Posts with term ZWB X

16 Sustainable Fashion and Beauty Launches for Earth Day 2020

Despite the setbacks businesses are facing due to the coronavirus pandemic, many fashion and beauty brands are continuing their focus on sustainability for Earth Day 2020.   Sustainability has arguably become the most important issue in fashion over the last few years and many emerging and established brands are shifting their manufacturing processes and charitable outreach to meet the demands of their customers to be more eco-friendly.   Many fashion brands are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Earth Day by launching sustainable collections, such as A.P.C. and Baja East, which are going into their archives and utilizing deadstock fabric in new pieces, while others like Fabletics and Naked Cashmere are launching their first sustainable collections.   Here, WWD rounds up how 16 fashion and beauty brands are celebrating Earth Day 2020.   1. Seven For All Mankind   Seven For All Mankind is launching an environmental platform in May tied to the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. The brand is unveiling Sustainable For All Mankind, a commitment to ensure more than 50 percent of product will be created from sustainable properties by 2023. The brand will introduce a way to track progress on materials and manufacturing.   The label is launching its 080 jean collection, reissuing the style released in 2000 to now be made with sustainable organic cotton and recycled elastane.   2. A.P.C.   Contemporary fashion label A.P.C. is continuing several of its sustainable practices for Earth Day. The brand is offering its latest collection of patchwork quilts and quilted pillows made from leftover textiles created by longtime collaborator and designer Jessica Ogden.   The brand is also continuing its other sustainability commitments, including its Recycle for Credit and Butler Program. The recycling program allows customer to bring in their used A.P.C. items to be exchanged for store credit. The brand sends the used clothing to its recycling facility where it is broken down into fibers and reused in other garments.   The Butler Program allows customers to bring in their old jeans to be exchanged for a new pair at half-price. The old pairs will be mended, washed and marked with the initials of the prior owner.   3. Baja East   The fashion label is utilizing archival and leftover fabric from the last six years to create a collection of pajama sets and pillows produced in Los Angeles.   The collection includes deadstock fabric in floral and animal prints and ranges in price from $75 to $95.   4. Billabong   Billabong is teaming with Dr. Seuss Enterprises for an Earth Day collection that takes inspiration from the iconic children’s book, “The Lorax.” The collection of T-shirts, board shorts, and sweaters is produced using recycled and sustainable materials. Prices range from $17.95 to $59.95.   5. Boscia   Plant-based beauty brand, Boscia, is teaming with TerraCycle for a permanent recycling program. The program asks customers to mail in three to five empty, full-size Boscia products to be recycled. The brand will then send the customer a full-size bottle of its Luminizing Black Charcoal Mask.   6. Cuyana   The leather accessories brand is continuing its mission of sustainability by launching a line of leather-care products to help customers preserve their leather goods so they can keep reusing the items. The line includes a leather spot cleaner and a leather conditioner — both priced at $12 — which help clean and restore used leather.   7. Diesel   The fashion label is launching its Respectful Denim collection for Earth Day, which utilizes 40 percent less water in the production process. The collection offers three denim styles for men and one for women that range from $298 to $348.   8. Eberjey   The intimates line has released two prints — pineapple and watermelon print — for its Giving PJ Collection. For every set purchased, the brand plants a tree through its partnership with One Tree Planted.   9. Fabletics    Fabletics is celebrating Earth Day with its first eco-conscious collection of athleticwear made from recycled materials. The collection of sweaters, shorts, T-shirts and sweatpants ranges in price from $34.95 to $69.95.   10. G-Star Raw   The denim label is tapping a group of fashion designers and artists — couturier Karim Adduchi, fashion designers Lisa Konno and Ferry Schiffelers, visual artist Victor de Bie, hat maker Yuki Isshiki and artist Iekeliene Strange — to create one-off pieces using denim waste materials to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. The creations range from couture-inspired dresses to intricate headpieces. The pieces were slated to be on display at an upcoming exhibition, but the brand had to cancel its plans due to the COVID-19 pandemic.   11. Kenneth Cole   Kenneth Cole is updating three of its best-selling sneaker styles — Maddox, Kam and Liam — with sustainability in mind for Earth Day. The updated styles are designed with materials like 100 percent recycled polyester laces, 100 percent recycled neoprene, rice husk, recycled rubber grindings and micro-suede, among other recycled materials.   12. Naked Cashmere   The fashion brand has launched its first ever recycled cashmere collection, which is made from post-consumer yarn that has been shredded and re-spun into 100 percent cashmere yarn. The collection includes tank tops, shorts, sweaters and pants ranging in price from $100 to $245.   13. Pangaia   Sustainable fashion label Pangaia has teamed with SeaTrees, an environmental organization, to help restore coastal ecosystems. For every product sold on the Pangaia web site, the brand will plant one mangrove tree in the West Papua region of Indonesia.   14. R+Co    The hair-care brand launched its Super Garden CBD Shampoo and Conditioner on April 1 in celebration of Earth Month. The products are the first time the brand has used post-consumer resource packaging, which is said to decrease plastic consumption and use of fossil fuels in the manufacturing process. R+Co will also be transitioning its existing packaging to this material in the coming year. The products retail for $36 each.   15. Ren Skincare   The beauty brand is donating 15 percent of profits on Earth Day to the Surfrider Foundation, which works to protect beaches across the country.   16. Teva   The shoe brand launched a sustainability initiative earlier this year that will have 100 percent of shoe straps produced with recycled plastic. This commitment is said to prevent nine million plastic bottles and 172 tons of plastic from going into landfills this year.   For Earth Day, the brand is hosting a sweepstakes where a winner will receive a pair of Teva sandals and a $2,000 donation to an environmental organization made in their name.  

