Anyone can make small swaps to live a healthier life for themselves and for the planet. We’re not telling you to change everything, but some of these swaps might actually make your life easier. (So I’d listen up if I were you!)
To be honest about our motives, education is the best place to start on a journey to sustainability.
The future of our planet is on thin ice. Pun intended. (You know, the glaciers are melting…) Anyway, things aren’t going to change unless we change. We’re on a trajectory for a plastic filled ocean, a climate too hot to ski, with an atmosphere polluted with greenhouse gasses.
The good news is that companies are taking responsibility and action. But it’s still up to us as consumers to pay attention and make those swaps to the more sustainably responsible brands.
But we believe that being aware is half the battle. Start reading your food labels, consciously throwing things away, think about where your items come from, and how far they traveled to get to you. If you become more aware and more conscious about what is/isn’t sustainable in your home, that’s a win. Things don’t change overnight, but they do start somewhere. Maybe its starting here.
For example, did you know that 80% of flower bouquets sold in the US are imported from different countries? The transportation of these flowers alone emits tons of greenhouse gasses, not to mention the greenhouse gasses emitted from long distance refrigeration (called hydrofluorocarbons, or HFC for short) which are 9,000 times more potent than regular CO2.
And all that meat & fish you have in the freezer, do you know how it got there? If it's beef, lamb, or goat, it played a pretty big role in contributing to climate change and deforestation. Poultry and pork have a lower environmental impact but raising them in farms still means animal feed needs to be grown and shipped, which all release emissions.
Wild caught fish have the lowest impact of the animal proteins, but you still have to keep in mind any emission coming from commercial boat fuel. We’re not telling you to cut out your Friday burger night or stop eating Turkey on Thanksgiving, but be aware of the impact your food has. And maybe be open to spending a little more on sustainably sourced or wild caught proteins.
We could go on forever about the single-use plastic that’s used for food packaging, the famous K-Cups that are not recyclable nor biodegradable, and the millions of tons of home textiles (towels, clothing, curtains, blankets, etc) that end up in landfills.
But instead of focusing on the problem, let’s get into a solution-based mindset and share some brands you can check out to make your home more sustainable.
What if your daily coffee could be sustainably sourced, carbon neutral, and even help PLANT some trees instead of destroying them? (Assuming you’re using a reusable cup 😉.) Nespresso is a B-Corp certified company committed to circular design and sustainably farmed coffee.
The highlight of their initiatives is their capsules made from recycled aluminum, so you don’t have to give up the convenient single serve coffee at home in order to do good by the planet. What you DO have to do though, is recycle them! Their coffee capsule recycling program keeps coffee byproducts out of landfills by allowing you to give your used capsules back to Nespresso to give them a second life.
They have over 100,000 collection points across the country or you can order recycling bags and just drop them off at a UPS store, free of charge! The coffee grounds get separated and turned into compost, while the aluminum gets recycled into new products. As of 2020, they had the capacity for 90% of the capsules to be recycled but only 32% actually made it back to the recycling program. That puts the responsibility back on us as consumers.
If you don’t believe us, check out Nespresso’s RE:GROUND collaboration, where each pair of Zeta shoes is composed of the equivalent of 12 espresso cups, using 80% recycled and recovered materials. Nepresso also invites new ideas for what to do with these recycled capsules, so reach out to them if there’s a particular recycled product you’d like to see!
When ordering your Nespresso capsules, make sure you add a few free recycling bags to your order so that when you’re done, you remember to send those suckers back!
Since coffee is just one thing in our daily lives we can’t live without, we still need a sustainable solution for all of the other things. From bagels, tea, and cookies to toothbrushes, hand soap, and doggy bags, The Rounds delivers everything to our door without wasteful packaging.
With ZERO cardboard boxes and NO single use plastic you can say bye to your Amazon addiction and say hello to reusable bags, refillable containers, and local products.
They have over 200 household products to choose from so you can personalize every delivery to what you need. For refills, just put your empty containers outside your door on refill day and they will collect, sanitize, and recirculate the container.
