29Mar

Nature: A Circular economy

What is a circular economy?

Nature creates no waste so why do we? Nature has a beautifully efficient system, when a tree dies it falls to the ground and begins to decompose, and as it decomposes it feeds the seeds that it once dropped to give a life to a new tree. Where there is death, new life begins. Nature is constantly reusing and recycling resources to create new and potentially even better things. So, the question here is, why do we create waste? Well, my friends, this is human nature. When a product “dies” we bury it in a landfill and hope something magical happens. This in essence, is a linear economy, we take, make, and waste. As we create we don’t think about the waste we leave behind, we are only looking forward to the next bigger, better, and probably even more wasteful thing. 

Our linear economy

Operating this way, in a linear economy, is financially and environmentally unsustainable. We are either going to  1) run out of resources or 2) have to pay to deal with the waste we have already created, and it will most likely be both. The biggest argument against environmentally sustainable practices is the fear of economic instability and loss of profits. This is the idea of “planet over profit”, but why can’t we have both? We can actually create more jobs by introducing new sustainable industries (ex. solar energy), products (ex. electric cars), and services (ex. Loop). There are profits and thousands of jobs waiting for us! Sustainability has the power to spark unprecedented innovation and creativity, it is a market largely untapped. We must begin creating a circular economy that mirrors nature and contributes to her success and longevity.

Working with nature

It is our duty and moral obligation to work with nature and not against it. We must tread lightly and take seriously the consequences that inaction could have. We must instill a sense of urgency and hope in our society.  If we combine the two, we can significantly alter the course of the climate crisis.

How can we help?

People often forget that “eco” is short for ecology. Ecology is the study of organisms and how they interact with each other and their environment. This is interesting for all of us because we can begin to think about our everyday relationships with the people and our physical environment. Eco Eclectic encourages you to study how you personally interact with the environment through the things you chose to consume and support, as well as analyzing the waste you create. 

Ecology is typically broken down into 5 levels that can be translated into how you view yourself and your impact on the planet. 

Ecology is typically broken down into 5 levels that can be translated into how you view yourself and your impact on the planet. 

Ecology is typically broken down into 5 levels that can be translated into how you view yourself and your impact on the planet. 

Ecology is typically broken down into 5 levels that can be translated into how you view yourself and your impact on the planet. 

Levels of Ecology Levels of your life Actions Impact
Organism/Individual You I make reusable cloth napkins Eliminating paper towel use 
Population Who you live with/ family Myself and my roomate compost, use recycled toilet paper, and monitor energy use Reducing food waste, reusing materials, and saving money + reducing energy consumption
Community Your local network of people and businesses Neighbors: we are creating a community garden
Coffee shops and restaurants: bring your own mug, straw, and togo container 
Grocery stores: Bring your own bags 
Neighbors: Less reliant on food shipped from far away places + save money
Coffee shops and restaurants: Reduce plastic and paper waste + save money. 
Grocery stores: Reduce plastic and paper waste + save money (the store)
The more we do the more they listen, implementing better business practices.
Ecosystem  People and businesses in your city Think: record stores, thrift stores, bakeries, etc.  Think: How can I reduce my impact AND the businesses impact on the environment. How can I interact with them in a way that encourages sustainable practices?
Biosphere Earth Think: How do I interact with the world?
Vote with your dollar. 
Consume less, consumption drives a linear economy.
Post on social media. Join sustainability groups.
Shop local, support local.
Think: The butterfly effect, what you do ultimately affects everything around you and can reach far away places.
Think about what sustainability looks like for you in your everyday life. Think about what is financially feasible for you. Think about what resources are available to you. Think about how you can influence and inspire others.
Think about the power you have as a consumer and use it wisely.
Levels of Ecology Levels of your life Actions Impact
Organism/Individual You I make reusable cloth napkins Eliminating paper towel use 
Population Who you live with/ family Myself and my roomate compost, use recycled toilet paper, and monitor energy use Reducing food waste, reusing materials, and saving money + reducing energy consumption
Community Your local network of people and businesses Neighbors: we are creating a community garden
Coffee shops and restaurants: bring your own mug, straw, and togo container 
Grocery stores: Bring your own bags 
Neighbors: Less reliant on food shipped from far away places + save money
Coffee shops and restaurants: Reduce plastic and paper waste + save money. 
Grocery stores: Reduce plastic and paper waste + save money (the store)
The more we do the more they listen, implementing better business practices.
Ecosystem  People and businesses in your city Think: record stores, thrift stores, bakeries, etc.  Think: How can I reduce my impact AND the businesses impact on the environment. How can I interact with them in a way that encourages sustainable practices?
Biosphere Earth Think: How do I interact with the world?
Vote with your dollar. 
Consume less, consumption drives a linear economy.
Post on social media. Join sustainability groups.
Shop local, support local.
Think: The butterfly effect, what you do ultimately affects everything around you and can reach far away places.
Levels of Ecology Levels of your life Actions Impact Organism/Individual You I make reusable cloth napkins Eliminating paper towel use  Population Who you live with/ family Myself and my roomate compost, use recycled toilet paper, and monitor energy use Reducing food waste, reusing materials, and saving money + reducing energy consumption Community Your local network of people and businesses Neighbors: we are creating a community garden
Coffee shops and restaurants: bring your own mug, straw, and togo container 
Grocery stores: Bring your own bags  Neighbors: Less reliant on food shipped from far away places + save money
Coffee shops and restaurants: Reduce plastic and paper waste + save money. 
Grocery stores: Reduce plastic and paper waste + save money (the store)
The more we do the more they listen, implementing better business practices. Ecosystem  People and businesses in your city Think: record stores, thrift stores, bakeries, etc.  Think: How can I reduce my impact AND the businesses impact on the environment. How can I interact with them in a way that encourages sustainable practices? Biosphere Earth Think: How do I interact with the world?
Vote with your dollar. 
Consume less, consumption drives a linear economy.
Post on social media. Join sustainability groups.
Shop local, support local. Think: The butterfly effect, what you do ultimately affects everything around you and can reach far away places. Levels of Ecology Levels of your life Actions Impact Levels of Ecology

