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.

 

 

 

Interview with ezpz

Since its conception in 2014, the brand ezpz has grown immensely, with a range of innovative products that continue to stay true to the company’s early commitment to safety and ease for parents and kids alike. From using naturally non-toxic eco-materials like silicone, to their unique placemat design that doubles as both a plate and an educational tool to help children develop fine motor skills, ezpz is here to change the way we look at mealtime. Read on as we interview brand founder, Lindsey Laurain, and learn more about how they’re making mealtime ‘ezpz’!

What inspired you to start ezpz?

“We have three boys and our life can be pretty chaotic, especially at mealtime, and my husband and I were fed up with the messiness and cleanup time dedicated to each meal. One night (in the midst of his frustration) my husband said, ‘Someone needs to create something kids can’t toss or throw at meals!’ The next day I hopped online and, low and behold, nothing existed. I taped a bowl to a piece of paper and, from that day on, I was committed to creating products that made family mealtime ezpz!”

Ezpz EarthHero

What’s your favorite item in the ezpz collection?

The Happy Mat will always be very special to me, as it was our first (flagship) product. I created the Happy Mat specifically for our messy toddlers, and we still use those “first generation” mats to this day! With that said; I am obsessed with our new Tiny Collection (the Tiny Spoon, Tiny Cup and Tiny Bowl). Not only are the products adorable, they are designed by a Pediatric Feeding Specialist to help baby learn how to self-feed and drink from an open cup.”

What are some of the main goals of ezpz?

“Our original mission was pretty simple. We wanted to make mealtime with infants / toddlers less messy, less stressful and more fun. The ezpz mats immediately made a difference in our lives, but we had no idea the impact our products would have within the special needs community. Thanks to the suction feature of our mats, there are many kiddos and adults with disabilities that are eating independently for the first time! We now have a Speech Language Pathologist on our team and work with medical professionals throughout the world to make a difference.

As our brand and product line continues to evolve, so do our goals. Our revised mission is to be the one-stop-shop for all your feeding needs…from baby’s first foods to your child feeding independently.”

ezpz EarthHero

Why do you use silicone in ezpz products? What are some of your favorite things about silicone as an eco-material?

“I fell in love with silicone when my search for materials began! There are so many things to love about silicone, but my favorite features + benefits are that silicone:

  • Is built to last! It is bendable and flexible and doesn’t fade, corrode or deteriorate like other materials

  • Has a non-slip + grip sensory aspect

  • Is microwave, dishwasher and oven safe

  • Is free of all the bad stuff (BPA, BPS, PVC, lead, phthalates, etc.)”

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

“Be more mindful. Think about what you are buying, why it exists, who it is from and where it goes when you are done with it.”

Ezpz EarthHero

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

“We do our best to teach our kids about sustainability, waste, recycling and littering. I will be the first to admit that we aren’t perfect, but we continually look for ways to be better. ezpz mats are a great example of one way to be more sustainable. Five years after our first batch of products were made, my boys are still using “first batch” mats! If we started with plastic or another less sustainable material we would have replaced their plates numerous times by now!”

How do ezpz products make being a parent just a lil’ easier?

“Ha! I am a mom of three boys (two of which are identical twins) so I am ALL ABOUT making the day-to-day easier! We’ve developed one of the leading developmentally-focused feeding lines on the market to do just that (make being a parent a little easier!). Below are a few of my favorite features:

  • All of the mat-based products feature a patented self-sealing design with an integrated mat that makes transporting, eating, cleaning and storing ezpz

  • You can stack and serve numerous kiddos at the same time

  • The outer mat catches most spillage which means less cleanup

  • Silicone is dishwasher, microwave and oven safe (score!)”

— Interview with Lindsey Laurain, Founder of ezpz

Want to make mealtime ezpz? Shop all of our ezpz products here!

