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Category: Sustainability

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.

 

sustainable living kitchen

Sustainable Living Series: 10 Simple Tips to Creating an Eco Friendly Kitchen

Look around your kitchen. If you haven’t already noticed, there are probably a lot of non biodegradable and harmful products in your kitchen. From plastic cooking utensils to toxic cleaning chemicals, they are everywhere in our kitchen. If you haven’t taken stock yet, take inventory of what you have and pay special attention to where these products end up at their end of life. 

 

Are they recycled or do they sit in the landfill for years? Do they naturally decompose or does the breakdown process require energy or chemical treatment that could be harmful to the environment? This is an important consideration when choosing what you buy because our landfill is not shrinking but instead continues to grow. 

 

In 2018, Canada’s municipal solid waste (MSW) which includes food, plastics, glass, metals, paper, rubber and wood was 35.5 million tonnes while the United States generated 292 million tonnes of MSW. Of the total waste generated in the US alone, about 146 million tonnes (or about 50%) ended up in the landfills.

 

The largest component of the waste that ended up in landfills consisted of food at 24% with plastics accounting for just over 18%, paper and paperboard at 12%, rubber, textiles and leather at 11% and other materials at 10% each. 

 

Our kitchens generate the most waste combining food, plastic, paper and steel. Imagine if each household did their small part in being a little more conscious of how they choose products and dispose of their waste, we can all contribute to diverting and reducing landfill pollution.

 

Here are some simple tips you can adopt and practice as you begin your journey to a more sustainable lifestyle. 

 

Cleaning Products

1.  Sponges are one of the basic cleaning items that we use to hand wash dishes, pots and pans. Many may not be aware that every day sponges are derived from petroleum-based polyurethane or polyester which is a form of plastic. These sponges not only shed microplastics as you wash, but they are also non-biodegradable, non-recyclable and end up in landfills.

 

Tip: Replace man-made synthetic sponges with organic veggie based materials like loofahs or cotton cloths. You can also consider using brushes with wood handles and castor oil (veggie based) bristles that are fully biodegradable. This option is healthier for you and the environment

sustainable living kitchen

2. Cleaning Solutions is a major source of pollutants. They may be effective in getting your kitchen sparkling clean or unplugging your drain, but those toxic chemicals end up in our waterways with some remnants infiltrating into the food chain. These chemicals can also be harmful to our health causing eye, skin or respiratory irritation and long term exposure causing more serious health issues.

 

Tip: Consider cleaning solutions that are gentle on the environment and have ecolabels or are certified as a Safer Choice product in the EPA database.

 

3. Paper towels and paper waste, though biodegradable, still contribute to the growing landfill pollution. They made up 12% or 17 million tonnes of municipal solid waste in the US in 2018. Many have grown accustomed to single use paper towels and napkins to wipe down counters and surfaces because it is convenient and we know it is compostable. However, when combined with other non biodegradable waste, paper towels add just as much garbage to our landfills.

 

Tip: Instead of using paper towels, use dish clothes that can be washed and reused to wipe down surfaces. Use a tea cloth for wiping your hands or dishes dry. This encourages reuse and helps reduce waste materials.

 

4. Disposable Floor Wipes, like the swiffer, is a convenient, hassle-free way to clean your kitchen floor without the labor that’s involved in traditional floor mopping. It’s quick and easy but unfortunately, the cleaning chemicals in the pad are toxic and the swiffer pads themselves are made of polypropylene which is a form of non biodegradable plastic along with other materials.

 

Tip: Consider using a mop. It seems cumbersome to have to fill a pale with soap and water and push and squeeze a mop to clean a floor but the single-use disposable swiffer option contributes to our waste problem.

sustainable living kitchen

Wraps, Bags and Enclosures

5. Saran Wrap is a convenient way to store food especially when used as a seal to cover food in a dish or just generally to store food safely. It is a thin plastic film made of Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE). Plastic wrap is not safe to use in ovens and personally, I don’t trust that it is safe in a microwave either because untreated plastic wrap can release chemicals and melt when heated. Aside from the health risks it poses in high temperature, it is also non biodegradable when disposed in the garbage.

 

Tip: Instead of using plastic wrap, consider using glass containers with a cover or use a plate to cover the top of an open dish if you are storing food in the fridge. 

 

6. Ziploc bags are common items found in the kitchen that conveniently stores and packs sandwiches and other items. Plastic food bags, made of polyethylene, are widely used as packaging to store meat in a freezer because they are space savers and also used for packing lunches. Unfortunately, after we use them, we discard them and they end up in landfills.

 

Tip: Consider using glass containers when storing and packing food that will be consumed in the short term. Instead of buying in bulk, buy and consume just what you will eat to prevent the need to store food.