The average household discards more than 1,200lbs of packaging waste per year, which equates to 4lbs per day. Do you think you can get that number down for your household? Think about it for a few days, how much plastic do you throw away every single day?
As of now, 94% of their products come to you with zero waste, the exception being original packaging for food safety reasons. Truly a “modern day milkman”, many of their deliveries come by e-bike and are carefully planned to be efficient in order to reduce miles and emissions.
With this innovative model in place, they have hefty goals for the future to reach net zero carbon by implementing 100% electric delivery vehicles and by offsetting any of the emissions they do release. We’re definitely looking forward to seeing they’re detailed sustainability reports and a wider selection of products and locations so they can make this sustainable home solution accessible for everyone.
The Rounds may not be available in your area yet, but sign up anyway to let them know you want it! And as soon as it’s available, you’ll get an email. In the meantime, check them out on Instagram to follow their journey!
Since The Rounds isn’t available for all locations, we’re giving you another option to shop for your household a little more sustainably. Mom’s Organic Market has been making sustainable changes for a while and it's time we took notice.
In 2005, they eliminated plastic bags and started using compostable bags in the produce section and paper bags at checkout. And in 2010, they launched a storewide effort to eliminate unnecessary plastic waste from water bottles, introducing water machines and reusable water containers. And perhaps the most impactful for plastic waste, every single MOM’s store has a bulk section where you can bring your reusable containers to refill dry goods, nut butter, liquid cleaning supplies, self-serve tofu, beer & kombucha, sustainable protein, honey, olive oil, and vinegar.
They even go as far as to use solar power and wind power to offset any of the emissions they do produce, as if installing specific kinds of flooring, using recycled denim as insulation, and having green roofs wasn’t enough!!
One of the coolest things that MOM’s has done is offer a super versatile recycle center for cell phones and tablets, batteries, eye glasses, corks, shoes, denim, and holiday lights. Instead of just throwing those old shoes away, tie the pair together and drop them in a recycling bin at MOM’s. So rather than ending up in a landfill, MOM’s can pass them on to Planet Aid to be turned into pillow stuffing, carpet padding, cloths, and more.
And we haven’t even mentioned their 100% sustainably sourced seafood and equal exchange bananas and avocados. At the time of writing, MOM’s is the ONLY grocery store in the US to offer 100% sustainable seafood; even their canned tuna is recommended or approved by the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch Program. They even have an interesting take on the sustainability of fresh versus frozen fish that actually makes a lot of sense.
Because of ALL these reasons, MOM’s definitely tops the list as a smart choice for anyone trying to do good by the environment.
Okay even we admit that this is a tough one. It’s hard to beat the convenience of buying beautiful flowers when we’re out at the store but believe us when we say, a trip to your local farm or farmers market is worth it.
One of the greatest impacts that the flower industry has on the environment comes from transportation. So instead of buying flowers that came from Colombia on a plane, cut out the carbon emissions and support your local economy. These kinds of flowers usually have less packaging too, so you’re not wasting any of that plastic that bundles every bouquet at the grocery store.
If you’re not sure what farmers markets are in your area, use this locator to find where you can buy farm flowers near you!
If nothing is in season or you really don’t live near any farms, there are a few delivery services who are stepping up to the plate to bat against the industry standards. Bouqs promises flowers directly from the farm and responsibly sourced, without any middlemen. Farmgirl Flowers has a similar philosophy where they cut flowers specifically for your order and ship directly to consumers. And their signature burlap wrap is made from upcycled coffee bags which mitigates a lot of plastic waste! They definitely deserve a round of applause for that one.
Bloom & Wild uses 100% recyclable or compostable packaging and is committed to reaching Net Zero by 2045. Currently the brand is Carbon Neutral (and has been since 2020), which means they offset any emissions they produce. But being Net Zero takes another level of love for the planet, committing to produce as little emissions as humanly possible (and still offsetting the ones that are unavoidable).