“RAKO Coffee, Local Female-Owned Roastery, Launches with Free Shipping”

“Washington, DC-based founders Lisa Gerben and Melissa Gerben announce the launch of RAKO Coffee Roasters, a specialty coffee collective focused on sustainably sourced single origin coffees, environmentally friendly roasting practices, and advanced brewing methods.  While RAKO’s summer plans to open two cafes in the District were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the brand launched a new online store featuring freshly roasted specialty coffee from Sumatra, Guatemala, Burundi and Ethiopia, available via free shipping in the DMV. The complimentary delivery service started April 6th and will continue indefinitely, with custom brew guides available for consumers to make the best possible coffee at home.   The sister duo has been pleased by the outpouring of support from the community toward local businesses and are grateful to customers who have kept demand strong. In turn, they will be donating 10% of every sale to Erik Bruner-Yang’s Power of 10 crowdfunding initiative, which provides employment to laid off restaurant workers and meals to first responders and community members affected by COVID-19. Additionally, a portion of each sale supports the coffee country of origin’s International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) Chapter.   “While this isn’t the launch we had envisioned, we are excited to bring our locally roasted, sustainably sourced coffee to the community,” said co-founders Lisa and Melissa Gerben. “We are happy to be able to ship coffee at this time, and to welcome Washingtonians to our cafes later this year.”   RAKO develops coffees that are approachable but can become increasingly complex with advanced brewing methods. Their unique roast profiles are meticulously designed to bring out the full potential of each coffee. Each coffee is accompanied by a brewing guide to assist at-home drinkers with varying levels of experience to perfectly brew their cup.  
  • Luleesa Limu – Ethiopia ($16). Tasting Notes: Graham Cracker, Butterscotch, Pomegranate
  • Harimau Tiger – Sumatra ($18). Tasting Notes: Cocoa, Molasses, Grapefruit, Tobacco
  • Sidamo Kercha – Ethiopia ($16). Tasting Notes: Butter Croissant, Ginger Snap, Strawberry
  • Buzira Microlot 4 – Burundi ($18). Tasting Notes: Toffee, Clementine, Cinnamon, Clove
  • HueHue Waykan – Guatemala ($16). Tasting Notes: Brown Sugar, Milk Chocolate, Lemon Zest
  • Espresso Blend ($16). Tasting Notes: Candied Ginger, Cocoa, Blackberry Tart
  • Yirgacheffe Gedeb – Ethiopia ($18). Tasting Notes: Peach, Lemon Zest, Caramelized Sugar
  Melissa Gerben is the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) certified head roaster for RAKO Coffee Roasters. She never settles for anything less than perfection, and as a result is constantly learning, experimenting, and continuing to develop her craft. RAKO Coffee Roasters is in a constant pursuit to create the best coffee possible – this ethos is embedded into RAKO down to the very name, which translates to ‘challenge’. The roaster is named after RAKO mountain, a soaring, solitary mountain that co-owner Lisa Gerben and her team encountered after driving hours through rough terrain on one of their coffee sourcing trips in the Yirgacheffe region of Ethiopia. This experience inspired the team to take on the challenge to create elevated, exceptional coffees while giving back to the communities they’re a part of both locally and globally.   The majority of their coffees are single origin, directly imported from coffee farmers with whom they have personal friendships with thanks to Lisa’s extensive background in international trade. The RAKO team believes that the best way to help communities is through economic empowerment, and by importing coffee directly from the source, it allows the farmers and their communities to grow and thrive. They also work with high-quality importers who are equally committed to these guiding principles and work to improve the standard of living in coffee growing regions.   RAKO will continue to produce wholesale and direct to consumer coffee out of their state-of-the-art roasting facility in Northern Virginia. True to their ethos of making coffee as sustainably as possible, RAKO uses a Loring™ S35 Kestrel and S15 Falcon, some of the most environmentally friendly coffee roasting equipment on the market. Through a partnership with TerraCycle, consumers who order coffee online can simply drop their bags back into a pre-stamped envelope. The brand looks forward to welcoming coffee lovers in the coming months when they resume plans for a local pop-up series as well as the opening of two new cafe locations.”  