Levels of Ecology

Levels of your life

Levels of your life

Actions

Actions

Impact

Impact

Organism/Individual You I make reusable cloth napkins Eliminating paper towel use  Organism/Individual You I make reusable cloth napkins Eliminating paper towel use  Population Who you live with/ family Myself and my roomate compost, use recycled toilet paper, and monitor energy use Reducing food waste, reusing materials, and saving money + reducing energy consumption Population Who you live with/ family Myself and my roomate compost, use recycled toilet paper, and monitor energy use Reducing food waste, reusing materials, and saving money + reducing energy consumption Community Your local network of people and businesses Neighbors: we are creating a community garden
Coffee shops and restaurants: bring your own mug, straw, and togo container 
Grocery stores: Bring your own bags  Neighbors: Less reliant on food shipped from far away places + save money
Coffee shops and restaurants: Reduce plastic and paper waste + save money. 
Grocery stores: Reduce plastic and paper waste + save money (the store)
The more we do the more they listen, implementing better business practices. Community Your local network of people and businesses Neighbors: we are creating a community garden
Coffee shops and restaurants: bring your own mug, straw, and togo container 
Grocery stores: Bring your own bags  Neighbors: Less reliant on food shipped from far away places + save money
Coffee shops and restaurants: Reduce plastic and paper waste + save money. 
Grocery stores: Reduce plastic and paper waste + save money (the store)
The more we do the more they listen, implementing better business practices.

The more we do the more they listen

Ecosystem  People and businesses in your city Think: record stores, thrift stores, bakeries, etc.  Think: How can I reduce my impact AND the businesses impact on the environment. How can I interact with them in a way that encourages sustainable practices? Ecosystem  People and businesses in your city Think: record stores, thrift stores, bakeries, etc.  Think: How can I reduce my impact AND the businesses impact on the environment. How can I interact with them in a way that encourages sustainable practices? Biosphere Earth Think: How do I interact with the world?
Vote with your dollar. 
Consume less, consumption drives a linear economy.
Post on social media. Join sustainability groups.
Shop local, support local. Think: The butterfly effect, what you do ultimately affects everything around you and can reach far away places. Biosphere Earth

go url

Think: How do I interact with the world?
Vote with your dollar. 
Consume less, consumption drives a linear economy.
Post on social media. Join sustainability groups.
Shop local, support local. Think: The butterfly effect, what you do ultimately affects everything around you and can reach far away places.
Think about what sustainability looks like for you in your everyday life. Think about what is financially feasible for you. Think about what resources are available to you. Think about how you can influence and inspire others.
Think about the power you have as a consumer and use it wisely.
Think about what sustainability looks like for you in your everyday life. Think about what is financially feasible for you. Think about what resources are available to you. Think about how you can influence and inspire others.

Think about the power you have as a consumer and use it wisely.
Think about the power you have as a consumer and use it wisely.

I have created a free outline to discovering your personal ecology below. Please use this as a starting point for your journey and if you need help or have any questions, please reach out! 

