Day 202 – It all started in Bali, Indonesia in 2015. Friends, Alex Schulze and Andrew Cooper saw first hand how the plastic pollution problem was negatively impacting the marine life and those that lived along the coast.
“After speaking with local fishermen whose livelihoods were negatively impacted by plastic pollution, Alex andAndrew decided to build a company that would hire boat captains and fishermen in communities heavily impacted by plastic pollution as full-time, professional cleanup crew members to recover plastic and other harmful debris from the ocean, rivers, and coastlines seven days a week.” – 4Ocean
4Ocean uses some of the plastic pulled from the ocean to create products (shoes, jewelry, phones cases). They also offer items that can swap out your single-use plastics (water bottles, bamboo utensils, reusable straw). They pull one pound of trash from the ocean, rivers, and coastlines for every product purchased. 4ocean has cleanup divisions in Florida, Bali, Haiti, and Guatemala, and recovers millions of pounds of trash from the ocean, rivers, and coastlines every year.
4Ocean is a certified B-Corporation and a 1% for the Planet member. Their captains and crews have recovered 16,035,392 pounds of plastic, and counting, since 2017.
4Ocean hopes that their business model will have to change in the near future. They hope there won’t be any more plastic to pull from the oceans, rivers and coastline. They imagine a world with plastic free oceans.
Tomorrow, a company using plastic bags to create eco-friendly decking.
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.
Day 181 – Have you ever given any thought about your bathing suit and if it’s good for the environment? I have not. So, I figured it would be a good time to take a look at a few companies that have given a lot of thought about it.
Here are a few companies to start your research. They all use recycled material in the making of their swimsuits and give back to many amazing causes.
Do Good Swimwear – They are a small, minority women owned/ run swimwear brand that supports eco-friendly and ethical practices, and provides affordable, sustainably and ethically made swimsuits, made to last for seasons to come. Each swimsuit is made out of recycled materials using ocean waste (such as, fish nets, plastic bottles, and old nylons) which is then recycled and turned into soft and comfortable material, perfect for swimsuits. A portion of the profits from each sale goes to ocean conservation efforts (Surfrider Foundation, Coral Gardeners, and Oceana), planting a tree for carbon offsetting (onetreeplanted.org and Trees For the Future ), and towards girls/women’s mental health, education and life skill building (Tahanan Sta. Luisa and Women’s Global Empowerment Fund).
Sensi Graves – They utilize high-quality, UPF 50+, recycled fabrics from Spain, Italy and the US, which are designed to hold up over time. They produce in the USA with quality seamstresses. They use recycled packaging, compostable poly bags and hygienic liners. They’re also a 1% for the Planet member and donate 1% of sales to environmental causes.
Dippin Daisys – They offer women and children options. 95% of their swimsuits are are derived from recycled pre and post consumer nylon. They have a program called RE:PURPOSE which includes them taking swimsuits that have not sold and and tie dye them to give them a new look. They are based in Los Angeles and offer biodegradable packaging. They make donations that support the LGBTQIA+ community.
Patagonia – They have a wide range of outdoor clothing and accessories. However, they also offer men and women swimsuits. Patagonia uses recycled nylon for their swimwear and some suits are made in Fair Trade Certified factories as well. They are a 1% for the Planet member and donate to various environmental groups.
Jessica Rey Swimwear – They offer women and children options. Each garment is made in sweatshop-free factories in Los Angeles. All makers are paid fair, living wages. Their swimsuit fabric is made from 100% regenerated pre and post consumer waste. Each swimsuit helps turn discarded fish nets into durable swimsuits.
United by Blue – They offer man and women options. They are committed to using sustainable materials, creating a great-fitting, long-lasting product with the exclusive use of materials that are environmentally and ethically sourced. They are a B-Corporation. For every product purchased, United by Blue removes one pound of trash from oceans and waterways.
The Tropics – The Tropics produces men’s swim trunks using material made from recycled plastic bottles and also hosts monthly beach clean-ups in Miami, where the brand is based. They are also a proud 1% for the Planet member.