They have a whole Net Zero pathway report that's available to the public, as well as a sustainability report that details all of they’re sustainable practices. As usual, some of the responsibility falls back on us to actually recycle or compost the packaging that comes with the flowers, but luckily they send instructions for that too!
Currently available across the UK, Germany, Austria, France, and Ireland, it’s pretty incredible that over 70% of their deliveries are by foot, bike or electric van. As much as us Americans wish Bloom & Wild was available in the US, that successful percentage wouldn’t last long if they were shipping overseas. We are however going to follow them on Instagram to admire & support their sustainability journey!
Our last sustainable home tip comes from our love for the furry parts of our families! Or actually, the furry guys who don’t yet have a family…
Did you know that animal shelters will take your torn clothes and tattered linens—stuff that donation centers like Goodwill and AIDS Thrift can’t repurpose for humans—and turn them into bedding that keeps animals warm and cozy? I’m not sure how many people want my 10 year old sheets or that shirt that now has a few too many holes in it, and I know it's tempting to just throw it away. But keeping in mind what we learned about the [apparel industry in our other blog post], it’s best not to contribute to loads of textiles that end up in landfills.
Instead, whenever you find clothing, blankets, sheets, or other scraps of fabric that aren’t suitable for a thrift store, take them to your local animal shelter! Some of our Eztia folks are based in Philadelphia so we know for sure that Morris Animal Refuge will definitely take your tattered textiles and use them for bedding, warmth, and comfort for their rescued animals.
If you’re not in Philly, simply locate the closest animal shelter and call to see what their policy is. You can also use Chewy’s animal shelter locator to conveniently find an animal shelter or rescue near you. Plus it has the email and phone number right on the listing, so you can easily reach out and ask what you can do to contribute. Chances are that the shelter will be more than happy to receive donations that help keep their precious animals safe, warm, and comfortable.
And just like that, you have another way to keep your textiles out of landfills. And if you clear out all of that stuff and think you need something new, check out our collection of Sustainable Clothing Brands, so you can feel good about what you’re filling your home and your closet with.
We’re on a mission to make sustainable shifts as smooth as possible. Our hope is that by sharing some of these outlets and facts, you’re inspired to make some changes of your own.
As much as we appreciate your reading this, it is infinitely more important that you practice what we preach, even if you’re starting at the very beginning. We’re sure there’s plenty of arguments against these switches, much of which revolves around convenience and price. But when you take a step back and look at what we’ve done to our planet in such a short period of time, there need not be any further argument.
Is it more convenient to throw away the torn curtains than to take them to the local animal shelter? Yes. Does 85% of our textiles end up in landfills and contribute to pollution? Also yes. Take what you will from that comparison.
As an extension of the bystander effect, we all think the next person will take care of it. But as we know, that’s not true. In this case, it's probably the complete opposite. The more you do it, the more other people will take notice and join in. So be an active bystander in the crimes being committed on the planet. Be the one who speaks up, takes action, and leads others around them if necessary.
Be that person who spends a little more to buy sustainable seafood. Be the one who buys flowers from the farm. Be the one who takes worn linens to the animal shelter, instead of the dump. Be the one with a million refillable containers, and don’t apologize for it! On the contrary, be proud of it, talk about it, and advise others if invited to do so.
If it sounds like we’re speaking right to you, you might want to check out our weekly sustainable shoutouts on our Instagram page. Each Sunday, we shout out a brand that has sustainable practices so that we can keep this list of sustainable brands all inclusive and ever-growing. Because like we said, awareness and education is half the battle.
Please note that no one in this article paid us to include them. NONE of our sustainability shout outs are sponsored. We have our own sustainable practices at Eztia so we like to think we have a keen eye for others who are spreading love and awareness for our beautiful planet. And then we want to amplify them. After all, we’re all fighting the same fight to make this world a safer place for everyone.
Do you or someone you know have an Earth-positive brand? Send us a message or DM us on Instagram and we’ll check it out! Happy sustainable shopping!