Archive for the ‘Sustainability’ Category

The Many Benefits of Fiberon Decking

Many companies worldwide recognize the many issues with the way we approach waste and recycling, so they are stepping up with innovative solutions. This new approach these companies are taking is pushing for positive change in their industries and inspiring hope for sustainability.
One company leading the charge of innovation is Fiberon Decking. Fiberon is a supplier of composite decking solutions. They design outdoor spaces that are not only created to sustain, but also to leave the smallest possible footprint. For almost two decades, Fiberon has been working to help those looking to create outdoor spaces, with quality and sustainable products made in the USA.
Beautiful outdoor spaces.
Fiberon takes great pride in creating outdoor living products that offer lasting beauty, maximum value, and easy maintenance.
Outdoor living is nothing without the outdoors and its natural beauty, so Fiberon incorporates eco-friendly materials and sustainable processes into everything they create.
Protecting the environment.
Fiberon’s amazing products are made from recycled materials, they source local recycled content, and utilize a closed-loop water cooling system for zero water discharge.
Their decking materials are made with locally-sourced recycled plastic, leftover sawdust, lumber mill scraps, and other materials. Each year Fiberon prevents more than 60,000 tons of plastic and other waste from ending up in landfills. Plus, Fiberon composites prevent further deforestation, do not contain the toxic chemicals often found in pressure-treated lumber, and are manufactured in a zero-waste process. Some other important facts about Fiberon and their processes include:

  • They are saving more than one million trees every year.
  • 100 million pounds of recycled plastic put to good use every year.
  • Manufacturing composite decking requires a constant source of water and they reuse almost all of it.
  • They reuse 98.5% of the waste from their manufacturing process.

Composite decking is cost-effective. 
While pressure-treated lumber may cost less initially, maintenance costs are significantly higher. Composite decking is a lot like prefinished flooring. It arrives as a finished product and never needs sanding, staining, or painting, just an occasional soap, and water cleaning. Wood needs to be finished after installation and then refinished every 1-2 years, meaning you’ll spend a significant amount of time and elbow grease maintaining that deck.
What’s more, wood decks are susceptible to mold, decay, weather elements, insects, and in general, have a shorter lifespan. Composites continually retain their good looks year after year.
According to, maintenance costs with composite decking will be about $5-$15 per year, whereas wood decking will cost about $450-850 per year.
[Check out some more outdoor sustainability ideas here!]
Composite decking is safer. 
Wood-plastic composite decks will not splinter, split, crack, or rot, making your outdoor space safer for children, pets, and bare feet.
Fiberon decking looks just like wood.
Today’s composites genuinely reflect the organic beauty of hardwoods, complete with subtle streaking and wood grain patterns. And when it comes to color choices, you’ll find many more options to suit your tastes than with traditional wood.
As summer comes to a close, and the crisper temperatures creep into the Carolinas, start thinking about your outdoor space. Does it offer you the peace and joy that it should? If not, contact the experts at Fiberon today!
And for more tips on living green, whether outdoors or in, stay tuned to Carolina Fibre’s blog.

Four Essential Summer Recycling Tips

In most states, summer is beginning to wind down, but in southern North Carolina, we are still in the thick of it.
Our weekends are still filled with day trips, beach days, and pool time. It adds up to a lot of time spent outside in a beautiful environment, and we want to be sure to protect it. So, while you’re soaking up the sun this summer, try to reduce waste, save resources, and protect our earth by following these four essential summer recycling tips.
Road trips.
If you are ready to hit the road, pack some meals and snacks in eco-friendly containers and bring a reusable water bottles instead of buying bottled. Don’t forget to bring along bags to collect recyclables in the car and look for recycling bins at rest stops. Some other things you can do include:

  • Instead of buying small, travel-sized toiletries, fill reusable containers with shampoo, soap, and other necessities.
  • If you stop for a fill-up or a quick bite, commit to picking up a few trash pieces along the way. Try to help make the world better than how you found it!
  • Take only napkins, condiment packets, free brochures, maps, or coupons you will use.

