SHOW ME DONT TELL ME

As usual, plastic waste is front and center in the news. “It’s polluting oceans, filling up landfills, not degrading or going away, and as quickly as we make new plastic products and package things in single use plastic packaging … all this plastic waste compounds and gets worse.”

Who’s Listening?

Finally.. big companies and big brands are definitely listening. To who? To consumers that care and make purchasing decisions with sustainability and social purpose in mind. Big companies and big brands have been announcing big plastic-related sustainability commitments. Examples.
  1. PepsiCo North America’s achievement of 95% recyclable plastic packaging
  2. Nestle’s commitment to phasing out non-recyclable plastics by 2025
  3. KFC’s goal of 100% recoverable or reusable plastic-based packaging by 2025.

Clearly, Corporate America is (all in) committing themselves to tackling the plastic waste problem. The question is..

IS RECYCLING “THE” SOLUTION?

We along with many Consumers are big advocates of plastic recycling. The good news is 55% of consumers claim to recycle everything that can be recycled? The not-so good news is when you drill into the actual (data), what consumers really mean is they recycle the stuff that’s (conveniently) located near their recycling bin in the kitchen, yet in reality everything else hits the trash.

The Take Away.

What we’ve learned is consumers care about our environment, they are proud of their efforts to protect our environment, they make purchasing decisions in part based on our environment, but … we also learned that consumers are actually a tad lazy about recycling.

What Does That Mean to Businesses and Brands?

It means Opportunity & Responsibility. Big business and big brands are making it easier for consumers to “feel good” about their sustainability efforts by taking charge, by making products and packaging that are more sustainable and socially purposeful, by implementing a variety of plastic recycling and sustainability initiatives, in essence doing the hard work on behalf of the consumer.

Challenges are abound …

As a result of consumer recycling “inaction” and multiple challenges including (1) lack of government or financial incentive to invest in recycling & sustainability, (2) limited supply chain collaboration, (3) challenging economic and market conditions, (4) heavy risk investing in recycling infrastructure, and (5) China refusing to accept the 30-40% of plastic recyclables we used to ship overseas, the vast majority of recyclable thermo plastic materials, like 90%, still get trashed (Landfilled)!! That’s the reality we are living in. 90%.

THAT MEANS ONLY AROUND 10% OF THE THERMO PLASTIC MATERIALS WE USE THAT COULD BE RECYCLED, ACTUALLY GET RECYCLED.

So if you are a big company, or a big brand, and you generate “branded trash including branded plastic waste … just know that 90% of your branded plastic trash is winding up in our landfills or natural ecosystem with your hand prints all over it! Apologies for being harsh.

As circular economy plastics sustainability advisors, we spend our waking business hours helping companies, brands, manufacturers, distributors, recycling firms solve their plastic waste issues, including recycling, redesign, reuse, recollection, technology, innovation, circular economy, and so on.

WHAT WE’VE LEARNED 

After 30 years involved in plastics recycling sustainability and circular economy solutions, and 900m pounds of hands-on experience, we’ve learned there’s no cookie cutter approach to plastics sustainability and there’s no “one single solution” to solving the plastic waste issue.

One new plastic sustainability concept that launched recently represents a new option to deal with “branded plastic trash”. It’s known as reusable rather than single-use recyclable products. Nestle, P&G, PepsiCo, Unilever and other major brands and companies are joining to participate in a new reusable home goods subscription service known as Loop.

Loop was created by TerraCycle, who’s been an innovator in sustainability for years. We applaud them! Similar to the old school “milk delivery” practice from long ago, products come delivered to your doorstep in a reusable shipping container and all in reusable packaging: simply return and reuse. It’s way too early to tell how Loop will fare (and there is still the question of carbon impact associated with the service) but it’s another exciting innovative example of rethinking solutions to the plastic waste crisis. Whether Loop works or not, or any of the many other sustainability initiatives under way, the bigger point is, we (all) need to rethink how we interact with plastics.

