Slide toggle

Welcome to Ecoluxe

Ecoluxe offers a collection of ecofriendly bamboo made products for the environmentally conscious person or business.

This is a custom, collapsible widget area. Use it like any other sidebar and easily place any number of widgets here.

Category: Recycle

ecofriendly office supplies

5 Ways to Operate a More Sustainable Office at Home

Since the pandemic, many of us have experienced a change in our workplace environment. Commercial spaces emptied and the downtown core saw an outflow of employees moving their work from office to home. Our workplace environment has changed and so has our mode of business operations.

With less commuting, less overall business activities and to some degree, reduced consumption, we realized that this new normal improved our environment, specifically our air quality. Less carbon emissions from the commuting public and less manufacturing activities cleared the air (as they say). Working from home has now taken root and many employers are now accepting this as part of the new corporate reality.

With many of us now permanently working at home while others are working within a hybrid model, how do we maintain the eco progress we have made during the pandemic and ensure that we continue down this greener path?

One answer is to adopt more sustainable ways to operate your office and business. At home, you have full control of your environment from heating, electricity, waste management to purchasing office supplies. Here are ten easy tips on how to maintain a more sustainable workplace at home:

1. Minimize the Printing

There are many ways you can help to save a tree. Remember that wood is not as sustainable as bamboo and requires approximately 50 years of maturity before being harvested into pulp and paper. Reducing the need to print will help slow down the deforestation (which impacts a host of other biodiversity issues). Here are ideas on how to adopt this quickly:
Choose email as a way to receive mail rather than physical documents

  • When printing, double side your print jobs to reduce the number of pages and ink required
  • Digitize everything. If you have paper copies, scan them using a printer / scanner or take a photo of it to create PDF documents and then recycle the paper
  • Instead of printing and distributing presentations, choose to screen share at the meeting or send a link prior to the meeting to prepare attendees for your meeting discussions

2. Cut down on Electricity Use

When not in use, turn things off. Sometimes we don’t realize that office equipment like printers, devices and other computers are using up electricity while idle. There are many ways you can conserve energy at your home office:

  • Use the same computer (desktop or laptop) for working and listening to music if possible in order to cut down on the number of devices you are using
  • Turn off printers, monitors, devices and other equipment when not in use
  • If you have a lot of natural light in your home office, consider positioning your desk near the window to reduce the amount of lights you need
  • Replace light bulbs with energy efficient LEDs
  • Wear warmer clothes to reduce the amount of heat required or turn off your heater during warmer weather

ecofriendly office supplies3. Recycle and Reuse Office Supplies

We buy a lot of office supplies that we throw away after a single use. While there are some items you can’t reuse like notepads with writing, there are many that you can recycle and reuse.

  • Binders are reusable and practical. They are expandable, durable, multi-purpose and versatile and a perfect replacement for single use notepads
  • Page Flags can be reused. They may not be as sticky as the first time you use them, but they still do the job when reused a second time.
  • Rulers and scissors can be reused. If you have a dull scissor, sharpen them instead of throwing them away
  • Reuse paper as scrap. Before throwing away a single sided piece of paper, use it for scribbling, sketching, doodling or note taking
  • Paper clips and rubber bands can be reused many times over
  • Replace single use plastic pens with refillable mechanical pencils.
  • Reuse printer cartridges by refilling ink jet or recycle the old ones appropriately

4. Buy Eco Friendly Supplies

Another option to creating a sustainable office is to buy eco-friendly supplies made of bamboo. A majority of office supplies are made from man made materials like plastic which are non biodegradable. Consider replacing these plastic supplies with bamboo made products. Bamboo is 100% biodegradable, eco friendly and far more renewable than wood. Here are some supplies that can be replaced with bamboo:

  • Pens and pencils
  • Pen and pencil holders
  • Drawer organizers
  • Device caddies
  • Rulers and straight edge sets
  • Pencil sharpeners

ecofriendly office supplies5. Choose Sustainable Kitchen Products

Working at home means having more frequent access to the comforts of our kitchen. This might mean more cups of coffee or eating snacks more often throughout the day. There are many opportunities to improve our habits in the kitchen. Here are ideas on how to adopt a more eco friendly practice:

  • If you’re using k-cups consider using instant coffee or filtered drip coffee to reduce waste
  • Make coffee at home instead of buying them from the coffee and then disposing cups that only add to landfills
  • Consider using paper bags for your garbage instead of plastic garbage bags.
  • Reduce the use of disposable food containers by making food at home instead of ordering out often
  • Use stainless steel or eco friendly bamboo utensils instead of plastic take out utensils

Working at home gives one a lot of flexibility and the ability to create a good work-life balance. For the most part, working remotely allows you to have the freedom to choose office supplies that are the most eco-friendly, control your energy use and configure your office in a way that optimizes your space for improved productivity.

kitchen recycling sustainable home

8 Kitchen Habits for Sustainable Living

Most of us don’t even really think about the habits we have in the kitchen that contribute to waste in our landfills and the environmental damage it causes. We choose the easy and more convenient way of doing things like just throwing everything but the kitchen sink in the garbage instead of consciously separating waste and directing it to their appropriate places. 

 

We use a lot of plastic to store food like saran wrap and ziploc bags. We buy large quantities of food and throw unused or spoiled food in the garbage. We buy processed food that is packaged in layers of non-biodegradable packaging or made from non-sustainable products.

 

Some of us may be clueless about the impact our habits have on the environment while others are perfectly aware but don’t have the facility nor the local infrastructure for a more eco-friendly waste management solution.

 

Garbage is filling up our landfills each year and it doesn’t seem to be easing up. In Canada, 31 million tonnes of garbage is produced each year and in the US, over 200 million tonnes of municipal solid waste was thrown away in 2018.

 

In order to change this trend, we all need to do our part. Each household can make a small contribution to a greener future by making the right choices and changing small habits every day in our kitchens. Here are some simple tips to implement in your kitchen.

1. Composting

Composting is a microbial process that converts plant materials and food scraps into a usable rich, organic matter that fertilizes soil. Composting provides the right environment for bacteria, fungi and other decomposing organisms like worms and sowbugs to convert these organic waste to fertilizers.

 

If your local waste management system doesn’t have a composting program, consider separating food scraps from other non compostable garbage yourself and throwing them into your garden (if you have one). This is the best way to reduce and divert organic compostable matter from the landfills.

kitchen recycling sustainable home

2. Just-in-Time Food Consumption

Instead of cramming your refrigerator with bulk purchases of food that you have to freeze, consider consuming fresh food from the market. Picking up food when you need it, reduces the need to package and store food which, in turn, reduces the demand for more plastics and packaging. 

 

Not only do you benefit from healthier, fresh food but you also reduce your exposure to carcinogenic chemicals, such as nitrites and sorbates, that are often used to preserve food especially in canned, processed or pickled products.

3. Recycle What You Can

Whenever possible, instead of throwing packaging materials into your garbage, separate and recycle them. Refer to the recycling number and find out how your community is recycling these packages. 

 

If you live in a condo, perhaps there is a guide on how to separate your packaging and garbage so they are directed to the right bins. For example, some buildings may have a garbage chute that separates organic matter from garbage and recyclable products. Do your best to follow these guidelines. One error can spoil an entire bag of recyclable products.

 

If you live in a strata building, like a townhome, follow your waste management program and ensure you have all the necessary tools like compost pails and recycling boxes.

4. No Styrofoam Packaged Products

Many municipalities do not accept styrofoam for recycling. In fact, styrofoam is made of polystyrene which is petroleum based and typically non recyclable. Some municipalities do accept it as part of their recycling program but it goes through a lengthy process. 

 

Try not to buy food that is packaged in styrofoam. For municipalities that don’t accept styrofoam, this packaging becomes garbage. Be conscious of how products are packaged and ensure that you are not contributing to waste because the food you are purchasing is packaged in the wrong materials.

