Category: circular economy

Redesign of Products & Packaging for Zero Waste

Washington (GGM) Analysis | May 11, 2020
NWHillReport-Pic by Noreen Wise

With an aggressive goal of zero waste in many personal products and detergents, new sustainability companies are blossoming, offering everyday essentials sold as solids instead of liquids, which can be packaged in paper or even more simply, without any packaging at all. One company in particular has an expansive zero waste product lineup, the Zero Waste Store.

Personal staples like shampoo and conditioner, and even laundry detergent, have begun capturing  consumer attention. Recycling has been a challenge during the stay home orders, resulting in stronger consumer awareness of just how much plastic packaging households toss out daily, and how quickly it accumulates in garages, closets and cars.

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I’m very particular in my preferences for personal products like shampoo and conditioner, and have been using one particular brand for many years. In fact, I have a huge crate of empty plastic shampoo and conditioner containers that I have to wash as soon as I have time. The problem is, I’ve become so busy that I never actually do have time. So, the pile keeps growing larger, creating a more daunting task, with no end in sight.

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The Zero Waste Store is an online presence with exceptional shipping procedures from a waste perspective:

  • everything shipped using plastic-free materials
  • 100% water activated paper tape
  • compostable shipping labels
  • recycled padded mailers
  • corn starch packing peanuts
  • everything 100% biodegradable

There’s no time to waste in confronting plastic waste. Covid has highlighted how imperative it is to be prepared and get out in front of life-impacting crises as quickly as possible. Switching to no waste products during covid, while we’re making so many other changes to our daily routines, is the ideal way to build strong habits during one crisis, that will help alleviate the impact of another crisis.

I can’t wait for my shampoo and conditioner to arrive so I can check it out. ♻️

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Those Amazon Boxes are Vital for Supply Chain | Recycle

Washington (GGM) Analysis | April 29, 2020
NWHillReport-Pic by Noreen Wise

Back in 2017, according to Quora, Amazon was clocking a staggering shipping rate of 1,600,000 boxes per day. Today, in March and April 2020, it seems clear that Amazon’s shipping rate has substantially increased and may even exceed 2 million boxes per day. The actual shipping numbers aren’t currently available to the public.

Cardboard is one of the easiest materials to recycle, and recycled cardboard boxes are an essential component in the manufacturing of a number of American consumer staples. Just make sure to peel off all plastic labels and codes stamped on the box before recycling. The tape on most boxes is now paper tape. But if you see plastic tape, peel that off as well.

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Daily conversation focused on how we can turn a negative into a positive and land on the bright side. A daily emotional vitamin that will boost your spirit. PodcastHost, Noreen Wise.

The following products are produced using recycled cardboard:

  • new cardboard boxes
  • cereal boxes
  • paper towels
  • printer paper
  • paper bags
  • tissue

Thus, recycling cardboard boxes, especially when millions are readily available, is absolutely imperative. We can’t have manufacturers reverting to chopping down trees to feed their supply chain. TheTrillion Trees Campaign was launched in Davos 2020, where nearly two hundred countries agreed to plant billions of trees in the upcoming months and years so that together we can achieve the goal of a trillion new trees on the planet.

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Search online today to find out your community’s cardboard recycling policies during covid19 and add this to your list of “must do’s” during our global crisis. We are witnessing first hand how catastrophic a crisis can become if we don’t plan ahead and take precautions. The same is true for the climate crisis. These small steps today, will save thousands of lives tomorrow.♻️

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Finding Our New Groove | Weaving in Green While We’re at It

Washington (GGM) Analysis | April 5, 2020
NWHillReport-Pic by Noreen Wise

Every day is another step in this new, weird world we’re adapting to. And because we were blindsided, and thus had no preparation, we’re missing nearly every safety necessity, which forces us to be incredibly resourceful, and improvise, if we want to overcome these circumstances and stay alive. Sadly, despite all our efforts, many will still perish.

Improvise. Adapt. Overcome. …is a military motto. Makes sense. I can totally picture improvise-adapt-overcome being the daily practice when the military is out in the field. And the military’s story of reality on the front lines, is now our reality as we stand on the front lines. With so much adapting and improvising taking place 24/7, it’s an excellent opportunity for us to absorb the big picture and make all the changes we’ve been promising ourselves for days, months, and even… years.

Climate reality.

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I remember the incredible opportunity I had after the townhouse I lived in was flattened by a tornado. The first few weeks were traumatic, of course. The structure was deemed a total loss. My then-husband and I had to live in temporary quarters, while it was rebuilt. I was so grateful to have lived through the frightening experience (I survived by running into a closet when I heard the train coming, and when I opened the door after the huge KABOOOOM, everything was gone). I thus wasn’t going to complain about any of the inconveniences or hardships that followed.

I think what kept me so positive, was that I could suddenly make all the changes I’d been dreaming of. Be careful for what you wish  for. Be careful for what you wish for. Be careful for what you wish for. Seriously, I must have said that a million times. When life is suddenly helter skelter, I could finally fully grasp what Newtown’s first law of motion was all about: an object at rest stays at rest, or an object in motion stays in motion at the same velocity, unless acted upon by an external force.

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Carpe diem. Seize the day. I became the whirlwind of change, quickly implementing the home designs I’d been planning for years. I upgraded the floors in several rooms with upscale tile, and top of the line carpeting in others. A few months after moving back in, the upgrades enabled us to sell the townhouse in record time during a down market at asking price and relocate across the country to California. I also began a writing course at some point during all this craziness, which set me on a new path to become the writer I had dreamed of becoming ever since I was a child. Those eight months were an endless blur of activity, the equivalent of the shifting of a kaleidoscope where every single spec shifts.

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I feel the exact same right now. There’s safety with all of us suffering the same grim fate together. It reminds me of my father’s chain saw accident when he slipped and fell and accidentally sawed his leg down to the bone (it was amputated at the hospital). The doctor explained that what saved my father’s life was slicing all the way through the largest vein in his leg, causing it to clamp shut on its own. Apparently, if he had nicked it, he would have bled out.

So, too with us. We’re all in this together. Let’s make the most of this incredible opportunity and commit to implement the many changes we’ve been promising to make for climate… as well as removing corrupt, lawless politicians who’ve degraded our American principles and undermined our Constitution, which we all now hold so dear.🌱

 

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Circular Economy Front & Center During Pandemic | Reduce

Washington (GGM) Analysis | March 24, 2020
NWHillReport-Pic by Noreen Wise

It’s inspiring to realize how well the circular economy principles of reduce-reuse-recycle-upcycle line up with what we’ll need to do to pull ourselves through the covid-19 pandemic. Do I dare predict that five years from now we’ll pinpoint the economic shutdown of 2020, and staying at home to save lives during the coronavirus, as the turning point that enabled us to reach our climate action goal of lowering atmospheric carbon levels and saving humanity. Let’s do everything we can to make this happen. We have three months to nail this.

REDUCE

With empty store shelves and no end in sight, considering how many parts are made in China with their factories all shut down, we’ll just have to get by with less. Not that anyone feels comfortable spending any money. But still, the reality is that the supply of products has significantly diminished and there are very few alternatives, so the only solution is to go without.

In a week’s time, I was able to reduce my stress by figuring out all the things I could eliminate from my daily and monthly routines, saving myself hundreds of dollars. Stress weakens our immune system. We all need to stay strong and healthy so let’s share ideas.

REUSE

There are many examples of just what a savior reusing has become, particularly in dealing with urgent medical supplies such as face masks and swabs, but these medical heroes need a shout out for their ingenuity. Crafting face masks from office supplies didn’t make it on the evening, but hundreds of patients and medical professionals in that hospital are surely singing their praises.

Incredibly, this innovative reusing of office supplies surely kept many from becoming infected and likely saved lives. Let’s keep our eyes wide open in the upcoming weeks and months to find ways to more of this at every opportunity. Resourcefulness will keep us optimistic when the challenges seem too daunting to overcome.

Clothing is another excellent example. Second hand clothing stores specializing in designer labels, some of which have never been worn, have become a passion.

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RECYClE

Let’s rethink recycling while we’re stuck at home and have more time to focus on it. Currently, there’s way too many things wrong to let it go unaddressed.

  • With only 9% of plastic actually being recycled, plastic waste must be tackled. Now’s our chance. Refuse to purchase products packaged in plastic, especially condiments. When I did this with ketchup last fall, and had to hunt down a replacement for Heinz, my life changed forever. I found that I could actually succeed at it. I had to switch to BBQ sauce for a few weeks when I couldn’t find a real alternative. But now, I absolutely love my fav organic Red Duck ketchup packaged in glass.
  • Composting should be at the top of every household’s “To Do” list while we’re all sheltering in place. It’s such an immediate feel good. Creating a bin for all food scraps, tea bags, coffee grounds, lint and yard trimmings, old leaves, etc that can be added to the soil in our yards and nearby forests to enrich the ground with nutrients that enable the soil to store much more carbon. Many towns are establishing compositing drop off and pick up stations at farmers markets. Again, we should be all over this.
  • Shipping packaging needs to be overhauled. Paper labels must be used for paper envelopes and cardboard boxes as well as paper tape on paper shipping containers, and plastic tape on plastic shipping. Further, we can no longer manufacture bubble envelopes that are manilla paper on the outside. There are multiple alternatives, so this is now unconscionable.
  • Innovation. I’m really excited about the prospects of LOOP taking off during the covid-19 crisis month,s and modeling the benefits of shopping through a company that sells name brand products in reusable containers that are dropped off and picked up on a regular schedule. The most stunning aspect of this service is the array of personal care products, including tooth paste. Game changer.

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UPCYCLE

And the cherry on top, is the artistic piece. The upcycling. Creative reuse. Taking old shoes and turning them into flower pots. Glass ketchup bottles, becoming storage containers or vases. So many possibilities. Let’s get creative.Three months to practice.

The coronavirus pandemic is our golden opportunity to lay the groundwork for converting our current linear economic system of take-make-pollute&waste to that of the carbon reducing alternative of reduce-reuse-recycle-upcycle.

We’ve GOT THIS!~

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