Sustainable (Eco-Friendly) Businesses Part 2

blog 5 pic

Some people may not be aware of this, but aside from small grassroots businesses that support sustainability, there are quite a number of large corporations, companies and organizations that support this practice as well. Jo Confino (2014), wrote an article about some of the larger companies that practices sustainability and here are some information about these different types of companies as follows.

Coca-Cola is using a third party to aide in testing and assessing its water quality and ensuring to improve the use of this water by 20%. I find that this is extremely important, that companies are making sure the use of water is used correctly and in a safe and clean environment and being inspected for quality control, as water is a very valuable resource, among others (Confino, 2014). Confino (2014), states that Nike is creating more footwear that is specifically designed in an environmentally friendly way, and produced an app called the ‘Making app’, which allows people all over to the world to see exactly how Nike designed their footwear and what materials they used in making it environmentally friendly. I am a huge supporter of Nike and this is great news because not only is Nike a well-known footwear company, but with Nike producing their special ‘Making app’, this would create and promote more awareness on how important it is for other footwear companies and even other businesses to start applying the practices of sustainability from start to finish in creating any of their products, and I believe that other businesses can look up to Nike as a great example.

Confino (2014), also shares that Starbucks is working towards making sure that their coffee beans are being produced in a safe and fair working environment. In doing so, they are reaching out, working, and partnering with various neighborhood communities and suppliers of its coffee beans. Procter and Gamble, a consumer goods company, makes sure that the products they sell on the market to consumers are sustainable in at least 1 out of 5 ways. This would be through the consideration of how the sources of water and energy is consumed, the methods of transportation used to gather supplies, ensuring the products are packed with recyclable materials, and using renewable sources (Confino, 2014). Altogether, I support both small and large businesses that practice sustainability, and it’s an added bonus if they are also cruelty-free. I find that I am able to start off by being more eco-friendly and conscientious in small ways. For instance, referring back to my previous blog posts- from using all natural ingredients to replace chemical cleaners, organic toothpaste, unplugging appliances or electronics that are not in use to decrease energy consumption, bringing reusable bags and mugs whenever I go out, and proper recycling.

What are some of the companies or organizations that you support or volunteer with, that practices sustainability? Comments can be posted below.

References

(n.d.). Retrieved from http://livinggreenmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/green_companies1.jpg      (Photo credit)

Confino, J. (2014, April 30). Best practices in sustainability: Ford, Starbucks and more. Retrieved from TheGuardian: http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/blog/best-practices-sustainability-us-corporations-ceres

 

 

 

 

Sustainable (Eco-Friendly) Businesses Part 1

Pic blog 4

There are a lot of companies, organizations and businesses that are going green, and implementing and practicing the use of sustainability. Adrian Lee (2014), wrote an article that discusses why businesses that choose to practice sustainability gets higher approval and admiration from their employees. In his article, he wrote about how there are many things that are important and would attract a potential employee/ a person who is applying for a job. Lee (2014), took Darren Wood as an example when he applied for a job at a company named Intuit, which creates and produces software for financial management purposes. Darren said that before he considered the job, he raised questions to his friend about what the benefits were and what the work environment was, but most importantly what this business does to impact the environment. Like Darren, I believe that it’s important to raise such questions and to gain understanding and awareness on what company policies are and how it affects the environment, and both its producers and consumers. Some questions that come to mind would be to know where the sources are coming from, how is the company getting these sources, are any of these sources renewable, and what are ways that the company is doing to help give back to the environment and to the people, while keeping its sustainable practices and company profit.

Lee (2014), stated that Darren praised that the company’s policies and environmental programs where created and compelled based on the employees opinions. I think this is important because it shows that this company values and cares about the environment, and shapes their environmental policies around the voices of its employees. Lee (2014), notes that Intuit gives back to the environment by imitating and creating programs where its employees can ride bicycles to work, fundraising and coming together as a group to help clean up garbage around local lakes and parks. I would say that this is wonderful because it shows employee initiative and raises more awareness to the increasing trend of sustainability and how others can go about striving for more of this in their workplace, outside of work, and at home.

Here is a link to a short video clip about ConocoPhillips- a large oil and gas corporation and how it practices sustainability in a positive way in Canada: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BA80tD8v_bc

References

(n.d.). Retrieved from http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0832/7013/files/New_Area_Graphics_14b8dc2a-99b0-44f5-8c5f-9886eb694ce6_grande.png?13932646526206086698   (Photo credit)

Lee, A. (2014, May 12). Companies that integrate sustainability programs into their workplace culture win praise from their employees. Retrieved from Macleans: http://www.macleans.ca/economy/business/green-where-it-counts-the-green-30/

 

 

 

Tips and Advice for Being Eco-Friendly

pic 4

There are many ways people can help the environment and become eco-friendly. As mentioned in my previous blog entry, I am being eco-friendly by choosing and using organic toothpaste, beauty products like face wash and moisturizers, and laundry detergent. Sometimes the house can smell when cooking, therefore after cooking instead of lighting scented candles, I choose to boil water and vinegar in a small pot and that really helps take the smell away. In the summer time I either do this or open up the windows, and it gets the job done. From personal experiences, I find that vinegar is very useful around the house. I also have used this as a replacement for my old bathroom and kitchen cleaning solutions. Once every two weeks, I would use a funnel and pour some vinegar down the drain in the bathtub to get rid of any clogged hairs. I do the same with the kitchen sink as well to clear of any tiny pieces of leftovers.