5. Reduce Food Scraps with Leftover Recipes

Get good at using leftovers to make meals and you will help to reduce the food waste problem. Approximately 81% of all municipal waste is food material. By learning how to make meals with leftovers, your kitchen can reduce the amount of food that is thrown away in garbage.

kitchen recycling sustainable home6. Use Cloth for Clean Ups

This is an easy one but sometimes hard to implement. When we have paper towels around, we tend to use it instead of reusable cloth. We may think that paper is recyclable and easily biodegradable but we have to remember that every time we throw paper towels, we are adding to the waste pollution problem. 

 

Instead of using a roll of paper towels, use a washable cloth that you can easily wash clean and reuse. J cloths are the best for wiping down counters and other table surfaces. Wash it and reuse it. 

7. Machine Dish wash instead of Hand Washing

Some may think that washing dishes by hand is more sustainable (minimized water use) but in fact, washing by hand may use up more water than a dishwasher. Many of today’s dishwashers are energy efficient and use less water when you choose a short wash setting.

 

If you decide to wash by hand, have a system in place so you don’t leave the water running for too long. The part that makes water use more wasteful when hand washing dishes is when you let the water run until it gets warm and then let it run as you are sudsing and cleaning off the grime. Consider an energy efficient dishwasher to get the job done quickly and more efficiently.

8. Remove Coffee Pods from Your Morning Ritual

When Keurig came out with a convenient way to make single serve cup coffee with K-cups, it was a popular option to multi cup coffee grinds. It offered less hassle with preparation and offered a large assortment of flavors. Unfortunately, unless you deconstruct the pods before disposing, they are not recycle friendly. The K-cups are made of a combination of plastic, aluminum, paper filter and coffee grinds. In order for them to be recycled, you need to remove the pods from the casing and separate them and place them in the right recycling bins.

 

To reduce the possibility of waste and garbage, consider using single serve instant coffee, reusable coffee pods with coffee grinds or coffee filters for single cups. All these options will help keep K-cups out of the landfills.

 

These simple changes can make a huge difference when households across the country start to adopt small sustainable practices in their kitchen. If we find alternative ways to our current habits and recycle as much as possible, we can divert garbage from the landfills.

 

Bamboo Plastic Utensil Disposable Cutlery EcoFriendly

Disposable Plastic Utensils Can’t be Recycled

It’s everywhere – plastic utensils! They are cheap to produce, convenient to use, and accessible everywhere. In restaurants, cafes, eateries and grocery stores, plastic disposable single-use cutlery are distributed to you with your take out food. We happily accept them because many of us have been misled to believe that disposable plastic utensils can be recycled. 

Every year, more than 100 million pieces of plastic utensils (spoons, forks, knives) are used and disposed of in landfills by Americans every day. These plastics take thousands of years to decompose and they are not recyclable. 

Why Plastic Cutlery Are Not Recyclable

One reason plastic utensils can’t be recycled is because they are too small and their shape is inconsistent making them difficult to be sorted by the recycling facilities. The second reason is that plastic utensils are made with different plastic types including plastic #1, #5, #6 or bioplastics which are not universally recyclable.

Plastic 5 is made of polypropylene (pp) – a tough, lightweight material with high heat resistance that is often used to make containers for yogurt, sour cream, straws and margarine. Plastic 5 is petroleum derived but it is considered by the EPA to be a safer plastic choice than many others in the market.

It’s glossy finish when used as plastic utensils make it grease resistant and easy to clean. Although some curbside local recycling facilities will accept plastic 5 containers, utensils are far too small to recycle so they are tossed into the garbage.

Plastic Utensil Disposable Cutlery

Plastic 6 is made of polystyrene (ps) – an inexpensive, lightweight and sturdy plastic with many purposes and uses. Aside from plastic cutlery, polystyrene is commonly used for take out containers, egg cartons, peanut foam chips for packing and disposable cups and plates. 

Because polystyrene is structurally weak and ultra-lightweight, it breaks up easily and disperses throughout the natural environment. Products made of polystyrene may leach styrene, a toxic human carcinogen, into food products when heated in a microwave and eventually ingested by humans.

Recycling is not widely available for polystyrene products. Because most curbside collection services will not accept polystyrene, this material accounts for about 35% of US landfill contributing to the growing waste pollution.

