Hey Humans! You need to check out this brand

Day 196 – I know many people are trying to find plastic free options when out shopping. I also know they are having a difficult time finding those options. Many of the plastic free products that I have purchased, I have found online. Sadly, the plastic free movement has not yet found a home at many brick and mortar stores. So, you can imagine how excited I was when I discovered a line of plastic free personal care products at my local Target. I was also happy to see that the price point was reasonable.

Hey Humans offers 99% plastic free packaging. The 1% that is not plastic free includes the plastic toothpaste cap. Other than that, everything is plastic free. All products are made from recycled aluminum or paper. All products are vegan and cruelty free. All products are naturally derived and are all under $6 (many similar products are twice, if not three times as much).

They offer toothpaste, body wash and deodorant. I am currently using the lavender vanilla deodorant. Check out Day 124, to read my post about the difference between deodorant and antiperspirants. The kids have been using the lavender vanilla body wash. We have all been happy with the products.

Hey Humans can only be found at Target, online and in stores.

Tomorrow, having fun with ocean bound plastic.

Bedding Made from Recycled Plastic

Day 195 – Sleeping in a bed with sheets and blankets made from recycled plastic may not sound very appealing, but there are companies that have figured out a way to provide comfortable bedding and address the plastic pollution problem, all at the same.

One company in particular is Buffy. The Buffy Cloud Comforter consists of a eucalyptus fabric outer shell that’s filled with BPA-free recycled PET fibers that come from plastic bottles. Each comforter prevents approximately 50 plastic bottles from landing in the trash. The outer eucalyptus shell is also earth-friendly, since the fiber is grown using one-tenth the water of cotton and requires no toxic pesticides. Buffy’s mill partner is committed to planting four new trees for every three harvested.  As a company, Buffy is committed to offsetting all COemissions generated from freight and customer shipments. The brand also encourages customers to donate unwanted comforters rather than shipping them back to minimize waste and fossil fuel use during shipment. It’s also working towards a ten-year goal for a 100% closed-loop production system that would generate zero waste from product conception to disposal. 

A couple other brands that I found that offer sustainable options at a reasonable price, include the following:

Grund – Based in North Carolina, Grund is a family owned business. Their products are made from 100% Organic material, zero use of bleach, formaldehyde or any other toxic substances or dyes. They also ship their products in plastic free packaging.

Under the Canopy – A US based company that offers various bedding options using a variety of sustainable methods. Their pillows and comforters are filled with polyester which is made from recycled plastic bottles. Recycled materials are used when sustainable ones can’t be and Under the Canopy has six different eco-relevant qualifications altogether.

When sharing information on particular brands, I am obviously choosing companies that put the planet first. However, I don’t stop there. Cost is a big component to choosing the companies I write about. I know not everyone, for example can spend over $200 on bed sheets. So, I try to keep that in mind when sharing information. It’s no easy task for a company to be environmentally friendly and to provide affordable products for their customers. I think the companies that have figured out a way to do so, should be applauded.

Tomorrow, a plastic free product line you can easily find in stores.

LEGO is Starting to Go Green

Day 194 – This past June, LEGO announced that they created a brick made entirely of recycled plastic. Though, it is not yet available in stores, it is a step in the right direction.

“The new prototype is made using polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycled from bottles that have been thrown away. According to a statement from the company, scientists and engineers tested over 250 variations of PET materials, as well as hundreds of other plastic formulations, before nailing down the latest prototype.”CBS News

More testing is needed before the recycled plastic bricks make their way to stores. Until then LEGO is making a few other environmentally friendly changes. They plan to stop using plastic bags inside their boxed sets and replace them with paper packaging. LEGO has also started a Take Back Program.  LEGO® Replay will accept any and all previously used LEGO bricks and donate them to children’s non-profits in the United States. 

With over 36,000 LEGO pieces made a minute and 75 billion bricks sold annually in over 140 countries, it is an important step for LEGO and the environment to create a recycled plastic brick. Hopefully, more companies will start making changes to their own products that are more beneficial for the planet and still providing their customers with a well made, quality product.

Tomorrow, sleep soundly knowing you are helping the planet.

Clothing Made from Recycled Plastic

Day 193 – On Day 150, I posted about shoes made from recycled and sustainable material. On Day 181, I wrote about sustainable options for swimwear. Today, I’ll be writing about other types of everyday clothing, shirts, pants, shorts and everything in between.