Manon Verchot (2014), wrote an article that gives tips and reasons for people to go green and it included topics such as being aware of what products we put on our body, as our body absorbs 60% of it. She also talks about the different methods of commuting, where people should walk whenever they can to places, ride their bicycle or use the subway, this way we can help to decrease air pollution. Furthermore, Verchot (2014), states that we can shift from using plastic water bottles to buying a reusable mug to refill our drinks and help reduce the use of plastics. I also find it useful to bring my own reusable shopping bags when I am shopping at the mall or grocery store, it’s beneficial and sometimes certain stores give customers discounts when using their own bag.

Here is a link to the David Suzuki Foundation to find more helpful tips on being eco-friendly: http://www.davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/queen-of-green/faqs/cleaning/

Here is an informative video that talks about the food wastage footprint from the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoCVrkcaH6Q

References

Earth Day tips. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://oliebiologique.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/earthday-1024×613.jpg    (Photo credit)

Verchot, M. (2014, June 26). 10 reasons to go green starting NOW. Retrieved from Treehugger : http://www.treehugger.com/htgg/how-to-go-green-why-to-go-green.html

 

The Disadvantages of Using Eco-Friendly Products / Lifestyle

eco pic 2organic pic 3

When I started using more Eco-friendly products for around the house and for daily use, and incorporated it into my lifestyle, I noticed that it was more costly and at times, it would be more time consuming depending on which product it was. From using organic and environmentally friendly toothpaste, face and beauty products, and compact florescent lamps (CFL) light bulbs (Pullen, n.d.), the costs all adds up. Before I go and purchase these products, I would always do a price comparison of both the eco-friendly product and the regular product. The toothpaste that I pay for now is double the cost of what I used to use before, and in the tube there is also less product. The old tube of toothpaste was 130 ml while the one I use now is 85ml- that’s a difference of 45ml.

The area and aspect where using an eco-friendly product and incorporating this into ones lifestyle can get very costly, is when a person decides to use solar panels on the roof of their house. The upside to using solar panels in the long-run is that it does cut down on the energy bill while consuming less energy. However, the initial downside is that it is very expensive to install (Lake, 2015). Speaking of lifestyle, there is also the food we choose to eat that are friendly for the environment, and organic. Personally, when it comes to eating organic, I choose to grow what I can during the summer time even if it is something small. Some examples of the vegetable and herbs I grow in my backyard are tomatoes, hot chili peppers, Vietnamese coriander and basil. Organic food is more costly and it may also be harder to purchase these foods if a person does not live near a local farmer’s market for instance, or near grocery stores that sell fresh, organic and natural foods (Lake, 2015).

What are the ways in which you have become environmentally friendly? Would you ever consider changing your lifestyle into one that is environmentally friendly? Comments can be posted below.

References

ECO Cooker- Eco friendly. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.e-cooker.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/ecotree.png  (Photo credit)

Lake, R. (2015, July 03). What Are the Disadvantages of Going Green? Retrieved from LIVESTRONG.COM: http://www.livestrong.com/article/137345-what-are-disadvantages-going-green/

ORGANIC FOOD ECO-LABELING VECTOR. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.vector-eps.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/organic-food-eco-labeling-vector.jpg   (Photo credit)

Pullen, K. (n.d.). Eco Friendly Light Bulbs. Retrieved from Love to know: http://greenliving.lovetoknow.com/Eco_Friendly_Light_Bulbs

 

 

 

The Benefits of Using Eco-Friendly Products

Pic1

When it comes to the word ‘environmentally friendly’, some people may automatically think of the 3 R’s : Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, though there is more to this word that just using the 3 R’s. Through my personal observations and experiences, I find that some people may be hesitant to switch over from using regular household products on the market to that of products which are more environmentally friendly. Some examples of everyday household products range from cleaning solutions for the bathroom and/or kitchen, laundry detergents and fabric softeners, to kitchen soaps. Over the years of using regular laundry detergents, I found that some of the ingredients caused my skin to become easily irritated and prone to itchiness.

Everyday regular household products may have ingredients which are harmful to the environment and can affect your health. Eco-friendly cleaning products are made up of all natural ingredients which are safe for the environment. They may be free of chemicals and irritants such as phosphates (Magazine, 2008). One of plants important nutrients it needs for consumption and growth is phosphorus. When this ingredient is used in detergents and thrown back into the water, it can cause an overgrowth of plants that live underwater. It can also pollute the water which makes it inadequate for humans including animals to drink (Natural and Environmentally-Friendly Household Products: Suggestions for Waterfront Homeowners, n.d.).

References

Magazine, B. H. (2008, September). The benefits of eco-friendly cleaners. The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc.

Natural and Environmentally-Friendly Household Products: Suggestions for Waterfront Homeowners. (n.d.). Retrieved from Greater Sudbury: https://www.greatersudbury.ca/living/environmentally-friendly/environmentally-friendly-products1/

VECTOR SET OF GLOBAL ECO. (n.d.). In W. (Author). Retrieved from http://images.all-free download.com/images/graphicthumb/vector_set_of_global_eco_48451.jpg    (Photo credit)

Have you thought of switching or are already using eco-friendly household products? If so, which products are you using? Comments can be posted below.