 

7. Plastic Food Containers are kitchen essentials and commonly used for storing larger amounts of food. Many refrigerate their left overs and then later warm them up in a microwave. These food containers are made of low-density polyethylene or polypropylene and have a high temperature tolerance before it reaches its melting point. Whether it is safe to microwave with food is debatable because researchers claim there are still gaps in their understanding of how plastics affect our health and development. Polypropylene is known to be non biodegradable and will reach our landfills at end of life.

 

TIP: Substitute plastic food containers with reusable glass containers for safe microwave use and ultimately generate less reliance and demand for plastic products in general.

sustainable living kitchen

8. Garbage Bags are made of polyethylene (petroleum-based resin) or in the case of Glad garbage bags, they are made of butene polymer with ethene (or polythene). While some say there are polythenes that are biodegradable over a very long period of time, others claim that polythenes are not biodegradable. Many of us buy whatever garbage bags are available on store shelves but, we may not be aware that our choices will leave a legacy in our landfills.

 

TIP: Instead of garbage bags, consider finding bioplastic bags or just using paper bags for your garbage and put them out in your trash can to be ready for pick up. 

 

9. Aluminum based products including tin cans, aluminum foils and packaging contribute about 8.8% of the total municipal solid waste in the US in 2018. This is approximately 26.3 million tonnes with 52% that is landfilled. Foils are convenient ways to store food in shelves and fridges. But, unfortunately, they are easily discarded and unless they are not soiled, they can’t be recycled. 

 

TIP: Using aluminum foil is convenient for lining pans when baking and storing leftover food however, to reduce aluminum waste, consider these three things: 1) using simply the non-stick pan without the foil lining 2) eliminating tin foil baking sheets from your kitchen supplies and 3) instead of accumulating leftovers, buy exactly what you will need and consume. 

sustainable living kitchen

Kitchen Cooking Tools

10. Plastic Utensils are what we commonly use for cooking. Plastic utensils are made of Acrylonitrile–butadiene–styrene resin (ABS) and acrylonitrile–styrene resin (AS) which contain volatile substances that are potentially carcinogenic and toxic. Both ABS and AS are not biodegradable. In fact, many may not know that these utensils are made from recycled computer parts (especially the black plastic utensils) and over time, they chip and fray with microplastics landing in your food. Because plastics can’t biodegrade, they end up in landfills.

TIP: Consider wooden bamboo utensils for health and safety reasons. Bamboo, in particular, are biodegradable so they are one of the safest cooking tools you can have in your kitchen. They are antibacterial, organic and don’t scratch the surface of your pots and pans. 

 

These are simple ways to start your journey to sustainable living. You may find many more opportunities to become more sustainable at home. Share your experience and tips with us here.

 

traveler sustainable travel

7 Tips on How to Become a Sustainable Traveler

Becoming a sustainable and more eco conscious traveler is easy. As many countries relax their travel entry restrictions due to the declining rate of COVID cases, many of us are starting to plan international travel with family and bring more normalcy to our lifestyle.

 

Parallel to this growing pent-up demand for travel, awareness about climate change continues to heighten. The most recent Global Climate Summit, COP 26, which was held in Glasgow Scotland in 2021 reminded us of the urgency of climate change and the impact of global warming. 

 

With this in the forefront of many people’s minds, some of us can’t help to think about how important it is for us to do our part in contributing to reducing our carbon footprint. This extends to how we travel. Many businesses in the travel industry are continuing to transition towards more sustainable services from airlines to hotels. They are working to do their part to promote an eco-friendly way of doing business. 

 

In the meantime, consumers can do their part by being aware of the choices they make when traveling. Here are 10 tips on how to become a more sustainable traveler. 

 

1. Choose a transportation mode that has less carbon emissions

In 2019 (pre-pandemic), we produced about 915 million tonnes of CO2 worldwide through flights. Aviation is responsible for 12% of the total carbon emissions from all transport sources while automobiles account for about 74%. When planning your next travel adventure, you might want to review how your chosen mode of transportation will impact the environment.

 

While a low carbon emission vacation like rowing a canoe or riding a bike may not be the most ideal or practical mode of transportation, consider the overall impact of all your planned vacations for the year and perhaps make some adjustments with this in mind.

 

2. Bring Your Own Reusable Toiletry Containers or Bottles

 

An easy way to be more sustainable in your travel is to replace any plastic products you already use as part of your travel kit, like containers and toiletries, with eco-friendly ones made of glass or bamboo. When traveling, bring your own reusable, refillable containers for your liquids like shampoo, conditioner, lotions and shower gel. If the hotel offers bulk liquid hair products, just refill your containers with them.

 

If you find plastic toiletry kits offered at the hotels you are staying in, don’t use them or take them. Using and taking them contributes to the plastic pollution problem because they end up in the landfill. If you use the liquid partially, they will get discarded by housekeeping. So, resist using these even though they are free to take.

traveler sustainable travel

 

3. Choose a hotel or accommodation who are part of the Green Key program

If you want to support hotels and resorts that practice sustainability, consider looking up which hotels are part of the Green Key program. 

