There are many millions of packaged items shipped throughout the world on a daily basis. Each and every one of these creates waste, and many conventional packing materials cannot be recycled. With the huge amount of companies transporting goods from factories to warehouses and then to retailers, as well as the huge amount of online orders placed daily, there is a hugely wasteful amount of plastics, Styrofoam, cardboard, and paper used in the process. Thankfully, sustainable packaging offers a solution to this problem.
While other countries across the globe have been adopting federal initiatives to go green, the U.S. has left this challenge, in large part, to local governments in large cities and small towns throughout the nation. Though not exhaustive, the examples listed below are outstanding showcase cities that offer glimpses for what cities of all sizes can do to make greener, more sustainable choices.
Ever get tired of the endless search for cardboard boxes when moving? How about the guessing game that goes along with deciphering the not-so-interesting smells coming from them? Search no more. There’s a better way to deal with the boxing of your prized possessions when moving – FROGBOX!
Looking to sharpen your environmental vocabulary? Like most everything, green living has developed a healthy dose of jargon, catchphrases, and buzzwords. With so many terms, it can be confusing to cut through the jargon, so here’s a quick sustainability glossary to help you speak green — as well as live green.
Do you support green business? Read to the end of the post to find out how you can take a simple action – show where you stand by adopting your free, attractive “I Support Green Business!” badge.
Supporting Green Business
One of the things we can each do to make our world a better place to live is to practice being responsible consumers. It has been said that money makes the world go ‘round, and to the extent that is true, it’s important to put our money where our mouths are.
PlushBeds.com feels that supporting companies such as the following, that are making substantial contributions to the environment and to commerce, is an important step in effecting real, positive change in our surroundings and in our overall personal well-being. Many of these companies are not only offering more sustainable products and services, but are also contributing to larger efforts for social change. Some of them are already well-known and have made their mark in society, while others you may not have heard of yet. Each of them is playing a significant role in what is available to us as consumers so that we may each feel good about our own contribution to greener living. We hope you’ll bookmark this page and reference it again and again to help you in making socially responsible consumer-based decisions.
The Green Business Difference-Makers
Seventh Generation began in 1988, and produces plant-based products, including household (dishwashing, hand soap, laundry, and general household cleaners), baby diapers and wipes, and health and beauty products. The mission of Seventh Generation is to consider the effects of their actions on the well-being of the next seven generations. The company believes in transparency, and discloses its ingredients for all of its home care products.
Canvas Host is a company that offers sustainable web hosting. They have partnered with Bonneville Environmental Foundation to purchase locally-produced renewable wind and geothermal energy for the electricity needs used to power their operations. Their greener dedicated servers are created using a lead- and halogen-free manufacturing process. Beginning in 2014, Canvas Host also struck a partnership with Friends of Trees, planting one new tree in the Portland Metro area for each new customer sign up to further green their local environment.
Stonyfield makes organic yogurt, always without the use of persistent pesticides, GMOs, artificial hormones, and antibiotics. The end product is USDA Organic certified. Their milk is sourced from their Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative of over 1,500 dairy family farmers. With a large variety of fruits and flavors, Stonyfield yogurt comes in Greek, Greek and Chia, blends, fruit on the bottom, Smooth & Creamy, O’ Soy, YoBaby, YoToddler, YoKids, frozen yogurt, frozen yogurt bars, Greek frozen yogurt, and frozen yogurt pearls. They also offer smoothies, milk, omega-3 milk, cream, butter, and Petite Crème.
Green Singles was one of the first online dating sites, originally launched in 1996, and has been serving green singles for over 30 years. If you are single and place a priority on meeting a partner that is environmentally conscious, www.GreenSingles.com may be for you. This website seeks to connect those with similar passions and practices as they relate to the environment and sustainable living. Rather than having to get to know a person first, and then finding out where his or her ethics towards green living lie, Green Singles makes it much simpler for the relationship seeker to screen out incompatible prospects, and find those they would be able to live most harmoniously with.
