The best (and simplest) ways to go zero waste at home!

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2017 ecobags zero waste easy tips

Many of you may be put off trying a zero-waste lifestyle – maybe because it seems to hard, or too expensive, or you’re just afraid of failure. But, zero waste is an aspiration and in just reaching for it, in changing some of your habits, you’ll be making a change for the better.

So here are some very simply zero waste changes that won’t even really change your daily or weekly routines.

  1. Switch to alternative disposables. What does this mean? Instead of reaching for a paper towel – invest in reusable towels, wax paper instead of cling wrap, cotton baggies for your snacks, etc.
  2. Next time you’re in the market for sponges or scrubbers – buy something sustainable. Switch to scrubbers made of bamboo or wood instead of plastic, try dish scrubbers made of biodegradable natural fibers.
  3. Learn to love liquid castille soap (I personally love Dr. Bronner’s), baking soda, and vinegar and buy them in bulk. These are your best friends when it comes to cleaning.
  4. Keep plants around your house – they’ll put a smile on your face and will keep the air in your home nice and clean.

While there are a million more ways to go zero waste – I think this a pretty easy and solid place to start, especially if you’re a bit scared of making the jump! Just ease yourself in, like getting into a cold lake.

Written by: Mollie Mac, ECOBAGS® very own marketing maven. Mollie is an adventurer and a green living advocate. If you have any tips or tricks for her she’d love to hear from you, email her at: mollie(at)ecobags(dot)com:)

B Corp: For Profit as a Force for Good

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Sharon with Wings_Cochin India

Eco-Bags Products Founder & CEO Sharon Rowe, visiting our factory in India.

We are so happy to announce that we have been re-certified as a B Corporation. We so strongly believe in for-profit businesses as a force for good, and our ability as social and environmental change makers. It is a community that we are proud to be a part of and celebrate.

We have been a certified B Corp since 2010 – but we have been sourcing our labor and product ethically & sustainably since our inception in 1989, before it was the “cool” thing to do, before “social responsibility” was a buzzword.

Eco-B2016-best-for-the-world-overallags Products was  a B Corp Best for the Environment honoree in 2014 & 2015, and this past year – 2016 – we were recognized as a B Corp Best for the World Overall. We are happy to see B Corporation growing as more and more businesses join each year – and love to meet new friends, and see the old, at their annual retreats. As B Corp has grown it has had to change and adapt to the plethora of different businesses that are certified each year.

During our re-certification we learned that B Corp has changed the way it assesses businesses to better represent the growing number of for-profit companies that are seeking B Corporation certification that are social ventures whose sole purpose of existence is to employ those who are refugees or disenfranchised; companies like Greyston Bakery, whose practices (& baked goods) we so wholeheartedly believe in and support.

We are constantly looking for ways to improve in a way that benefits both the environment as well as the people and animals living on it, and our proud of our score of 111 on the B Corp impact assessment, from the B Corp website:

Any score higher than 0 points is a good score, as a positive score indicates that the company is doing something positive for society and the environment. The Assessment rewards practices that go beyond standard business practice; therefore, every point earned on the Assessment reflects incremental, positive impact.

Most companies score between 40 and 100 points out of the 200 points available.

Our factory  is both third party fair wage and fair labor certified, and the farm where we source our cotton uses revenue to fund a school for the children of their workers. Our cotton is GOTS certified organic. We have our SA 8000 certification, which is a social accountability standard. Our bags are made of either recycled cotton or organic cotton. We employ members of our local community and to lessen our carbon impact most of us walk to work or drive less than 3 miles, and one of us commutes by foot & ferry. We are a group of people committed to and with a strong belief in our companies values & mission.

We have made a commitment, and will continue to make that commitment, to support sustainability for the environment, and to make sure everyone in our supply chain works in a safe environ
ment, and makes a living wage.

Written by: Mollie Mac, ECOBAGS® very own marketing maven. Mollie is an adventurer and a green living advocate. If you have any tips or tricks for her she’d love to hear from you, email her at: mollie(at)ecobags(dot)com:)

 

The Sooner you Turn Off the Tap the Better

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ecobags conserve water world water day

March 22nd marked world water day. There’s no denying that water is an integral part of life, so what can you do to help protect the worlds waters?

  1. Be active in your community. Clean up litter when you see it, participate in community clean up days, don’t litter, go to meetings with you local constituents, be vocal about how you want the earth treated.
  2. Stop using so much disposable plastic, and opt for reusables. Reusable bags, reusable water bottles, reusable coffee mugs, reusable lunch packs, even reusable food covers. It’s estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the sea. Don’t be part of the problem, be part of the solution.
  3. Conserve your water usage. Take shorter showers. Turn off the tap while you’re brushing your face or washing your teeth. Only run the dishwasher or clothes washer when you have a full load.
  4. Dispose of chemicals, oils, & batteries properly – so they don’t end up in the water system.
  5. Avoid using pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Choose non-toxic household cleaners and try not to use antibacterial soaps or cleaning products.

What other ways do you help to preserve our waters?

Written by: Mollie Mac, ECOBAGS® very own marketing maven. Mollie is an adventurer and a green living advocate. If you have any tips or tricks for her she’d love to hear from you, email her at: mollie(at)ecobags(dot)com:)

Your ECOBAG® made responsibly, and probably by a woman

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After stumbling upon this Vice article which explores the possible hypocrisy of the apparel we wear to support causes such as planned parenthood or to proclaim our support of the feminist movement – clothes that at once deem us “woke” but also have cast shadows of doubt when no one asks “where” and “how” these items were made.

I want to assure you that all of our bags are made at factories that meet and exceed fair wage and fair labor practices as well as safety standards. We are certified FLSA and SA 8000. The majority of our factory employees are women – women who are valued in the workplace, compensated well above minimum wages and who have ample holiday and vacation time off.

Children did not make your bag. The people in it work in a safe work environment and they make a livable wage.

In addition to this we are a woman owned business and the majority of the employees (hi!) that work in our office are women. We work to empower women all over the world, and in all social and economic circumstances.

If you are a non-profit or are seeking to design apparel with proceeds that go towards a cause, you should work with a company whose values align with your own. You can be sure that here at Eco-Bags Products we support women, we support the right to a living wage – no matter where in the world you live, and we also support the protection of our environment.

Written by: Mollie Mac, ECOBAGS® very own marketing maven. Mollie is an adventurer and a green living advocate. If you have any tips or tricks for her she’d love to hear from you, email her at: mollie(at)ecobags(dot)com:)

 

Owner Sharon Rowe speaks at Yale

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Owner and CEO of ECOBAGS®, Sharon Rowe, was invited by Yale to speak on their Bright Lights, Green sights podcast. You can listed to it here.