Lawn care.
You will probably be mowing the lawn quite a bit this summer, so don’t let that cut grass end up in a landfill! The EPA estimates that our yard waste accounts for 18% of material in our landfills. Our dumps are quickly running out of space, so it’s important to help where we can. Grass clippings are an organic material that can be reused to benefit the environment.
Rather than bagging the grass as you mow, leave it on the lawn where it will return valuable nutrients to the yard. If you’re worried about the look of cut grass on your lawn, add your clippings to a compost pile. Either way, your grass-cycling will significantly impact the environment and help reduce landfill waste.
[Need more eco-friendly summer essentials? Click here!]
Pool and beach days.
If you have old beach or pool toys, try patching holes or find other uses. These products are usually made of PVC, which are not recyclable, so consider this before buying new ones. If you are shopping for new pool toys, buy those made from recyclable materials to minimize the ecological impact. Other tips include:

  • Reuse plastic or paper shopping bags to pack items for your trip and recycle them afterward. Plastic shopping bags are perfect for keeping dirty shoes and wet bathing suits separate from other things, while paper bags are great for packing snacks.
  • Use old buckets and other items in your house to build sandcastles instead of buying new ones.
  • When visiting beaches and parks, be sure to take out everything you bring in so that you leave places clean and undisturbed.
  • Take a closer look at your sunscreen. Don’t forget to see which cans and bottles are recyclable before throwing them out. Most metal sunscreen bottles are made from aluminum, which is a highly recyclable material.

For the grill.
Barbeques are far and few between these days, but if you decide to host a small gathering, make recycling convenient by putting a clearly labeled recycling bin by the trash.
A barbeque can produce a ton of waste, and because plastic cutlery usually can’t be recycled, it’s essential to try and plan ahead. Provide reusable knives and forks for your guests. If you want to work toward zero-waste, put out reusable napkins, plates, cups, and cutlery at your next party! We know this isn’t always practical, so if you must buy disposable, try to find paper products that are made from recycled materials and are biodegradable or compostable.
By paying attention to a few extra details, you can help make a greener summer possible for everyone, you know. For more great recycling tips, be sure to visit Carolina Fibre online today!

Ten Eco-Friendly Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Father’s Day is just around the corner, and while we may have big things going on in the world around us, we must focus on a bit of normalcy.

Whether you’re ready or not, it is time to start thinking about dear old dad and what you want to give him to show how loved and valued he is. And while you’re thinking, remember that choosing an eco-friendly gift is not only thoughtful for Dad, but it is considerate of the planet as well.
Choosing a gift that is kind to the planet ensures it will continue to give long after the holiday is over. If you aren’t sure where to begin, here are ten eco-friendly Father’s Day gift ideas to get you started.

Organic shirts and socks.

Dad will feel cozy and comfortable during these hot summer months with lightweight and breathable materials so close to his skin.
Find soft organic cotton that is gentle on him while being gentle on the environment.

Wooden fashion accessories.

Sunglasses are more than necessary this time of year, and what could be fancier than a premium pair of wood shades? Find a luxurious pair made natural materials for the perfect blend of style and sustainability.
Check out these from the Shwood Shop. Some other wood yet super chic accessories include:

Grilling sets.

Invest in some high-quality barbecue products this year so they can be reused rather than pitched once the season is over.
There are many eco-friendly grill kits available, including this set made from environmentally friendly pakkawood. Set dad up for a season of grilling and fun in the sun while taking care of our planet.

Homebrew kit.

There is no better way to be kind to the earth than to have dad brew all that beer he drinks. Not only will he stay busy, but he will be saving all those bottles and cans with a homebrew kit.

Water bottles made of sustainable materials.

This present is ideal for the active dad that needs a functional object to keep him hydrated. A collapsible water bottle is the perfect eco-friendly Father’s Day gift, as well as an ideal travel companion since it breaks down small enough to fit in a pocket. It is also perfect for eco-minded dads who want to save the planet from the plague of plastic!