Here is a list of just a few of the companies creating clothes from recycled plastic.

Last Bottle Clothing is a sustainable apparel company with products made from 100-percent recycled plastic bottles. More importantly, each piece of apparel is also 100-percent “recyclable,” meaning the company closes the loop at the end of the product’s life by taking it back and recycling it yet again. Every piece of Last Bottle Clothing apparel removes an average of 13 plastic bottles from the environment. Next time you are looking to have t-shirts made for an event, be sure to check out Last Bottle Clothing.

Patagonia has been making recycled polyester from post-consumer soda bottles since 1993 making it the first company to turn trash into fleece. Now the company makes its recycled polyester fibers from a blend of soda bottles, manufacturing waste, and worn-out apparel. Recycled polyester is in a wide range of Patagonia’s products from t-shirts to cold weather gear.

Girlfriend Collective uses a variety of recycled material to make their activewear. The compressive leggings and bras are made from 79% recycled polyester (or RPET) and 21% spandex. their leggings are made from 25 recycled post-consumer bottles and our bras are made from 11. The LITE leggings are made from recycled fishing nets and other waste using ECONYL® yarn. LITE fabric is made up of 83% recycled nylon and 17% spandex. Their tees and tanks are 100% cupro, a delicate fiber made from waste the cotton industry leaves behind. Their yarn is made in a zero-waste, zero-emission facility in Japan.

30A’s line of super-soft apparel is made from recycled plastic bottles. They have already prevented 5 million plastic bottles from going into landfills and oceans. All 30A designs are printed in the U.S.A. with eco-friendly water-based inks, and our products are shipped in recycled packing materials. They have helped raise $2.5 million for coastal charities.

Toad & CO uses a variety of eco materials in their casual clothing. They are a 1% for the Planet member and give back to a variety of charities. They also offer reusable packaging. From their California headquarters to their storefronts across the country, they do their part to be good neighbors everywhere you find Toad. You’ll find them volunteering with local non-profits, riding their bikes to work, cleaning up the coastline, and marching for the planet. You’ll find their name signed on petitions to support carbon caps, reduce fossil fuels and keeping public lands public.

American Backcountry uses REPREVE® recyled polysters in their tri-blend tees which use an average of 4 recycled water bottles per shirt, helping significantly in reducing the impact of their products on the Earth. REPREVE is a brand of recycled fibers made from recycled bottles and other products. It uses and emits less greenhouse gas by reducing the need for new petroleum resources. American Backcountry has worked closely with our National Park Partners to increase our product offering and commitment to MADE IN THE USA Garment and Accessories.

RECOVER strives to produce the very best apparel with the most minimal impact on the environment. The materials that they use, which otherwise would have been sent to the landfill, are 100% recycled. From design to production to packaging, their entire process contributes to the environmental impact of a garment and it is the RECOVER Initiative to reduce that impact as much as possible every step of the way. RECOVER is a 1% for the Planet member.

Tentree give back to the earth by planting 10 trees for every item purchased, while using eco-friendly and natural materials such as REPREVE to make their products. Their core values drive them to find the best responsibly sourced materials, and the guarantee of safe and respectful work environments. So, by the time your Tentree product arrives to you, you know that its journey was defined by the smallest environmental footprint, and made proudly by people treated fairly and with dignity.

Supporting companies that are helping the planet is a great way to make a difference.

Tomorrow, a favorite building block is becoming eco-friendly.

Musical Instruments Made From Trash

Day 192 – Many of us do not think about what we could create from our discarded waste. We put it in the trash and don’t give it a second thought. Thankfully, there are people like Shady Rabab, who are creating musical instruments out of plastic waste.

“The Garbage Music project uses art and creative expression to counter plastic pollution. It motivates youth to build their knowledge and increase their awareness about the challenges threatening the environment and how that impacts their lives.

It also provides them with tools and skills enabling them to turn waste into musical instruments. The project team designs workshops and classes to help the youth master different instruments, with the ultimate aim of playing music together as a band: the Garbage Music Band.” – United National Environment Programme

Shady Rabab’s organization, Rabab Luxor, is making a difference in Luxor, Egypt. The musician’s wider work is also having a positive impact in Luxor, which does not have many dedicated cultural spaces. His organization also runs bookbinding workshops for kids and musical instrument workshops for adults. Rabab tells the UN he’s particularly proud of the artistic and educational impact of recent work.

