Last Monday, Starbucks announced that it will replace all plastic straws with strawless lids or biodegradable paper straws for frappuccinos. Their decision comes after Seattle, the company’s home city, banned single-use plastic straws and utensils in an attempt to reduce plastic pollution. The corporation revealed that it will eliminate more than one billion straws a year from their 28,000 stores. According to a report by World Economic Forum, by 2050, the ocean will contain more plastic than fish. Following Starbucks’ new move, I think it’s important to look at other businesses who are also working to help the environment.
During his 2006 trip to Argentina, Blake Mycoskie was devastated to see so many children living without shoes and created TOMS to help them and other kids around the world. For every TOMS purchased, the company will donate a pair of shoes to a child in need, and ever since its creation, TOMS has donated shoes to more than 60 million children. But giving shoes isn’t the only service they provide, and the company also works to supply clean drinking water and safe birth kits to people around the world. As they actively work to support people, TOMS also makes sure to support the planet as well. Their shoes and shoeboxes are made with recyclable and vegan materials.
2. Beyond Meat
The meat industry, although tasty, has a negative impact on the environment, but luckily, Beyond Meat stepped in to provide an environmentally friendly but still tasty product. Beyond Meat is a plant-based “meat” option that not only protects the environment but helps animals and human health as well. Don’t let the fact that it’s not real meat scare you off; it’s not just for vegans. In fact, according to the company’s internal research, more than 70 percent of buyers are meat eaters.
3. Lush Cosmetics
Lush is a unique cosmetic company that makes all types of bath and body products from shampoos to bath bombs to perfumes, all of which are made with less chemicals than in other cosmetics brands and more natural ingredients. Lush also recently released their Slap-Stick foundation which unlike other foundations, is solid instead of liquid, comes in a variety of 40 shades and is stored in a recyclable package. But Lush doesn’t just make sustainable products; they try to make every step of the way is environmentally friendly and sell shampoo bars, massage bars, body butter and other products without packaging to reduce pollution.
4. Numi Tea
Numi Tea is dedicated to connecting the body and spirit through the use of tea. From their real ingredients to their sustainable and recyclable packaging, Numi Tea works to create amazing tea and help protect the environment. Through their actions, you can tell that Numi Tea truly values the environment. Numi Tea donates to environmental nonprofit organizations and is a part of One Step Closer to an Organic Sustainable Community (OSC2) which is a group of CEOs from sustainability-focused businesses who want to bring sustainability to all industries.
5. Seventh Generation
Seventh Generation is a Vermont based corporation that sells biodegradable vegetable sourced cleaning products free of chemicals. The company also has a bonus program that rewards employees who come up with more ways for the company to be sustainable, and in 2014, Seventh Generation was listed in Forbes’ “Best For the Environment“ list.
I know that the idea of saving the planet sound like an impossible task, but if we all do our part and start small, we can have a massive impact.