Product Breakdown: FinalStraw

FinalStraw: the world’s first collapsible and reusable straw. Made from stainless steel and silicone, this sleek metal straw folds to fit in a case small enough to attach to a key chain–making it perfect for the modern environmentalist.

But the straw isn’t just sexy—it’s essential, too. FinalStraw has quickly become a leader in the global movement to reduce the amount of single-use plastics in the world, replacing commonly used items with reusable alternatives. Every day, we use (and toss!) millions of single-use plastic straws, all of which aren’t recyclable and will never truly decompose. By switching to a reusable alternative, you can reduce the amount of waste headed to our landfills–while still getting all the perks of straws you know and love. Read on as we break down how to use, clean, and love your FinalStraw in this product breakdown!

FinalStraw EarthHero

The Straw

Sturdy stainless steel meets food-grade silicone to make the FinalStraw durable, collapsible, and perfect for kids and adults alike. Unlike classic stainless steel straws, that are perfectly rigid, this straw is made from 4 unique stainless steel sections, linked together by non-plastic silicone that allows it to easily self-assemble when pulled from its carrying case. This same silicone is added to the top and bottom of the straw as well, making it perfect for straw-biters, children, those with disabilities, or basically anyone who prefers a softer straw tip.

FinalStraw EarthHero

How-To: Clean & Dry

One of the biggest drawbacks for some around reusable straws is the question: how will I clean it? FinalStraw tackled that concern head on by making their straw easy to clean–whether you’re on-the-go, or at home. This is in part due to the unique travel case the straw comes folded in–featuring a drying rack and straw “squeegee” cleaning brush made from the same food-grade silicone as the interior of the straw.

To clean, simply remove the mini drying rack from the travel case, and unwrap the silicone straw brush from the base of the drying rack. With soap and water, run the straw brush through the straw until clean. Then simply collapse the straw and set it in the drying rack! The drying rack keeps the straw from collecting dust or dirt while it dries, and is small enough to make it feasible for traveling. Watch a video on how to clean it here!

FinalStraw EarthHero

The Travel Case

Another classic case against the reusable straw is that they’re difficult to carry around without getting dirty inside your bag or purse. That’s where FinalStraw’s unique keychain carrying case comes in, made from 100% recycled plastic that’s durable and protective. This mini case can be easily clipped to keys, carabiners, or stashed in a glove box–making it a perfect travel companion. Plus, it holds the straw brush and drying rack we mentioned above… so you don’t need to bring additional supplies. In a variety of fun colors to match your personality, this case truly sets FinalStraw apart from the rest.

FinalStraw EarthHero

Why FinalStraw?

Single-use straws are often used for an hour or less as your enjoy your drink, then sent to the landfills where they will stay for hundreds of years before becoming microplastics (which are even worse!) Unlike single-use straws, testing has shown the FinalStraw can be used for 12,000 cycles – which is roughly 2 uses a day for 16 years! Perfect for both hot and cold drinks, with a variety of colors and options, this straw is truly the most innovative reusable we’ve found–and hope you love it as much as we do.

The visionary behind the sucking sensation is CEO Emma Cohen. Cohen, 32, holds a Master’s degree from Harvard University in Environmental Management and Sustainability, and worked in waste minimization at Los Alamos National Laboratory, before quitting to become a “strawtreprenuer.” Her Kickstarter campaign became a viral success with the FinalStraw team raising $1.89 million, and pre-selling over 85,000 straws.

Whether you’re new to reusable straws, or just want to try this innovative option, you can get your FinalStraw on EarthHero today!

Interview with Sanari Candles

Sanari Candles isn’t your average candle company. Made from 100% vegan, plant-based ingredients, these non-toxic candles are packaged in reusable wine glasses–and burn bright without any added chemicals. Read on as we interview Sanari’s Founder, Rebecca Aghalarpour, and learn more about what inspired her unique brand.

Sanari Candles Earth Hero Interview

What inspired you to start Sanari Candles?  

“The combination of my experience leading a healthy lifestyle, and having a keen understanding of impure chemicals commonly used in beauty and home products led me to rid my home of anything remotely toxic. It was then that I came face to face with a cancer diagnosis. My research had taught me that traditional candles are full of toxic chemicals, like petroleum, dyes, artificial fragrances and animal by-products which go right into the air you breathe. The love of being able to burn candles in my home again inspired me to begin my journey with Sanari Candles!”

What does the word ‘Sanari’ mean?

“The name ‘Sanari’ is a combination of the names of my two amazing children, Aria and Sanam. Aria means Air and Sanam means Love,  creating pure love in the air you breathe.”

What’s your favorite candle scent out of the collection?