United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) is a national distributor of natural foods, organic foods, specialty foods, nutritional supplements, personal care items, and organic produce. With 32 distribution centers serving the US, Canada, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, Bermuda, South Africa and Australia, UNFI distributes over 80,000 natural, organic, and specialty products from 4,000 suppliers across the globe. One of the uniquenesses of UNFI is their LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified buildings, as well as their large solar panel arrays, which have avoided thousands of tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
Founded in 2003, Tesla Motors makes cars that run completely on electricity. Their first car hit the streets in 2008. Tesla has 3 models, the Model S, Model X, and Roadster. Each of them is a zero emission vehicle. The Model S is a sedan and has a range of up to 275 miles at 65 mph. The maximum acceleration of this model is an amazing 0-60 in 3.2 seconds! The Model X is a kind of a blend between SUV and minivan. The doors on the Model X are Falcon Wing (open up instead of out), and there is a convenient step-in access to the 2nd and 3rd row seating. The Roadster is a sleek-looking sports car with a top speed of 125 mph. Those who own a Model S are able to charge their cars for free at Supercharger stations placed strategically from coast to coast. There are a total of 139 functional Supercharger stations in the U.S. at the time of this writing. The Superchargers are capable of delivering up to 50% battery capacity in about 20 minutes and 100% in 75 minutes.
Bret Love and Mary Gabbett are the amazing couple that came together to make Green Global Travel a reality. Bret and Mary are both extremely passionate about travel. They love learning about new people, places, and things (they love nouns 🙂 ). But they love verbs, too – they share, they inspire, they explore, they photograph, they write – all about ecotourism. Their shared love of travel is based on sustainability, making sure all the things they live, breathe, and experience are available for many generations to come. The chronicling of their journeys will help you better appreciate Mother Nature and the wonderful things She has to offer. You’ll feel as if you’ve been along for the ride with Bret and Mary as they take you to places you’ve never imagined. The photography on Green Global Travel is gorgeous. It makes you yearn to live the dream that Bret and Mary are living together. They also have a substantial section of over 107 “Go Green Tips” on everything from saving energy and sustainable gardening at home to making responsible, sustainable decisions when you travel (choosing a green hotel, finding responsible Scuba Diving operators, etc.). As well, the blog regularly cover Eco News, including recent stories on the ethics of captive cetacean facilities, whether hunting is viable for wildlife conservation, and more. If you just can’t get away, at the very least you can use their website as a favorite destination for collecting some fantastic pins for your Pinterest account! Bret and Mary have also recently launched Green Travel Media, a media and marketing company for sustainable brands.
Richard Demb and Jon Polin are friends and co-founders of Abe’s Market. Their goal is to connect the makers of natural products with buyers by helping them spread their unique story and allowing consumers access to the makers so they can be informed and gather as much information as possible to feel comfortable with a purchasing decision. The natural product offerings for sale on the Abe’s Market website include baby and children products (clothing, hygiene, furniture, toys, etc.), food and drink, beauty (makeup, perfume, nail polish), bath and body, herbal remedies and vitamin supplements, home products, accessories and apparel, and even pet care (dog and cat food, toys, grooming, etc.). Every product is tried, and every ingredient is tested. If they don’t like it, they don’t sell it. Abe’s Market is a wonderful one-stop shop for all of your natural product needs.
TerraCycle has an amazing story behind it. It all began with a 19 year-old Princeton student, Tom Szaky, who was looking for a business idea to enter into a contest at Princeton University. He stumbled upon one on his fall break, as he observed friends using fertilizer generated from red wiggler worms to feed their indoor plants. From plant food to now today all kinds of upcycled and recycled products, from used drink pouches to cigarette butts, TerraCycle is wildly successful and one of the fastest-growing green companies in the world. TerraCycle works with more than 100 brands in the U.S. and 22 other countries as it innovates by collecting and reusing non-recyclable, post-consumer waste.
