Alabama Sawyer’s Not So Secret Diary
We at Alabama Sawyer love it when companies package products in recyclable materials, especially if those companies have environmentally friendly mission statements. That’s why we’d like to go over what EXACTLY you should expect if you buy from us in terms of packaging materials. For example, our Noaway Countertop Compost Bin would come with:
-cardboard box (recyclable)
-packaging paper (recyclable)
-wooden box itself (made from urban timber)
-stainless steel insert (not recyclable but definitely something you’ll use over and over)
You should also check out the companies that allow consumers to send back certain non recyclable containers for reuse. Loop is one of those companies, and it has a zero waste initiative. All you have to do is use the container like normal, and then the company will use it for the next customer after you send it back. Companies participating with Loop:
What about companies that use recyclable packaging materials/ sustainable packaging? Which companies are making that happen?
-Tom’s of Maine
-and many more!
Speaking of packaging, what are the relevant laws that apply to packaging materials in the US? Well, one thing to note is that there are no nationwide laws on the materials used to package retail products that will end up with a consumer. And the only Alabama law that relates to the topic is the one that bans any bans on plastic bags.
Sources & Further Reading
Peters, Adele. “A Coalition of Giant Brands Is about to Change How We Shop Forever, with a New Zero-Waste Platform.” Fast Company, Fast Company, 27 Jan. 2019, www.fastcompany.com/90296956/a-coalition-of-giant-brands-is-about-to-change-how-we-shop-forever-with-a-new-zero-waste-platform.
Mazzoni, Mary. “3p Weekend: 7 Companies Investing in Sustainable Packaging.” Reporting on the Triple Bottom Line & Sustainable Business News, 1 Aug. 2014, www.triplepundit.com/story/2014/3p-weekend-7-companies-investing-sustainable-packaging/41981.
April is 'Keep America Beautiful' month! One excellent way to celebrate would be to participate in the trash tag challenge (which seems to be declining in popularity and relevance unfortunately.) What's the trash tag challenge you ask? On Reddit and Twitter, users have been taking 'before' pictures of areas filled with litter; and 'after' pictures of all the litter collected into trash bags. I love the trash tag challenge because it's a viral trend that benefits the environment.
Another way to participate would be to get your workplace involved in 'Recycling at Work'. This voluntary national effort is dedicated to increasing recycling in the workplace. That's a pretty noble cause, isn't it?
Of course the trash tag challenge and the 'Recycling at Work' effort aren't the only ways to participate in 'Keep America Beautiful' month. Planting and maintaining a garden is another great way to celebrate.
A woman enjoying gardening outdoors - Free Stock Photo
Since we're on the topic of gardening, composting for your garden is incredibly resourceful and will greatly help in your gardening adventures. If you need tips getting started, read our blog post on building a pallet backyard compost bin. What's more, this FineGardening article will give you all the information you need to start composting. Keep in mind that you'll need to store the compost somewhere before moving it to your backyard pile, so feel free to check out our beautiful Noaway Counter Top Compost Bin. These expertly crafted bins come in magnolia, walnut, and sapwood made using timber sourced almost entirely from the urban forests of Alabama.
Sources & Further Reading
Olive, Jim. “STUDENTS PICK UP TRASH ALONG ROADSIDE.” Wikipedia Commons, Source U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, 9 Oct. 2011, commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:STUDENTS_PICK_UP_TRASH_ALONG_ROADSIDE_-_NARA_-_543927.jpg.
Asarch, Steven. “Viral #TrashTag Movement Wants to Make the World a Cleaner Place.” Newsweek, 11 Mar. 2019, www.newsweek.com/trashtag-trash-tag-challenge-twitter-reddit-1359221.
“Keep America Beautiful.” Keep America Beautiful, 6 Feb. 2019, www.kab.org/?gclid=CjwKCAjwm-fkBRBBEiwA966fZBtWrzdMQqR5QoLIeuoiKKZsJAIaZEVuJxcy9PgYPZgVFWqIDLBUshoCiLYQAvD_BwE.
“Get Started in Composting.” FineGardening, 25 Apr. 2014, www.finegardening.com/article/get-started-in-composting.
“Take the Pledge Andearn Recognition For.” RecyclingWork RSS, recyclingatwork.org/.
“A Woman Enjoying Gardening Outdoors.” Freestockphotos.biz, www.freestockphotos.biz/stockphoto/16337.
Michael Corkery of the New York Times recently published an article on the growing number of cities around the U.S. that are halting their recycling programs. According to the article, China (a big buyer of U.S. recyclable material) reduced spending after it was determined that far too much trash was getting mixed in with the recyclables. This has prompted an increase in the cost it takes to recycle, and the subsequent closing of many recycling centers around the U.S.
Something really cool about this piece is that the online version links to an article which lists six items that are commonly put into recycling bins by mistake. If your city still has an affordable recycling program, that's great! Just make sure you're not recycling non recyclable materials.
That said, one thing about the article is certain, there's a need for more innovative and lasting recycling solutions.
“Plastic Bottles Bottles Recycling.” PICRYL- The World's Largest Public Domain Source, 19 Mar. 2019, picryl.com/media/plastic-bottles-bottles-recycling-736da0.
Corkery, Michael. “As Costs Skyrocket, More U.S. Cities Stop Recycling.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 16 Mar. 2019, www.nytimes.com/2019/03/16/business/local-recycling-costs.html.