16Feb

Eco-Friendly Face Masks

Although Covid-19 vaccines are being administered around the world, the necessity of face masks will be with us for an undetermined amount of time. Medical experts are still unsure about viral spread post-vaccination, so it is advised that even those who have been vaccinated continue to wear a mask to protect those who still haven’t received their jab. The CDC currently
recommends
both non-medical disposable masks and cloth masks for use outside of healthcare settings. 
While non-medical disposable masks are an attractive option as you don’t have to deal with laundering, they are wreaking havoc on the environment. Like many disposable items, discarded masks are ending up in our oceans, polluting them and causing harm to animals who call the sea home. Take a look at
this poor gull
whose feet were wrapped up in the ear loops of a disposable face mask. When I first saw this image, I couldn’t help but be reminded of
plastic rings
that hold together canned drinks. Surely we all know by now to cut up the plastic rings prior to throwing them out; this same sentiment should be applied to your disposable face mask. If you must use a disposable face mask, please take an extra 5 seconds and cut the ear loops prior to discarding it, because you never know where your mask may end up after it’s tossed in the trash. You could save a life with this one easy step!

The CDC says that the most effective cloth masks are breathable—yet tightly woven—as well as multi-layered. They recommend avoiding masks with vents as these allow particles to escape. (It is also still advised to reserve surgical masks and respirators for medical personnel.) So taking into consideration these recommendations, as well as the environmental impacts of disposable masks, a reusable cloth mask is your best bet. When choosing a cloth mask, there are a plethora of sustainable options available. Better yet, you don’t have to break the bank when purchasing an eco-friendly mask, and some companies even donate a portion of their proceeds to non-profits. 

The CDC says that the most effective cloth masks are breathable—yet tightly woven—as well as multi-layered. They recommend avoiding masks with vents as these allow particles to escape. (It is also still advised to reserve surgical masks and respirators for medical personnel.) So taking into consideration these recommendations, as well as the environmental impacts of disposable masks, a reusable cloth mask is your best bet. When choosing a cloth mask, there are a plethora of sustainable options available. Better yet, you don’t have to break the bank when purchasing an eco-friendly mask, and some companies even donate a portion of their proceeds to non-profits. 

 

If you don’t have local mask makers in your area, check out these reusable, affordable and environmentally-friendly masks online. And be sure to consistently check in with the
CDC
to stay up to date with current COVID-19 information.
see it here

 

Eco Mask
Claims to be the most sustainable face mask on the planet;
here’s
why

  • Tested in a world-class German laboratory with results showing 98% filtering efficiency against particles down to 0.3μm in size
  • Tested in a world-class German laboratory with results showing 98% filtering efficiency against particles down to 0.3μm in size

  • 5 layers
  • 5 layers

  • UPF 50+ UV protection
  • UPF 50+ UV protection
    1% of proceeds go to
    Healthy Seas 

  • Made from post-consumer recycled content
  • Made from post-consumer recycled content

  • Made in Germany with 100% renewable energy
  • Made in Germany with 100% renewable energy

  • Recyclable at end of use – send it back to Eco Mask and they will take care of it
  • Recyclable at end of use – send it back to Eco Mask and they will take care of it

  • Comes in compostable carbon negative packaging
  • Comes in compostable carbon negative packaging

     

    United By Blue Salvaged Hemp Blend Face Mask
       

  • Crafted to CDC specifications
  • Crafted to CDC specifications

  • Has a filter slot between layers
  • Has a filter slot between layers
    Made from deadstock fabric: a blend of Hemp, Organic Cotton, Recycled Polyester, and
    TENCEL
    fabric

  • Made responsibly at their apparel factory in China
  • Made responsibly at their apparel factory in China
    For each 3 pack purchased, one mask will be donated to
    Chosen 300
    to benefit Philadelphia residents experiencing homelessness.

     

    Eileen Fisher Double Layer Organic Linen Mask

    • Made from Organic Handkerchief Linen, this fabric uses French flax grown without harmful chemicals
    • No filter pocket
    • Made in the USA
    • For every mask purchased, one is donated to an essential worker
  • Made from Organic Handkerchief Linen, this fabric uses French flax grown without harmful chemicals
  • Made from Organic Handkerchief Linen, this fabric uses French flax grown without harmful chemicals

  • No filter pocket
  • No filter pocket

  • Made in the USA
  • Made in the USA

  • For every mask purchased, one is donated to an essential worker
  • For every mask purchased, one is donated to an essential worker

     

    5 Smiley Mask Pack

    • Made with organic cotton
    • Double layered
    • Has filter pocket
  • Made with organic cotton
  • Made with organic cotton

  • Double layered
  • Double layered

  • Has filter pocket
  • Has filter pocket

     

    Onzie Mindful Mask

    • Designed for working out
    • Made from up-cycled activewear material
    • Has filter pocket
  • Designed for working out
  • Designed for working out

  • Made from up-cycled activewear material
  • Made from up-cycled activewear material

  • Has filter pocket
  • Has filter pocket

    10Feb

    The Recycling Dilemma: Is My Recycling Really Being Recycled?