4Ocean Founders Reflect on Ecological Pros and Cons of COVID-19 Pandemic

If there’s a temporary silver lining to the coronavirus pandemic, it has been its positive environmental impact. With a third of the world’s population on lockdown, pollution figures have plummeted. China, most famously so far, has seen a 25-percent reduction in carbon emissions, which led to the potential saving of 77,000 lives, according to one Earth systems scientist. And we’ve all seen the images of dolphins reclaiming Italy’s waterways, and goats enjoying empty thoroughfares in Wales. For this Earth Week, apparently, Gaia is breathing a much-needed sigh of relief.   But even the few plusses of this global pause can be deceptive—and they present their own problems, according to Alex Schulze and Andrew Cooper, the millennial founders of the Boca Raton-based environmental business 4Ocean. I spoke to them last week for an article that will appear in our July/August print edition, but our conversation also addressed the present pandemic and its ecological trade-offs.   “It goes both ways,” Schulze says. “What’s happening to the environment right now is we’re seeing a massive reduction in carbon emissions due to travel being cut down, and factories and production centers being shut down. National parks and oceans and different protected areas [are] starting to thrive because there’s not human interaction.   “Unfortunately, one of the biggest things we’re trying to push with our social channels is, now more than ever, people are ordering takeout at a massive rate. They’re getting Styrofoam containers and getting single-use plastics, because they want to stay safe, and they want to be sanitary.”   “With everybody putting everything in plastic bags now and wiping everything down and throwing it on the ground and taking their gloves off in the parking lot, that’s all on its way to the ocean,” adds Cooper. “It doesn’t need to be a picnic on the beach to end up in the ocean.”   “It’s a tough time,” says Shulze, “and we’re trying to bring any awareness that we can to make sure people stay safe, but to do so as sustainably as possible.”   4Ocean, which funds global ocean cleanups through sales of merchandise, like bracelets, made from recycled materials, has not been immune to the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic; Schulze says the company had to lay off 70 percent of its staff. But its cleanup efforts have continued. Last week its crew pulled a mattress out of a river, and its Bali teams pulled 30,000 pounds of trash from oceans and coastlines during seven days in April.   Shulze and Cooper continue to use their social platforms to urge environmental awareness during this unprecedented time, stressing the responsible disposal of PPE. They call for users to donate extra unused masks/gloves, recycle them as long as they’ve been disinfected and sanitized, order a collection bin from a company like TerraCycle and place the used products there, or drop them into proper waste receptacles.    


What is one thing that you’re doing today to help the Earth? Staying in is the simplest and arguably the best answer at this time. Today I used my reusable cotton round for taking off my makeup. I'm also looking into TerraCycle to get a zero waste box for recycling my beauty products. I learned that this program makes sure that every item is diligently processed and recycled at their facility. I've always recycled and conserved water, but my eco-conscious fully amplified when I became a mother. I think about my son's reality when he will be my age and at this rate, it isn't good. The thought of the state of our Earth in just two or three decades terrifies me for his generation and beyond. I want the comfort and trust that my children will thrive in a beautiful world and I know that my responsibility counts to fight for that foundation. Sustainability as an individual starts with empathizing with everything that's different from us and feeling it's conflict and struggle. It's understanding that our daily decisions, no matter how small, have a direct impact somewhere along the linear path of consumption. We can break the path of waste with eco-friendly reusables like cotton pads, reusable paper towels, silicone zip bags, glass water bottles, and beeswax food coverings. Making small, permanent changes in the household is monumental in its long-term impact on the earth, because it instills a conscious lifestyle early in future generations. We can also support the greater cause of shifting the linear system of consumption and waste to a circular cycle of sustainability by buying organic whenever and wherever possible. Organic food is getting easier to come by these days, but other highly consumptive goods like clothes made with organic materials are becoming available as well. It is more important today than ever to support brands who are committing to using organic fabrics and sustainable production. Today I want to share the EILEEN FISHER Organic Linen collection. The collection is a tight edit of classic, timeless silhouettes in elegant neutrals and spring colors. Linen is a quintessential sunny-season fabric that’s naturally-made from flax and as a staple fabric in the EILEEN FISHER brand, they committed to using only organic linen for their clothes. This means no chemicals are used on the plants and the earth and workers aren’t exposed to hazardous chemicals. It means cleaner air, cleaner water, and somewhat more importantly it means having a more responsible eye over sustainable practices from the farm to the factories involved. This systematic process creates a positive impact for the businesses and for the people making the clothes. I think that the support we consciously put towards organic clothes and a committed sustainable brand like EILEEN FISHER is well placed for our children’s future.  