Stainless steel mug.

If Dad is a coffee lover, a durable stainless-steel coffee mug is a must. It’s better than drinking it out of a disposable cup and can be used repeatedly, eliminating any extra waste.

Plant a tree.

Planting a tree in his honor is the perfect gift for dad this year. Trees are essential to our environment as they offer shade, produce fruit, and keep the air clean.
So, plant one for dad this Father’s Day and generations will enjoy it for years to come.
[Check out these other gardening tips here!]

Beach day essentials.

Gift dad these with these swimming trunks from Joseph and Alexander that are stylish and good for the planet. They are made from 100% recycled plastic so that dad will be styling and ecstatic that his shorts are helping to recover plastic from the oceans and put it to good use.
Some other excellent eco-friendly beach goodies that dad will love (and need) this summer in North Carolina include:

Recycled journal.

If dad has a creative streak and enjoys drawing or journaling, a recycled journal is perfect. Pair it with a pen, and he will love jotting down his thoughts — or his to-do list!

Snacks for days.

You can’t go wrong with snacks, so make dad’s day with a basket of his favorite organic snacks. There are many to choose from, but popcorn, nuts, dried fruit, crackers, and spreads are some options that are sure to satisfy his taste buds.
There are many eco-friendly gifts available to suit just about everyone. Give it some thought so you can give dad a gift he is sure to love, and the planet will appreciate it too!

Hopefully, you are inspired by our list and can find the perfect gift this Father’s Day. However, if you still have concerns about eco-friendly living, Carolina Fibre is here to help. Check out our blog for more tips or contact us today!

Five Steps to Prepare your Garden for a Successful Season

A great garden requires a lot of preparation and maintenance to develop. However, even if you forgot to start your planning in the late winter, you can still have an amazing and fruitful garden this year. In honor of Earth Day, here is a checklist of five steps you need to take to get your garden ready for a successful season.
Get organized.
While the weather is still iffy, use this time to organize your shed or garage and go through your tools and make sure everything is in good shape. Oil hinges, sharpen blades, replace anything that can’t be repaired, and consider expanding or upgrading your collection. You would be shocked by how much easier your garden prep will be with the proper tools!
This is also an excellent opportunity to replace your supplies. Make sure you have enough fertilizer, soil, and other required materials. The last thing you want to do is have to make a pit stop to the hardware store when you’re knee-deep in perennials.
Clear out the old to make room for the new.
Throughout the fall and winter months, your garden will be exposed to the elements. The weather and outdoor environment will leave behind all kinds of weeds and debris. Preform a spring cleaning and deep purge of your garden area. Dead debris should be put into a compost pile to break down later. Mulch or other organic matter can stay where it is to be combined with the soil, but the fresher mulch will have to be raked away to expose the new dirt.
Your number one goal right now is to find any weeds that may still be alive. These must be removed from the soil right away. You don’t want to leave any living weeds as they can come back to haunt you and your garden. The same cleanup method applies to your trees and bushes. Prepare for spring by trimming off any dead or broken branches and removing all the old debris to make room for fresh new blooms.
Prep the soil.
Once the winter frost has faded, and the soil is usable, it’s time to make sure your garden is ready for planting. In winter, soil tends to become compacted and unpliable, so the first thing you will need to do is loosen it by tilling or turning.
Next, you can add compost, but be sure to utilize a soil test to see where your nutrient levels lie. This will tell you what type of elements you might need to add. If you have clay or poor soil quality, it is essential to add a healthy layer of compost to improve the nutrient content, texture, and moisture-retention. Gently rake the soil so its level and water it carefully to help release air pockets.
Create an agenda.
Consult your zone to see which vegetables, flowers, and plants are best for your region. You can also talk to someone at your local nursery to get some recommendations. Creating a plan ahead of time is essential in planting a successful garden.
According to Old World Farms, the biggest mistake a gardener can make is not to put thought into the planning of their garden. The experts there recommend creating a master grow list, making a sketch of your garden and the plans, and planning a timeline for the season. Taking the time now to prepare for not only what you will grow, but when it will need to be planted may sound simple, but it is crucial. The step is often overlooked, and by the end of the gardening process, it can cause big problems.
Top it off.
After you’ve implemented your plans and everything it’s planted it is time to top your garden off. Apply a layer of mulch where you can. Mulch is much more effective in keeping weeds at bay if you can quickly get it in place before the weeds start sprouting.
Having a home garden not only makes your backyard beautiful, but it has many ecological benefits as well. Some of the many benefits include:

  • Reduced pollution.
  • Instead of buying produce from your local grocery store, you can grow vegetables and fruits at home.
  • Combats erosion.
  • Helps balance the ecosystem.
  • Contributes to clean air.
  • Assists the bees in and the environment in pollination.

[Check out this post if you want to know other ways to help the environment!]
Home gardening promotes a healthier environment and sustainability. Sustainability is all about implementing good habits to help our planet. At Carolina Fibre Corporation, we believe in sustainability, whether its gardening, composting, or recycling.
Do you have any good ideas for sustainability? We would love to hear about them on our Facebook page!

Seven Tips for Green Spring Cleaning and Recycling

Its spring and that means it’s time for a fresh start! This season focus on using cleaning habits that help the environment by only using safe cleaning products, recycling instead of trashing, and donating to charity so that your items can be reused.
If your goal is to reduce clutter this year, combine that with lowering your contribution to landfills by thinking green.
The first step to fighting messes and reducing clutter is to get rid of all those things you never use. Start with places where junk accumulates, such as drawers, closets, the garage, the basement, and attic. Begin the process by separating your stuff into piles—what you really will use and what you know you never will. Be honest with yourself as you sort through those jeans you haven’t seen since high school. Be practical when considering whether you should hang on to that fondue set you’ve never opened.
While it may be difficult to let some things go, the quickest way to cut your cleaning time is to have less stuff to clean. If you haven’t used it recently, you won’t miss it, and you’ll feel free of the burden of clutter!
Now you have stuff that you’re ready to get rid of, but don’t just trash it all yet. Go through it and see if any of these items could serve a new purpose. Keep the items that you can carve out a plan to use later. Let go of items that someone else could use.
Instead of trashing what’s left, consider donating. This includes everything from clothes, books, toys, baby items, home décor, dishes, and holiday decorations. All of these items could find new life in someone else’s home.
If you feel the need to get rid of your clutter quickly, drop it at your local Salvation Army or Goodwill. You could also post your items for sale online. You’d be surprised what people might be interested in. Just because it’s not an object you value anymore doesn’t mean someone else won’t find it valuable.
Once you’ve exhausted all the other possibilities, it’s time for our favorite part here at Caroline Fibre. Recycling is such a simple thing to do, yet so many don’t bother with it. Reusing materials and properly disposing of harmful ones is an essential step toward protecting our world. With dozens of recycling facilities and most cities offering recycle pickup, there aren’t many excuses for not recycling.
Check local electronics retailers to find out if they’ll take your broken laptop or vintage VCR. Recycle plastic items the same way you would for plastic food packaging. And if you’re still struggling to get rid of some stuff, always consider Carolina Fibre for your old clutter.
Stock up on organizing tools.
Now that you’ve downsized, you need to find a system for organizing what you’ve got left. To do this, you’ll need some storage containers. Make sure your storage choices are eco-friendly by using cardboard boxes, cloth bags made from old t-shirts, or bamboo baskets. Raise your storage with vertical shelving to free up floor space and make your rooms look bigger and feel more organized.
Make your cleaning supplies.
For a genuinely green clean, make homemade cleaning supplies. Your home can get sparkling clean with a simple combination of vinegar, water, baking soda, and essential oil. Not only are you lessening the exposure of toxins to family and pets, but you’re also cutting back on waste.
Plan ahead.
If you follow these tips throughout the year, then spring cleaning will be that much easier. Don’t let stuff accumulate in your home. Instead, take time to think about things before you purchase, and don’t hesitate to return gifts if you’ve decided you’ll never use them.
Thinking green throughout all areas of life, from your kitchen to your closet, will put you ahead of the game when next spring arrives.
Follow us on Facebook for more helpful tips and tricks. And if you have any questions about recycling, contact us today!