We need more visionaries like Shady Rabab, who has taken on the plastic pollution problem and has created the sweet sound of music.

Tomorrow, clothing brands made from recycled materials.

Breaking Free from Plastic Pollution

Day 191 – So, we’re a week into Plastic Free July. How are you doing? How many single-use plastic items have you refused this week? Have you made any swaps in your home for plastic free options? It’s never too late to make the changes. It’s never too late to help make a difference.

Plastic will be the topic the whole month of July. It’s an important topic and one that needs a great deal of attention and discussion.

Plastic is unfriendly to the environment. From its creation to its destruction, plastic emits toxins into the air we breathe and the water we drink. More than 350 million metric tons of plastic are produced worldwide. Most of that ends up as litter, threatening wildlife and human life. According to a 2019 study, the average person ingests about 5 grams of microplastics per week (about as much plastic as a credit card) through food, water, and even the air we breathe.

Even though many people see the problem with plastic pollution, there are also a large number that would rather ignore it. That’s where the U.S. Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2021 (BFFPPA) comes in.

The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2021 (BFFPPA) builds on successful statewide laws across the U.S. and outlines practical plastic reduction strategies to realize a healthier, more sustainable, and more equitable future. The federal bill, which is sponsored by Sen. Jeff Merkley (OR) and Rep. Alan Lowenthal (CA), represents the most comprehensive set of policy solutions to the plastic pollution crisis ever introduced in Congress.” BreakFreeFromPlastic.org

The amazing people over at Earth911, came up with a list of ways you can help the cause.

  1. Join the global movement against plastic pollution by signing up on the Break Free From Plastic website.
  2. You can also join organized plastic-fighting campaigns or activities (virtually or locally) or even start your own.
  3. You can help by reducing your own personal plastic consumption; Avoid single-use plastics, Check if an item’s packaging is recyclable before purchasing it, Opt for products made from recycled rather than virgin plastic, Bring reusable bags when shopping, Shop local (local products typically use less plastic packaging).
  4. Contact your representatives and ask them to support the Break Free From Pollution Act. 
  5. Perhaps the easiest way to support this movement is to share it. 

It’s a monumental challenge, but our country has been faced with many difficult challenges before. We need to come together and realize that this is a fight we all need to get involved in, if we’re going to have any chance of success.

Tomorrow, creating beautiful music with recyclable materials.

Sustainable Rugs for Indoor and Outdoor Use

Day 190 – There are products made from recycled material popping up everywhere. Unfortunately, many people are not finding these sustainable options. They are not the first items that popup when you start your search. More times than not, you really need to seek them out. They are out there!

Today’s post is about a company called Fab Habitat. Their rugs are made from recycled plastic. Plastic that would have ended up in the landfill. Since the creation of Fab Habitat, they have recycled millions of bottles and plastic containers, turning them from trash to rugs.

They ensure that everything they manufacture is GoodWeave certified and made using fair trade principles, meaning no child, forced, or bonded labor and no harmful chemicals or dyes. Good Weave is a nonprofit organization founded by Nobel Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi, dedicated to ending child labor in the carpet industry and offering education to children in weaving communities.

Fab Habitat is a proud supporter of Navjeevan Society, a charity based in Aurangabad, India. The Navjeevan Society is focused on bettering the lives of individuals with special needs.

So, if you’re looking for some home decor that helps the planet and those in need, consider a company like Fab Habitat. They are doing their part to be responsible citizens and business owners.

Tomorrow, breaking free from plastic pollution.

The Trillion Pieces of Plastic Challenge

Day 189 – On Day 71, I wrote about switching to a reusable razor. I purchased an Albatross razor. It started off great, but due to my accident prone ways, I needed to discontinue use. I still know people that love their reusable razors. Unfortunately, I’m not skilled enough to use one without injury.

Now, with all that said, I wanted to share a great campaign created by Albatross.

“There are an estimated 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic floating in the ocean. The Plastic Disclosure Project, a project run by Hong Kong-based advocacy group Ocean Recovery Alliance, estimates that 33 percent of plastic manufactured worldwide is used once, then discarded. Making matters worse, 85 percent of the world’s plastic is not recycled when discarded. Such a dire set of human behaviors means that, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, there could be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050. In fact, plastic consumption is actually still increasing! Did you know, for example, 1 million water bottles are thrown out every minute?  Every minute!

