I started food shopping at Aldi this year and it’s gotten me into the habit of using tote bags, instead because they charge for plastic bags. Now, if I can just get into the habit of keeping the tote bags in my car, instead of my hall closet I’d be golden! Can’t count the number of times I thought I had them but left them in the hall closet! Shout out to my friends’ mom for getting me this super cute bag that has Tux on the front.
If I’m really stuck and I have go the plastic bag route I save them so that I can bring them to a recycling bag drop-off at a later point. In my experience, grocery stores, like ShopRite or Target, have plastic bag drop-offs bins. Target specifically offer a few recycling services, including bottles (glass, aluminum, and plastic), plastic film, and electronic devices. More info on Target’s recycling options here.
Support Businesses that Support Sustainability
It’s interesting to me to think about sustainability from my marketing background because I’ve picked up on the shift of companies placing more emphasis on “going green.” I’d like to think that it’s because they care about the environment, but I’m betting it has more to do with the money they pour into market research to understand their target audience’s core values. The results of that research? The growing majority of their target audience, Millennials/ Gen Z value sustainability so they are working to adapt their offerings to support that value. I think as time progresses we will only see more companies pivoting to improve their eco-footprint and market those efforts to their customers. Really, it’s a win all around because it just means that companies will make it easier for us to do our part! Why not support companies that are doing their part? I’m sure the list of sustainable companies could go on for quite a bit but for today’s purposes, I’ll share a few of the brands that I have had positive sustainability encounters with.
Clothes/ Thred Up
Donate clothes when possible! I know some clothes are heavily worn and shouldn’t be passed on to others but definitely donate the ones that still have wear in them instead of throwing them out. I worked in retail back in my college days and it always amazed me the sheer volume of clothing that the stored turned over! I never thought of clothing from a sustainability standpoint until I got my box from Thred Up. They had a letter from the CEO that explained how buying secondhand means less waste. It had a super shocking statistic; “If everyone in the US bought just one item used instead of new this year, it would save nearly 6 billion lbs of carbon emissions- the equivalent of taking half a million cars off the road for an entire year.”- Thred Up. How crazy is that? At the same time, how simple would it be for us to all make that small of a change?
I was gifted a pair of AllBirds through my job and they are awesome! All their shoes are made from natural materials like wool and eucalyptus and they are super comfy! The pair I got is a black and white slip-on sneaker made from wool. They are perfect for the fall /winter and my favorite activity, dog walking!
They are truly keeping with the “Green” name because their packaging is recyclable. Which I am sure is not an easy feat to do when delivering fresh produce. Goes to show that where there is a will there’s a way. I’ve been meaning to create a post on Green Chef, leave me a comment if you’re interested to learn more.
Composting/ Java Compost
This is a bit beyond my current “go green” commitment but I’m opening up to the idea. I should set the stage that the first time I heard about composting was from a friend who said it was gross and that her roommate was hogging up valuable freezer space with her “compost pile”. I’ve since learned more about composting from my close friend, Pri. Pri recently got her own place and is thrilled with her new independence to take up composting! She keeps a small compost bin under her kitchen sink that has an airtight seal. When that bag fills up she has a 5-gallon bucket in the basement that she empties the bag into. Fun fact, the bags that hold the compost are compostable too! The company she composts with comes and picks it up on a regular schedule and at the end of the year, she gets free composted soil. Pretty sweet deal! She utilizes the services of Java’s Compost that services the Essex County, New Jersey area. The company will remind its customers when their 5-gallon compost buckets are scheduled for pick and will be provided a “bag of gold” soil in the spring/summer months for their own gardening purposes.
Leave me a comment if you try any of these tips or if you have any other eco friendly suggestions.