PrAna means breath, life, and vitality of spirit. It’s the perfect name for a sustainable clothing manufacturer. PrAna apparel and accessories are made with organic cotton, natural fibers, and recycled materials, and PrAna is the first North American company to sell Fair-Trade Certified clothing. PrAna’s core customer base is those who enjoy the outdoors, those who love yoga or moving-type meditation, and athletes. The company is always evolving and seeking to find new ways to reduce their environmental impact. Their product categories include shirts, sweaters, jackets, pants, belts, headwear, climbing gear, and yoga mats and accessories.
Organic Valley is a co-op of family farmers, founded in 1988, who produce organic products. Beginning with growing organic produce and later adding dairy products, Organic Valley is presently the number one source of organic milk in the United States. Organic Valley’s main mission is to keep family farms protected and thriving, so we can all enjoy healthier and more delicious foods. The co-op is made up of 1,779 family farms, which each have a voice in the future of their business (similar in concept to a credit union, because it is member-owned). Choosing Organic Valley products is choosing humane treatment of animals and good stewardship of the environment. Organic Valley’s product offerings include milk, cream, sour cream, cheese, butter, eggs, cottage cheese, meat, produce, and more.
Having both experienced toxic exposure, Adam Lowry and Eric Ryan, founders of Method, wanted to create an entire line of cleaning products using eco-friendly materials. They set out to do just that, and it resulted in their company, Method, being one of the fastest growing private companies in America. Today, Method has over 60 Cradle to Cradle certified products (Cradle to Cradle certification assesses five categories: material health, material reutilization, renewable energy use, water stewardship, and social responsibility). In 2012, Method merged with Ecover to create the world’s largest green cleaning company. Method products include all types of home cleaners, air fresheners, hand and body wash, laundry detergent, and dish soap.
Eco Express is a green gift company founded in 1995. Their products all have these things in common: they are high quality, healthy, environmentally friendly, and are packaged beautifully (using materials that are recycled, recyclable, and reusable). Their product categories include baby, bath, coffee and tea, sweets and treats, and home. Eco Express’s product lineup is priced very reasonably, with most gifts and gift baskets under $100. Many of the products sold by Eco Express come from small family-owned or women-owned companies and support the overarching cause of sustainability.
Looking for a grocery store where everything sold is healthy? Well, look no further. Whole Foods Market is America’s healthiest grocery store. Whole Foods Market carefully evaluates every product that it sells in its stores. What will you find in a Whole Foods Market grocery store? Well, just about everything you’d find in a regular grocery store (minus the foods that aren’t real, of course). And the foods that Whole Foods Market carries are much healthier, being the first nationally certified organic grocer in the United States. The market is also mission-driven, so you can be sure that they have standards in place regarding environmental stewardship, animal welfare, organic farming, seafood sustainability, Whole Trade, and a commitment to society by supporting several worthy foundations. Whole Foods Market participates in community giving of over 5% of total net sales each year.
What is Flor? Glad you asked. Flor is a company that offers a modular system of carpet. You take small 20” x 20” squares to make your personalized floor covering. If you change your mind, you can change your carpet. If you have a stain or spill, you can remove the square immediately and clean it at your kitchen sink. Flor uses recycled and recyclable materials in everything they make. When you are done using your carpet, you send it back (for free) to Flor, and they recycle it for use in other products. With Flor, you can create any type of floor covering that you want, and have any type of style you want, from something practical to something luxurious, for any room in the house (or even outside). Flor carpeting systems are really easy to install, too.
Do you support Green Businesses like the examples given above?
Please help show your support for companies who implement sustainable practices, sell Fair Trade items, use recycled/recyclable materials, reduce waste, produce products without toxins, use cleaner energy, give back to local communities, and aid in the betterment of minorities by posting the following badge on your blog or website (it’s as easy as copying and pasting the code found just below the badge 🙂 ):
Making an environmentally-sound purchasing choice is becoming an important factor for an increasing number of consumers. When it comes to a mattress, like many other purchases, the hard part is deciding what is the best choice for your needs, budget, and planetary commitment. There are many different mattresses on the market today, but few represent the sheer eco-conscious nature of a natural latex mattress. These are just some of the reasons why natural latex mattresses are a great choice for anyone hoping to lend a helping hand to the planet you call home.