TIME TO RETHINK

  • How we buy and use plastic raw materials to make plastic products and packaging and how manufacturers can increase their use of recycled plastic resins and additives that support plastic sustainability. Increasing use of recycled plastic raw materials including Bulk Sustainable Raw Material Purchasing, can help make plastic-products more sustainable and build the “demand” for recycling infrastructure long term. GearedforGreen’s eco supply chain not only supplies more than 1B Pounds of Sustainable Plastic Resins annually, we provide total support every step of the way from lab to your production floor, to help manufacturers use recycled and sustainable plastic raw materials most effectively.
  • How we recycle plastic waste generated in manufacturing, distribution and after consumer use, including toll reuse, certified destruction brand protection, closed loop and open loop, connecting circular economies, creating end of use consumer incentives, building “social purpose” into recycling, and so on. The Plastics manufacturing and Packaging industries must remember that a substantial amount of industrial and commercial plastic waste gets generated well before it ever reaches the intended consumer. GearedforGreen helps manufacturers to recycle post-industrial and post-consumer plastic waste, clean or even  contaminated, in many forms including rigid, flexible, and film, including HDPE, LDPE, HMWPE, PP, PS, PET, PVC, as well as many engineered grades such as ABS, POLYCARBONATE, ACRYLIC, NYLON, etc. Industries have the opportunity to rethink their own plastic waste management practices, rethink of plastic waste not as trash but instead as a circular economy raw material, and connect together to implement supply chain solutions to eliminate plastic waste.
  • How businesses buy plastic products they use themselves in their own everyday corporate operations and what could influence them to make more sustainable purchasing decisions themselves. If businesses purchased more sustainably made plastic products themselves, they can help build recycling “demand”. Big companies, brands and retailers use quite a bit of plastic products themselves in their own every day operations. Just look around. Plastic can liners, trash bags, check out plastic bags, eCommerce shipping bags, stretch wrap, plastic poly bags & wraps, plastic shipping hangers, trash cans, recycling bins, plastic shipping pallets, dunnage and conveyance trays, storage containers, corporate branded uniforms and promotional products, and so on. You get the idea?  These plastic products are all made from the same kinds of thermo plastic materials generated as plastic waste. Gearedforgreen helps turn all that plastic waste back into brand new sustainable plastic products. Buying GREEN not only raises awareness and educates stakeholders, it represents billions of pounds of plastic products purchased & used in everyday corporate operations that could be and should be made entirely in America and from 100% recycled plastics.
  • How we connect collaboratively and transparently with our supply chains to create efficiencies, share resources, reuse plastic waste more effectively, design-out plastic waste in our products, re-design products for end-of-use recycling, use alternative packaging materials, and integrate innovations that support plastics recycling and sustainability. GearedforGreen helps industry connect all the dots within the supply chain… creating Connected, Collaborative, Transparent Circular Economies that collect plastic waste, turn it into clean high quality custom formulated sustainable plastic raw materials, and back into all kinds of consumer and industrial plastic products.

To implement plastics sustainability initiatives for your business or organization, contact GearedforGreen – Daniel Schrager, President, GearedforGreen 888-398 (GEAR) 4327, plasticsustainability@gearedforgreen.com or visit www.gearedforgreen.com  

chain of custody certified destruction

In today’s world 🌎 … Brand Protection is more important than ever! So GearedforGreen provides a number of Certified Destruction, Recycling, Reuse services, based on your specific materials, security level, and sustainability needs.

Our Services include:

• 100% Chain-of-Custody Secure Certified Destruction
• Plastic Packaging-Products Destruction-Recycling-Reuse
• Apparel Destruction-Recycle-Reuse
• End-of-Use Consumer Product Destruction-Recycling

FOR YOUR MOST SENSITIVE MATERIALS, WE PROVIDE END TO END CHAIN-OF-CUSTODY CERTIFIED DESTRUCTION SERVICES

We understand how valuable your brand is. Whether it’s branded product, printed packaging, or sensitive data, in many cases 100% Certified Destruction is imperative.