In addition to its impact on landfills, plastic manufacturing utilizes a large amount of power and petroleum which, through its extraction process, releases gases and chemical byproducts harmful to people and our environment.

 

So Why Do Businesses Still Distribute Plastic Utensil

With all the plastic waste that is polluting our environment and affecting our health, why do businesses still distribute plastic cutlery? 

Because of the attractive properties of plastic – durable, lightweight, easy to store, accessible and inexpensive, they are the preferred choice for many businesses in the hospitality sector. They are functional, practical and versatile. 

Plastic is easy to produce and widely available. By achieving economies of scale, the cost of plastic per unit is very affordable and allows businesses to keep their costs down. 

Many business owners continue to distribute plastic utensils because they have been misled to believe that they are recyclable. While some simply are not aware of the environmental impact they have on the planet. 

 

EcoFriendly Bamboo Cutlery as the Ideal Alternative

There are other options and materials available as an alternative to plastics. One of the best eco-friendly materials is bamboo. It is fast growing, durable with tensile strength, versatile and most of all biodegrades within months. 

Without all the toxicity that plastics emit, its organic, antibacterial nature makes it a safe hygienic alternative to plastics. Because of its natural fibres, utensils made of bamboo are typically not uniform in color and consistency. They are, however, durable, lightweight and recyclable – characteristics that are desirable for utensils.

Bamboo Plastic Utensil Disposable Cutlery EcoFriendly

Disposing of bamboo cutlery should not make one feel guilty. Bamboo is a natural fiber that you can compost. Later in the composting stage fungi break down the lignin that’s in bamboo into less complicated elements which can then be broken down by bacteria. From leaves to stem, 100% of the bamboo can all be composted within 2 months or up to 4 years depending on the soil conditions.

Unlike plastic, bamboo does not derive from petroleum and doesn’t require a large amount of power and nonrenewable resources for its production. Though it may dry out if put in extreme heat (like a microwave), it does not emit toxic carcinogens and is safer for your body. 

 

Make EcoFriendly Choices with Bamboo Disposable Cutlery

Bamboo Plastic Utensil Disposable Cutlery EcoFriendly

While governments begin to ban single use plastics all over the world, we can still do our part in helping with the transition to less plastic waste in the environment.

What We Can Do

  • We can decline to accept plastic utensils given to us by restaurants when we order take out
  • When buying utensils at the grocery store, we can choose biodegradable ones
  • We can also choose to use silverware at home 
  • We can buy reusable bamboo utensils that can be used for the next picnic, travel or outdoor adventure

Get the Latest on Sustainability News

What Businesses Can Do

  • Consider alternatives to plastic cutlery by purchasing bamboo disposable cutlery
  • Do not freely distribute plastic utensils for your take out customers
  • Start to offer bamboo utensils instead of plastic ones at grocery stores

Start making the switch and replace your plastic utensils with more biodegradable bamboo cutlery for your next outing.

Let's Hear from You

EcoLuxe Products, Sustainable, Sustainability, Chanelle Dupre, Plastic waste, Eco-friendly, recycle, packaging, biodegradable

The Movement Towards Zero Plastic Waste

Plastics pose one of the greatest threats to our environment. The chemicals used to produce plastics and the chemicals released are both harmful and have long term effects on humans, the environment and wildlife. Thousands of sea animals, birds and other marine mammals are killed each year after ingesting or getting entangled in plastic waste that we dispose of.

According to Sea Circular, an organization that inspires market-based solutions to solve marine pollution, more than 700 species of marine animals were discovered with traces of plastics in their digestive tracts. 

How Plastics End Up in Our Bodies

It’s a fact that microplastics (1 – 5mm plastic diameter) and nanoplastics (200 nm in diameter) have been found in animals we eat. Microplastics enter an animal through its gills, nose or mouth and ultimately, they end up in our food and our bodies. 

An estimated 4 – 12 million tons of plastics are disposed of in our oceans annually and 94.4% of tap water samples taken in North America were found to contain plastic fibers – the highest in the world. It seems to correlate with our excessive consumerism and our use of plastics in our everyday life.