“I honestly can’t choose a favorite scent, since each blend delivers a unique sensory experience for your mind and body.  But my favorite plants are floral and citrus; so I love the Aria which has sweet and herbal notes of eucalyptus, bergamot and juicy sweet tangerine falling into beautifully fragrant of ylang ylang, fresh mint and lavender, finished off with patchouli and cedar wood. I also love the Sanam which has note of pomegranate and lemon, falling into a pool of delicate rose and jasmine petals, finished off with smooth dry musk–it’s delicious!”

What are some of the main goals of Sanari Candles as a whole?

Our goal and promise is dedicated to promoting a healthy lifestyle, using only the highest quality organic and green products in the industry. We believe in controlling the environment you live in, and created the first and only candle line to globally source the purest and natural ingredients with zero waste packaging. We pull from our earth to give back to our Earth, and to you!”

What do you do in your daily life to live more sustainably?

I have a plant based diet do meditation every morning, with deep breathing exercises, before I start my day. I love nature and take walks on the beach and hikes. I am extremely conscientious about waste and recycling. Most importantly, my spiritual studies helps me master things like patience, forgiveness observation and stillness–it simply takes practice.”

EarthHero Sanari Candles

What inspired you to make the candles’ packaging from reusable wine glasses?

Every aspect of Sanari is well thought out in order to eliminate waste. I wanted to use a glass that is pretty enough to collect and reuse. Our glass is a stemless wine/drinking glass with no chemical interaction, to ensure that the ingredients contained in our glass maintain their integrity and aroma. I also have to admit that I love wine… so it was an easy choice.”

If you could have everyone on the planet do one thing to positively impact our changing climate, what would it be?

“It is so important to be environmentally conscious and use sustainable products. It makes sense for people to be as efficient and green as possible in their thinking on a day-to-day basis. We should all be responsible for using recycled products and eliminating our personal waste.

Educate yourself about climate change and learn ways of managing the feelings that come up so you can face them–and not avoid the reality of climate change. Creating social norms about protecting the environment so that people see that ‘everyone is doing it and that it’s normal to be green is also extremely important.”

How has Sanari grown since day 1? What challenges have you faced being such a unique company?

It is important to educate the consumer about how to live a truly healthy lifestyle, and that has also been a challenge we’ve faced as a company. There are many traditional candle manufacturers using toxic chemicals such as paraffins and much more. The market can control what information gets released about its products, so consumers are often misled. It is our mission to be able to regulate this process and teach the consumer about the difference between our products, and conventional products.”

How are the ingredients in Sanari Candles unique from other candle companies?

“We use only the purest blends of essential oils to create fragrances that are unique and proprietary to Sanari Candles. Each of our blends truly delivers a unique sensory experience that also has proven health benefits. We have created a proprietary wax blend of Coconut and Soy; and no pesticides or herbicides are used at any stage in its cultivation. Our wax burns cleaner, cooler and longer. Plus, our wicks are made from 100% unbleached cotton wide wicks to provide a clean, pure and long lasting burn.” 

Sanari Candles Earth Hero interview

How does Sanari Candles give back to the planet?

“We are environmentally conscious and truly sustainable end-to-end. We use sustainable ingredients, recyclable paper and soy ink. We also donate a percentage of our sales to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, as their cause is very close to my heart!”

What’s your favorite environmental quote?

“‘The Earth is all we have in common’…. by Wendell Berry.” 

Thanks to Rebecca for sharing your story with us! For the rest of the March, take 10% off all Sanari Candles – and try all the amazing scents the Sanari team has created for you.

 

 

 

Plastic Free Travel Essentials

Fact: 9.1 BILLION Tons of plastic has been produced since plastic was introduced to us in the 1950s. This number is so staggering that the amount of plastic produced in one year is roughly the same as the entire weight of humanity. And this number is only increasing, day after day, piece by piece.

Now you may be thinking… “But what about the Seattle straw ban? What about the plastic bag tax? What about Starbucks going straw-free?” – and we totally hear you! There are a ton of amazing company and city-led initiatives popping up across the US and globally, but these bans or taxes often only address a portion of the real plastic problem. What is the real problem, you ask? Our single-use mindset!

It’s amazing that major companies are finally taking responsibility for their waste, but consumers must also be willing to take action. In practice, this means not just waiting for Starbucks to permanently ban plastic straws, but proactively bringing your own reusables as well. And while there are tons of ways to live a more sustainable life, in this blog, we’re sharing some of our favorite plastic-free, zero waste essentials for on-the-go. Whether you’re just on your daily commute to work, or a world traveler, you can make a more mindful impact on the planet with these 5 reusables!

Final Straw EarthHero Plastic Free Essentials

Collapsible & Reusable Travel Straw

There is no shortage of materials and styles of reusable straws out there, all offering a solution to the single-use straw crisis. They all have their own benefits and drawbacks, but when it comes to a true “travel” straw…. There’s simply no competition. The FinalStraw takes the cake because it’s collapsible into its own carrying case (which can be clipped to your keychain!) and contains its own straw brush and drying rack so you can easily clean it in an airport bathroom–not that we recommend that, though.