GearedforGreen provides a comprehensive “iron clad” approach to brand protection, sustainability and certified destruction.

Our COC leg-by-leg process ensures 100% complete security, customizable to each client’s particular needs.

HOW CHAIN OF CUSTODY WORKS
• Each of our eco supply chain certified destruction facilities is governed by strict, industry-leading chain-of-custody procedures.
• Every item we handle for destruction is assigned a unique identifier and tracked at all times during transport and within our facilities.
• Your items are transported in sealed equipment direct from your facility to ours.
• Our certified destruction facilities are equipped to provide maximum security for your items, including in-out scan.
• Certified destruction includes on site shredding or incineration.
• A variety of customizable recycling and eco supply chain options are available for your items after certified destruction.

The end result is total peace of mind security and sustainability!

PLASTIC PACKAGING-PRODUCTS REQUIRING
DESTRUCTION, RECYCLING, REUSE

DRR is a specialized GearedforGreen sustainability service specially created for printed plastic packaging and branded plastic products that require (slightly less) security in terms of COC destruction, and that can be recycled into new sustainable raw materials for reuse back into new products.

In many cases after certified destruction, Printed Plastic Packaging and Branded Plastic Products can be destroyed, cleaned, de-contaminated, remelted and recycled, for use back as sustainable raw materials to make new products again.

Plastic Packaging scrap is among the most challenging to recycle ♻️ mostly because of their coatings, multi layers, and heavy inks and colors. As a result, plastic packaging represents the single largest plastic waste item landfilled today!

GearedforGreen utilizes advanced patented proprietary plastics recycling technologies to help clients reduce or eliminate landfill disposal and instead recycle these plastics in more sustainable circular sustainability initiative.

PLASTIC PACKAGING & PRODUCT
DESTRUCTION, RECYCLING, REUSE PROCESS

• Our eco supply chain destruction-recycling facilities utilize proprietary plastic recycling technologies.
• Our process starts with shredding destruction to ensure brand protection. Clients may inspect destruction and are provided a certificate of destruction.
• Once destruction is complete, shredded plastics are conveyed within our facilities to various recycling processes which may include; size reduction grind, wash, float sink or hydro cyclone separation, De-coat, metal separation, elutriation, blend, extrusion, compound, and final repelletization. Processes are customizable based on material type for each client.
• Recycled pellets are used as new sustainable raw materials in GearedforGreen Closed Loop or Open Loop Circular Supply Chain programs to make a variety of new plastic products.

The end result is total destruction and sustainable raw material reuse.

APPAREL DESTRUCTION-RECYCLING-REUSE

Branded Apparel Destruction is another specialized GearedforGreen sustainability service specially created for the fashion and textile industries to help manage sensitive destruction and/or reuse or disposal of branded textile products.

Services include COC Chain-of-Custody Certified Destruction, label and tag removal/destruction, shredding, and textile recycling for fabric reuse.

• Each of our eco supply chain certified destruction facilities is governed by strict, industry-leading chain-of-custody procedures.
• Every item we handle is assigned a unique identifier by location and tracked at all times during transport and within our facilities.
• Your items are transported in sealed equipment direct from your facility to ours.
• Our certified destruction facilities are equipped to provide maximum security for your items, including in-out scan requirements.
• Certified destruction includes shredding or incineration.
• A variety of textile recycling and eco supply chain options are available for your items after certified destruction, customizable for each client.
• We provide certified label & tag removal.
• We Recycle shredded textile scrap for reuse into products such as rags, towels, automotive textiles, and more.

END-OF-USE CONSUMER PRODUCT
DESTRUCTION-RECYCLING, REUSE

EOU Consumer Plastic Products Recycling is a specialized GearedforGreen sustainability service created specifically to help plastic manufacturers take responsibility for products they make after consumer use in the market.