    Are you an avid recycler? Do you take an extra few minutes out of your day to rinse that glass kombucha bottle or plastic yogurt cup before tossing it in the bin? I, too, have been a diligent recycler and believer in the “reduce, reuse, recycle” mantra since I was a child. Recycling feels like a part of who I am—as natural as stretching upon waking. If you feel the same, I am very sorry to say that I have some sad news to share with you. Not all of your recycling is being recycled. 

     

    Single-Stream Recycling 101

    Single-Stream Recycling 101

    What Does China Have To Do With This?

    What Does China Have To Do With This?

    Prior to 2018, China was the world’s largest buyer of recyclables from the US, Australia, Canada and parts of Europe. That’s right, your kombucha bottle and little yogurt cup used to travel all the way from Florida to China to be processed! But due to environmental and health concerns caused by multiple-million metric tons of recycling imported from around the world, the Chinese government instituted a policy stating they will only accept foreign materials with a very low contamination rate of 0.5%. They have also completely denied certain recyclables, including mixed paper and most plastics. While this is wonderful for their people and environment, this drastic change in policy has left our local waste management companies with piles of recycling. They now have the choice to pay higher rates to get rid of their materials or dump them. Usually, the cheapest option for disposal is to simply cart everything off to the landfill, which certainly is not where most of us believe our recycling is going. 

     

    To be clear, not all of your recycling is going to the landfill. But since China has refused our waste, domestic recycling companies are tossing out more than they used to.

    all

    What Can I Do?

    What Can I Do?

    When I first learned that China stopped taking most of our recycling, admittedly I threw my hands in the air and wondered, “what’s the point?” The thought of my recycled items wasting away in a landfill, emitting methane and contributing to our warming Earth, was discouraging. But after further research and contemplation, I realized there is a lot you and I can do on the individual level to reduce contamination and also mitigate excessive recyclables from being diverted to landfills.

    Improve your recycling habits.

    Improve your recycling habits.

          • Once you know what can be recycled, recycle it properly! Thoroughly rinse and dry items before tossing them in the bin; be sure items are free from food and grease.
        • Once you know what can be recycled, recycle it properly! Thoroughly rinse and dry items before tossing them in the bin; be sure items are free from food and grease.
        • Once you know what can be recycled, recycle it properly! Thoroughly rinse and dry items before tossing them in the bin; be sure items are free from food and grease.
      • Once you know what can be recycled, recycle it properly! Thoroughly rinse and dry items before tossing them in the bin; be sure items are free from food and grease.
      • Once you know what can be recycled, recycle it properly! Thoroughly rinse and dry items before tossing them in the bin; be sure items are free from food and grease.
    • Once you know what can be recycled, recycle it properly! Thoroughly rinse and dry items before tossing them in the bin; be sure items are free from food and grease.
    • Once you know what can be recycled, recycle it properly! Thoroughly rinse and dry items before tossing them in the bin; be sure items are free from food and grease.
  • Once you know what can be recycled, recycle it properly! Thoroughly rinse and dry items before tossing them in the bin; be sure items are free from food and grease.
  • rinse
    and dry
    view details

          • Do NOT bag your recyclables. Plastic bags clog the machinery and contaminate batches.
        • Do NOT bag your recyclables. Plastic bags clog the machinery and contaminate batches.
        • Do NOT bag your recyclables. Plastic bags clog the machinery and contaminate batches.
      • Do NOT bag your recyclables. Plastic bags clog the machinery and contaminate batches.
      • Do NOT bag your recyclables. Plastic bags clog the machinery and contaminate batches.
    • Do NOT bag your recyclables. Plastic bags clog the machinery and contaminate batches.
    • Do NOT bag your recyclables. Plastic bags clog the machinery and contaminate batches.
  • Do NOT bag your recyclables. Plastic bags clog the machinery and contaminate batches.
          • When in doubt about an object’s recyclability, throw it out. 
        • When in doubt about an object’s recyclability, throw it out. 
        • When in doubt about an object’s recyclability, throw it out. 
      • When in doubt about an object’s recyclability, throw it out. 
      • When in doubt about an object’s recyclability, throw it out. 
    • When in doubt about an object’s recyclability, throw it out. 
    • When in doubt about an object’s recyclability, throw it out. 
  • When in doubt about an object’s recyclability, throw it out. 
  •  

    In addition to upping our recycling game, we should also be revisiting that phrase I love so much: “reduce, reuse, recycle.” It seems that we lost sight of “reduce and reuse” over the years, don’t you think? So much of our world is disposable and cheaply made. It is often less expensive to buy a new item than it is to get it repaired, just like it is frequently cheaper for companies to make items out of new materials rather than recycled ones. This information can be discouraging as well, but there are easy things we can do. The best part is, many of these solutions are not only good for our planet but they are good for your wallet too!

