Further Greening Your Green Practices

things

Seeing so many “green” products on store shelves can be confusing as you might not know what the right decision is. Over at The Guardian they’ve written up a handy guide to help you and it basically comes down to take a moment and think about lifecycles of products. Their article is also filled with neat tidbits like half of us half reusable bags but we don’t all use them regularly, so even just using that bag more can be a simple step to help the planet.

Of course, the best thing you can do when it comes to consumption is to just buy/use less stuff.

The breakdown on compostable packaging
Naively, you might think that the compostable-plastic takeaway tub you ate your lunch from is easily compostable and that, if you dropped it into a food waste bin, in a few months some keen gardener will be scattering it on their allotment. That is highly unlikely. These plant-based, PLA-plastic products need to be industrially composted in specific units that are so scarce in Britain, most compostable packaging is burned or goes to landfill.

In fact, put that compostable salad tub in a food waste bin and you actually create a problem. Food waste is composted by anaerobic digestion to produce biogas and fertiliser, but, first, any packaging has to be removed. “Compostable products have no gas value,” says a spokesperson for waste recycler ReFood. “Drivers check customers’ bins when they collect. If there is a lot of packaging, then they won’t be able to accept the waste, but this doesn’t happen very often.”

In its initial production, compostable packaging is more eco-friendly than traditional plastic packaging, but, at the moment, it is no silver bullet.

Solution: at lunch, rather than a takeaway from the works canteen or a local cafe, sit in and eat off a plate using metal cutlery. It is far greener. “Until the waste infrastructure is in place, telling people packaging is 100% compostable is, at best, problematic and, at worst, greenwash,” says the Carbon Trust’s Jamie Plotnek.

Read more.

An App That Rewards You for Riding a Bike

Bicycle

Biko rewards cyclists with free stuff just for riding their bike! Rewards include small things like coffee to very expensive consumer items. The idea of rewarding cyclist for not killing the environment using cars isn’t new, Stockholm basically pays cyclists. When it comes to using Biko please consider that they collect marketing data from your mobile (contacts, location, and anything else that can track you). It’s just good to see that more and more people consider rewarding cyclists to be a good thing.

Biko, a free mobile app that launched in Bogota, Colombia, in 2015, has launched in Toronto today (May 10). The app tracks a user’s movements through GPS to earn digital rewards, which can be traded in for actual rewards such as discounts and freebies from local businesses. For every kilometre travelled, users earn one Biko point.

“Incentivizing cycling through rewards can help reduce Toronto’s carbon emissions, and we have the data to prove it,” says Emilio Pombo, the cofounder of Biko. “Our users have collectively reduced carbon emissions by 2,608 tonnes globally.”

Read more.

New bank Account Morally Monitors Your Purchases

money
money

Aspiration financial firm is a B-corporatoin that wants to help people “vote with their wallets”. It’s incredibly hard for individuals to stay up to date on the damage that large organizations do despite that a lot of people care. Consumers want to punish companies for some of their actions from United kicking people off airplanes to Shell lying about climate change. This means there’s an opportunity for Aspiration to help people divert money from companies that make the world worse, and the company is growing as a result.

Called Aspiration Impact Measurement (AIM), the program analyzes not one, but thousands of data points to generate two scores for companies: The “People” score gauges how well companies treat their employees and communities, and the “Planet” score assesses companies’ sustainability and eco-friendly practices. Every time an Aspiration customer swipes the debit card associated with their account to make a payment toward a company, that company’s Planet and People scores are funneled into the customer’s personalized AIM score, which reflects the positive (or negative) impact of where they shop.

“People have been hungering for this exact kind of information,” Cherny says. “We see this in our customers, we see this in all these surveys that are coming out about how younger people especially, but consumers overall, are thinking about how a company behaves and how its products are created as they make decisions on where to buy. But until now, they haven’t really had the information to be able to do so.”

Read more.

Get Rid of Stuff, Do What You Love

Often we hear that spending on experiences make for a happier life than buying into consumerism. In concept it sounds great, but many people think that it’s hard to rejig their life to be focused on doing things rather than consuming things. This TED talk is about breaking free of that passive normality and living life to its fullest.

A Minimalist Generational Movement

Consumerism takes a huge toll on our planet and out pocketbooks and one generation raised in a consumerist culture has opted out. Many in the generation following Gen-X have realized that doing activities is more fun than owning plates (or whatever people buy, I have no idea) and have decided to live a lifestyle conducive to an experience-over-material mindset.

“I don’t give material possessions. I prefer to give experiences — let’s see a concert together, or let’s watch a sunset together. If I do give something that is physical it will be consumable — like a bottle of wine.”

While their minimalist tendencies may be most noticeable during the countdown to Christmas, for young minimalists this is a year-around commitment. Many have downsized everything about their lives. Those who had large homes shed them for smaller, more efficient digs. They’re pruning possessions, clawing back work schedules, even eliminating fringe friends and non-functioning lovers.

And when they compile their Christmas shopping lists, the minimalist has one wish: Don’t contribute to their clutter and they won’t contribute to yours.

Read more at the The Star.

Scroll To Top
%d bloggers like this: