Today is Earth Day, a celebration of our planet and an exploration of ways that we can all help improve it. Of course, we believe that this thinking should be a part of every day—Abt’s Green Initiatives are a cornerstone of our business. We encourage everyone to do what they can, from reducing the amount of driving to reusing and recycling whenever possible. And while we recognize that consumer products can be quite wasteful, one small way to help is by choosing products that are more eco-conscious. These days, choosing the green product doesn’t have to come with compromises (think soggy paper straws or complicated recycling processes). Here are a few of our favorite products that put a strong focus on eco-friendliness.
Nespresso Coffee Maker and Pods
One great way to have less of an impact on the environment is to make your own coffee at home instead of going to a coffee shop. You’ll drive less, and won’t be tossing a disposable cup and lid in the trash every day. But most single-cup coffee makers end up creating their own excess waste. Nespresso coffee makers help you mitigate that with their innovative pod system. Nespresso pods are made from aluminum, which has a lower initial environmental impact than plastic; it’s also much easier to recycle. In fact, the brand makes it extra easy to recycle the pods by offering drop-off points at all Nespresso stores. And if you’re not near a store, simply request a free prepaid Nespresso recycling bag. Fill it up with your discarded pods and drop it at any UPS depot to get it shipped back to their recycling center. Your old pods will become a future batch of new ones.
Pela Phone Cases
Every time we upgrade to a new smartphone, the old one becomes waste. Thankfully, the industry is making great strides in recycling unwanted e-waste. But what about the countless plastic cases that used to protect those phones? They become trash. Pela phone cases offer a brilliant alternative. Their eco-friendly smartphone cases are made from a material called Flaxstic—a combination of plant-based polymers and waste from flax straw. Not only does the Flaxstic manufacturing process create less upfront waste than similar plastic materials, the end result is 100% compostable! That’s right, when it’s time to upgrade your phone, you can pitch your case into your backyard compost pile and it will break down completely, without leaving behind any toxic materials or residues. The only real downside is that they can’t be built to offer the same level of protection of a really robust case like the Otterbox. But if you’re looking for a slim, shock-absorbing case to protect your smartphone against scratches and moderate bumps, Pela should be on your list.
Charles Viancin Silicone Lids
Resealable, reusable glass dishes are a great way to keep food fresh in your fridge without resorting to disposable alternatives. But they’re not always the perfect solution. You probably have a large assortment of bowls that simply aren’t compatible with those lids, so you just cover them with plastic wrap. But there’s another solution: reusable silicone lids from Charles Viancin. These lids can be used to create an airtight seal on just about any pot, pan, or bowl that has a uniform rim. They’re easy to wash and stand up to a wide range of temperatures. Plus, the whimsical designs add some fun to your kitchen.
Zoku Pocket Straws
One of the most contentious recent topics in eco-friendliness has been that of the plastic straw. In just a few years, the idea of banning plastic straws has become a worldwide phenomenon. Yet many argue it’s overblown, that eliminating all plastic straws would have a minimal environmental impact, and just causes inconveniences because the alternatives—like paper straws—are inferior. Whether or not their impact is as great as the zeitgeist would suggest, the truth is that every little bit helps. If you’d like to stop using plastic straws, but aren’t a fan of the paper replacements, consider the Zoku pocket straw. This reusable stainless steel straw extends to 9 inches in length, and collapses for easy storage in the included plastic case. Slip it into your purse or put it on your keychain, and you’ll always have a plastic straw alternative on hand.