How to recycle efficiently: A Complete Beginners’ Guide

To help guide you on how to recycle efficiently, I asked recycling experts from TerraCycle and Tacuna Systems on recycling rules and tips. Learn how to manage your waste better with their insights. image.png
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Recycling is the last R of the Zero Waste Management System. While most zero waste experts say that to recycle is the last resort, you still need to do it. And not just recycle – you need to recycle efficiently. The Zero Waste Lifestyle System has discussed in one of its earliest articles about how recycling hides very grim situations, including improper and futile recycling systems. Recycling incorrectly is worse than not recycling at all. You devalue whatever recyclable material you have if you cannot sort it out properly.
About 25% of what people recycle can’t actually be recycled. These non-recyclables simply contaminate the recycling stream and even make recycling the right materials harder than it should be.
But why has this happened? The simple answer is the blue bin itself. When we put all our recyclables into one bin, we risk throwing trash more in with the useful materials.
One alternative way of recycling has proven very effective is the holistic recycling approach. Here people themselves sort their recyclables before sending them to a recycling facility. Recyclables are separated based on category and put in their own containers. This is particularly seen in Japan where they even have a recycling chart for residents to follow strictly.
In fact, the village of Kamikatsu in Japan has achieved a Zero Waste community where everything gets recycled.
To help guide you on how to recycle efficiently, I asked recycling experts from TerraCycle and Tacuna Systems on recycling rules and tips. Learn how to manage your waste better with their insights.

1. What can be recycled?

What is accepted in municipal, single-stream recycling programs varies from region to region (even town to town!). Very few items are accepted through these recycling programs, namely paper, glass, aluminum, metals and thermoplastics. Aluminum, for example, is endlessly recyclable with strong demand all over the world. Overall, much of what we try to recycle through standard programs nowadays gets tossed in the trash anyway.


All paper and cardboard, except ‘absorbable’ paper (eg. tissues, serviettes, paper towel) and waxed paper (eg. baking paper, coffee cups, paper ice-cream containers) can be recycled. But if the paper is soiled or wet, compost it.


Glass jars and bottles of all colours (with lids removed) can be recycled.


All metal containers and household items can be recycled. These include the following:
  • Aluminium drink cans
  • Tinned food cans
  • Jar lids from glass jars
  • Foil trays
  • Empty aluminium and steel aerosol cans with plastic buttons removed.
  • Bottle tops and lids
  • Foil (including easter egg wrappers)


All rigid plastics, including #1-7 (with lids removed from bottles/containers) can be recycled.

Terracycle Recycling

TerraCycle aims to eliminate the idea of waste through recycling everything. According to Shaye DiPasquale, they partner with brands around the world to create free recycling programs that allow individuals and communities to collect and recycle traditionally hard-to-recycle waste. Public recycling is economically motivated, so most common items don’t belong in your blue bin. However, TerraCycle® proves that everything is technically recyclable, including candy and snack wrappersplastic packaging, shoes, razor blades, and old and broken toys.

2. What can’t be recycled?

According to Joe Flanagan of Tacuna Systems, things that can’t be recycled include foam (polystyrene), medical waste, and composites.

Small items

Small items, which most single-use plastic are, are hard to recycle. These include flexible packaging like chip bags and juice or soup pouches and cups with plastic or waxed coatings.

Black Plastic

Black plastic cannot be identified by automatic sorting machines and therefore is not currently recycled.

Medical waste

Waste from medical facilities cannot be sent to a recycling facility. These include medical equipment, medicines, and waste matter such as human and animal poop. Yes, that means that you can’t throw diapers or pet waste on the blue bin. They are hazardous due to contact with various germs and viruses. Dispose of them through your local hospitals or health offices.


These are complex items that contain multiple materials, such as things in plastic wrap, plastic wrap, bubble wrap, plastic sandwich bags, freezer bags and Pringles tubes. The same goes for polystyrene foam and plastic “to-go” containers and cups. Other unrecyclable materials are garden hose, rope, leashes, wire, and string.

3. What should one do before throwing recyclables in the blue bin?

Don’t be a “wish-cycler”!

Research. Go to your municipality’s website or call or email them to learn more about what exactly is recyclable curbside in your area. To find out what type of plastic a container is made of, look for the Resin Identification Code (RIC) at the bottom: a triangle made of arrows containing numbers 1 through 7. These are NOT “recycling numbers,” of which there are no such thing, and they do not equal recyclability. Many municipal recyclers accept #1 or #2 white or clear bottles or jars (with caps, pumps, and spouts removed), aluminum containers, and clear glass with no attachments or added plastic. Again, this varies by region, so please check with your municipality for what is accepted. Colored plastic and small and complex items are generally non-recyclable.

Clean containers.

For containers, try to get as much of the containers’ contents before putting them in the blue bin.

Sort out your trash well.

Using the recyclables and non-recyclables guide we outlined above, separate your waste carefully. While cumbersome and labor-intensive, it is essential in your journey to living sustainably that you separate different types of waste so they can be recycled efficiently. Send each type of recyclable to the recycling facilities that accept them.


To recycle efficiently, you need to learn what’s recyclable and non-recyclable. Separate them from each other strictly. The best way to recycle is to understand the recycling systems available to you. Then send your sorted recyclables to the proper facilities, including Terracycle. Aside from learning how to recycle, you also need to hold countries accountable for recycling their own products. This is what makes the holistic recycling process in Japan so successful. Companies there, especially appliance manufacturers, implement Post-Industrial Plastic Recycling.
The most important attitude towards living with waste is mindfulness. Ask yourself many times before buying something is if it’s really helpful or necessary. Then think of where it will go after you use it. Can you reuse for other purposes? Can you leave it to rot and be consumed by earth safely? Can you recycle it? If not, don’t bother buying it.