 

This sustainability program certifies hotels and resorts as being green. In order to be certified, hotels must adhere to the sustainable policies like being more efficient with energy use, reducing waste and saving water. 

 

Over 1500 hotels in 15 different countries ranging from 3 – 5 star level participate. Some well known brands like the Fairmount Group, Holiday Inn, Marriott, Radisson, Coast Hotels and The Sheraton are members. These hotels are certified and audited each year to ensure they are following sustainable guidelines set by the Green Key Program. 

 

4. Replace your personal care products with biodegradable ones

From toothbrush to dental floss and toothbrush travel case, replace your plastics with eco friendly bamboo material. Bamboo is an eco-friendly, 100% biodegradable and renewable product that is compostable. They are also BPA free, anti-bacterial and lightweight so they are non toxic, safer and fit easily in your carry on. 

traveler sustainable travel

 

5. Don’t Accept Single Use Plastic Products

You may be given non biodegradable styrofoam or plastic containers for things like coffee cups, stir sticks, straws, cutlery and food containers. Although you can’t change what the hotel or restaurants choose to use, you can decide to find alternatives. Consuming or using these products makes you a contributor to the plastic waste problem so don’t use them. 

 

Here are some options you can choose to take:

  • Bring your own reusable flatware (stainless steel or bamboo)
  • Ask for biodegradable flatware, cups or cutlery if they are a green hotel
  • Ask for stainless steel flatware or dinnerware that they use at the restaurant if you are doing in-room dining
  • Eat at the restaurant and only order what you can consume so as to minimize the need to use containers to take back to your room

traveler sustainable travel

 

6. Be Conscious of Your Water and Energy Use

Showering once a day may be a necessity but using a new towel for each shower is not. You may find signs at your hotel about being conscious of water use and reducing the housekeeping changes to a minimum. This includes minimizing the number of times housekeeping replenishes items you use in your room including laundering towels. Frequent changes of bed sheets and towels requires water use that isn’t necessary. To truly practice sustainability, keep these changes to a minimum. 

 

If you are leaving the room, turn off all the lights and reduce the amount of energy being used including any electronics plugged in and left on while you are away. During the day, use natural light as much as possible and don’t turn on the lights if it’s not needed. These are just simple things to keep in mind that help the hotels remain sustainable.

 

7. Recycle your trash

Many of the hotels have two types of bins in their hotel rooms – garbage and recycle. Whatever can be recycled like recyclable containers, paper products and cartons should be separated and placed into the blue bins so it can be handled properly by those who have to sort through the trash. At the very least, this helps us minimize the amount of trash that ends up in the landfills. 

 

These are some of the simple things to do when you are traveling to help reduce your carbon footprint. Finding alternatives to taking an airplane for global travel may not be practical but at the very least, you can find other ways to curb your use of plastics, to save energy and water use and to recycle whenever you can. 

traveler sustainable eco gift personal care

Become a Sustainable Traveler by purchasing this Personal Care Essentials Box.

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kitchen zero waste sustainable living

5 Simple Tips to Purge Plastic from Your Kitchen

We can all do our little part in changing the way we live by being more conscious about our use of plastic at home. Many don’t realize the impact that plastic has not only on our environment but also on our health. From every step of the plastic manufacturing process, we are exposed to the toxins emitted through inhalation or ingestion through the air, water or soil we breathe, consume or touch. 

Plastic materials contain micro plastic particles and various toxic substances that are known or suspected to contain carcinogens that disrupt the human endocrine system leading to a host of health problems that affect human reproductive and nervous systems.

Plastic comes into our homes in various ways through various products. Many we may not even be aware of. There are the obvious household products like plastic bags, tableware, cups, milk jugs, food containers and personal care products that we know contain plastics. But then there are those products that are less obvious, like carton boxes of milk or cream, that are made of paperboard but also contain a thin layer of polyethylene (plastic).

For those who are interested in starting the journey to sustainable living and purging plastic from their homes, we start by identifying the common household products that have alternative eco-friendly options first. 

Replacing Plastic Kitchen Products with Bamboo

One of the most practical and eco-friendly materials for kitchen products is bamboo. There are many kitchen items that can be replaced with bamboo. If bamboo is not your preferred choice, you can also consider other wood products like teak, oak or birch. But we highly recommend bamboo because it is far more renewable than wood with its ability to grow and replenish in a matter of months where wood would take at least 50 years.

Start with your kitchen drawers. Open your kitchen drawer and you might find the following items in plastic form. Consider these easy swaps from plastic to biodegradable eco friendly ones as a simple way to purge your plastic from your kitchen.

