In the age of climate change, going green has become just as popular as going out — but we still have a long way to go. Some may not realize that there are facts (scary ones at that) pointing to the possibility that we are heading down a path that may not be reversible.
Facts such as: in the last 170 years, we have added 2.4 trillion tons of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere (half of this was added in the last 35 to 50 years). Or facts such as — a plastic bag is used for an average of 12 minutes but will remain in the environment for 1,000 years before it decomposes, according to Georgetown University.
But still, fear-mongering isn’t exactly the only way to look at environmental issues. Other facts suggest we have the power to make changes, in both large and small ways. For example, recycling one aluminum can save enough energy to run a TV for three hours. Or, the fact that 90% of the energy used during a washing machine’s cleaning cycle goes into heating the water, so using the cold setting will make a huge impact. Small changes add up and make milestones, and people can make those changes. But what about businesses?
In Philadelphia, there are brands and resources that are dedicated to painting the town green, and they offer an array of products that will bring a smile to your face while also doing their part in saving the planet.
This recently launched no-waste delivery service in Philadelphia refills your favorite home goods on a weekly basis and is reinventing the quick delivery system in a sustainable way. Known as the modern-day “milkman concept,” this start-up resembles the 1950’s practice of delivering milk in reusable glass bottles and retrieving the empty containers the next week before delivering you fresh milk — but it happens for almost all of your home good needs. How does it work? According to a news release, Philadelphians can take a quick survey about their consumer behaviors and spending patterns and then choose from dozens of curated household essentials and grocery staples. Then with predictive data science, The Rounds curates a weekly delivery schedule based on the individual household’s needs and usage. All products are packaged and delivered in reusable containers to cut packaging waste, and each time you receive your weekly bundle, you can simultaneously send back used containers for recycling and reuse. Plus, delivery messengers make “the Rounds” by foot or via bike, helping you reduce your carbon footprint and achieve “zero waste” goals.
This independent and female-owned glass blowing studio has a zero-waste policy, and they use their unique recycling process to transform bottles into tabletop and home decor. As Remark puts it, although glass is one of the most recyclable materials in the world, nearly two-thirds of post-consumer glass ends up in a landfill. So as glass artists, they have the unique opportunity to source their materials from the waste stream without compromising the quality of glass. Their locally sourced post-consumer glass is then skillfully transformed into handmade products — and it doesn’t stop there. As a zero-waste certified company, Remark Glass is also creating as little waste as possible throughout their studio and office space. How? They have a vegetable oil converter that allows them to fuel their machinery with spent cooking oil sourced from a restaurant in their building, according to a news release. In addition to reducing their waste, they also work with many local businesses to promote a circular economy and maintain a high-quality collection system so their glass can be upcycled, recycled, downcycled, or recirculated back into the community.
Clothes that are fashionable, sustainable and also good for the environment? It sounds almost too good to be true, but with Grant Blvd, this company takes garments that already exist and gives them a second life — and it’s all in an effort to tackle climate change and reduce waste. Their mission spans the planet, and Grant is also rooted in helping women who were formally incarcerated, giving them a second chance, and trying to find solutions to poverty through action. “It’s about us, all of us, and it’s about designing radically inclusive pathways that pursue the long-term plan of progressing our collective good, and let’s not ever forget, the good of our planet. Grant Blvd is about intersectional design. Grant Blvd is about the only way forward,” said Kimberly McGlonn, CEO & Founder of Grant Blvd, in a statement.
It’s a well-known hotel for weary travelers and those looking for a staycation, but what most people might not know is that this new eco-friendly hotel in Philadelphia is also dedicated to being a better place to stay for the environment as well. As the release states, when choosing materials, Element Philadelphia’s design team pioneered an eco-friendly, sustainable design that improves hotel air quality, minimizes pollutants and chemicals, and gives guests ample access to natural light, resulting in a cleaner, healthier environment. A news release says hotel also integrates eco-friendly materials and practices into its design in a variety of ways, including with electric vehicle charging stations; guestrooms featuring carpets with up to 100% recycled content; wall art mounted on a base made from recycled tires; walls featuring low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints; bathrooms featuring low-flow faucets and fixtures; easy recycling with bins in every guestroom and throughout public spaces; and using only 100% recycled post-consumer wastepaper for all printing and stationery needs.