Utilizing our eco supply chain national network of private and municipal recycling & collection facilities and other recollection resources, we help design & implement reverse logistics to collect & consolidate your plastics for destruction/recycling.

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT GEAREDFORGREEN CERTIFIED DESTRUCTION SUPPLY CHAIN SERVICES; CONTACT US @  GearedforGreen – Daniel Schrager, President, GearedforGreen 888-398 (GEAR) 4327 info@gearedforgreen.com, www.gearedforgreen.com

Equipment Used

It’s an exciting time to be in the Plastics Recycling Equipment Business. For innovative equipment dealers and process developers, there’s more opportunity than ever…if you are willing to grow outside of the box.

Today’s plastics sustainability climate is ripe with innovation. Along with growing pressure from environmental organizations and within our plastics industry itself, there are mounting initiatives all across North America driving plastics recycling growth.

Eco supply chains are connecting Brands and Plastics Manufacturers with Waste Collectors, Plastic Recycling firms and Sustainable Raw Material suppliers, to create transparent connected Closed Loop supply chains. It isnt a passing fad. Circular Supply Chains are increasingly becoming the norm across our plastics industry and in many other industry sectors globally. Companies are working collaboratively across the supply chain to their own benefit but this collaboration is also driving growth, profitability, and innovation that benefits our entire plastics industry.

Eco supply chains are also creating significant opportunities for new and used equipment dealers that know where to find used equipment and have access and expertise in plastics recycling equipment, especially used recycling equipment. There is tremendous value having used plastic recycling equipment expetise!

Traditionally dealers buy and sell used plastic recycling equipment, and benefit on the profit margins they earn on (one time sales). The more one time sales they produce, the more annual revenue created.

Today dealers are also connecting in eco supply chains and leveraging their expertise and resources to create (ongoing long term revenue).

As example, an innovative growing plastic recycling firm developed proprietary technologies to recycle challenging “hard to recycle” plastic waste. They plan to scale their business to 100 million pounds annual plastic recycling. This innovation offers substantial growth opportunity! The innovative plastic recycling firm already owns and has the core equipment and technology in operation, however in order to scale to 100m, they need to add ancillary equipment over time such as grinders, shredders, metal separation, conveyors, wash tanks, silos, etc. This used equipment is out there and available in the market, often sitting idle or in inventory, and equipment dealers have the expertise to get it.

The challenge.. How does innovative plastic recycling firm add this ancillary equipment and at the same time manage their financial resources when they are starting out?

The answer.. Connecting in an eco supply chain whereby used equipment dealers provide the ancillary equipment “in partnership” with innovative plastic recycling firms and share the revenue of the business together.

This eco supply chain approach benefits everyone in the supply chain. Used equipment doesn’t sit idle waiting for a sale. Dealers leverage their expertise and resources for a piece of the action. Innovative plastics recycling firms gain access to much needed ancillary equipment without having to put up money. Equipment dealers earn ongoing revenue beyond the value of the used equipment. By connecting in an eco supply chain, equipment dealers and innovative plastic recycling firms (de-risk) together. Partners in an eco supply chain share revenue. Plastic recycling rates climb.

To learn more about how you can leverage your used equipment resources and expertise and develop long term revenue connecting in an eco supply chain, contact #GearedforGreen.

By Daniel Schrager, President at GearedforGreen 888-398 (GEAR) 4327 info@gearedforgreen.com, www.gearedforgreen.com
Eco supply chains

teamwork-img1

Plastic Manufacturer (Alpha) generates a difficult to recycle plastic scrap material, yet wants to increase Plastic Recycling & decrease Plastic Disposal. Why? Because they care about our environment and they care about their economic bottom line.