  • Cutlery Organizer: If you have a plastic cutlery organizer in your drawer you can replace it with a bamboo expandable drawer organizer that offers the flexibility to fit most drawer sizes. They come in various compartment sizes. They are very practical and look elegant. You can typically get these organizers in a light bamboo natural colour, black painted wood or white painted bamboo.

 

  • Cooking Utensils: Many of us have plastic cooking tools in our drawers. Maybe you got them at the dollar store for a cheap price. Never thinking that the plastic would actually melt, flake and embed in your food as you cook. It’s toxic and you may want to replace it with bamboo cooking utensils

kitchen zero waste sustainable living

  • Cutting Boards: Your cutting board might be plastic and stored in your kitchen drawer. This is another plastic product you can replace with a bamboo board. There are many advantages to using an organic cutting board over a plastic one including its antibacterial properties and its resilience to scarring. 


  • Flatware and Other Cutlery: Perhaps you have stainless steel flatware at home, but some of us store various types of plastic cutlery products including straws, stir sticks, tongs and picnic cutlery in our drawer and we may not even be aware of this. You may already know that plastic straws have been banned in various regions in North America and replaced with paper, stainless steel or bamboo straws. Now you can also replace all other plastic products with reusable bamboo utensils from cutlery to stir sticks and more.

 

  • Bowls and Containers: In your deeper bottom drawers or cabinets, you may find plastic bowls and storage containers for your leftovers. In fact, your fridge may be full of these plastic containers. Remember that putting these plastic containers in your microwave can cause toxins to leak into your food. Plastic containers have additives called phthalates that provide its flexibility and resilience and may melt at a lower temperature and leach out to the food when temperature reaches beyond 100C (212 F) in the microwave. You can replace these with ceramic or glass that can be safely microwaved and also effectively store food in the fridge.

kitchen zero waste sustainable living

These are very common household kitchen tools that have eco-friendly replacements. With so many bamboo kitchen products now available even at the dollar stores, they are very affordable and accessible. Consider the biodegradable nature of bamboo or wooden products and the safer option of using glass, ceramic or stainless steel for more temperature resilience. 

It’s not too late to start making changes around your home and purge plastic from your kitchen. To find more eco-friendly products, visit the shop page.

bamboo climate change sustainable

Most Frequently Asked Questions about Bamboo 

So many are curious about bamboo and its benefits to our environment. So as part 2 of our knowledge base about this incredible plant, we answer some of the most common questions many still have. 

 

If you’ve read Everything You Need to Know about Bamboo and other blog articles, you probably already know that there are over 1,000 species of bamboo in the world and thousands of applications and uses. It is the most versatile plant in the world and definitely worth learning about. 

 

How Does Bamboo Spread ?

There are two types of bamboo roots – clumping and running bamboo. Clumping bamboos have a pachymorph rhizome system whose buds underground grow upwards instead of outwards making it more controllable as it spouts directly up from the ground. Running bamboo has a leptomorph rhizome system which grows laterally underground pushing through the soil with new rhizomes growing perpendicularly to its parent rhizome.. The running bamboo can spread as far as 20 feet underground from its original parent rhizome and can spread as much as 3 to 5 feet per year.

bamboo climate change sustainable

Why Does Bamboo Grow So Fast? 

Certain species of bamboo, like the moso bamboo, can grow as fast as 0.00003 km/ hr or 1.5 inches per hour. Several studies have found that plant hormones including gibberellin, indole acetic acid and zeatin may play a role in promoting the fast growth rate of bamboo shoots.

Gibberellin (GA) is one of the plant hormones that regulate a wide range of processes involved in plant growth. Indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) is an auxin produced by terrestrial plants, like bamboo, which influences development through a variety of cellular mechanisms, such as cell elongation. Zeatin promotes growth of lateral buds.

How Does Bamboo Grow?

Bamboo grows in marginal land with little to no pesticides required. Bamboo stores sugars in its underground rhizomes (root system) and as it grows, it produces fine root hairs and buds that develop into new rhizomes. Each culm breaks through the soil surface as its final mature diameter (its stalk’s diameter does not widen as it grows). The culms (stem) grow to its full height between 30 – 60 days and its branches and leaves fold out from the culm in the next 30 – 60 days.

Because bamboo has high tolerance to various environments, bamboo is a good candidate for afforestation, carbon sequestration and climate change mitigation. 

 

Is Bamboo a Grass?

Yes, bamboo (subfamily Bambusoideae) is a grass. It is a subfamily of treelike grasses called Poaceae. Bamboo has more than 115 genera and approximately 1400 species.

bamboo climate change sustainable

How Tall Does Bamboo Grow?

Some species of bamboo can grow as high as 30 meters or 100 feet high and 10 – 12 inches in diameter.

 

How Long Does It Take Bamboo to Grow?

Bamboo takes about three years to get established. Once established the new shoots that emerge in the Spring (they will still only grow for 60 days) will continue to get bigger and more numerous from year to year as the colony grows towards maturity.

 

What Do the Rings on the Bamboo Mean?

The bamboo rings are called nodes. Each culm (stem) is segmented by these nodes or joints. 

bamboo climate change sustainable

Cam Bamboo Act as a Fire Retardant?

Because it contains large amounts of silicate acid, bamboo is abnormally flame resistant and could curb forest fires. Making clumping bamboo a part of a tropical reforestation effort could be beneficial to reducing future instances of wildfires.

 

Can Bamboo Prevent Soil Erosion?

Because bamboo is a grass, it has a very shallow root system. Most of its rhizomes live on the top 6 inches of the soil while the rest can spread as deep as 14 inches. Because the roots are so densely clumped, they help to deter soil erosion which reduces soil fertility and contributes to flooding and landslides.

bamboo climate change sustainable

How Does Bamboo Help with Climate Change?

Bamboos helps to mitigate the effects of climate change by: 

  • Absorbing and storing carbon during its fast growth and frequent harvesting process which happens more often than trees, bamboo can store and absorb more carbon 
  • Protecting forests by mitigating the spread of wildfires with its unique fire retardant characteristics
  • Protecting watersheds by reducing soil erosion that produces sediments that block waterways making areas more susceptible to flooding
  • Insulating environments against extreme weather because of its flexibility and resilience in surviving natural disasters including typhoons and hurricanes
  • Providing low-cost, green housing option that produces lower carbon emissions
  • Providing cleaner biofuels that reduce our reliance on fossil fuel extraction and production

 

Does Bamboo Produce More or Less Carbon than Trees?

When plants decompose, they release carbon dioxide. When bamboo is actively managed (harvested), farmers will harvest the mature bamboo culms before they decay, so the total amount of carbon stored by the ecosystem increases as new culms emerge faster than they decay resulting in more carbon sequestered in subsequent years. Harvesting bamboo culms doesn’t kill the plant and the extensive rhizome (root system) continues to store the carbon below ground even after the bamboo is harvested.

 

As long as bamboo forests or farms are actively harvested and remain productive, more carbon is sequestered than produced from decaying culms.

 

On the other hand, when trees are clear cut, there is a huge loss of carbon arising from the decomposing organic matter and because it would take 13 years before the replanted tree begins to absorb more carbon than its releasing from the decomposition, the net effect is a net loss of carbon when trees are harvested.

 

Why Does Bamboo Release More Oxygen than Trees?

Because of bamboo’s fast growth and replenishment rate (it is the fastest growing plant in the world), it experiences photosynthesis more often than other types of plants. Photosynthesis is the process that transforms light energy into oxygen and glucose.

 

Within the plant cell, the water (H2O) is oxidized (losing electrons) and transforms into oxygen  while the carbon dioxide (CO2) is reduced (gains electrons) and transforms into glucose or sugar that the plant stores for its future use for growth.

 

Some bamboo species, like Thamnocalamus and Sasa Fargesia, need little sunlight but still perform the same photosynthesis process. Because of bamboo’s fast growth rate and its ability to thrive even in partial sunlight or shade, a grove of bamboo can produce 35% more oxygen than trees of the same area.

 

kitchen cooking utensils ecoluxe bamboo sustainable

5 Good Reasons to Replace Plastic Cooking Utensils

Most of us don’t think twice about the kitchen tools we use to cook our food. Because cooking utensils are so accessible and available in many stores, sometimes we choose based on affordability because there is very little that differentiates one set from another. They all typically have the same tools in the tool kit. 

For me, as long as I have a spatula for my eggs, a whisk for stirring pancakes, a ladle for my soup, spaghetti server to drain out my pasta and a spoon to stir solid food, then I often don’t care what the tools are made of – that is until I started seeing pieces of plastic in my food.

For most of us, we make buying choices based on affordability and safety with respect to how they are used with our pots and pans. Would they scratch the surface and damage the pan? Would the cooking utensils burn at high temperatures if left in the cooking pot? Is it hard to clean after use? Do they absorb bacteria? All very good things to consider when buying a set of cooking utensils. 

However, there is something even more important we need to consider when choosing cooking utensils – the raw material it is made of.  Remember, these are the tools that will touch your food which, in turn, you will ingest. So, we shouldn’t overlook the potential health risks posed by the cooking tools  we use.

 

The Dangers of Plastic Cooking Utensils

Plastic cooking utensils are the cheapest types in the market. We unknowingly purchase them because many of us are unaware of the dangers they pose to our health and our environment. Most of the plastic utensils we use are made with polystyrene and when heated, release toxic chemicals that produce all types of health issues and illnesses for humans. In addition, there are a host of other issues posed by plastic products that extend beyond our bodies and into our external environment that affect future generations. Here are the top five reasons why we should eliminate plastic use in our cooking.

