We know our oceans are feeling the negative effects of our dependence on plastics, but as consumers, what can we do? We’ve invited Diane MacEachern from Big Green Purse to share a few simple changes to make to our daily plastic consumption that can make a big difference to our oceans, marine life — and our own health!
Since 1980, fish consumption has increased 20% within the United States alone. Although it’s exciting more people are welcoming fish to their plates and their palates, it also means it has become more difficult to keep track of the fish industry and their fishing practices. Here at Wild Planet Foods we believe in sustainable fishing practices and that responsible fishing supports global food security.
As New Year’s Day nears and we all look to the future and what lies ahead, there’s no better time to adopt more sustainable practices in our lives. We’ve invited Ashley Martens, a Health and Wellness Writer of Three to Five a Day to share with us five simple ways to eat more sustainably in 2019.
We believe that the greatest change agents in our society are those who see problems in the world, and innovate creative solutions as a remedy. For decades, we’ve known that plastic wreaks havoc on our planet and its wild life; however, we have still continued to mass produce plastic products and disposable plastic goods. In fact, it wasn’t until very recently that brands have begun innovating non-plastic solutions to every day items. Working ahead of her time, our friend, Kirsten Quigley, founder of LunchSkins has been a visionary leader of this movement. For the past 10 years, she has been working to reinvent how Americans carry their lunch by providing reusable and recyclable products. Today, we are privileged to chat with Kirsten on our blog about her incredible journey and about how LunchSkins is working to change the world, one lunch bag at a time.
Tell us a bit about LunchSkins.
It all started around our kitchen table in 2008. While raising my young family, I noticed how much waste we generated on a daily basis packing 20+ lunches a week and countless snacks on the go for classes, teams and camps. LunchSkins was born out of my need for a better, smarter and stylish alternative to disposable plastic baggies. There was nothing like it in the marketplace. From the beginning, I knew that whatever we created had to be easy, affordable and fun so people would make it part of their daily routine, and collectively have a much bigger positive impact on our environment. For the past ten years, we’ve been helping families and communities think and act greener by replacing 1 Billion plastic bags with LunchSkins reusable and recyclable products. Our hope is to raise a generation of kids who think that green is mainstream and to give them the tools to be change-makers in their communities.
What is LunchSkins’ mission?
Our mission is to replace everyday plastic with smart, sustainable solutions that are easy to use and accessible to everyone.
How is LunchSkins working to create a healthier, more sustainable planet?
We created LunchSkins to disrupt disposable plastic with a smarter, better, eco-friendly alternative. Our reusable sandwich bags were the first-to-market, dishwasher-safe bag made from pastry cloth and designed for food on-the-go day after day. Recently, we developed a new recyclable and sealable paper sandwich/snack bag that is 100% plastic free. As a team that values collaboration, we proudly partner with stores, like-minded brands and non profit organizations to raise awareness about plastic pollution and work together to protect our oceans.
Why is it important for consumers to adopt sustainable living practices?
At the very basic level, we need clean air, clean water and clean energy sources to ensure our survival. Today, we are more interconnected than ever on a global scale – what one region of the world does affects the health, politics, culture, and landscape of another region. Plastic pollution is one of those issues that is very visible, particularly if you’re living in part of the world that is used as a dumping ground. What concerns me is that, in the US, the issue can be out-of-sight, out-of-mind. We don’t see where our trash goes (much of it shipped offshore), therefore we consume liberally and generate mountains of waste. But it’s catching up with us… there has been an increase in beach closures on the West coast, increasing damage to wildlife and a massive decline in overall ocean health. But I’m an optimist. Young people today seem more aware of environmental issues and my hope is that they will drive greater awareness, compassion and action for a healthier planet.
What advice do you have for individuals who are looking to make a lifestyle change?