Fair Harbor – They offer men and boy options. They make all of their signature beachwear from upcycled plastic bottles, for versatile comfort. They only work with ethical factories, which they visit regularly in-person.
prAna – They’re made with high performance recycled polyester spandex and are UPF 50+ rated. prAna is a longtime advocate of fair trade and sustainability. They’re a proud member of the Outdoor Industry Association’s Climate Action Corps, which means they’re part of a collective group of like-minded companies committed to measuring, planning, and reducing their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and sharing their progress annually.
Seasalt Kids – Their suits are made with recycled polyester and nylon fibers that were regenerated from post-consumer recycled materials, including plastic bottles and fishing nets salvaged from the ocean. They reduce the amount of waste in their production by eliminating unnecessary trims and upcycling fabric scraps into products, like scrunchies. They also package their product in compostable material. They are a 1% for Planet member.
Get out and enjoy the beach and feel good that you are wearing a suit that is helping keep our waterways clean.
Tomorrow, using the month of July to remove plastic from our lives.
Day 178 – I’m sure many of us have lost track of the number of sunglasses we have gone through over the years. Whether, they were misplaced or broken, we have had to purchase numerous pairs. I can honestly say that I never gave much thought to it, but all those pairs add up to a lot of waste, since many sunglasses are not recyclable.
Thankfully, there are many U.S. companies offering reasonably priced sustainable options.
They use a variety of biodegradable materials, like recycled skateboards decks, recycled aluminum, FSC-certified sustainably-sourced wood (including bamboo, lacewood, ebony, and mahogany), and biodegradable cotton-based acetate for their ECO line (short for Environmentally Conscious Optics).
Their sunglasses are created using manufacturers from other countries, who have undergone and passed a comprehensive audit conducted by an American based auditing company. The audit reviews the manufacturer’s worker protection and health management, maintenance issue management, fire and emergency management and chemical management.
Starting at $89
10% of profits is donated to restore vision. SOLO Eyewear has restored vision for 13,000+ people in need through the funding of eye exams, eyeglasses and cataract surgeries.
Each pair of SOLOs is constructed using repurposed bamboo or recycled plastic which reduces their carbon footprint and prevents hundreds of pounds of virgin materials from being produced each year.
1% of net profits are being donated to the Community Fund of Greater Flint. Donations will be distributed to two funds that address children’s health and education in Flint: Flint Promise & Child Health and Development Fund.
Genusee frames are made from 100% post-consumer recycled water bottles (rPET). At the height of the water crisis, the city of Flint was using more than 20 million water bottles a day to meet their daily needs.
Eyewear is covered under manufacturer’s warranty for 180-days.
With every pair of sunglasses you buy from Swell Vision, the company pays for 2 weeks of tuition for a local student to attend the Green School. A sponsor of the local scholarship program since 2014, Swell Vision’s support today enables 40 Balinese children to attend the Green School full time. Through a holistic, natural education based on sustainability, this greenest school on earth on Bali has been helping students develop the skills necessary to solve our planet’s most urgent problems since 2008.
All of their sunglasses are handcrafted, and their frames are made from sustainably sourced bamboo and equipped with polarized lenses. Some of their models are made with both bamboo and plant-based acetate.
Made with plant-based materials, it is engineered to be as sustainable as it is technical. Their plant-based material allows for a high-purity lens for crisper, clearer vision all while reducing environmental impact.
Their “Community Champions” program is a way to say ‘Thank You’ to verified first responders, nurses, medical providers, hospital employees, government employees, teachers and students. This program gives the people that serve access to exclusive 40% off discounts.
For every pair sold, they donate a pair of corrective glasses to a person in need via a charity organization that they partner with. They call this practice our Visualize Change Program. They have also partnered with Trees for the Future and will plant one tree for every pair of glasses sold. They have plastic free packaging.
By re-using the excess materials to create new eyewear, it creates a remarkably more durable, lightweight and comfortable frame. They have also incorporated other natural materials such as bamboo, Walnut, Beechwood and Zebra Wood. They have saved 1000’s of lbs of excess materials from going into our landfills and oceans.
In partnership with Feeding America, they donate 10 meals to fight hunger in America with every order. They have provided over 10 million meals and continue to donate thousands of meals every day through Feeding America sponsored food banks across the country.