    Reduce your consumption. 

    Reduce your consumption. 

    This can be tough when we are constantly inundated with ads for the latest tech, fashion trends and the newest “must have” thing. But in order to create less waste, you must consume less. Full stop. In 2015, Americans generated 262.4 million tons of waste, which averages to nearly 5 pounds per person, per day!

    per day!

    Although I am not perfect, I truly try to avoid frivolous purchases. I am extremely conscientious about bringing new items into my home, which is an exercise in mindfulness. If you must purchase something, ensure that the new item either is  genuinely needed or is replacing a similar item that is being recycled or tossed.

     

    Reuse what you have or what others no longer need.

    Reuse what you have or what others no longer need.

    Avoid disposable or one-time use items. Ask your barista if you can bring your own cup rather than using a paper/plastic one. (This may not be allowed right now due to Covid, but it is good information to have in the future.)

    Consider buying items second-hand like clothes, household goods, phones, etc. Pre-loved items have the benefit of being more affordable, and the life of the item is extended thus keeping it out of the landfill for longer. The EPA states that landfills comprise 17.7% of all U.S. methane emissions—that’s a lot of rotting garbage.

    a lot

    Is The State Government Helping?

    Is The State Government Helping?

    “Recycling in Florida, the United States, and the world has changed significantly over the last 10 years. Many of the challenges we currently face with recycling have occurred as a result of changes in collection methods, recycling markets and the types and quality of materials acceptable for recycling.

    Given these challenges and others detailed in the report, the current practices in Florida are not expected to increase the recycling rate. The recycling rate has continued to decline since 2016 to the state’s current recycling rate of 49%. Without significant changes to our current approach, 75% does not appear to be achievable. However, based on ongoing discussions with Florida recycling stakeholders, Florida’s recycling program for 2020 and beyond could transition to a Sustainable Materials Management approach that would more effectively track environmental benefits.

    The Legislature could consider laws that allow for the transition to a methodology that incorporates alternative life-cycle metrics; i.e., sustainable materials management goals into Florida’s recycling efforts. While no one single goal can measure the full environmental impact of the materials used from cradle to grave, multiple goals can be set, based upon the environmental attribute(s) that are most important to the state.”

    Be More Mindful 

    Be More Mindful 
     

    The Florida Legislature appears to be moving in the right direction and facing these challenges with new solutions. It is clear that China’s refusal to continue to accept our contaminated recycling has altered the state of recycling as we know it. Americans—especially Floridians with our vast coastlines and precious marine life—must really begin to self-assess and consider our direct impact on the environment. There are little steps each day that we can take to minimize or be more mindful about our consumption. Head down to the comments below and share with us what you’re doing to reduce, reuse and recycle. Let’s inspire one another to do better. And remember, don’t forget to rinse and dry your yogurt cup!

    29Jan

    What Does Sustainability Really Mean?

    Sustainability.

    Chances are, you’ve probably heard this word on social media, at your supermarket on your favorite products, in statements from large corporations who seem anything but eco-conscious. For Eco Eclectic, sustainability is at the very core of our ethos. But what does it really mean, for the world, for us?

    What is Sustainability?

    Global Waste Statistics 2021

    st

    Some of the most common single use plastics that pollute the ecosystem and harms wildlife are

    • Plastic drink bottles
    • Plastic drink bottle caps
    • Disposable food wrappers and Styrofoam containers
    • Plastic lids
    • Plastic straws, coffee stirrers, etc
    • Food containers
  • Plastic drink bottles
  • home page

  • Plastic drink bottle caps
  • Disposable food wrappers and Styrofoam containers
  • Plastic lids
  • Plastic straws, coffee stirrers, etc
  • Food containers
  • And there are many, many more items that pollute our environment.

    Sustainability: Making a Difference from the Ground Up

    How do you fix a multivariate problem such as environmental pollution or global warming? You may think the world needs a super genius to come up with a profound solution to the ecological crisis we’re facing, but in actuality, it is the simple effort of everyday people such as ourselves that makes the biggest difference. A small shift in direction of just a degree can change course dramatically over thousands of miles.