(Alpha) makes pet or polypropylene or some other grade of plastic sheet or film that’s challenging to recycle because it’s either heavily printed, colored, coated, or laminated with polyethylene or nylon or PVDC or some other surface contaminant.

Alpha wants to recycle their industrial plastic scrap however… because their scrap is challenging to recycle or reuse, the value of the scrap is low and/or there are limited, fluctuating, unreliable recycling markets.

(Alpha) connects in a gearedforgreen eco supply chain, which connects (Alpha) with Innovative Recycling & Technology Company (Bravo )and with a strong Plastic Manufacturer (Foxtrot) that purchases Recycled Grade Plastic Resins. All 3 companies are now connected together.

1st benefit of an eco supply chain is technology-innovation. Utilizing patented proprietary plastic decoating technologies, (Bravo) is able to remove all the surface coatings off the plastic sheet and films, including laminates, heavy inks, coatings, etc., bringing the plastic scrap back to its original virgin clear or white quality without causing any heat history or degradation, providing a cost effective way to transform this plastic scrap from “challenging to recycle plastic scrap” to “reliable high quality plastic resin”.

2nd benefit of an eco supply chain is connected transparency for recycle grade plastic scrap. For many major brands…making their plastic products and packaging more sustainable is a top priority and increasing their use of recycled sustainable plastic raw materials and reducing their dependence on virgin plastic raw materials made from natural gas and petroleum is a very important part. (Foxtrot) switches from virgin to sustainable recycled raw material by connecting in our gearedforgreen eco supply chain to ensure a consistent reliable repeatable quality, ongoing raw material availability, and to have full open access and transparency throughout the supply chain, from the origin source (Alpha) where their plastic raw material originated from, straight through to the technologies and cost per pound to create their sustainable raw material at (Bravo). In a time when “consumers care & communicate”, connecting a supply chain Alpha-Foxtrot-Bravo helps ensure long term sustainability.

3rd benefit of an eco supply chain is the connection itself, and the reliability and consistency of material, quality, and price that a connected eco supply chain provides. Everyone in manufacturing knows.. consistency and repeatability at scale is essential. By connecting in an open transparent eco supply chain, (Alpha supplier) is connected to (Bravo technology-converter) and connected to (Foxtrot resin customer) together. This connection through the eco supply chain creates beneficial eco partnerships.

* Eco Partnership Benefit #1. Sustainable Raw material streams can be “contracted” which creates long term market stability for suppliers, consistent feedstock for converters, and reliable raw material supply for customers. It’s also easier to invest capital in sustainability initiatives when you can rely on long term consistency.

* Eco Partnership Benefit #2. Manufacturers using recycled sustainable plastic resins can be assured of consistent repeatable quality since the raw material supply, recycling process, lab and specifications all remain consistent.

* Eco Partnership Benefit #3. Raw material pricing can be indexed which creates long term stability and economic fairness throughout the eco supply chain as resin markets fluctuate up and down. Indexed pricing can be very impactful in establishing long term eco partnerships that ensure fair prices for raw material plastic scrap suppliers, converter fees, and end use customers, as resin prices adjust up & down overtime.

To learn more about gearedforgreen eco supply chains and how they can help enhance your plastics sustainability initiatives, please contact us at info@gearedforgreen.com

By Daniel Schrager, President at GearedforGreen 888-398 (GEAR) 4327 info@gearedforgreen.com, www.gearedforgreen.com

shopping cart sustainability photo

WE ALL KNOW DOING GOOD MAKES US FEELS GOOD. WE NEED TO “SHARE OUR SUSTAINABILITY” SO OUR CUSTOMERS FEEL GOOD TOO!

One of our 5 primary missions at GearedforGreen is helping clients that manufacture plastic products to operate more sustainably from inside-out, and show them ways to leverage that sustainability in their market in order to build more sustainable purposeful brands and share the “feel good” with their customers.