You probably suspect it, but finding environmental news has been more difficult in recent weeks because of the Covid-19 pandemic which was taking up all the space in the media (and which will still be present for several weeks…). So find some good ones …   Anyway, here is a mini edition of the Good Green News!  
  1. Planned obsolescence: Apple has agreed to pay up to $ 500 million to owners of older models of its iPhones. [ Source ]
  2. The Manitoba government is now imposing a carbon tax. [ Source ]
  3. The Quebec government had announced “record sums” of $ 6.7 billion over six years to lead the fight against climate change. Will this always be the case, given the current economic situation? To be continued… [ Source ]
  4. The Saint-Polycarpe dental clinic collects dental hygiene items with the Terra-Cycle program. [ Source ]
  5. Containment measures around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic would save more lives by reducing pollution than by limiting coronavirus infections. [ Source ]
  6. Continuing from the previous point: the COVID-19 crisis shows that the world can act concretely on climate change. [ Source ]

How This Caterer Produces Zero-Waste Dining Experiences

It’s not exactly a secret that we waste a ton of food. As more and more studies have shown that up to 40 percent of edible food gets tossed each year, in the U.S., consumers, nonprofits and businesses have turned their attention to reducing food waste. New York City caterer, Purslane, has made the issue central to its business. In 2018, the Brooklyn-based company began shifting its business model to focus on becoming both a zero-waste and carbon-neutral caterer and in the process, they’re showing how consumers and businesses can revolutionize how we eat at events and home.   The Oberon Group, the Brooklyn-based hospitality collective that operates RhodoraRucola and June started its catering division in 2012, restructuring its business in 2018, to combat the enormous amount of waste generated by events. In 2019, Purslane was able to divert nearly 85,000 pounds of trash from the landfill and prevent 125 metric tons of CO2 from being released (an estimation based on large events like weddings and smaller food drop-offs).     “The restaurants became such a staple that people wanted to source more food them,” said Michelle Gabriel, the Managing Director of Purslane, on the initial inspiration for the catering business. According to Gabriel, when the company began thinking about moving and restructuring its commissary kitchen in 2017, it presented the opportunity to figure out how they could make reducing food waste a central part of the business’s mission.   “There were a lot of challenges—logistical, financial, educational,” Gabriel said. “By zero waste, we mean nothing goes to landfill, so we have to maintain control of our waste.” Purslane’s zero waste mission means they only generate compost and recycling. The company does this by maintaining control of all their waste at events it produces, bringing in its own waste containers and then bringing everything back to its headquarters for either composting or recycling. Items that can’t be easily composted or recycled, such as rubber gloves and soft plastics they work with waste management company TerraCycle to recycle.   Reducing their waste, though, begins long before an event takes place. They’ve made changes across their supply chain, starting with buying less food and adapting menus to be as food and cost-efficient as possible.   “We’re buying less food from the beginning, and make very close to what we need, so we’re not just not sending it to compost,” Gabriel said. “We really find ways to cross-utilize ingredients.” Financially they had to adjust almost all the costs of operating their business from the cost of food to the price of recycling haulers. And for them to be successful, there’s also a bit of education that comes with talking to clients, especially with clients who are drawn to their company for their food and may be unaware of the zero-waste component of the business.   They measure the carbon footprint of each event they hold, so they can invest in carbon negative initiatives to be carbon neutral and they’re continually evolving, looking at more ways to reduce waste and their carbon emissions. With almost all events currently on hold, Purslane is beginning to help feed New Yorkers at home while still working to reduce food waste. They recently launched Purslane Provisions offering weekly prepared meals, a vegetable CSA and add-on wines from Rhodora and pantry staples available to customers in Brooklyn and Queens with plans to expand citywide.   “We’re trying to supplement what might be challenging to get at this time,” Gabriel said.

