What is a "Green" Business?
As you are shopping for the holidays, it is essential to keep the environment in mind. The consumption in the U.S. and the world is only going to increase as our population continues to grow, which is why shopping from green businesses is a vital practice to protect the health of our environment. A green business is a business that takes the environment into account in its manufacturing, shipping, and sale of their products. Green companies typically embrace principles designed to improve the lives of their employees, customers, communities, and the environment. This is often referred to as a three-pronged organization model focusing on the planet, people, and profit.
The products that green businesses sell are eco-friendly, use recycled or reclaimed materials, and typically have a low carbon footprint. In addition to selling environmentally friendly products, green businesses adopt practices that monitor their water and air pollution. On average green businesses conserve water in their business practices, reduce the amount of solid waste production, include pollution prevention procedures in their manufacturing process, and reduce air emissions from factories. This helps to reduce the overall impact that commercial business has on the environment.
Why is Shopping From Green Businesses Important?
Buying from green businesses is important because of the environmental impact that other companies have on the environment. Businesses that choose eco-friendly practices typically reduce their production of throw-away goods and will opt for reusable alternatives instead. Another eco-friendly practice that is popular amongst businesses is the use of a recycling can and compost can as well as a trash can in their store. Additionally, they will implement green products throughout their business practices, for example, businesses will choose to use “greener” cleaning products. Green businesses will also choose to reduce their energy use and water use in their store and production methods, which help contribute to a better environment.
It is no secret that the retail industry is a significant contributor to pollution around the globe. But green businesses take into account their environmental impact and take steps to mitigate their effects. By shopping green, the consumer is supporting the environment because whether the green business plants a tree per order placed or reduces air emissions from shipping its products, the environment is better off for it than if you were to buy from a company who is solely focused on profit. Here is a list of 8 companies that keep the environment in mind:
For clothes... 1. Patagonia
Patagonia is a green company based in the United States that sells outdoor clothing. Patagonia sells apparel targeted towards camping and outdoor enthusiasts, but are also great for everyday use. Patagonia has won the U.N. Champion of the Earth award, the Environmental Sustainability Award from CRO (Corporate Responsibility Officers) and the Business Ethics award for their sustainability and environmental advocacy. Approximately 70% of its products are made from recycled materials such as plastic bottles and they use hemp and organic cotton, which has a lower environmental impact. Patagonia's owner has decided to donate a minimum of 1% of its yearly sales to environmental organizations that help the environment. In addition to selling eco-friendly clothing, the company also offers product repairs. This means that if your item is damaged in any way, you can send it back and they will repair the item for you. This is great for the environment because it allows the product to last longer and does not create as much waste as if you were to buy a new item.
For beauty... 2. Aether Beauty
Aether Beauty is a makeup company that creates vibrant makeup palettes from vegan ingredients. Aether Beauty is certified as cruelty-free and has implemented organic alternatives to chemicals typically found in other makeup brands' products. Products that are vegan, organic or cruelty-free are great for the environment because they all reduce our carbon foot-print and reduce the harmful impact on the environment. It is the first makeup company to use 100% recyclable packaging. The company's founder has made statements regarding the eco-footprint of the cosmetics industry and has contributed a portion of its sales to environmental charities that help restore and sustain balance in the environment. The founder said that she refuses to launch any products that are not environmentally friendly until there is a better alternative found. Because of this Aether Beauty is a great green company.
For personal care... 3. Bathing Culture
Bathing Culture is a green company that sells certified organic, cruelty-free, and biodegradable soaps and uses 100% recycled bottles. They collect bottles from California recycling companies, reprocess them, and use them to package their products. Bathing Culture sells everything from bath salts to body washes to reusable towels, all made of ethically sourced materials. A unique feature that Bathing Culture has adopted is the use of refills. If you go through all of your products, you can return to the store to refill the bottle, leaving no waste behind once you finish with your body wash.
For food... 4. Beyond Meat
Beyond Meat is a green company that produces plant-based meats and aims to help solve issues such as climate change, animal cruelty, and overconsumption of natural resources. Beyond Meat has created a greener way to make the recipes that you love without the massive environmental impacts that the meat industry imposes. Their products use 99% less water, 93% less land, 90% fewer carbon emissions, and 46% less energy than the regular animal-based burger. Overall, the production of Beyond Meat is far better for the environment than other options, making this a great green alternative.
For storage... 5. Stasher
Stasher is a company that creates reusable kitchen storage bags that help to eliminate single-use plastic bags. Their bags are made of silicon designed to be conveniently washed in your dishwasher. They are entirely free of BPA, BPS, lead, latex, and phthalates and fully exceed U.S. and Canadian food safety standards. In addition to the green materials, Stasher is a participant in the 1% for the Planet and has donated a portion of every sale to high-impact nonprofits focused on preserving our oceans.
For bags and backpacks... 6. Rareform
Rareform is a company based in California that creates unique bags, backpacks, and purses out of recycled billboard material. They use eco-friendly and vegan practices to develop durable and weather-proof products out of billboard vinyl rather than ending up in a landfill. As of 2020, Rareform has saved over 3 million pounds of billboard vinyl from ending up in a landfill and instead has created fashionable and reusable bags. Other great products you can find are wallets and toiletry, and travel bags.
For toys... 7. Green Toys
Green Toys is a toy company based in California that creates children's toys from 100% recycled plastic. All of their products are made with recycled milk jugs and yogurt cups and are printed with soy-based ink. Because of this, Green Toys meets California, U.S., and international standards for BPA and phthalates, meaning these toys are more than safe for your children. Green Toys has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy use in its products' production and transportation. Their products are packaged with 100% recycled cardboard and received the Greener Packaging Award, a U.S. independent sustainable packaging award.
For kitchenware... 8. Bambu
Bambu is a company that focuses on creating product solutions to eliminate the reliance on resource-intensive, petroleum-based products. Bambu creates beautiful compostable kitchenware, such as bowls, napkins, cutting boards, plates, and utensils. All of Bambu's products are Vegan, Cruelty-free, and organic, and to top it off, their company is a Certified Green business. Bambu has adopted a plastic-free mentality and strives to minimize the amount of plastic it uses in its packaging, to lower their impact on the environment.
The commercial industry has a large impact on our environment, but as a consumer you can choose who you support. By choosing to shop at environmentally friendly businesses consumers are able to contribute to a community that values the environment and urge other businesses to take responsibility and help care for it too.