Four Ways to Recycle Your Old Books and Textbooks

Another school year is here, and that more means books, papers and magazines cluttering your home. As they all start trickling in this season, you realize you haven’t even gotten rid of unnecessary materials from the past three years. So what are you supposed to do with all these old textbooks and novels? Your first instinct may be to throw your books in the trash, but wait – there are better options! Keep reading for four ways to recycle your old books and textbooks.
Your library: Supporting your community library is always a great idea, so check your local branch’s website for its donation process. Libraries could use your donated books in their system or find another avenue for book donation on your behalf.
Charity: Bring your boxes of used books to your local Goodwill, Salvation Army, or other local charity. These centers will take donations of almost any sort, but be sure to check their specific guidelines just in case. If you already donate your clothes or former household items, adding books that you no longer need to the pile is simple. To find a local charity center in your area, visit the Charity Centers website.
Schools: Oftentimes, teachers have to create their own classroom library. Reach out to your local schools and tell them what types of books you have available for donation, and they may be able to point you in the right direction.
Drop-off Boxes: Companies like Better World Books collect and sell books online so they can in turn donate books and fund literacy initiatives worldwide. They have tons of locations, and their drop-off sites are convenient and easy to access on the go.
Yourself: Craigslist and Facebook are two online options for getting rid of unwanted books on your own. You can declutter your life and make a little money at the same time.
Online Companies: Sites like Amazon, Bookfinder and Bookscouter are some of the biggest and most trafficked global bookstores. For a fee, they will basically sell the books for you.
Local used bookstore: A local used bookstore is the easiest way to get rid of unwanted books. Guidelines differ from store to store, but generally you can just bring in your old books and they’ll buy them from you, or make a trade.
Shelving: You can use your favorite hardcover book as a statement piece to conceal a standard shelf, resulting in a creative storage method that looks like a stack of books is floating in midair.
Planters: Another way to recycle your books is to get creative and turn them into something fun. For example, Eco-Pots made from recycled books are a great illustration of how you can breathe new life into your old books.
Use as accents: Books add warmth and a level of coziness to any room. Add a stack of books to a tabletop, shelving unit, kitchen counter, or fireplace hearth. Use odd numbers of books and a variety of colors for the best result.
Curbside: Paperback books that are torn or unusable can be placed in your curbside recycle bin for quick and convenient salvaging.
Reuse in fun ways: Another way to put an old book to good use is make something fun and unique. Use the pages to make gift tags, greeting cards, envelopes, or even wrapping paper.
Recycling center: Last but not least, always consider a recycling corporation like Carolina Fibre for your old books. Paper recycling is the process of recovering waste paper and remaking it into a new product, so you’d get rid of those old books and help the environment.
We hope this post has given you some new ideas for recycling your old textbooks and books. If you liked this post, follow us on Facebook for more helpful tips and tricks. And if you have any questions about recycling, contact us today!

What are Zero Waste Communities and How Can You Create One Where You Live?