 

Reason #1: Plastic Utensils Melt with Persistent Contact with Hot Pots or Pans

Despite the fact that plastic utensils made of polystyrene melts at a high temperature of 100 – 120 degrees celsius or 212 – 248 degrees fahrenheit, they do chip, crack and get brittle with frequent hot pan contact. So, even though you make your best effort not to leave your plastic utensil in constant contact with the hot pan, the frequent short touchpoints on the hot surface will still cause pieces to melt.

 

When they chip and fray, pieces of plastic will end up in your food and will, no doubt, end up in your stomach. Within months of buying a dollar store cooking plastic spatula, you will find that, after repeated use, the tips  begin to melt, fade and fray. Eventually, you will need to replace them.

 

Reason #2: Plastic Utensils have a Shorter Life Span of Usability

As a safety precaution, it’s better to dispose of an overused, chipped plastic cooking tool than to allow them to  contaminate your food  with toxic materials. When you first purchased your cheap plastic cooking set,  you may have saved money in the short term. But, in the long run, you will have to replace them more quickly because using them for an extended period of time will expose you to dangerous doses of plastic material. 

 

In comparison to other types of cooking tools, like stainless steel or bamboo, plastic utensils have a shorter life span. They may last as long as a year if not used frequently, but frequent usage will definitely shorten its lifespan.

kitchen cooking utensils ecoluxe bamboo sustainable

Reason #3: Eating Plastic causes Serious Illnesses

When heated, plastic releases harmful toxic byproducts called oligomers which are formed during plastic production. For years, scientists have warned about the dangers and risks of consistent exposure to plastic products in our kitchens.

 

When plastic pieces are ingested through the food we eat, high doses of these over time can cause serious illnesses including liver and  thyroid diseases, infertility and cancer. The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), an independent group of advisors to the German government,  claims that  ingesting as little as 90 micrograms of plastic material from cooking utensils can pose serious health risks like those mentioned above.

 

Black plastic utensils are especially dangerous because not only are they made from computer and electronic parts or e waste that often contain flame retardants like bromine and other heavy metals like lead, cadmium and mercury that affect the nervous and immune system, kidneys, liver and lungs.

 

Reason #4: Plastics can’t be Recycled

Plastic utensils, especially the black ones, are not recyclable because of their color. During the recycling process, the infrared technology that is used to sort plastic can not detect the black color. So, many of the black plastic products are diverted to the landfills, incinerators or end up in our waterways. 

 

Reason #5: Made in China Plastic contain Carcinogens

Plastic additives are necessary in the production of plastic products because these chemicals help produce the right properties that make plastic flexible, durable, water repellent and heat resistant – almost ideal for their cooking purpose.

 

Plastic additives like phthalates are used to make the product more flexible but unfortunately, phthalates are endocrine disruptors that have been linked to causing asthma, developmental disabilities, obesity and breast cancer. To make plastic utensils heat resistant and more durable,  brominated flame retardants are used as additives.

 

Up to 4,000 various plastic additives, such as chlorine, PVC, chromium and antimony can be added during the manufacturing process. One of the main chemicals used in forming plastic is benzene, a known carcinogen. Long term exposure to high levels of benzene can cause leukemia and other cancers. With all these potential hazards is it really worth saving a few bucks to risk your health? 

kitchen cooking utensils ecoluxe bamboo sustainable

What are your options? 

With the high potential for health problems and environmental hazards, we need to replace our plastic man made products with better, more natural alternatives. Bamboo utensils are great alternatives to plastic. They are eco-friendly, organic and healthier for humans. Bamboo is a renewable resource, a carbon sink and 100% biodegradable. Because of its natural, durable and resilient properties, it requires no harmful chemical additives. It may not be the most flexible or versatile tool in the kitchen drawer, but it is still very practical and useful.

 

Unlike stainless steel, bamboo is gentle on the surface of your non-stick pans and will not scratch them. Bamboo is also a low conductor of heat which means you won’t burn your hand if you leave it in your pot while cooking.. Another advantage that bamboo has over stainless steel is its more affordable price.

 

Like stainless steel utensils though, bamboo is durable, hygienic and easy to clean. Bamboo utensils can last a very long time and when you are ready to dispose of them, they will naturally decompose in a matter of months. When choosing your next set of cooking tools, consider buying a bamboo set for your personal health and the environment.

bamboo farm ecofriendly

Everything You Need to Know about Bamboo

For those of you who are interested in learning more about bamboo, this is a fact sheet that answers the most common questions people have about this unique grass. 

 

Can bamboo grow in pots? 

Yes, some species of bamboos are best grown in pots. Clumping bamboos are more suitable to grow in pots. Unlike running bamboos that are considered invasive, clumping bamboos like Himalayacalamus, Otateae, Sasa and Pleioblastus, will only grow a few feet tall vertically and their roots tend to stay contained in flower pots.

 

Can bamboo grow indoors?

