HAPPY EARTH DAY!
Today is a day where we get to celebrate the beautiful planet we inhabit and celebrate the companies actively trying to make it better! Here is a list of our favorite companies that you may, or may not have heard of:
SKIPPING ROCKS LAB
Over EIGHT MILLION TONS of plastic end up in the oceans each year, with over 50% of that plastic being single-use. We have developed a “disposable” lifestyle of ease, yet the repercussions on our environment are rendering the cleanup to be anything but easy. We’ve all seen the videos and images of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and it’s horrifying. Enter: UK start-up Skipping Rocks Lab. This excellent company has developed a potentially world-changing product that offers an alternative to plastic bottles. Oooho is made from seaweed and plants, so its totally biodegradable; its edible and can be flavored and colored; plus it’s cheaper than plastic! This product could potentially hold almost anything a plastic container could – including cosmetics and alcohol – so there’s no good reason we shouldn’t start seeing these all over the place pretty soon!
Aqua-Yield is a small company who has developed technology that is changing the agricultural business. By utilizing nanotechnology, their product delivers liquid nutrition to crops on a cellular level, meaning lower costs for growers and better, healthier produce grown faster, without damaging soil.
The meat industry, and in particular the consumption of cow meat, is one of the most discussed elements of climate-change.
Beyond Meat is changing the way we perceive foods, by making almost indistinguishable “meat” products that consumers are going crazy for. I honestly love the Beyond Burger and will easily order that over a normal burger if it’s available. Skipping meat, or at the very least honoring “Meatless Mondays” is better for human health, the environment, climate change and animals.
In the United States, 42 percent of agricultural emissions come from animal agriculture. Two-thirds of those gases are directly emitted by ruminants: animals like cows, buffalo and sheep that use bacteria in their stomachs to ferment food.
Okay, I know I know we ALL KNOW how great Tesla is, so I was going to almost leave it off of the list...but what’s the point of a “company’s who are kicking ass” list if it disclosed this well-known one? Tesla is at the forefront of innovation in electric and now automatic cars, along with battery power, solar, and now….we’ve started also discussing space?
During the aftermath of the hurricanes in Puerto Rico, founder, Elon Musk, had containers of Powerwalls in addition to solar panels (which he had installed on a children’s hospital) sent to the island to help keep things running.
FORD MOTOR COMPANY
Ford Motor Company is changing this narrative that automobile companies are nothing but mass polluters through their ten-part environmental policy that they have implemented for years. The company uses sustainable fabrics in its vehicles while 80% of both its Focus and Escape vehicles are recyclable. The company also focuses on fuel efficiency, particularly on the six-speed transmission, offering a clean diesel heavy duty pickup truck. Furthermore, the paint fumes in the company's plant in Michigan are recycled as fuel.
Ford's factories also use Geothermal cooling systems while the Crown Victoria Interceptor that is distributed to the police has a fuel capacity that is flexible, making it able to run on either ethanol or gas. Additionally, Ford owns the world's largest green roof and is the only company to have won the EPA Energy Star Award twice in a row.
Amour Vert is recommended by Cosmopolitan as one of the top twenty eco-fashion brands. Amour Vert is an American company that produces clothes and accessories like shoes, bags and jewelry made from sustainable materials, and non-toxic dyes following a zero waste policy. The fabrics used are Tencel and Modal which are derived from eucalyptus and beech that can be grown without the heavy chemical applications that cotton needs. Cotton when it is used is certified organic. Polyester clothes are made from recycled material so they ensure waste reduction. For every tee-shirt that is purchased from them they plant a tree in north America.
Fast fashion industry is the second largest polluter with a large carbon footprint, according to EcoWatch, because of the use of pesticides and fertilizers in producing raw materials, toxic dyes during production and the waste produced by changing fashions. Amour Vert addresses all these problems and planting trees ensures it is reducing its carbon footprint.