How to live more sustainably

The average American produces approximately three pounds of non-compostable, non-recyclable waste every day. Lauren Singer, on the other hand, has generated fewer than two pounds of trash in the past eight years.   The 28 year old committed to a zero-waste lifestyle (which she defines as not contributing anything to the landfill) in college. A classmate in one of her environmental studies courses at New York University was bringing plastic takeout containers and utensils for her lunch every day. "I asked the question, ‘How could you care about sustainability and make so much waste?’" she says. "That’s when I realized that I was doing the same thing: purchasing groceries with plastic packaging, buying clothing made out of synthetic material. I was doing these unsustainable things even though all I talked about every day was sustainability."   To document the process of shifting to a trash-free lifestyle, she created the site Trash is for Tossers in 2012. She shares tips for composting, recipes for DIY beauty products, and explains how she limited nearly a decade’s worth of waste to a single 16-ounce Mason jar. She also founded Package Free, a set of shops in New York City selling zero-waste essentials, such as biodegradable bandaids, cotton produce bags, and reusable bamboo utensils.   In honor of Earth Day, Furthermore spoke with Singer about starting a sustainable business and maintaining her values in the pandemic.   Q: How did you shift your environmental passion into a full-time career?   A: After I started Trash is for Tossers, people were asking me about the products that I was making and featuring on the site. They wanted the sustainable laundry detergent or toothpaste, but thought that it would take too much time to make, so they would abandon the idea. The thought that time could be the limiting factor felt so unfair to me. (That's how my first company, The Simply Co., which sells 3-ingredient laundry detergent started). I began meeting all of these awesome consumer product companies that had the desire to make a product to solve an environmental problem, like ocean pollution or animal cruelty, but were having a hard time acquiring new customers. So I started Package Free as a way to bring all of these brands together in one place.   Q: What goes in your Mason jar?   A: Things that I haven’t been able to divert from landfill [that aren’t recyclable or compostable]. For example, hair ties and bandaids. Although now at Package Free we have sustainable alternatives to most of these.   Q: Can you explain the concept of "circumstantial trash?"   A: It's trash that we ourselves don’t necessarily create but is a function of circumstance. You order something and you stipulate that you want it to be plastic-free but it comes to you in plastic. You can feel guilty about that, sure, but if you did everything in your power to ask for things the way that you wanted it then that’s OK. You could take initiative from there and email the company to say that you’d like to continue supporting them but you prefer your packages without plastics. You also need to be understanding that, for the most part, the world isn’t there yet. At Package Free we have these Terracycle boxes where people can drop types of materials that aren’t recyclable through New York City’s program. [The company then turns these items, like electronics, certain personal care products, and cleaning supplies, into new products].   Q: What makes recycling so confusing?   A: The regulations around what is recyclable and the processes around what gets recycled are different in basically every single city in the world. That’s why I try to prevent any packaging from entering my home to begin with. One of the most important things to do is to check on your city's government website to see what is recycled and what isn’t.   Q: What’s an easy way to approach the zero-waste lifestyle?    A: I always suggest that people look into their trash can and see what they’re throwing away. Say you have a ton of single-use plastic water bottles, a good option is to get a sustainable water filter. Or if you’re super attached to the type of dental floss you use, but not your toothbrush, swap that for the bamboo kind. Little things that aren’t super hard can have a positive environmental impact.   Q: What about athletes specifically?   A: Make sure you have your own reusable water bottle. It’s great when gyms and facilities have stations where you can refill. Also choosing synthetic-free gym clothing is a big one. Most athletic clothing is made using plastic and synthetic fibers. So I try to support brands that have organic cotton leggings, sports bras, and workout t-shirts.   Q: What does your own workout routine look like?   A: Walking is one of my favorite things to do. It is so meditative and while I’m doing it I can talk to someone on the phone or just listen to music. I went on a five-mile walk today, which was great to help clear my mind and reset my body. I also love yoga.   Q: And what about diet?   A: One really cool thing about a zero-waste lifestyle is that you’re not buying packaged, processed foods. I go to the farmer's market every week and buy fresh fruits and vegetables. I also eat plenty of whole grains and beans, like rice, chickpeas, and black beans. The food I make is super simple. I make fresh pasta so I’ll do that with vegetables. The other night we had vegetable tacos and made the tortillas from scratch. It takes 15 minutes to make and you can do a huge batch and freeze the rest. They taste so much better than the store-bought version and you know exactly what’s in them.   Q: Are you finding it harder to maintain this lifestyle while self-isolating?    A: Yes. I’ve had to sacrifice a lot of my environmental sustainability values when it comes to food. When Sandy hit in 2016, I wasn’t prepared. I didn’t have water stocked or food. This time I made the decision that I wouldn’t let myself be in that situation again. I bought a lot of canned beans and frozen produce, which is healthy and in alignment with how I normally eat, but the packaging is misaligned. I’m still recycling and separating out these materials [into a Mason jar] that I do consider to be trash. So I’m not contributing anything to the landfill, but at the same time I’m creating a demand for these materials that I know are not sustainable. It makes me feel a little shitty, sure, but I need to take care of myself. I also have a team of 50 people that depend on me as a leader and if I get sick that threatens their livelihood. I realized that I had to give up some of my own sustainable values for the safety and security of others. No matter what, it was a sacrifice well worth making.    

How To Recycle Everything: Glass, Metal & Everything Else

We all want to reduce our carbon footprint and become better stewards of the earth. But for something that seems as simple and straightforward as recycling, there can be a lot of complications. And when you make a guess at something being recyclable, and it isn't, that can actually be worse for recycling programs than if you had just thrown it out with the garbage. So, in honor of Earth Day, we sat down and straightened out just what can be recycled — and how! — so we can all avoid future mistakes and better support our local recycling efforts.   You can find everything we could think of in the glass, metal, and miscellaneous categories below, and how to dispose of it properly. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Ask us on Facebook or Twitter!        


Glass is one of the easiest things to recycle and, with the exception of lightbulbs, household glass and broken glass, almost everything can be recycled at curbside.  


  • The glass used in most bottles and food storage containers is easily recyclable at curbside. Don’t forget to rinse it and remove the lid.