Even though Shady Rays does not use sustainable materials in the production of their sunglasses, they do offer a lifetime warranty.
To celebrate National Sunglasses Day*, you should treat yourself to a new pair of sustainable sunglasses. Your eyes and the planet will thank you!
*Many companies listed in this post are offering sales in honor of National Sunglasses Day.
They are a certified B-Corporation. B-Corporations have met the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.
They are a member of 1% for the Planet. They take 1% of their profits and donate to environmental organizations.
Pela’s 360 program will take your old phone case (from another brand) for FREE to recycle or upcycle it for you and if it’s an old Pela case, they’ll upcycle it into a new Pela product or compost it for you.
Pela offers a Screen Protection Guarantee Policy on almost all of their phone cases.
Pela also has Habitat, which offers a line of plastic free personal hygiene products. They also created Lomi, a countertop composter. Pela has a line of plastic free pet care products called Barxby. They also have a line of compostable sunglasses and blue light glasses, Pela Vision.
Day 147 – When I thought about putting on sunscreen, I didn’t give much thought about the brand or what was in it. I just slapped it on and went about my day. However, this technique has become problematic with each passing year.
“Sunscreen ends up in the ocean and other waterways after you swim or shower it off. Common ingredients like oxybenzone, octinoxate, nano titanium dioxide, and nano zinc oxide can harm coral reefs and sea creatures. That’s why in 2018, Hawaii became the first state to ban the sale of sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate. And the Surfrider Foundation is campaigning for a federal bill that would ban those sunscreens from national marine sanctuaries.” – Sierra Club
It is clear that these chemicals are harmful to ocean life. However, it is unclear if these chemicals are harmful to us. Oxybenzone and octinoxate can be absorbed by the body and have shown up in everything from urine to breast milk. Personally, I do not need further studies to know I would rather not have chemicals in my body that are not supposed to be there in the first place.
A compiled a list from various sources of sunscreens that are good for you, the environment and your wallet.
Day 74 – When I started to pay closer attention to the products I was purchasing and how they affected the environment, I started noticing certain labels on products. Some I had seen before, but others were new to me. I wanted to make sure others were aware of these labels and the importance they bring when choosing the things you eat, products you clean with, the clothes you wear, and everything in between. As we learned on Day 17, there are plenty of people out there that want to greenwash us and make us believe their product is environmentally friendly. Here’s a list of 20 labels you can trust.
Certified B Corporation – I wrote a post about Certified B Corporations back on Day 16. In that post, I explain how the Certified B Corporation label shows the consumer that the business they are purchasing from or working with has met the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are building a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
Climate Neutral Certified – It’s the standard earned by companies that offset and reduce all of their greenhouse gas emissions. Companies will measure all of the carbon emissions from making and delivering products and services to customers. They will then purchase carbon credits to completely offset their carbon footprint by funding a mix of projects, like reforestation or renewable energy. The final step is to develop and implement a plan to reduce future emissions.
1% for the Planet – On Day 43, I wrote about how 1% for the Planet was created. On Day 53, I wrote about how I joined 1% for the Planet as an individual member and I listed the organizations I am planning to support this year. 1% for the Planet exists to help companies and individuals partner with highly vetted environmental groups. This partnership allows companies and individuals to donate money and time (through volunteering) to organizations that are helping to preserve and protect the planet.
BLUESIGN – BLUESIGN represents the vision and mindset of responsible and sustainable manufacturing of textile consumer products. BLUESIGN traces each textile’s path along the manufacturing process, making improvements at every stage from factory floor to finished product. BLUESIGN changes the environmental impact of textiles for good. As a solution provider and knowledge broker, BLUESIGN acts as an independent verifier to secure trust and transparency. Currently, there are not too many clothing brands that have this certification. Numerous outdoor clothing brands carry the BLUESIGN label.
Leaping Bunny – Eight national animal protection groups have banded together to form the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC). The CCIC promotes a single comprehensive standard and an internationally recognized Leaping Bunny Logo to notify consumers that the products they are purchasing have not harmed any animals during production. They work with companies to help make shopping for animal-friendly products easier and more trustworthy.