Our clients have made tremendous internal sustainable strides… achieving zero plastic waste in their operations, using recycled plastic resins & other sustainable raw materials instead of all prime plastics, participating in “Social Partnerships ” using ocean collected plastic resins in their products and packaging, optimizing, reducing & reusing their packaging, implementing closed Loop Circular Collaborations within our eco supply chain, measuring their carbon footprints, implementing take-back programs to recycle and re-purpose their products after use in the market, and using sustainably made products and corporate logo eco apparel and uniforms in their own everyday operations. Our clients are making a difference! We here it from them all the time, how sustainability has added a common purpose & pride shared between employees and how it’s helped strengthen corporate culture. They feel good doing good!

To make sustainability even more impactful for our clients, moving the needle on top line revenue and brand value, we must find ways to share our sustainability stories with our customers in the market, to connect our internal sustainability efforts with our customers. We must “Share our Sustainability” !

It’s been well documented by the industry leaders such as Unilever, Proctor and Gamble, and many many other manufacturers and brands… that Communicating our sustainability effectively helps build stronger bonds between our businesses & brands, supply chain partners, and our customers, and positively impact sales and revenue.

For those who dare to make a difference and want to SHARE THE ❤ ♻, please contact GearedforGreen.

By Daniel Schrager, President at GearedforGreen 888-398 (GEAR) 4327, info@gearedforgreen.com, www.gearedforgreen.com

plasticresins-post

Big Brands should consider buying plastic scrap themselves. Here’s why.. Here’s how..

It’s a debate worth having. A great way to significantly expand plastic recycling is by expanding circular economies with circular supply chains that include Big Brands focusing on economic and environmental sustainability.

A circular economy will help ensure plastic scrap materials maintain economic value, have consistent markets, and importantly, a recollection process for used plastic products and packaging once they reach end of use in the market.

GearedforGreen works with many private and public recyclers across the country who want to get more involved in stronger circular collaboration with end user markets. In an eco-supply chain, recyclers collect consumer and industrial plastic scrap materials on a local level, which get sold to regional processors and compounders who convert scrap into hi-quality plastic resins (sustainable raw materials), then sold to national manufacturers making all kinds of new plastic products, looped back again to recyclers at end of use. From start to end everyone involved in the circular eco supply chain is connected.

Eco-supply chains enable local, regional and national businesses involved in recycling and sustainability to collaborate stronger and transparently working together rowing in the same direction. Scrap is connected to raw material, connected to new products, connected to consumers, looped back connected to recyclers in a continuous process.

Without circularity, companies involved in collection, processing and compounding “go it alone”, struggling with up and down plastic scrap prices, lack of markets for many kinds of plastic materials, and an over reliance on export markets. Circularity gets everyone in the supply chain teaming up together and helps maintain pricing and cost transparency which benefits the supply chain as a whole.

We can minimize these challenges and increase & improve plastics recycling markets when Big Brands take lead, connecting in circular eco supply chains. Big Brands are themselves the biggest consumers of plastic raw material. Big Brands across markets like Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Ford, Nike, Budweiser, L’oreal, Gillette, and so on, should stop selling off their own plastic scrap they generate in their own operations, and instead do an about face, connecting in circular eco-supply chains and becoming significant plastic scrap buyers instead.

Why ???  Big Brands make lots of plastic products and use lots of plastic packaging, hence they buy lots of plastic resins to make products. Big Brands consume hundreds of millions of pounds of new virgin plastic resins including polyethylene, polypropylene, polyester, and other grades, purchased through non sustainable supply chains from producers like Dow Chemical, Exxon Mobil, Sabic, BASF, Chevron Phillips, and so on, made from petroleum and natural gas.

By shifting to buying plastic scrap and participating in a more sustainable circular eco supply chain, scrap becomes a more prominent part of the plastic raw material stream for Big Brands.  