    In addition to that, we offer recycling services in Neptune Beach FL to help properly dispose of difficult to recycle everyday items such as detergent bottles, baking soda pouches, Swiffer refills, febreeze cans, stationary, discarded beauty products, etc.

    Best Eco Friendly Products Neptune FL

    What does sustainability mean to you? For Eco-Eclectic, it means many things—including finding creative solutions on the ground-floor of green living to cut our reliance on the wasteful practices regarding single-use plastics and other conveniences that have come at an expense to the environment.

    Most of all, it means acknowledging that the small things matter. Choosing eco-friendlier products DOES make an impact, putting extra effort in properly recycling certain products DOES make an impact. Much like the EPA stated, sustainability is just as much a guiding principle as it is a concrete concept to adhere to.

    03Oct

    Your Easy Guide to Recycling

    An easy guide to recycling so you can help keep our environment clean

    Recycling can be super confusing – between figuring out what items should go in the trash or the recycling, what actually happens to those items after they’re picked up, and deciding whether or not to rinse that yogurt cup out, it can all be mind-numbing. We’re here to give you your guide to recycling and some easy tips for learning what to throw away where.

    (Keep in mind that these are relevant as of the date of posting, applicable to the Jax Beach area, and guideline may vary from location to location.)

     

    What’s Up with All Those Numbers?

    Many plastic items have a small number in a triangle somewhere on the packaging (usually on the bottom). This number indicates the type of plastic it is, and not how recyclable it actually is. Contact your local recycling or waste hauler to find out what numbers they accept (at the time of writing, the Jacksonville area recycling facilities are accepting #1, #2, #3, #5, and #7 plastics).

    There’s a catch though – there’s a LOT of different types of plastics within each number category. While a #1 plastic bottle is widely accepted, #1 plastic strawberry containers often end up in landfills since they’re chemical composition makes them much harder to turn into a new item. Make sure to ask your local facility what types of items they can actually handle. (Scroll down to see a list of do’s and don’ts for the Jacksonville area!)

     

    To Trash Or Not To Trash?

    Make sure all items are cleaned and dried before putting them in your curbside recycling bin. Otherwise, they could contaminate an entire batch of recycling and cause it to go to the landfill. This is due to the greasy, oily, moldy, or otherwise gross coatings that occur due to food residue that make it very difficult to turn the item into a new, marketable material.

    If the item can’t be cleaned, like a greasy pizza box, or you’re not sure if it can be recycled, it’s better to throw it in the trash (when in doubt, throw it out!) Although this can seem sad or wasteful, it’s important to keep our recycling streams as clean as possible to give those items the best chance at a new life!

     

    Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Rot, Recycle

    We can often get so caught up in the awesome practice that is recycling that we forget that it’s not the best solution for reducing plastic waste or creating a more sustainable society.

    Refuse

    Refuse

    The first step to reducing waste is to avoid creating it in the first place. Refuse items when possible – especially paper handouts, unwanted magnets or stickers, or even “sustainable” items and freebies. If you don’t need it, say no – taking that free water bottle communicates to the organizer that people want single-use plastics, and they’ll continue to provide them.

    Reduce

    Reduce

    Consciously think out what you need, and avoid buying more food or other items than you really need.

    Reuse

    Reuse

    Try repurposing or donating an item that you no longer need – there’s tons of great “upcycling” resources on the web!

    Rot

    Rot

    Try starting some compost! If you have a yard or garden area, put your fruit and vegetable scraps in a compost pile or container to create some new soil!

     

    Do’s of Recycling in Jacksonville

    Paper

    Paper

    • Office + School
    • Mail + Newspapers
    • Magazines + Catalogs
    • Paperback books
    • Paper bags
    • Paper boxes (cereal , crackers, and cookie boxes)
    • Cardboard (don’t be lazy, flatten it)
  • Office + School
  • Mail + Newspapers
  • Magazines + Catalogs
  • Paperback books
  • Paper bags
  • Paper boxes (cereal , crackers, and cookie boxes)
  • Cardboard (don’t be lazy, flatten it)
  • Plastic

    Plastic

    • Plastics labeled 1-3,5,7
    • #1 PETE: bottles and food packaging
    • #2 HDPE: Milk jugs, detergents, cosmetics, and cleaners
    • #3 PVC: pipes, some shampoo bottles and cleaners
    • #5 PP: syrup, condiment, and medicine bottles
    • #7: Miscellaneous category
  • Plastics labeled 1-3,5,7
  • #1 PETE: bottles and food packaging
  • #2 HDPE: Milk jugs, detergents, cosmetics, and cleaners
  • #3 PVC: pipes, some shampoo bottles and cleaners
  • #5 PP: syrup, condiment, and medicine bottles
  • #7: Miscellaneous category
  • Metal