It is predicted that by 2050 there will be more plastics in the ocean than fish. With that dark outlook, it’s definitely time to recognize the issues and make the right choices.

Get the Latest on Sustainability News

Canada’s Commitment to Zero Plastic Waste

Canada has moved towards a ban on single-use plastics particularly those that have alternative substitutes. The country has a commitment to have zero plastic waste by 2030. Every year, Canadians dispose of about 3 million tonnes of plastic waste and only 9% gets recycled.

It’s been reported that Canadians use 15 billion plastic bags annually and close to 57 million plastic straws daily with up to 1% of all plastic waste re-entering the environment. It may not sound like a lot, but if we consider the millions of tonnes of plastic waste and the fact that plastic takes hundreds of years to decompose, we should have heaps of concerns about the growth of our landfills. 

Plastic waste, Eco-friendly, recycle, packaging, biodegradable

The Alternative Choice to Save the Animals and the Planet

There are alternatives to the plastic version of our household products. Though some may not be perfect substitutes, they are acceptable. Remember, back in the olden days, people did not have the luxuries we have now and yet they managed to survive. Perhaps we need to dial back our greed for more consumption and start reusing, replacing or just go without.

Regulations and new policies will force us to change our habits whether we like it or not. Canada’s ban on single-use plastic has been introduced with a graduated approach. The ban identifies 6 product categories that meet the following criteria: 1) the product is not being effectively recycled and traces of the product have been found in the environment and 2) there are alternatives or substitutes available. 

These products are the first to be phased out. Many businesses and municipalities have followed suit. 

The Alternative Choice to Save the Animals and the Planet There are alternatives to the plastic version of our household products. Though some may not be perfect substitutes, they are acceptable. Remember, back in the olden days, people did not have the luxuries we have now and yet they managed to survive. Perhaps we need to dial back our greed for more consumption and start reusing, replacing or just go without. Regulations and new policies will force us to change our habits whether we like it or not. Canada’s ban on single-use plastic has been introduced with a graduated approach. The ban identifies 6 product categories that meet the following criteria: 1) the product is not being effectively recycled and traces of the product have been found in the environment and 2) there are alternatives or substitutes available. These products are the first to be phased out. Many businesses and municipalities have followed suit.

Bamboo as a Good Alternative for Packaging

As a biodegradable, eco-friendly alternative, bamboo is an ideal solution for many plastic products in the market. To make the biggest and most immediate positive impact on the environment, we prioritize the substitution of packaging materials for more eco-friendly ones.

Restaurants and the hospitality industry are huge contributors in disposing of non-biodegradable plastics. As food delivery services and online ordering become the new norm, the use of packaging has increased exponentially and our landfills are piling up.

Containers, boxes and take away materials do not need to be made of plastic or styrofoam. Other biodegradable, organic materials can be effective replacements of all forms, sizes and types of food packaging and can accommodate keeping food hot or cold for at least one hour. If your food is taking over an hour to deliver, you probably shouldn’t be ordering from that restaurant anyway so think about the choices you are making.

In the same way, disposable plastic stir sticks, straws and cutlery can be functionally replaced with bamboo products. Use bamboo stir sticks instead of plastic ones. Use paper or reusable stainless steel straws and choose biodegradable cutlery instead of plastic ones. 

Plastic waste, Eco-friendly, recycle, packaging, biodegradable

Your Actions Contribute to Keeping Climate Change at Bay

Aside from the impact plastics have had on animals and people, they also contribute significantly to climate change. Greenhouse gases are released at every stage of the plastic life cycle: starting from the extraction of fossil fuel and its transport to the facility for production, then onto the plastic manufacturing of it, then to managing plastic waste after its use, and finally, the end-of-life disposal of non recyclable microplastics back into the environment. 

Although we still have a long way to go to reach zero plastic waste, we can start now by consciously making the right choices to use eco-friendly products over plastic ones. 

Learn more about the types of products you can substitute in your home.