Cradle to Cradle – Cradle to Cradle Certified™ is a globally recognized measure of safer, more sustainable products made for the circular economy. Product designers, manufacturers and brands around the world rely on the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard as a transformative pathway for designing and making products with a positive impact on people and planet. From fragrances to flooring, t-shirts and jeans to water bottles and window treatments, thousands of products are Cradle to Cradle Certified. What’s more, a growing number of brands, organizations and standards also recognize Cradle to Cradle Certified as a preferred product standard for responsible purchasing decisions.
USDA Organic – Organic is a labeling term found on products that have been produced using cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that support the cycling of on-farm resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. The National Organic Program – part of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service – enforces the organic regulations, ensuring the integrity of the USDA Organic Seal. In order to use the USDA Organic Seal, the final product must follow strict production, handling and labeling standards and go through the organic certification process. The standards address a variety of factors such as soil quality, animal raising practices, and pest and weed control. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used.
Fair Trade Certified – When you see a product with the Fair Trade Certified seal, you can be sure it meets rigorous social, environmental, and economic standards. That means: Safe working conditions, environmental protection, sustainable livelihoods and community development funds. A choice for Fair Trade Certified™ goods is a choice to support responsible companies, empower farmers, workers, and fishermen, and protect the environment.
Non-GMOProject – The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization offering rigorous product verification and trustworthy education that empowers people to care for themselves, the planet, and future generations. The Non-GMO label allows consumers to know that the food they are purchasing has not been genetically modified. They also encourage a non-GMO seed supply, which supports the restoration of traditional seed breeding and the right of farmers to save and plant their own seeds and grow varieties of their choice.
Green Seal– Green Seal’s rigorous standards for health, sustainability and product performance have driven permanent shifts in the marketplace. With thousands of certified products, services and spaces from the world’s leading companies, the Green Seal certification mark is a universal symbol that a product or service meets the highest benchmark of health and environmental leadership.
ENERGY STAR -ENERGY STAR is the trusted, government-backed symbol for energy efficiency helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy-efficient products and practices. The ENERGY STAR label was established to: reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants caused by the inefficient use of energy; and make it easy for consumers to identify and purchase energy-efficient products that offer savings on energy bills without sacrificing performance, features, and comfort.
Certified Humane Raised and Handled – Certified Humane® is a registered 501(c) 3 nonprofit certification organization, operating internationally and dedicated to improving the lives of farm animals in food production from birth through slaughter. The goal of the program is to improve the lives of farm animals by driving consumer demand for kinder and more responsible farm animal practices. When you see the Certified Humane Raised and Handled® logo you can be assured that the food products have come from facilities that meet precise, objective standards for farm animal treatment.
Blue Fish Label – The Blue Fish Label is only placed on seafood from fisheries that meet the Marine Stewardship Council’s strict standard for sustainability. It’s their way of making sure you know that your seafood purchase is good for the oceans because it’s wild, sustainable, and traceable back to a certified fishery.
WaterSense – WaterSense, a voluntary partnership program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is both a label for water-efficient products and a resource for helping you save water. The WaterSense label makes it simple to find water-efficient products, new homes, and programs that meet EPA’s criteria for efficiency and performance. WaterSense-labeled products and services are certified to use at least 20 percent less water, save energy, and perform as well as or better than regular models.
Made Safe – MADE SAFE® is a program of Nontoxic Certified, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. They provide America’s first comprehensive human health and ecosystem-focused certification for nontoxic products across store aisles, from baby to personal care to household and beyond. Their goal is to change the way products are made in this country to ultimately eliminate the use of toxic chemicals altogether. The MADE SAFE (Made With Safe Ingredients) seal literally means that a product is made with safe ingredients, without toxic chemicals known to harm our health.
Rainforest Alliance – The Rainforest Alliance seal promotes collective action for people and nature. It amplifies and reinforces the beneficial impacts of responsible choices, from farms and forests all the way to the supermarket check-out. The seal allows you to recognize and choose products that contribute toward a better future for people and planet. The seal means that the certified product or ingredient was produced using methods that support the three pillars of sustainability: social, economic, and environmental.