    Metal

    • Steel containers
    • Aluminum cans and containers
  • Steel containers
  • Aluminum cans and containers
  • Glass + Cartons

    Glass + Cartons

    • Green glass
    • Brown glass
    • Clear glass
  • Green glass
  • Brown glass
  • Clear glass
  • Don’ts of Recycling in Jacksonville

    • Straws, bottle caps, and lids. They will clog recycling machines.
    • #4 plastics, thin plastic bags. Grocery stores like Publix usually have a drop off for grocery bags.
    • #6 plastics, Styrofoam (avoid at all cost!)
    • Aerosol cans
    • Batteries
    • Cables/Wires
    • Rubber
    • Food containers with waste or grease residue
    • Food and Yard waste…. perfect for composting though.
    • Don’t bag your recyclable in plastic
  • Straws, bottle caps, and lids. They will clog recycling machines.
  • #4 plastics, thin plastic bags. Grocery stores like Publix usually have a drop off for grocery bags.
  • #6 plastics, Styrofoam (avoid at all cost!)
  • Aerosol cans
  • Batteries
  • Cables/Wires
  • Rubber
  • Food containers with waste or grease residue
  • Food and Yard waste…. perfect for composting though.
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  • Don’t bag your recyclable in plastic
  • 26Sep

    What is Greenwashing?

    The Basics

    The Basics

    Greenwashing is when a company makes a product seem more eco-friendly, “green”, or sustainable than it really is. This is achieved through marketing and packaging, and leads consumers to believe that a product is doing more good for the planet than it actually is.

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    Why It’s Bad

    Why It’s Bad

    Conscious consumers want to choose products that have a positive impact on the environment. They may be looking for products with minimal plastic, eco-friendly packaging, recycled components, or non-toxic chemicals. When companies deceive consumers into thinking their products are more sustainable than they are, they’re betraying their users’ trust and consumers are unknowingly supporting non-environmentally-friendly practices.

    How to Spot Greenwashing

    How to Spot Greenwashing

  • Look at ingredients
    Take a peek at the ingredient list or materials list for a product. Does it contain natural fibers like bamboo and cotton, or synthetics like polyester? How about common seasonings, flavors, or fragrances? If you’re unsure about an ingredient, give it a google! Sometimes products use chemical names for common items like salt, but other times those unpronounceable names are oil-based synthetics or harmful cleaning agents.
  • Look at ingredients

  • Find the website
    Take a look at a company’s website to see what their goals are – do they have a mission statement or impact reports detailing where and how their products are made, or what they do with their profits?
  • Find the website

  • Learn about parent companies
    Often, smaller eco-friendly companies will be bought out by larger conglomerates with range of brands – not all of which are eco-friendly. Do a quick internet search of a brand to see if it has been purchased by a larger company, learn what that company’s practices are, and see if they have changed anything about the eco-friendly brand they purchased.
  • Learn about parent companies

    Check for independent verifications

    What We’re Doing

    What We’re Doing

    Here at Eco Eclectic, we vet all of the brands and products that we stock. We carefully read ingredient labels, mission statements, learn about sourcing, and find information from independent analysts to ensure that every product on our site is truly green. We’re also constantly re-evaluating products to ensure that company policies haven’t changed in a direction we don’t approve of. If a company ever stops meeting our standards, we stop carrying them. Period.

    23Apr

    The Value In Money

    The value of money is in its purchasing power. A pile of money sitting there does nothing, but when it is traded for goods and services, that provides some kind of value to us, that is the power of money.

    There is value in money. It is a signaling tool. We buy expensive things because it can signal something to ourselves or to others. We will buy those expensive yoga pants, even if they’re inexpensive to make, because we feel  more comfortable, flexible, and attractive when we wear them. We are placing the value in the way it makes us feel, not the actual item. I have too many “cute” things in my closet that I never wear because although they’re cute, they don’t make me feel cute when I wear them. Some people will buy expensive shoes or jewelry because it signals to others that they have money, therefore they value the social status that comes with the shoes, maybe not the shoes themselves. 

    It is true though, that there can also be value in items, and that we can be an avid collector or have a hobby in which the actual item(s) has some kind of sentimental or emotional value to us. Even then, my point still stands that it is the sentimental or emotional value that is so important. Money is traded for value, it itself is not valuable. We often don’t think as far as the value the money we spend provides for us, let alone how our purchasing power affects others and the environment. 

    How does the way you spend your money say about what you value?

