Companies That Care: Minimizing Trash
See who’s making eco-friendly efforts to minimize their trash, from smarter packaging to energy-efficient headquarters.
We'll offer simple ways you can have a positive impact on your health, your home, and even the world. Get inspired by our Change Makers and the companies that are making a difference in the way we live. Join us!
These green cleaners aren't just about creating eco-friendly (100% non-toxic!) products; they're striving to be more sustainable from the source. Named one of B Corp's 2017 Best for the World environmental companies, Seventh Generation puts transparency and consumer education at the forefront of their mission to better care for the planet. Since being the first in the industry to disclose all of their ingredients on product packaging in 2008, the company's Come Clean campaign has also been calling on others to do the same (they helped pass California's Cleaning Product Right to Know Act last fall!) The company was also the first to debut a 100% recycled laundry product packaging made from 80% post-consumer recycled plastic and 20% bio-based product. Currently, Seventh Generation is working to create all of their product packaging out of recycled or bio-based materials by 2020.
One of our favorite women's wear lines wants to make both you and the planet look good. Since 2009, their Renew program has been helping to close the waste loop in the fashion industry by taking back any unwanted Eileen Fisher items in exchange for a shopping discount. Collected garments are then repaired and upcycled into new items or recycled into new raw materials. For the past decade, the makers have also been conscious about responsible water and energy usage at their dye-houses worldwide. And with their Vision 2020 initiative, the company is looking for even more ways to bring sustainable practices into the spotlight, like switching over to all-organic linens, humanely-harvested wool, and recycled polyester. They also continue to map their global supply chain, verifying everything from how their fibers are grown to how their garments are dyed, and will be sharing progress later this year so you can follow along with their transparency.
As the largest home improvement retailer in the world, Home Depot wants to make sure what you take into your homes is just as good for you as it is for the earth. The first retailer to carry FSC-certified wood- which ensures products are sourced from responsibly managed forests - the company continues to be dedicated to ethically sourced wood for everything from your blinds and broom handles to fencing and cabinets. With the company's Eco Options products, together with ENERGY STAR® and WaterSense®, shopping smarter and more sustainably for your home has never been easier. In 2016 alone, Home Depot was were able to help customers save $904 million in energy costs, 76 billion gallons of water, and 4.9 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
We don't just love these Germany-based grocers for the budget-friendly prices; from encouraging their shoppers to bring their own bags to fighting food waste with Feeding America, Aldi is setting a green example in the food industry on various levels. Not only are more of their stores being built with recycled materials, energy-saving LED lighting, and rooftop solar panels, but they've been the leading supermarket user of energy efficient refrigeration systems which significantly help reduce carbon emissions, according to Kate Kirkpatrick, a spokesperson for ALDI US. They've strived to source only sustainable-certified palm oil in many of their products and continue to seek out Fair Trade standards for their other products like coffee and cocoa. In addition to recycling the cardboard, paper, plastic film, and foils used in their operations, Aldi also continues to commit to responsibly sourced paper products from their bath tissues and paper plates down to their advertising materials.
The leading spice makers for over a century, McCormick - recently ranked in Barron's 2018 100 Most Sustainable Companies - wants the world to be as green as it is flavorful. From its source, the company's solar canopied headquarters are the largest of their kind in the world, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 330 metric tons, according to Laurie Harrsen, a spokesperson for McCormick. They also strive to work with sustainable suppliers like Gourmet Garden in Australia which reuses 100% of their rooftop water and energy-efficient freezers while growing 100% of their herb crops organically and sustainably. Most recently, they've even re-designed their signature Old Bay and Black Pepper packages to be made from fully recyclable PET helping to further reduce carbon emissions (and keep the spices fresher longer!).
Also named on of Barron's top 100 sustainable companies in world, Best-Buy is on a mission to keep as much e-waste out of landfills as possible every day. Since 2009, their unmatched recycling program has helped consumers responsibly dispose of more than 1.5 billion pounds of electronics and appliances (they'll take back all your tech gadgets regardless of brand or condition), according to Paula Baldwin, a spokesperson for Best Buy. In addition, they've been working to reduce their carbon emissions by nearly half by 2020 while working on securing more off-site renewable energy sources to offset even more emissions. Request an In-Home advisor to help you install your new purchase? They'll arrive in energy efficient hybrid vehicles which have helped save more than 140,000 gallons of gas (that's like taking 263 cars of the road for a year).
These heritage outerwear makers want you to love the planet as much as you love exploring it. Thanks to their programs like Worn Wear - where you can sell back items, trade them in, and shop pre-loved Patagonia wear - the brand also offers free repairs to further help fight the amount of textile waste heading to landfills. From a sourcing standpoint, you can trust that Patagonia only works with the best natural alternatives, like hemp and organic cotton, and seeks out recycled materials from nylon and down to polyester and wool. At their global headquarters, you can also find eco-elements like electric vehicle chargers, solar panelling, and water-efficient facilities in place.
From products to packaging, the leading American maker of your favorite toys and games is on a mission to create less trash. Starting at the source, Hasbro is committed to making sure their suppliers are taking part in their own environmental efforts, awarding those for sustainable innovations and a dedication to improve, according to Kathrin Belliveau, senior vice president of Hasbro Global Government Affairs and Corporate Responsibility. In 2010, Hasbro eliminated the use of wire ties in their toy packaging, saving about 34,000 miles of wire (that's enough to circle the Earth!) Since then, they've also replaced PVC with the more recyclable PET plastic in their packaging, worked to use more post-consumer recycled plastics, and achieved a goal to use 90% recycled or sustainably sourced paper. They've strived to educate consumers on proper package recycling with improved labels and are currently aiming to reduce their trash sent to landfills by half.
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