The concept of zero waste suggests that there are realistic ways to streamline how materials move through our world. However, building an ecological future in a zero waste community is bigger than a single idea. It’s more than just changing individual behaviors, and it’s greater than just a few people deciding to compost or recycle. Becoming a zero waste community means altering our lifestyles and adjusting how we create, consume and dispose of our society’s boundless amounts stuff. The zero waste lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but we all benefit when we create less trash and cut back on waste.
So now that we know what a zero waste community is, how do you foster one? Here are six ideas for starting a zero waste community where you live.
Be passionate.
Establish why you are doing this and make sure it’s something you can realistically stick with. Get specific with your “why” so you can remind yourself of it on a daily basis – not only to keep yourself motivated, but others around you as well. If you are passionate and educated about zero waste and its importance to our world, then you can educate and inspire the people in your community to take a stand with you. Remember you are trying to make an impact on a larger scale, so the more people you can spread the zero waste message to, the better!
Host a workshop.
Have you fully immersed yourself in the world of zero waste? Are you completely educated, motivated and passionate? If feel you’ve become a master at the basics, it’s time to host a zero waste workshop in your community. Look for a good venue, search for a local business with the same values that would be interested in co-hosting, choose an interesting topic (people love anything DIY), and make sure you’re prepared.
Reach out to local businesses.
Is there a restaurant you avoid because it uses plastic straws or Styrofoam containers? Maybe your dentist office uses countless amounts of paper for patient forms or mailings? It’s time to reach out and educate them about zero waste. Start by sending an email. Keep your communication as short and to the point as possible, and include potential solutions. Be sure to keep your letter positive and friendly.
Create a community garden.
Community gardens are springing up all over the place, from urban farms to neighborhood plots. They are exactly what the name implies: a piece of land gardened by a community. A community garden can educate people about the importance and value of food, not to mention beautify your community and create a strong bond within your neighborhood. While this will be no easy task, the return on your investment is worth it. If you want to create a garden in your community, start by measuring interest, holding a meeting, and researching potential land options. Find out what will grow well in your community with the amount of rainfall it gets and the type of soil it offers.
Organize a neighborhood cleanup.
Organizing a neighborhood cleanup is a great way to promote the zero waste lifestyle while also making your neighborhood a better place to live. However, for a community cleanup to be successful, it must be well-planned. From picking the right project to recruiting enough volunteers, putting together an effective event takes effort. But don’t be intimated by this; nothing with zero waste is simple, but it is always worth it.  Start by choosing the area of focus for your neighborhood cleanup carefully. The right project is one that fixes a current problem and inspires others to get involved. Some community cleanup project ideas are trash collection, flower planting, beach cleanup, and beautification projects.
Volunteer to host a food drive.
Food waste is a huge issue. Volunteering at a local food pantry or soup kitchen will make a positive difference. It’s a great way to give back to your community, and also take small steps towards eliminating food waste.
Through community-driven zero waste actions, we can directly and positively impact our environment. Once you’ve got a zero waste group going that you’re proud of, you can utilize it to promote a lot of quality change in your community. Together you can organize events, get a booth at a festival, or get political and ask your local government to make a change. The possibilities are limitless!

Greener Education: A Teacher’s Guide to Encouraging Sustainability in the Classroom

Here at Carolina Fibre, we believe that teaching is still one of the nobler professions out there. After all, much of what we do revolves around understanding how the natural world works; otherwise, we wouldn’t know what to recycle and how to dispose of other materials in the safest way possible.
But how can you as an educator drive these points home with your students in the school year looming up ahead? Even if you don’t specialize in natural sciences, there are plenty of ways that you can incorporate reminders to be kind to the planet in daily lesson plans as well as classroom décor and function.
Start the day off on the right foot
Do you remember when you’d first get to class, and your teacher would have an assignment on the board waiting for you? Designed to get students thinking about the day’s topic, or maybe even to get something else off their brains for a moment before the lesson begins, warm-up exercises and daily journal topics can be a great outlet for middle and high school students during the school day. Plan ahead for some eco-friendly topics, or even take a moment each morning to scan the headlines for stories related to recycling, sustainability, and green movements that you can then translate into thought-provoking questions for students to ponder before you call class into session.
Decorate with knowledge
Informational posters don’t have to be cheesy or fade into the background. In fact, you might even choose not to decorate with posters at all! But if you do, try bringing some greenery into the classroom, whether that means selecting images with plant life and landscapes, or even inspirational messages about the beauty of nature and how it can help clear the mind.
If you’d rather go for a more authentic look and feel, check your school policy manual and find out what kinds of plants you can bring into the classroom. Unless one of your students turns out to be allergic to something in particular, you should be fine to bring in a small potted plant or two, just to liven up the space and remind your students that there’s a whole other world beyond the four walls of their school.
Reward positive behavior
When you teach the younger crowd, say kindergarten and elementary school students, it can be a little more difficult tying in sustainable practices and facts that they can understand beyond the simple truth that too much trash is a bad thing. To that end, we’ve found that games and rewards are always positive means of reinforcing those lessons of courteous behavior toward the planet. Make it a weekly competition to see who can point out more of the recycling bins around school, or give a monthly “green thumb” prize to the student who best adheres to classroom sustainability rules.
Can’t wait until school is back in session? Stay tuned to Carolina Fibre’s blog for more tips and sustainability hacks to help you live your greenest life.