    Money is a powerful tool, and I think we could use it too lightly. We see money as a means to an end, a product, a meal etc, but it can be used for positive change. This is what voting with your dollar is all about, using your money to make a statement about what you value by supporting companies and products by purchasing them. You are placing value on this company, you are investing in it. So, when you purchase that article of clothing , you are communicating to the company that you directly and indirectly support their material sourcing, manufacturing, employee conditions, prices, and end of life disposal. 

    Your money supports the life of the product from start to finish, here are 2 examples, the negative impact of supporting single-use plastic and the positive impact of choosing ethical and fairtrade clothing companies.

    How purchasing single-use plastics can support the extremely negative affects of pollution

     The negative effects don’t begin in the vending machine. Plastic are made from fossil fuels such as oil, gas, and coal. The processes to extract these are releasing toxins into our air and waterways and are accompanied by poor and toxic working conditions. The factories where they produce plastics, also release a plethora of nasty things into the world. They then enter our lives and begin to release microplastics, little plastic bits and particles, into our homes, environment, and bodies. They will then be incinerated, which releases large amounts of toxins into the surrounding areas. Plastics are found in water supplies and many species of fish have tested positive for microplastics, many of which humans consume. They are found in agricultural soil which increases the risk that the toxins in the plastics could enter the fruits and veggies we eat through the ground. Plastics are found in our own bodies. Then finally, all the toxins that are released into the air through this entire process are breathed in, affecting our health further, as well as reaching the ozone layer and creating acid rain.

    How supporting ethical and sustainable fashion companies can have a positive impact

    You walk into the store, see an amazing jean jacket you’ve been dying to have. You then read the label to find that it is ethical and fairtrade, you buy it, happily. At the register the cashier tells you the company allows you to send clothing to them at the end of it’s life so they can reuse and upcycle the materials. 

    Let’s track the lifespan of this jacket. Its materials are sustainably harvested by well treated and well paid workers and uses minimal water. The materials are sent to a factory where workers have clean working environments and are paid fairly. The materials are woven together by hand or machine, and then packaged and shipped to its location with the intent and actions of keeping carbon emissions down. It is then advertised and you buy it. When you’re done, you either swap it with a friend, donate it to be reused, or ship it back to the company so they can reuse materials. The company is looking into fabrics that can biodegrade and want to find a way to offset and reduce the carbon emissions from their factory. 

    The power of the consumer is very real, and can have social, economic, political, and environmental impacts

    • Individual actions add up.
    • Sustainable options are typically  more expensive, but the more those who can afford it buy it, the less expensive and more affordable it can become.
  • Individual actions add up.
  • Sustainable options are typically  more expensive, but the more those who can afford it buy it, the less expensive and more affordable it can become.
  • Cost and convenience are huge factors and are hard to ignore in this consumption driven society. Try to offset those challenges by donating to organizations making environmental, social, and political change. You can also donate to offset your carbon footprint at carbon fund.org or other reputable carbon offset resources. 

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    Important terms to understand and consider

    Voting with your dollar: Supporting companies and their practices by purchasing from them 

    Conscious consumerism: Thinking about the impact and systemic effects of purchasing products and supporting companies

    Organic: Grown without harmful synthetic pesticides and fertilizers (that can leach into our water, pollute our air, and degrade the soil). 

    Ethical: Businesses build their own set of ethical guidelines that could include sustainable sourcing of raw materials, refusing to use child labor, providing workers with safe and healthy conditions, etc. 

    Fairtrade: An institutional agreement between companies and laborers in developing countries to pay them fair wages, provide safe working conditions, and advocates for greater environmental and social standards.

    Natural Products: Natural doesn’t always mean better, but natural products can be healthier for you and the planet because they do not contain synthetic ingredients that leach into the body or soil.

    Palm Oil Free: Palm oil is derived from the fruit of the oil palm tree and is used as a natural preservative. Palm oil is one of the most sustainable oils, but the way it is being harvested currently, is unsustainable. Palm oil production and consumption drives deforestation and impacts wildlife. Palm oil is found in so many of our products including pizza dough, ice cream, laundry detergent, soaps, and makeup. This is a tricky one, but some companies do use palm oil that is sustainably and safely harvested.

    Reducing Meat Consumption: Increased livestock production has led to a dramatic increase in methane, nitrous oxide, and carbon dioxide that is released into the air. In addition, many animals are raised and treated inhumanely. 

    Buying second hand:  By buying products already in circulation you support the life of the item, the thrift store, and the circular economy of goods. Some thrift stores are run by religious organizations and nonprofits, so you can choose who to support!

    Avoid Greenwashing: Greenwashing is disinformation, typically marketing, making consumers believe that a product or company is environmentally responsible, when in actuality it is not.  

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