Though bamboo is best grown outdoors, you can grow certain species of bamboo indoors in a pot. The best species to grow indoors include: Bambusa ventricosa “Buddha’s Belly”, Bambusa multiplex “Tiny fern striped”, Pleioblastus fortunei “Dwarf whitestripe”, Otatea acuminata “Mexican Weeping Bamboo”.

 

Can bamboo grow in the shade?

Though some bamboo species can grow indoors, most are best grown outdoors in full sun. The genera of bamboo that grow best in the shade are those belonging Fargesia and Borinda.

 

Can bamboo grow in water?

Lucky bamboo can grow in water and doesn’t require planting in soil. However, technically what we know as lucky bamboo is not really bamboo but in fact a type of water lily. So, the real fact is there is no real bamboo that can grow only in water.

 

How does bamboo grow?

Bamboo starts from a seed. Seed is best kept in water to prevent them from drying. Bamboo is typically hardy but preparing the soil with the right mixture can help them grow healthier and faster. Within 1 – 2 weeks, the bamboo will start to sprout to the surface. Once they have sprouted, you can transplant them to a much larger area so they can grow to their potential.

 

What bamboo grows the fastest? 

The Moso bamboo is the fastest growing plant in the world. It grows nearly 3 feet (1m) in a day for a few species. There are 45 genera of bamboo that can grow up to 35 inches per day.

 

How fast does bamboo grow?

Some bamboo can grow as fast as 0.00003 km/h or 36 inches per hour. Not all bamboo species can grow this quickly but the Moso bamboo is considered the fastest growing species.

 

How does bamboo reproduce?

There are two ways bamboos reproduce. Most reproduction happens through rhizomes that spread underground and grow new shoots. The other way is through flowering and producing seeds.

 

Why are some bamboos invasive?

Some bamboos are considered invasive because their tenacious and aggressive roots spread out as far as 20 feet from their original clump and generate new culms quickly. Bamboo uses roots instead of seed propagation to grow and can often be a nuisance for those trying to tame its growth.

bamboo forest biodegradable ecofriendlyHow many types of bamboo are there? 

There are more than 1600 species of bamboo in the world. Moso and guadua are the most common types used for construction and household items.

 

Which species live in North America? 

Most bamboo species are found in Asia, Africa and Latin America. But one species that can tolerate North American climate is the Arundinaria which can be found in Eastern and Southeastern United States from New Jersey south to Florida and west to Texas. The Phyllostachys or the Fargesia genus of bamboo can also withstand temperatures as low as -10º to -20º.

 

Which country has the largest bamboo farm?

The country with the largest amounts of bamboo is China with large tracts of land also found in India, Myanmar and Thailand.

 

Where does bamboo grow?

Most species of bamboo are better suited for tropic and subtropic climates, like Asia, South and Central America, Africa and Australia but temperate bamboos like Phyllostachys can grow in cold hardy temperatures.

 

What types of bamboo are used for household products? 

The guadua bamboo is the most common species used for furniture and other household products because they are durable and versatile. 

 

Which type of bamboo does not spread?

The clumping type of bamboo does not spread because they are sympodial and have shorter rhizomes that don’t expand like the running bamboos. 

bamboo forest ecofriendlyHow does bamboo biodegrade?

Bamboo starts the biodegrading process when moisture, heat, oxygen and microorganisms are introduced to it and it will typically take a few weeks. 

 

Can bamboo be recycled?

Bamboo can be composted naturally and doesn’t require to be recycled.

 

Is Bamboo considered sustainable? 

Bamboo is considered sustainable because it grows quickly (renewable), absorbs large amounts of CO2 and produces more oxygen than other plants.

 

Is bamboo cheap?

Bamboo grows with minimal inputs and requirements and takes only 5 years. They are grown and harvested economically and take only five years to mature, so bamboo is naturally inexpensive.

 

If you have questions about bamboo, please send us an email and we will add the answers. Stay tuned. In the meantime, don’t forget to subscribe to our enewsletter to learn more about our products and services.

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Some terms:

Rhizomes – A continuously growing horizontal underground stem which puts out lateral shoots and adventitious roots at intervals.

Clumping Bamboos – The type of bamboos with very short root structures and are generally not invasive. Their roots will form circular clumps that prevent them from growing horizontal aggressively. 

Running bamboosRunning bamboos are monopodial and have long rhizomes that are quick to spread horizontally. Clumping bamboos are

CulmThe hollow stem of a grass or cereal plant, especially that bearing the flower.

NodeThe connective points along the hollow bamboo poles where the culm becomes solid.

GerminateWhen a seed begins to grow and puts out shoots after a period of dormancy.

