Green Parking Lots

Day 226 – When you think of a parking lot, most of us picture a large space covered in asphalt with painted lines to designate where we should park our car. However, what if that asphalt was grass?

TRUGRID (U.S. company) has created pavers that are good for the environment in numerous ways:

  1. The fact that their pavers are made from 100% post-consumer recycled high-density polyethylene, an unbelievably durable material that works in all climates and soils. Millions of pounds of post-consumer recycled high-density polyethylene have been kept out of the oceans and landfills by converting disposable products like shampoo bottles and water jugs to long life cycle pavers lasting 60 years or more.
  2. Natural filtration of stormwater which allows for pollutants in to be removed before recharging aquifers. They are completely 100% permeable, meaning they’ll let stormwater, auto spills, and other liquids pass directly through into the ground where they can be filtered by Mother Nature and safely dispersed. The natural bioremediation process of storm water passing through the rock and into the soil provides a natural filter that removes up to 90 % of auto pollutants before recharge of aquifers.
  3. Reduced CO2 emissions compared to concrete and asphalt pavement. The installation process for this sustainable car park design is also much faster than your average concrete or asphalt installation, requiring far less manpower, hours, equipment, fuel, and resources.

“If only one person in each U.S. city installed a TRUEGRID driveway, the recycled gallon jugs could stack end to end to the top of Mt. Everest…and then again 3600 more Mt. Everests.” – TRUGRID

With each passing year, the weather is becoming more unpredictable and severe. Flooding is becoming more and more common. We need to start finding ways to adapt to our environment and work towards ways to help reverse the affects of global warming. Companies like TRUEGRID are doing just that.

Tomorrow, Sweden is doing something that should be replicated around the world.

Eco Packaging is Not a Fad

Day 185 – More times than not the news about the state of the environment can be rather depressing. It does seem like an uphill battle. Thankfully, more and more companies are making changes to be more environmentally friendly. Many have started with their packaging choices.

Eco packaging can come in a variety of forms:

  1. Made from post consumer recycled (PCR) material – PCR is created by consumers after a product has reached the end of its use. The benefit of using post-consumer content is it reuses refuse in the manufacture of goods, preventing items from ending up in the landfill or needing to rely on raw materials.
  2. Compostable material – Compostable products are made from renewable resources such as corn or bamboo. Compostable products need the proper conditions to breakdown. A commercial compost facility is a place where the perfect balance of heat, moisture, and oxygen is created to break down organic and plant-based materials. Without this perfect ecosystem, compostable products don’t break down. If compostable products are disposed of in the trash, which is what people commonly do, they won’t break down.
  3. Recyclable material – Cardboard, paper, aluminum and glass are all more easily recycled than plastic.
  4. Biodegradable material – If something is biodegradable, then, given the right conditions and presence of microorganisms, fungi, or bacteria, it will eventually break down to its basic components and blend back in with the earth. Ideally, but not always, these substances degrade without leaving any toxins behind. Some companies are beginning to use plant based packaging made of things like cornstarch, mushroom, sugarcane and coconut.
  5. Reusable packaging – Reusable packaging is packaging that can be used over and over again. Reusable packaging is key to a successful circular economy.

Kellogg’s – Kellogg’s already uses recyclable cardboard boxes for all of its cereal, and as part of their zero-deforestation pledge, most of these boxes are made from recycled carton board.

Lush – Lush makes handmade cosmetics using natural ingredients. Where possible, they use no packaging at all. For products that do require packaging, Lush uses sustainable, recycled materials for 90% of all packaging. Lush pots and packaging materials can also be recycled, composted or reused.

Colgate – Toothpaste tubes are usually made of a mix of materials that make them impossible to recycle. The company has been able to use high-density polyethylene to make a tube that can be recycled (much like milk cartons) but is also compatible with Colgate’s high-speed production equipment. The tube can even be ground up to be used to make something else.

Don Maslow Coffee – t’s using Elevate Packaging’s compostable films which are durable, yet moisture and oxygen resistant. As a result, every element of its coffee bags, including the seals, can be composted removing a huge amount of plastic from waste streams.

Alter Eco – Chocolate company Alter Eco has created wrappers, which are now fully compostable and non-toxic. The company spent three years developing the new material to ensure it protects the products as well as traditional packaging. It can be composted in industrial facilities but will also biodegrade if it ended up in the normal streams. Alter Eco has also created fully compostable stand-up pouches for its quinoa products.

Alima Pure – The certified B Corp sells its makeup in refillable compacts. So, when you’re done with your foundation (for example) just pop it out of the compact, then buy a refill magnetic pan filled with your desired new foundation and pop it in. Alima Pure is also proud to be carbon neutral and a member of 1% for the Planet.

Plaine Products – Plaine Products makes bath and body products packaged in aluminum bottles and eco-friendly shipping cartons. Plaine Products offers a refill program where you can send your bottle back to be refilled with product again and again, so you can save money and cut down on waste.

Who Gives a Crap – Their products are 100% plastic free and have options made from 100% recycled paper or 100% bamboo. Additionally, 50% of profits are donated to help build toilets for communities in need around the world. 

No Evil Foods – No Evil Foods sells a variety of small-batch, plant-based meat alternatives using sustainable ingredients. The brand’s innovative packaging uses fully compostable materials printed with plant-based ink.

Environmentally friendly packaging is out there, you just need to look for it. We also need to encourage more companies to use it.

Tomorrow, coming out of the pandemic and realizing that going back to “normal” is not an option.