Eco-friendly Summer Essentials

What are your summer staples? For some, it’s making sure to spend as much time as possible on a sandy beach. For others, it’s filling your weekend with camping trips under the stars. Or maybe, you’d be happy just getting to your neighborhood pool every once in a while.
Whatever your ideal summer looks like, we know that when it comes to supplies, finding sustainable products to bring along for the ride isn’t always easy. To help you make your adventures a little greener, the Carolina Fibre team has a few items you might consider adding to your beach bag or backpack before you head off into that summer sunshine!
Safer precautions
There aren’t many people who can truly appreciate the fine bouquet that is the culmination of aromas found in mainstream bug spray. And for good reason: some of those synthetic chemicals that help keep the bugs at bay aren’t as beneficial to you, younger children, or the air that’s absorbing the product that doesn’t stick to your skin when you spray it on. Luckily, there are some repellants out there that are made from essential oils like citronella, eucalyptus and soybeans and have been found to be comparable to the bigger brands. The best practice on buying bug spray is to read the list of active ingredients carefully, and if you don’t understand whatsomething is, do your research before applying it.
Brighter than the sun
Solar-powered fans, lights, grills, and even portable charging stations are nothing new, but you’d be surprised how often consumers still gravitate toward their less sustainable counterparts on the market! When you’re planning for your next pool party and backyard get-together, take a look at some of your must-haves and then see if you’re able to find a solar-powered alternative. If your local stores have a limited selection, you might have better luck looking at online retailers like Amazon.
Saving the seas
Recently, we’ve heard a lot about the environmental impacts of using plastic straws and stirrers. In fact, they account for a significant amount of the pollution in our oceans, and it’s been estimated that by 2050, there could be more plastic in our oceans than fish if we don’t regulate our habits. The first step to doing that? Find a reasonable alternative. More and more companies are developing metal straws, so you can still sip on that ice-cold lemonade on a broiling summer day without the added risk to the planet.
Breaking down the barbeque
We’ve all been to that backyard barbeque where the food was great, but the disposable dishes and cutlery made for a lot of post-meal waste. You don’t have to resign yourself to slaving over a full sink just to avoid filling up the garbage can, though. Many companies have started manufacturing compostable and biodegradable paper plates – among other mealtime essentials – so the question of whether or not you can safely recycle them after use is less relevant. Now all you have to worry about is making sure the packaging does promise eco-friendly disposal, and whether or not you’re going to need more than one to hold samples of all the delicious eats on the menu for your next cookout!
P.S. Are we invited?
Reclaiming fashion
You may have noticed that sunglasses, earbuds, and other accessories made or accentuated with wood are pretty popular this year. But it’s not just a fashion statement! Have you seen any of these items with tags that specify that these items were constructed from reclaimed wood? That means that the wood itself was sustainably harvested and used responsibly, while also minimizing additional plastic production. So go ahead and rock your new shades while you’re on vacation, protect your phone with a new case, or listen to your favorite tunes while soak up some sunshine. You’ve invested in a product that takes it easier on the environment, and that’s definitely a summertime staple!
Now that you have a few new items on your shopping list, you don’t have to wait for the first official day to kick off the season – grab your eco-friendly summer essentials and get things going today! And when you need a break from the sunshine, be sure to tune into our blog for more tips on sustainable living.