 

Contact Us

Let's Hear from You

EcoLuxe Products, Sustainable, plastic, cutlery, Sustainability, Chanelle Dupre

Consumer Attitudes have Harmful Impact on the Environment

The health of our planet is changing because of human behaviour. The human race is now facing new risks of food security, extreme weather conditions and new types of diseases that we can’t fight – like the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

EcoLuxe Products, Sustainable, EcoFriendly, Bamboo, Biodegradable, Sustainability, Chanelle Dupre, recycling, packaging, environment.

The Difficult Challenges of Recycling

Our increasing appetite and obsession for material things has contributed immensely to the growth of our landfills. Products, whether bought at a store or delivered to our homes, are packaged with materials that are often not biodegradable.

EcoLuxe Products, Sustainable, Sustainability, container, packaging, plastic, non biodegradable, plastic pollution, Chanelle Dupre

The Harmful Effects of Non-Biodegradable Products

Our planet continues to edge closer to a state where it will become unliveable to any life form. Our activities are causing the slow death of our planet. Our lack of awareness and bad choices over non biodegradable products is polluting the earth and we need to change the trend.

What are Non-Biodegradable Products?

Non-Biodegradable products are products that can’t be broken down naturally into simpler organic or inorganic matter. These include many household products we use daily such as plastic bottles, glass bottles, styro foam, aluminum cans, tin cans, aluminum foil, plastic straws, ziploc bags, plastic bags, nylon, leather shoes, disposable diapers, sanitary pads, rubber shoes, batteries, ink cartridges, scrap metal, tires and more. Non-biodegradable products remain on our planet for many years before they begin to decompose with some taking between 10 – 1000 years.

Through recycling innovation, some non-biodegradable products now have biodegradable alternatives.

Through recycling innovation, some non-biodegradable products now have biodegradable alternatives. Plastic bottles, six-pack rings, clothes, diapers and cutlery, for example, now have biodegradable options in the market for consumers. Reusing these products instead of disposing after a single use is also a practical way to support a sustainable environment.

non-biodegradable, plastic, environment

Hazardous Nature of Man-Made Products

Plastic remains a major concern for the environment. It is used in the production of numerous articles used in daily life including toothbrush, cutlery, trash bags, tupperware and lots more. It takes plastic products between 400 – 1000 years to biodegrade which is a danger to most life on the planet.

Plastic releases toxic pollutants which is a danger to both small animals like plankton and up to the most sophisticated of species – humans. The best alternatives are either biodegradable products or reusable products. These include stainless steel plates and cutlery, glass, beeswax-coated cloth, natural fiber cloth, wood, bamboo, ceramics, and paper.

Polystyrene commonly known as styrofoam is a petroleum-based plastic made from styrene monomers. It is commonly used for packaging food and for serving drinks, storing eggs, plates, to-go boxes, etc. estimated time of decomposition is 500 years. Styrofoam can release harmful chemicals into food thus causing a contamination which can be harmful to health. Its adverse effect on animals and the environment is devastating.

But there are several alternatives available for food packaging to replace styrofoam including paper based food packaging, cups and recycled carton for larger 

Silicone is consider more eco-friendly than plastic but it still takes between 50 – 500 years to break down. Silicone is used in the production of kitchen utensils, sealants, car gaskets, keyboard pads and more. It doesn’t pose great danger to the environment. It is inert, releasing zero toxins which makes it a healthier alternative. 

Get the Latest on Sustainability News

Choosing to Go Green

The sustainability of our world is a job for all. If the earth must remain habitable, we need to start thinking green and making choices that promote conservation and preservation. There are alternatives and eco-friendly options to many of the products we use every day. Wood, bamboo, paper and plant based products decompose much quicker and secrete zero toxins making them some of the best alternatives to plastic and styrofoam. Although you may have to pay a little more in price and inconvenience for eco-friendly products, you can feel good that you are positively contributing to the environment.

As the world experiences more and more unusual weather patterns, we must take the increased frequency of these occurrences as a serious signal that the planet is changing. We need to be more aware of our choices, actions and attitudes towards how we consume products and how we dispose of them. Its not too late to start making the right choices and consider eco-friendly materials to save the planet.

Find more eco-friendly products here.

Contact Us

Let's Hear from You