 

bamboo roots rhizome

Choosing Bamboo Products can Mitigate Climate Change

How Choosing Bamboo Products can Mitigate Climate Change

Bamboo is green gold. Many countries around the world rely on bamboo for economic sustainability. For thousands of years, bamboo has played a significant role in Asian culture and economy. Bamboo represents the character of moral integrity, resilience, modesty and loyalty.  In Chinese culture, bamboo symbolizes strength due to its tensile strength characteristic while in India, bamboo represents luck, prosperity and wealth.

Its practical applications in our everyday lives are vast. With thousands of uses from furniture and construction to personal care products, bamboo is one of the most versatile, resilient and widely used materials. Belonging to the grass family, bamboo is often overlooked and undervalued. Often considered a nuisance because of its invasive nature when planted in a garden.

But as you will read below, bamboo offers so many benefits. One of the most significant is the role it plays in fighting climate change. It plays a critical role both directly and indirectly in fighting climate change. 

Choosing Bamboo Products can Mitigate Climate Change

Understanding the Basics of Climate Change

Climate change occurs when greenhouse gases such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and other synthetic chemicals, retain the heat in the Earth’s atmosphere. The heat trapping causes an imbalance between the radiant energy received from the sun and the heat emitted from the earth. 

The gases act as a blanket allowing the sun’s light rays to penetrate through, but not allowing the heat from the sun to release. This imbalance of atmospheric pressure causes seismic weather pattern changes and the rising temperature in the Earth. The more greenhouse gases produced, the more intense the effect will be, the more frequent and catastrophic the climate change we will experience.

Human activities contribute to climate change. Our sustained demand for plastic products is met with more fossil fuel extraction and production which, in turn, releases more nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, mercury and other hazardous air pollutants. This process contributes to the greenhouse gas effect. 

 

Choosing Bamboo Products can Mitigate Climate Change

Plastic Contributes to Climate Change

Aside from the harmful effects and negative impact of plastics in our landfills, they also contribute to climate change. As mentioned above, petroleum or crude oil is a key ingredient in making plastic. Other ingredients include coal, natural gas and salt. 

The process of making plastic involves drilling and fracking for oil or petroleum, then transporting it to a refinery where it is distilled (separates liquids from gases). All the compounds then go through the polymerization and polycondensation process before manufacturers can use it for their purposes. Throughout every step of the production process, harmful chemicals are emitted into the earth’s atmosphere. The immense amount of electricity and power required to operate a plant also requires more  natural gas, coal and water.  

 

Bamboo as an Alternative to Plastics

Bamboo, on the other hand, is a simple organic material that can substitute for many of the plastic products in the market. Not only does bamboo neutralize the carbon footprint generated by plastic production, but it actually gives back to the environment by releasing 35% more oxygen than the same density of trees. 

 

Bamboo’s high tolerance for surviving on marginal land, make it an ideal candidate for afforestation, carbon sequestration and climate change mitigation.  Bamboo farms are referred to as carbon sinks – an area that has the ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to reduce greenhouse gases. Bamboos are hardy grasses that don’t require a lot of resources like water, electricity or power to maintain. So in contrast to plastic, bamboo contributes rather than pollutes the environment.

 

To create bamboo material that is usable for production of goods, it requires harvesting the stalks, cutting the hollow culms into strips, treating and preserving the plant with a solution of boric acid and lime to extract the starch that attracts termites and beetles. Relatively harmless, boric acid is an EPA approved product commonly used in agricultural products.

 

Once the bamboo is converted into a mushy mass, it can then be manipulated, formed and manufactured for products like kitchen utensils, cutlery, toilet paper, textiles and more. 

Bamboo mitigates Climate Change ecofriendly

Bamboo as the Most Renewable Resource

Unlike wood, bamboo takes only 5 years to be eligible for harvestation, while trees will take 50 years making it a more renewable resource than wood. We don’t need a large amount of land to grow bamboo and because of its quick regrowth, the earth does not lose the positive effects that plant life offers climate change. 

 

When trees are cut, the deforestation that results from this slow regrowth phase, means we are losing the opportunity to absorb the effects of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. So one hectare of bamboo is going to provide 30% more positive impact on climate change than trees. The more we use, the more it grows. 

 

Noted by the Guinness Book of World Records as the fastest growing plant in the world, 45 genera of bamboo have been found to grow at up to 91 cm (35 inches) per day or at a rate of 0.00003 km.hour. bamboo grows an average of 1.5 inches per 30 minutes.

 

How Bamboo Mitigates Climate Change

The choice for bamboo products is a step in the right direction. The production of bamboo products requires little resources and produces no negative externality to the environment. On the contrary, bamboo actually contributes to mitigating climate change by acting as carbon sinks. 

 

When choosing household products that can be offered in both plastic or bamboo, remember to consider how plastic is made and the pollutants it emits before making your decision. Bamboo is strong, biodegradable, ecofriendly, durable, antibacterial and very versatile. It’s a much healthier alternative to plastic and its process produces positive externalities. 

 

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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

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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.

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