Throw Away

  • Broken glass is unfortunately not recyclable, as it can clog recycling machinery and even result in injury to sanitation workers. Before throwing it away, make sure to wrap it up in a thick plastic bag so you don’t hurt your garbage person.



  • While mirrors, drinking glasses, window glass, or baking dishes seem like they could be recycled with regular glass, household glass is often treated with chemicals to make it sturdier. We recommend you donate items, or, if they’re too worn, throw them away.
  • CFL bulbs and other fluorescent bulbs contain trace amounts of mercury. While it’s a small enough amount that they can be used safely in your home, they shouldn’t go to a landfill, where they can contaminate ground water. To recycle safely, take them to a Home Depot or Lowes.
  • Incandescent lights, LED’s and halogens do not contain any hazardous materials, so it’s safe to throw them in the trash. But they are also recyclable in some cases, so check your local center first. If they don't accept them, EcoLights or Lampmaster Recycling offers recycling for a fee.

Metal and Foil

Like glass, the metals and foils you use the most are also the easiest to recycle. Food tins, disposable baking items, aluminum foil, paint cans, and even aerosol cans are recyclable if prepared properly.


  • Your typical tin and aluminum cans (think soup, tuna, and veggies) can by thrown in your curbside recycling after you rinse them out.
  • Disposable bakeware like muffin tins, lasagna trays, and bread pans can also be put in curbside recycling.
  • Aluminum foil and foil lids (like you find on yogurt or cream cheese) can be recycled as long as they are free of grease, food, and chemical coatings.
  • Clean — and we mean clean — paint cans and lids can also be recycled.
  • Empty aerosol cans, like those used for hairspray and cleaning products, are tricky to recycle. As of April 2020, there don’t appear to be any mail-in initiatives, but Clean Harbors Environmental Services in Braintree, MA accepts them for a fee. These can also be disposed of if your town has a household hazardous waste collection day.


Throw Away

  • Any pieces of metal under three inches — like nails, screws, washers, and soda can tabs — can be hazardous to recycling machines, and should be thrown away to avoid damage.
  • Candy and cookie wrappers that look metallic often aren’t, because the foil has been fused with plastic. A good test? If you ball up the wrapping and it doesn’t keep the crumpled shape, you should throw it out.
  • Capri Sun packs and smoothie squeeze pouches are also fused with plastic, and must be thrown away. There is one exception that we found: Serenity Kids has partnered with Terracycle to offer a recycling initiative, here.



  • Syringes, epi-pens and razor blades can’t truly be recycled or thrown away, because of the danger they pose to the general public. They should be disposed of in a medical sharps container, which can be found at your local pharmacy, hospital, or police station.
  • Potato chip bags are recyclable through a mail-in initiative from Hain & Terracycle. You can find it here.
  • Unfortunately, most foil coffee bags are fused with plastic, and cannot be recycled. That said, some coffee brands feature packaging that's partially recyclable; read the label first, and make sure to peel out the internal plastic liner if there is one.
  • Safety razors are a little tricky. Locally-based Gillette offers the opportunity for communities to set up a recycling station for any brand of safety razor, but not an individual mail-in option. Try to jump start an initiative in your town.
  • Pots and pans, bike frames, metal tools, metal furniture, metal kitchen tools, metal utensils and metal shelves are similarly complicated. If any of these are lightly used, think first of taking them to a Goodwill or Salvation Army for someone else to benefit. But if your cookware or bike is not fit for donation, it’s time to find a scrap metal recycler. A few things are key: are they sealed with Teflon or plastic? Are they ferrous or non-ferrous (hint: ferrous pots are magnetic)? Find this out first, and then start calling scrap metal recyclers near you.
  • Do you ascribe to the “no wire hangers” rule? If so, you have some options for recycling here, too. Wire hangers can be reused at your local dry-cleaner or recycled at a scrap yard.
  • Soda Stream canisters help us save on more than just seltzer. Bring them into a nearby Bed Bath & Beyond so they can get refilled, and get a dollar off your next canister.

Everything Else

What's left after paper, plastic, glass and metal? Everything else! This section contains every single thing that we looked at around our homes and thought, "how do I recycle that?"


  • Liquid food cartons — also known as what your soup, milk, juice, and sometimes wine come in — are not always recyclable. So far, the only ones that have joined the Carton Council recycling initiative are Tetra Pak, Elopak, SIG, Combibloc and Evergreen Packaging, so be sure to look for those logos when shopping. But even if you buy these brands, recycling gets tricky. While some cities and towns pick up curbside, most don’t. You can find out if your town recycles them, or what your alternatives are at Earth 911.
  • Both Brita and PUR have free recycling programs with Terracycle; you can find Brita here, and PUR here.



Food is, for the most part, compostable. Here are a few options for composting in Mass., most of which take all kinds of food scraps and come right to your door:  
  • In Greater Boston and Providence, we’re lucky enough to have access to Bootstrap Compost.
  • Offbeet Compost does the same for Merrimack Valley (and is women owned!).
  • City Compost serves all of New England.
  • The cities of Acton, Worcester and Cambridge all offer municipal composting programs as well.