Compact By Design – Amazon created Compact by Design to identify products that, while they may not always look very different, have a more efficient design. With the removal of excess air and water, products require less packaging and become more efficient to ship. At scale, these small differences in product size and weight lead to significant carbon emission reductions.
ECOLOGO – ECOLOGO® Certified products, services and packaging are certified for reduced environmental impact. ECOLOGO Certifications are voluntary, multiattribute, life cycle-based environmental certifications that indicate a product has undergone rigorous scientific testing, exhaustive auditing or both, to prove its compliance with stringent, third-party, environmental performance standards. These standards set metrics for a wide variety of criteria in some or all of the following categories: materials, energy, manufacturing and operations, health and environment, product performance and use, and product stewardship and innovation.
The Forest Stewardship Council – FSC labels can be found on millions of products around the world – from toilet rolls to your favorite book, to that milk carton in your fridge, and other food products. By choosing products with FSC labels, you are helping to take care of the world’s forests. Each label provides information about the origin of the materials used to make the finished and labeled product.
Textile Exchange – The Textile Exchange provides both the Recycled Claim Standard (RCS) and Global Recycled Standard (GRS). Both are international, voluntary standards that set requirements for third-party certification of recycled input and chain of custody. The shared goal of the standards is to increase the use of recycled materials. They verify recycled content in products and provide consumers with a tool to make informed decisions.
It’s not always easy to identify an Earth friendly product. It’s nice to know that there are people out there taking the guess work out of being environmentally responsible.
Day 53 – Back on Day 43, I wrote about 1% for the Planet and their mission to connect businesses and individuals with non-profit organizations protecting the planet and making a difference in the world. In my post I stated that I had joined the movement and signed up to be an individual member. I thought I would share what organizations I have chosen to support this year. It was not easy to pick from such an impressive list of non-profits. I choose six organizations that connected to me on a personal level.
“Gateway to the Great Outdoors (GGO) was developed to provide low-income students across the US equitable access to comprehensive environmental education. By combining STEAM instruction with outdoor learning, GGO enhances the quality of health, science literacy, and environmental stewardship for children who would otherwise be excluded from this transformative experience. GGO presents children an opportunity to see, hear, taste, and touch a more fascinating world than the one they’ve grown accustomed to.”
Being a former teacher, this organization appealed to me because I know how powerful education is and how important positive personal experiences can have on a child. My fondest memories of being a teacher were the field trips I took my students on. Being able to expose them to activities that they might not have otherwise experienced was extremely rewarding.
“In a country that wastes billions of pounds of food each year, it’s almost shocking that anyone in America goes hungry. Yet every day, there are millions of children and adults who do not get the meals they need to thrive. We work to get nourishing food – from farmers, manufacturers, and retailers – to people in need. At the same time, we also seek to help the people we serve to build a path to a brighter, food-secure future.”
The pandemic has opened my eyes to the amount of food my family consumes. I have always known that they eat a lot, but having them home 24/7 has made me more aware on just how much. The pandemic has also made me even more thankful that my family has a sufficient, if not at times, an abundant amount of food to feed them. I can’t imagine how terrifying it is not knowing where your next meal will come from or if there will be enough food to feed your family.
“The Alliance for the Great Lakes is a nonpartisan nonprofit working across the region to protect our most precious resource: the fresh, clean, and natural waters of the Great Lakes. The Alliance for the Great Lakes connects and empowers people to advocate, give back, and take action to protect the lakes.”
I have spent my whole life enjoying Lake Michigan. As a kid my family would go to West Beach in Indiana during the summer and spend hours playing in the waves and sand. As a young adult, I was introduced to Pentwater, Michigan. A place where the waters of the lake look so pristine and the sunsets are extraordinary. Today, I have the pleasure of living near the lake and enjoying the beauty and endless picture perfect opportunities it offers.
“Since our founding in 1963 as a program of the Welfare Council of Metropolitan Chicago, Openlands has been at the forefront of the urban conservation movement. As one of the first organizations in the United States to address environmental issues within a metropolitan region, we have focused on people as much as nature. Over 50 years later, Openlands remains committed to urban conservation in the greater Chicago region. Openlands’ emphasis on people, places, and policy is the framework and driving factor of the organization.”