It’s made from stainless steel, so it’s practically unbreakable, but still comes in a bunch of cool colors so you can customize your look. Whether you just need a straw for your to-go iced coffee on the way to the office, or plan on backpacking the world, this little straw set is a huge game changer when it comes to kicking single-use straws to the curb. Not sold on this straw? Figure out which reusable straw is best for you here!

Stasher Bags EarthHero Plastic Free Travel

Leak-Proof Silicone Bag

We talk a lot about plastic grocery bags when addressing the single-use plastic issue, but rarely address the silent killer–plastic Ziploc and snack bags! From packing snacks for the road, to keeping your toiletries from spilling into the rest of your suitcase, Ziploc bags are used often and without abandon when it comes to life on-the-go. An easy way to cut this waste out is with a Stasher Bag!

Made from extremely durable silicone, these bags won’t break or rip, and are 100% leak-proof (you can put water in the bag, then seal it and flip it upside down…then shake it. Trust us, we’ve tried it!) They can be put in the freezer and microwave for meal prepping and storage, but are also a great solution for toiletries, makeup, and other potentially spillable travel gear. Basically, this bag does everything, making it our #1 travel buddy.

ECOlunchbox EarthHero Plastic Free Travel

Stainless Steel Snack Container

A great way to save money when traveling is to pack your own meals! But, without reusables, this could lead to a lot of single-use packaging and waste being left behind on your journey. The good news is… we have a solution for that too! Containers like these are easy to travel with because they’re made from durable stainless steel, come in a variety of nest-able sizes for easy storage, and have a leak-resistant silicone lid to keep everything secure. Simply put a sandwich in one, a salad in the other, stick them in a bag and head out! Plus, they’re oven safe, so you can reheat your food without having to transfer it to another container. 

EarthWell Reusable Bottles EarthHero Plastic Free Travel

Reusable Water Bottle & Coffee Mug

Did you know that 1 million plastic bottles are bought every minute around the world? And less than half of those bottles will make it to the recycling center… which means that our landfills are being rapidly filled by water bottles that are used for 30 minutes… and last 300 years. By setting yourself up with a reusable water bottle (and/or coffee cup, if that’s your thing!) you can not only reduce the amount of trash produced overall, but you’ll get some personal benefits like saving money and drinking more water in general (we hope!) Whether you prefer a beautiful glass bottle, something stainless steel, or just want to make your coffee mug a 2-in-1 water bottle as well, there’s no shortage of solutions for this single-use problem. Whatever way you sip, just do it sustainably.

United by Blue EarthHero Plastic Free Travel

Carry-all Bag(s)

Now this may seem pretty obvious for a plastic free travel blog… but you’re going to need a travel bag (or two, or three!) Most travelers assume that they just need their suitcase and they’re good… but this often leads to them collecting single-use travel bags on the way. The three bags we know you’ll need for any awesome adventure are these: a backpack, a grocery tote, and a lunch/produce bag!

By having 3 varying sizes of travel bags, you can ensure you’ll never end up without what you need. The backpack, of course, is perfect for toting all of your larger “everyday” travel items, such as a laptop, notebook, camera–and all the reusables we mentioned above. Also inside this backpack will be the other two bags, tucked nicely away until you need them.

The grocery tote is a necessity so that you can go shopping, either for food or just for fun, on your trip without having to cave to single-use shopping bags. Roughly 100 billion single-use plastic shopping bags are used by Americans alone each year, and although most people know that these bags are bad for the planet, when you forget your reusables it can be hard to say no. By keeping a grocery tote like this one around, you’ll always have a place to store extra stuff–without just shoving more things into that backpack.

The final bag you’re going to need is a lunch bag or a produce bag! They can be used pretty interchangeably depending on your needs, and store neatly alongside the rest of the reusables in your backpack. This is where you will keep those reusable containers that are pre-packed with food, that loose banana or apple you grabbed on-the-go, or anything else that wouldn’t do well loose inside a backpack. That way, if you’re traveling and are ready to break for a snack, you don’t have to dig through your entire backpack–all you have to do is remove your lunch bag and you’re set. Learn more about packing a plastic free school lunch here!

Five plastic free essentials…. One massive impact. By simply preparing yourself with products like these, then making a conscious decision to bring them with you when traveling anywhere, you can drastically reduce the amount of waste you leave in trash cans on your travels. Once you’ve mastered these sustainable swaps, you can expand your zero waste initiative to your home, kitchen, laundry room, and beyond! Plus, check out 16 more of our favorite zero waste essentials for everyday here!