Throw Away

  • We've already talked about recycling plastic tape dispensers. But what about the tape? While plastic tape (Duct, Scotch) goes right in the trash, Amazon’s brown paper tape is recyclable (yay!).
  • Particle board is often used in inexpensive furniture — but, unfortunately, in order to create this cheap material, the process heavily treats the wood and as such, it cannot be recycled.
  • Terracotta pots are not recycled and have to be thrown away. But this is your chance to get creative — try mosaics, using broken pieces in place of drainage stones, or creating garden sculptures.



  • Good-condition clothing can be donated to second-hand shops, or even sold through consignment shops. Not sure if something is in good enough shape for second hand stores? Look for Bay State Textiles bins (map here) — they'll donate quality clothing to second-hand stores, and recycle stained or torn materials into new products.
  • Electronics and appliances can all be recycled at Best Buy or Staples. Free to the general public (though not businesses or organizations), they both offer programs that recycle your goods for free. Check out the Staples list hereCheck out the Best Buy list here.
  • Furniture and exercise equipment can be sold online, or donated if it's in decent shape. But if your old bookcase is rickety, it might be time to recycle it. Some towns offer special pickup days for bigger items like these, but if yours isn’t one of them, look around for a scrap yard.
  • Building materials that are in good condition — windows, lumber, cabinets, bricks or flooring — can be donated to Habitat for Humanity. If something isn’t reusable, to the scrap yard it goes.
  • Bicycle tires and tubes are prime items for reuse. The recycling process for these is not great for the environment, so if you can come up with a creative way to reuse them (or you want to try one of the ideas here) go for it! But if you absolutely must recycle, try your local bike shop or REI.
  • There are quite a few parts in your car that can be recycled. Many autobody shops will recycle oil and oil filters, batteries, tires and windshields for you, just be sure to ask in advance so you're not sent packing. Water pumps can be returned to auto parts stores to reduce the charge for new products. Engines, starters, and alternators can all be rebuilt by mechanics, and you can ask the shop that you’ve taken your car to if they’d be able to help you with that. Plastics and metals should go to the scrap yard.
  If you live in one of Massachusetts' major cities, you can find a handy printout for additional trash and recycling guidelines, as well as pickup times in your neighborhood, below:   Boston | Worcester | Springfield

20 green tips for Earth Day!

Here's a list of things you can do that will lighten your environmental footprint and green up your life! 1. Stop using plastic coffee pods! Use compostable coffee pods or a reusable single cup coffee system, including cotton coffee filters.   2. Minimize household chemicals and waste. Make your own eco-friendly cleaning products: Watch how to make eco-friendly dryer sheets and how to make reusable sweeper pads and how to make a all-natural cleaner with grapefruit and salt. See our guide to green cleaning products.   3. Compost kitchen waste to save landfill space. Create your own compost pile or use one of these local compost services.   4. Replace your lawn with native plants. They don’t need as much water and they support native wildlife. Plant a pollinator garden to provide food for bees and monarch butterflies! Read about North Texans stepping up aid for monarchs.   5. Grow your own organic food. Plant an organic garden even if it’s just a few herbs on your patio.   6. Consume less meat! A plant-based diet is recommended by the UN as the most environmentally friendly, climate-friendly diet.) Not only are you saving animals but a plant-based diet is healthier for you.  Local author Carol Adams has tips for going vegan in middle age but it applies to all ages.   7. Stop drinking bottled water. Use water filters instead.  Read about our favorite water filters.   8. Fix leaky faucets and toilets. Save precious water.   9. Green up your home. Install a programmable thermostat, LED light bulbs and better insulation.   10. Cook your own organic food. It's more sustainable and better for you than eating pre-packaged food.   11. Think before you shop. Choose products made from natural, biodegradable or recyclable materials. Avoid products that will likely just fill up landfill space when their end life is over.       12. Choose quality over convenience. When you need conventional products, choose items that are built to last, made from sustainable materials, have minimal packaging and are energy smart. Here's our list of eco-friendly products for the new year!   13. Minimize trash. Recycle everything that you can.   14. Ramp up your recycling efforts. Look for specialty recycling outlets for items not accepted in recycle bins. For example, plastic bags can be recycled at most grocery stores. Home Depot and Lowes will take batteries and light bulbs. Terracycle accepts items like toothpaste tubes. Help your school or place of business start a recycling program. Read about how the Fort Worth Botanic Garden set a zero waste goal.   15. Give away rather than throw away. Donate that old couch, stacks of nifty paper, nice clothes, tools.       16. Buy less stuff! Before you buy something, ask yourself - do I really need this?   17. Shop local. Visit the farmer’s market, support small organic farms and food producers.   18. Bring your own shopping bags. Reusable bags are not just for the grocery store. Take them wherever you shop. Keep them by the front door, in your purse or backpack and in your car.   19. Harvest your rainwater. Build your own rain barrel or buy one and use it to water your garden.   20. Drive less. Walk or ride a bike instead of driving. Make each trip count when you do take your car. Carpool! When shopping for a new car, consider an all-electric or a hybrid.