I am the happiest when I am out in nature with my camera. Documenting the beauty that is all around us brings me immense joy. Living in a big city has not prevented me from enjoying nature on a daily basis and I am extremely thankful for those that protect these areas.
“Since 1979, Friends has been working to improve the health of the Chicago River system for the benefit of people, plants and animals; and by doing so, has laid the foundation for the river to be a beautiful, continuous, and easily accessible corridor of open space in the Chicago region.”
I have enjoyed the Chicago River for years. Living just a couple blocks from the North Branch, I have gone on countless trips to the river to photograph wildlife. I have also strolled along the Riverwalk and photographed the breathtaking cityscape. The river has provided a unique beauty to Chicago that many cities do not have the pleasure of having.
“Urban Growers Collective (UGC) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that was co-founded by Laurell Sims and Erika Allen in the fall of 2017. Our approach is to demonstrate the development of community-based food systems and to support communities in developing systems of their own where food is grown, prepared, and distributed within the community itself. Working closely with more than 33 community partners, our goal is to build economic opportunity for youth while mitigating food insecurity and limited access to high quality, affordable, and nutritionally-dense food. We operate eight urban farms on 11 acres of land, predominantly located on Chicago’s South Side. These farms are production-oriented but also offer opportunities for staff-led education, training, leadership development, and food distribution. Each farm utilizes organic growing methods, intensive growing practices, and year-round production strategies to best maximize growing space.”
Since, my family started composting I have become more aware of the amount of food we waste. Since we collect all the food that would normally be thrown in the trash and place it in a bin to be composted, I get to see how much we collect. It’s nice to know that now that food is being composted and not left to sit in a landfill. It makes me sad to think about the amount of food we did not rescue. Composting has given me a new appreciation for food and where it comes from, how it is grown and who benefits from growing it and/or making it.
I hope this post has introduced you to some organizations that you might not have heard about before. I also hope that you consider supporting these organizations or finding ones that resonate with you. We might not have the time and energy to roll up our sleeves and get a little dirty fighting for a cause, but there are people out there already in the fight. All they need is some support and that’s where we can step in.
Day 51 – From the day I started doing my own laundry, I have always used liquid detergent. Liquid detergent in a plastic bottle that I assumed was being recycled when I put it out with my recyclables. Well, I am learning that not everything is getting recycled and the best thing we can be doing is avoiding single use plastic. So, I was on the lookout for an alternative and I’m happy to report that there are many options. You can get laundry detergent in strips, pods and powder, just to name a few. Everyone will have their own preference and price point, but I decided to go with laundry powder. I purchased Meliora’s laundry detergent.
Here are just a few of the reasons I decided to purchase Meliora:
There are just 5 ingredients in their detergent and all 5 are people and environment friendly.
There product is plastic free, all the way down to the metal scoop.
Refills are packaged in paper bags, so you can refill your canister without purchasing a new one. You can also refill your canister at zero waste stores.
Meliora is a Chicago based company and I love to support local businesses.
Day 43 – “It all started when two businessmen met and bonded over their shared love for the outdoors. Realizing their responsibility to protect our planet, they decided to give 1% of their sales back to the environment—whether or not they were profitable.In 2002, Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Craig Mathews, founder of Blue Ribbon Flies, created 1% for the Planet and started a global movement.” – 1% for the Planet
The idea is, since companies profit from the resources they take from the earth, they should protect those resources. They do this by donating to and volunteering with local environmental nonprofits.
“Our business and individual members give directly to highly vetted environmental nonprofit organizations. We’re here to certify that giving, and ensure our members’ donations make the most impact possible.” – 1% for the Planet
So, if your company wants to make a difference or you as an individual, want to protect the environment, 1% for the Planet has opportunities for everyone.
I’m happy to announce that I am a new 1% for the Planet individual member. Won’t you join me?
While you’re thinking about membership, there are other ways you can help. You can support businesses that support 1% for Planet. 1% for the Planet members have given back more than $270 million to the environment. Check out the directory to find a company.