Here’s how.. Instead of paying Exxon Mobil etc. for virgin resin, Big Brands buy plastic scrap direct in the open market and pay Processors and Compounders to produce recycled grade plastic resins. Today recycled plastic resins can be made to many specifications, even FDA compliant. By approaching plastic scrap and raw material sourcing from the top down, Big Brands can help increase plastic recycling rates, manage raw material cost, and take greater responsibility for products they make by creating closed loop circularity.

Big Brands carry big leverage because of supply demand. Supply demand dictates the more plastic products we make and sell, the more demand there is for virgin or recycled plastic resins. It’s a matter of choice which kind of raw materials we buy.

A modest shift reducing virgin resin consumption and increasing recycled resin consumption can make a tremendous sustainability shift for several reasons.

1st, it creates larger more consistent markets for recycled plastic resins which creates demand, which helps moderate pricing and adds more pricing transparency down the line which ultimately helps increase recycling rates.

2nd, it creates an environment ripe for innovation and investment. As Big Brands get more involved in circular eco supply chains collaborating with recyclers, processors and compounders, everyone will invest more resources which leads to greater innovation, improved processes, higher quality, etc.

3rd, it creates the closed loop infrastructure necessary for Big Brands to ultimately take greater responsibility for products they make once they reach end of use in the market. It also facilitates increased consumer engagement and participation in recycling contributing to increase recycling rates. When Big Brands integrate consumer sustainability incentives with education, consumers start to take ownership of their sustainability efforts which creates even stronger bonds between Big Brands and consumers, which can also equate to increased sales.

It’s a debate worth having, but from our perspective, circularity and eco supply chains will enhance sustainability and increase plastic recycling rates down the line.

By Daniel Schrager, President at GearedforGreen 888-398 (GEAR) 4327, info@gearedforgreen.com, www.gearedforgreen.com  

Sustainable Shopper

6 Tips for being a more Sustainable Consumer

Be a shopper who supports sustainable, ethical manufacturing practices

Consumers make an impact through their shopping habits by being a shopper who supports sustainable, ethical manufacturing practices.

There are several ways to be more eco-friendly in your everyday life by supporting companies that are ethical and sustainable. The move to sustainability in industry is driven by consumer demand, and that’s where you can make a greater impact.

Research

You can add sustainability to your list of ‘must-have’ features for your everyday purchases. There are several consumer websites which rate companies and products according to their ethical and environmental records. This can help you decide which companies to support.

Focus on Quality

Think about foregoing the two-for-one special or prices that seem too good to be true. Poor quality items can be landfill fodder that cost you more in the long run as they need to be constantly replaced. Instead, consider buying quality products that last so you save money and help the environment too.

Keep it Local

Consider shopping from local producers as this gives you the opportunity to ask questions and do research into how items are produced. Local items likely have a smaller carbon footprint because they haven’t traveled long distances to get to you. And, supporting local farmers, producers and manufacturers means you bolster the economy in your community.

Consider Value

We shouldn’t have to pay more just because a product is made more sustainably. Sustainability generally leads organizations to innovation and improvement that can drive costs down, so even if they pay more for sustainable raw materials, they can make up for that added cost by reducing costs in operations and disposal. All things being “relatively equal”, buy Green!

Check Certifications

There are a number of certifications which provide indications that the products you are buying are eco-friendly.

When buying wood or paper products, you can look for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo which tells you the product was sustainably sourced. The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification mark on your seafood means you are buying responsibly caught fish and you can also shop ‘organic’ for your fresh food and meat.

EnergyStar indicates appliances that are energy efficient and items that carry the Fair Trade seal meet the internationally agreed social, environmental and economic Fairtrade Standards.

Engage

Many consumers are now engaging with their favorite brands to see what steps they are taking to be more environmentally friendly. Get more involved with the products you purchase to learn about the company’s commitment to people and planet. It’s always good to buy from companies that do good.

By Daniel Schrager, President at GearedforGreen 888-398 (GEAR) 4327, info@gearedforgreen.com, www.gearedforgreen.com