable, but if a receipt is shiny, that means it has a chemical coating. Shiny receipts are not recyclable and have to go in the trash bin.
This Los Angeles clothing company takes transparency seriously. Outside of sourcing their materials sustainably, Reformation tracks the environmental cost of each piece of clothing and displays it on their website. Just like checking your tag to find out the wash instructions, you can go online to see how much CO2, water, and waste was saved during the production of every article of clothing they sell. They also boast having electric car chargers in their parking lot and offering their employees public transit passes! Reformation has a social conscience, as well. They produce 99% of their good within the U.S., offer employees free English as a Second Language (ESL) courses, and provide free services for workers seeking full U.S. citizenship.
Join the global movement saying no to wasteful plastic phone cases.
Rechargeable batteries have gone down in price over the years. They also eliminate the waste associated with regular batteries and are more convenient than having to buy new batteries and recycling old ones.
Bring a reusable bag (cloth, paper, or plastic) or hand carry items if you’re only picking up a few things.
Sea2See products are made with 100% upcycled sea plastic waste. Made in Italy.
When you buy a new electronic device, make sure your old item is properly recycled instead of thrown out with other trash. Items may be able to be recycled through your organization, a local recycling facility, or a manufacturer/retailer take-back program that often includes a drop-off or mail-in option. The Earth911 website can also provide you with information on the most convenient proper disposal option in your area. Recycling electronics keeps them out of the landfill, reduces the need for new virgin material, and saves energy. Recycling a million laptops saves the same amount of energy used by more than 3,500 U.S. homes per year. The recycling rate for computers in the US is estimated to be around 40%, while the other 60% goes to the landfill.
If you're an environmentally conscious person, buying a bunch of gifts that will either go to waste or harm the planet might just make you cringe around the holiday season. And for good reason. Americans throw away 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year's than at any other time of year. The extra waste creates about 25 million tons of garbage, which is 1 million extra tons per week!
By supporting companies that are committed to doing things better, we signal our desire for change and help make it the norm for all companies to consider the sustainability of their products and operations. "You vote with your wallet" is a great mantra to remember when shopping.
Rise provides the tools, know-how, and connections to help you renovate and build money-saving, sustainable homes.
Secondhand women's clothing, accessories, and footwear! Vinted is thrifting re-imagined.
Pledgeling specializes in turning your vision for social impact into a movement that will transform your business and the world
A sustainable lifestyle brand using material science and smart design to make life easier.
Explore green products & services that meet San Francisco's health & environmental requirements.
Certification labels (e.g., Organic, Fair Trade) are helpful in identifying products that meet a specific standard of environmental impact. Choosing these products is a great way to purchase sustainably, but it is still worthwhile to take the time and read product labels and packaging to help you make even more informed decisions. The certification label system was invented in part because product labels and packaging can be confusing and not so forthcoming with the information you may be looking for. However, the absence of a certification label doesn’t automatically mean it’s an unsustainable product, and this is when diving into the details of the product label can be useful. Also, when studying up on a specific product, be conscious of greenwashing.
Their mission is to eliminate clothing waste and closet clutter. When you buy a tee, it comes along with an annual membership which means that whenever you a ready for a new shirt you can swap the old one out for $8. Once you receive the new shirt we’ll take the old one back to recycle into new product. At the end of a year you can either keep the tee or choose to renew for another year for a discounted price.
Batteries are made from materials such as zinc, manganese, potassium, and steel that can be recycled. Many organizations have battery drop-offs to take used batteries to a local recycling facility in bulk. Batteries may be able to be dropped off at one of your local retailers, and might even be accepted by your local recycling facility. The website, Earth911, is a great resource to see where you can drop off batteries for recycling.
- Josué Velázquez-Martínez, a sustainable logistics professor at MIT, on the environmental impact of Amazon’s 2-day Prime shipping.
Although it may be easier to simply buy a new TV, smartphone, or computer when a problem arises with one that you already own, you should first do your due diligence to see if it can be fixed. Smartphone and other similar electronic repair stores (or someone you know) may be able to fix it cheaper and easier than you think.
Finding stores where you're able to purchase food and household staples without packaging can be a challenge. I've compiled a list of stores throughout the country that will allow you to purchase unpackaged staples in your own containers. You can use this list to help you find bulk goods while traveling, or if you're just starting your transition to a zero waste lifestyle.
Safer Choice helps consumers, businesses, and purchasers find products that perform and are safer for human health and the environment.
Many computers have energy management features where you can set your computer to go to sleep or hibernate when not in use. Turning your screensaver off and fully exiting programs are two other ways you can help conserve your computer’s battery life, and thus, reduce the amount of energy it uses. For latops and tablets, the less you let your device get down to 0% battery, the better.