Patagonia’s corporate philosophy is “100% For the Planet.” If you haven’t heard of them, Patagonia is one of the world’s most successful activewear retailers. Patagonia’s corporate philosophy is all about going green, which makes perfect sense since their target market is generally an outdoorsy, environmental-conscious, active, being. They’ve built repair centers around the world to increase the longevity of their products and lower their carbon footprint. In addition to these extra steps of ensuring longevity, Patagonia also encourages customers to be conscious of their purchasing decisions, and to invest in items that will last versus throwing away money on items that In 2016, they pledged $10 million of their Black Friday sales to grassroots environmental groups dedicated to preserving and improving the planet.
With all this said, Patagonia is honest about the fact that they are far from perfect. They’ve been open about areas that need improvement, like using fossil fuels to produce shells for their well-known coats. Patagonia’s commitment to changing and improving and moving in the direction of becoming more eco-friendly sets them apart from their not-so-green competitors.
Let’s talk about death! Because that’s fun! *I’m kidding...I’M KIDDING* This is never an easy subject, but what someone wants done with their body post-death is important. Personally, I think becoming a beautiful tree and having generations to follow be able to enjoy my tree, sounds like the way to go. As one might imagine, coffins are not exactly environmentally friendly and there currently is a shortage of space for cemeteries. Though there are an increasing number of alternatives to traditional burial options now available, perhaps the most innovative among them, are Bio Urns.
Run by brothers Gerard & Roger Moline of Barcelona, Bios Urns offer a “smart, sustainable, eco-friendly solution to approach an inevitable phase of life”. Bios Urns make biodegradable urns that turn the ashes of a loved one into a tree and in doing so, turns death into an act of regeneration and a return to nature. The Bios Urns solution is better for the environment and much cheaper than current methods – and undeniably cute!
Disney? Disney made the eco-friendly list? IT SURE DID!
Disney is determined to please companies that have made it a giant by using zero net direct greenhouse gas emission policies within all its facilities. The company is also working at reducing the indirect greenhouse gas emissions through the reduction of electrical consumption. Disney has a zero waste policy, meaning that there is nothing that will end up in landfills. The entertainment giant also uses technology that saves water and is working on lowering the footprint of its product manufacturing and distribution. This is tied up to the company's policy of having a net positive environmental impact that has made Disney a leader in environmental responsibility. Now, laugh like Mickey and go watch Aladdin to celebrate!
AMAM is a design collective from Japan, who use agar to make packaging products. What is agar you ask? Good question! Agar is a seaweed-based material used traditionally in Japanese culture, and the team at AMAM have used it to manufacture an alternative to plastic, which they call “Agar Plasticity.” Their company goal is to one day completely replace all plastic-based packaging. Agar is cheaper than plastic, easier to make, and totally biodegradable.
eBay has made it possible for people to exchange or reuse goods instead of throwing them away; thus not only increasing the lifespan of these products but also keeping them out of landfills. The company also has a section where users are able to sell or buy used furniture, household appliances as well as other items that are hard to ship within the local community. The company has also partnered with United Stated Postal Service (USPS) to ensure green supply when it comes to shipping. Together, these two entities are co-branded in environmentally friendly Priority Mail packaging that has earned them Cradle-to-Cradle certification.
THE OCEAN CLEANUP
Have you heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? Because we have, and it’s devastating! Backed with $30 million in funding, this foundation’s ingenious solution is based on the understanding that ocean currents tend to concentrate plastic into oceanic garbage patches. The technology at The Ocean Cleanup works by corralling floating plastic with U-shaped screens, in which it’s trapped, collected, and shipped away to be recycled. The Ocean Cleanup estimates that it can clean up to 50% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in less than 5 years!!!
Did you know that wind energy is one of the cheapest sources of energy and is even cheaper than fossil fuels? Wind energy has become one of the Vestas, which is also on the Carbon Clean 200 list, is devoted to producing only wind power. A Danish firm, Vesta started as a blacksmith shop in 1898. A pioneer in the field of wind energy, it is now a global player, accounting for 16% of installations worldwide. It has installations in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. They want to ensure the cost of wind power keeps decreasing. They have already helped to make wind energy mainstream. Vesta is working on making its turbines more environment friendly and also reduce the carbon footprint of their manufacture