Where should they begin? It’s all about the little things we do every day. Big changes begin with very small individual choices and actions — choosing reusable products over disposable ones is a great first step. Don’t let it overwhelm you. Just start with one or two things: bring your own water bottle/insulated mug when you walk out the door, don’t accept the obligatory straw in your drink, bring a reusable bag or just carry your 5 small items out of the store in-hand, adjust your diet to eat less red meat and more veggies and sustainable seafood, plant something in your garden or a pot of herbs in your kitchen. Since plastic pollution is my issue, I’d encourage people to let go of the mindset that plastic bags, bottles, straws are benign and think of them as a cost to our health and the environment. Producing plastic, using plastic and disposing of plastic creates toxic emissions and clogs waterways and landfills. It’s actually pretty empowering to realize that we can do something each day that will make a difference in the scope of the massive plastic problem we’re facing worldwide. People today are demanding better sustainable choices and this will do more to drive change in schools, homes, and communities everywhere.
Where can customers purchase your products? Is there anything else they should know?
We just launched our new recyclable and sealable paper sandwich bags in Target grocery and Whole Foods this summer, and also sell LunchSkins in many other natural grocery stores. Our long-time partner, the Container Store, is currently selling both reusable and recyclable products nationally. If none of these options work, you can always find a large assortment of LunchSkins on our website, lunchskins.com.
How are you trying to live a plastic free life? Share with us in the comments below!
We’re inspired by companies like Biokleen, making waves in the cleaning products industry, not only by creating non-toxic cleaning products but working to spread awareness on sustaining our planet. Today on the blog, we interviewed Barry Firth, the Managing Director of Biokleen, to give you more insight on their story, their motivation and how we can all contribute to better loving our planet.
1. Tell us a bit about Biokleen.
In 1989, company founder Jim Rimer was working for a commercial cleaning products company and he was disturbed to see first-hand the effects conventional cleaning products were having on the health of the people who were using the products. Asthma, skin issues and even cancer diagnoses were common among the housekeepers, janitors and carpet cleaners that used these toxic products. He then asked his bosses if they could find safe alternatives. They refused. And so, Biokleen was born.
Jim committed himself to learning about plant and mineral technologies that could clean as well as toxic products without doing any harm to people. With a drum and an oar in his garage, Jim worked tirelessly to develop some of Biokleen’s first products.
1) Is it plant- and mineral-based?
2) Is it safe for families and the environment?
3) Does it work?
2. What is Biokleen’s mission?
At Biokleen, our guiding commitment is to people, pets and our planet by harnessing the power of nature to produce plant and mineral based cleaners that work. Or, as we like to say, “Clean for Good.” This promise drives everything we do, from our products to our manufacturing principals to our impact on the community and the world-at-large.
3. How is Biokleen working to create a healthier planet?
We are being the change we want to see in the world by offsetting all energy and water used in the manufacturing process via wind credits and water restoration projects. Additionally, many of the products we make are highly concentrated which goes hand in glove with our less is more philosophy. This results in lower emissions necessary for shipping and delivering a considerable value for our consumers.
On top of our work nationwide with community-based pet rescues and environmental advocacy groups, in 2017 we embarked on an aggressive reforestation campaign planting 12,000 trees, and we will likely double that in 2018. Overall, we have set a goal of planting 60,000 trees per year by 2020.
4. Why is it important for consumers to adopt sustainable living practices?
Many of our consumers are parents of kids young and old. They’re questioning and concerned about the world they will be leaving for the generations to come. And, as a brand that’s been committed to sustainable practices for nearly 30 years, we’re encouraged that more and more consumers are becoming aware of the impact of their own choices. By examining their values and voting with their dollars, consumers now know they can help effect positive change in the world.
5. What advice do you have for individuals who are looking to make a lifestyle change? Where should they begin?
We all know change can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be. Making small changes, like supporting and switching to brands who are already making a difference with sustainable practices is a great place to start. With your commitment to brands like Biokleen and Wild Planet Foods, you’re making a change in the way you clean and eat and making an impact on our planet!
How are you contributing to sustain and protect our planet? Leave a comment with your own tips and tricks below!