Lots of packaging waste is due to online shopping so try to buy local instead. When you do buy online, group your purchases, don't opt for extra-fast shipping, and request less and recyclable packaging. After you receive your purchase, try to reuse the packaging before disposal.
Brewing beer is a notoriously wasteful enterprise, from the waste created by the fermentation of malt, hops, and barley to the large amounts of transportation required to get the beer to the consumer. Not to mention, the brewing industry is one of the largest industrial users of water requiring 4 times as much water to produce one beer. But this Colorado-based brewery has managed to divert **99.9%** of their waste away from the landfill by putting in place an extensive recycling and composting program. In fact, they claim that by separating out metal, cardboard, plastic and glass, they are able to sell those materials to recyclers, and in doing so, earn enough to pay four employees’ salaries.
Shop for trusted brands now redesigned to be smarter and waste free.
Purchasing items from a local store or craft event helps your local economy by contributing to the job and tax base that supports local needs such as education, infrastructure improvements, and so on. Locally owned businesses often purchase supplies from other local ventures, which helps to avoid the extra GHG emissions associated with long-distance transportation. However, local stores do not necessarily sell local goods, so use your best judgment.
LOLIWARE has pioneered the world's leading seaweed technology to replace single use plastics. LOLIWARE's products harness LIST (LOLIWARE Intelligent Seaweed Technologies) to create single use items designed to disappear. LOLIWARE is poised to completely replace single-use plastics beginning with the launch of the company’s new seaweed-based straw. LOLIWARE’s Straw, The Straw of the Future, looks, feels and acts like plastic, but is made from 100% food grade materials. It is designed to disappear either through composting or natural processes.
Green Seal is an ecolabel, symbolizing transparency, integrity and proven environmental leadership. They develop life-cycle-based, multi-attribute standards and certify products and services that can prove they meet strict criteria for human health, reduced environmental impact and excellent performance. Operating as a nonprofit since its founding in 1989, it has certified thousands of products and services in over 450 categories, and is specified by numerous schools, government agencies, businesses and institutions.
Bring a reusable bag (cloth, paper, or plastic) or hand carry items if you’re only picking up a few things.
Grocery store bulk bins offer commonly used items such as nuts, grains, spices, granola, and cooking basics without all the packaging. Plastic bags are usually available, but you can avoid those by bringing your own reusable containers or bags to fill up. A handful of “package-free” stores have popped up in cities from Berlin to Austin in the last few years, which carry a wide range of local products such as produce, nuts, grains, and eggs – all in bulk. Although package-free stores are far from being accessible to most people, it’s exciting to see and know what’s possible.
Full disclosure, tentree is one of our amazing business partners - but that just makes them even more awesome. Tentree takes the eco-friendly clothing brand to the next level. Their mission is spelled out right there in their name - for every product sold they plant ten trees at one of their planting projects around the world. So far, tentree has planted more than 20 million trees across 20+ projects around the world, and by 2030 they want to have placed 1 billion trees in the ground. That's a lot of trees, but the more the merrier. Tentree doesn't think it's enough to just give back to the environment, so they make sure their products are eco-friendly to begin with by using sustainable materials like hemp, organic cotton, and natural dyes. These products reduce the amount of micro-plastics that end up in our oceans and limit the use of harmful chemicals like pesticides that pollute soil and groundwater. And they look great too!
A resource to help consumers manage home and garden pests in a way that protects the environment.
It's actually possible to recycle these through drop-off locations or by mail. https://www.plasticfilmrecycling.org/recycling-bags-and-wraps/find-drop-off-location/
Repurpose is a line of sustainable tableware that looks out for the health of you, your family, & the planet. We make products exclusively from plants!
When you do buy online, group your purchases, don't opt for extra-fast shipping, and request less and recyclable packaging. After you receive your purchase, try to reuse the packaging before disposal.
Most plastics have a number between 1 and 7 on them, identifying what type of plastic they are made from. However, these numbers don’t actually tell us if the packaging is recyclable or not. Although finding out the recyclability of an item really depends on where you live, you can count on rigid plastics being accepted more often than thin plastic film, even if they have the same number. Bioplastics, or plastics made from some plant-based material, may also have a number 7 and “PLA” on them, but these items are not recyclable, and can even damage recycling equipment if they make it that far. There are also different types of bioplastics, which makes things even trickier. Only items that explicitly say “compostable” are compostable, otherwise they go to the landfill.
I've mentioned Yelp before as a great way to find locations that offer bulk options. Though it's not 100% in locating every single bulk location, it does help me find a lot of them. One feature that I truly love is being able to see pictures that others have uploaded for a specific location. This shows what the stores have to offer. It's important that, in order for this app to become more useful, we review and upload pictures of bulk locations as we find them. This will help others find these locations in the future. You can also use this app to locate thrift stores.
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