Albatross Designs has introduced the Trillion Pieces of Plastic Campaign. There are currently 7.2 Billion people in the world.  If just 13.8% of these people committed to, in their lifetime, picking up from the ground 1,000 pieces of plastic litter and disposing of it properly, then we’d have effectively prevented one TRILLION! pieces of plastic from entering the ocean.  Yes, that same water bottle cap you see on the sidewalk will likely be washed into streams or rivers and then into the ocean.  Once in the ocean the task of plastic clean up becomes infinitely more difficult, if possible at all. Our goal in this campaign is defensive.  Let’s, together, discover a new meaning of personal responsibility and stop the plastic before it reaches the ocean.

Trillion Pieces of Plastic encourages citizens to commit to picking up 1,000 pieces of plastic litter in their lifetime.  But, if one were to pick up a piece of litter a day, they’d meet this goal in under 3 years. Some beaches are so littered with plastic that a motivated individual could easily pick up a 1,000 pieces of plastic in a single day.”Albatross Designs

So, whether we decide to spread this challenge over your lifetime or spend 589 consecutive days picking up litter, like Edgar McGregor did in LA County’s most popular hiking spots, we all have a role to play in keeping plastic out of our waterways.

Though, picking up plastic is important, we also need to reduce our use of single-use plastic. Until that happens, we will have countless pieces of plastic to pick up.

Tomorrow, rugs made from upcycled waste materials.

Plastic Bricks: Stronger than concrete

Day 188 – Lighter, stronger and less expensive than concrete. That’s what Nzambi Matee created when she made bricks from recycled plastic. In the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, the 26 year old saw a problem and used her savings to find a solution.

Nairobi generates 550 tons of plastic waste every day.

Nzambi started by setting up a small lab in her mother’s backyard where she would prototype bricks made from a mix of plastic waste and sand. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), named her one of its 2020 Young Champions of the Earth.  When she won a scholarship to attend a social entrepreneurship training program at the University of Colorado Boulder, she took early prototypes with her, further refining them in the university’s labs. Matee also used her time at the school to design the machines needed to mass produce the plastic bricks.

She went on to found Gjenge Makers, which transforms plastic waste into durable building materials. Matee gets the waste from packaging factories for free, although she pays for the plastic she gets from other recyclers. Her factory produces 1,500 bricks each day, made from a mix of different kinds of plastic. Her factory has recycled 20 tons of waste plastic since its founding in 2017.

Gjenge Makers currently offers multiple colors of its plastic bricks in three different thicknesses — the thicker the brick, the stronger it is, but even the thinnest option is able to hold twice the weight of concrete bricks. The plastic bricks are also cheaper than ones made of concrete and about half their weight, making them easier to transport.

Nzambi’s bricks can be found at homes, car parks, and schools throughout Nairobi. She is now working to add another production line to her factory. Once in place, her startup should be able to produce three times as many pavers every day.

“The negative impact we are having on the environment is huge. It’s up to us to make this reality better. Start with whatever local solution you can find and be consistent with it. The results will be amazing.” – Nzambi Matee

Tomorrow, a plastic challenge.

Eco Bandages: Plastic free options for your cuts and scrapes

Day 187 – There was always an uptick in the number of Band-Aids that my children needed, once the summer arrived. The combination of more time outside and frequency of wearing shorts, increased the likelihood that an injury would occur. I never gave much thought about the plastic waste created from all those bandages.

It wasn’t until a recent visit to the pharmacy that I noticed an eco-friendly bandage brand. PATCH bandages are 100 percent compostable (wrapper and paper backing included), natural, kid-friendly, hypoallergenic, soothing, vegan, and cruelty-free. It is the world’s first compostable and 100% plastic-free wound care product. It is entirely made out of bamboo fibers and is infused with different natural minerals and oils for different types of wounds. Bamboo is a rapidly renewable resource that grows many times faster than trees, uses much less water, produces up to 35 percent more oxygen and doesn’t need pesticides or herbicides.

Patch is a Certified B Corporation. So, you know they are a business that prioritizes the environment and producing a safe product for their consumers. Patch bandages can be found at your local pharmacy and come in a variety of sizes.

So, the next time you need to make someone feel better with a kiss and a bandage, grab a PATCH. It will make yourself feel better, too, knowing you are helping the planet.

“We see scratches, bruises and cuts as little badges of honor. Signs of a life lived to the fullest! Because scratches are natural, so is PATCH.” – PATCH by Nutricare

Tomorrow, inventive ways to use plastic waste.