Interview with Seek Dry Goods

Let’s face it: in an era of “fast fashion”, clothes made with purpose can be hard to come by. From materials like organic cotton and recycled polyester, to tons of products Made in the USA, Seek Dry Goods is here to make fast fashion a little slower–but just as fashionable. Founded by nature-lovers Amanda & Larry McMahon, join us as we learn about what inspired them to create Seek, how they choose their sustainable products, and what being a “Seeker” means to them!

What inspired you to start Seek Dry Goods?

“This is a fun story for us! Almost three years ago, we were on a 10-day, 100-mile trek through a corner of France, Italy and Switzerland. We got to experience gorgeous views of the Alps and feeling the satisfaction of completing the challenge of 7-20 miles and 4,000+ feet of elevation change each day. After completing the trip, all we wanted was a commemorative t-shirt, but came home empty handed.
Back at home, we realized a huge miss in the marketplace for high-quality yet affordable t-shirts. Beyond that, not enough outdoor brands or establishments were using responsibly sourced (organic/recycled) materials and business practices. Pulling together our 25+ years of marketing/retail experience and love for the outdoors, Seek Dry Goods was born!”

Seek Dry Goods | EarthHero

What’s your favorite item in the Seek collection?

“That’s a tough one! I obviously love all of our products, but if I had to narrow it down I would go with our 8oz Alpine Glow Travel Mug and Van Life T-Shirt. Our travel mug not only has a super unique graphic, but it’s the perfect size for when we’re on-the-go camping, hiking or backpacking. I love it for a quick bit of coffee in the morning and an adult beverage (or two) in the evening! The Van Life T-Shirt is just so much fun and it resonates a lot with me as we convert our own Ford Transit van into a camper.”

What are some of the unique eco-materials that go into your clothing + accessories? What inspired you to utilize these materials?

“All of our clothing and hats are made with organic cotton and/or recycled polyester (recycled water bottles). We chose this route after researching the benefits of organic and recycled over traditional/virgin materials. I have to share a couple of stats, only because they shocked us when we first learned them:

  • Organic cotton eliminates the use toxic chemicals found in the production of conventional cotton. These toxins make up nearly 16% of the world’s insecticides and 7% of pesticides.
  • Additionally, organic cotton uses 71% less water and 62% less energy than conventional cotton!
  • Similarly, recycled polyester uses 90% less water and 70% less energy to produce than virgin polyester.

Beyond our clothing, we chose products that are reusable and long lasting like travel mugs, wool throws, etc. We have a drink sleeve made with upcycled wetsuits. In the coming year, we plan to produce more products made with reclaimed materials too!”

Seek Dry Goods | EarthHero

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

“It seems unrealistic to think everyone could make immediate change in their daily lives. However, we believe that if everyone on the planet made one responsible choice each day (however big or small), we could make a huge impact. I’m talking about little things like bringing a travel mug when you’re on the road, skipping the straw at restaurants, volunteering time with a local outdoor organization. Eventually, these small choices become routine and we can start making a huge impact. With Seek Dry Goods, we are starting to talk more about different ways people can improve their sustainability, which we hope helps this effort.”

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

“It would be a lie to say that we are living fully sustainably. However, we have made a lot of changes in our everyday lives over the last few years. We no longer use single-use items like paper/plastic plates, glasses, etc. Some of our everyday household items include glass straws, organic bamboo reusable coffee filters, natural deodorant, and having solar panels on our van. This spring we are starting a compost bin for our food scraps and we grow a large organic garden throughout the Spring-Fall seasons. There is certainly always more one can do, but we are making a conscious effort to improve our sustainability every day.”

What does being a “Seeker” mean to you?

“To us, being a Seeker is more than just being part of a brand. It is a mindset, a lifestyle. We define the term Seeker as someone who loves the outdoors, travel and adventure. It doesn’t mean you have to be a professional athlete or extreme sports enthusiast. Adventure is different for everyone and that’s okay! Seekers aren’t judged by how they adventure, rather, they’re celebrated for it. Personally, my husband and I enjoy lots of different outdoor activities. We hike, backpack, camp, ski and more. Last summer we started learning how to whitewater kayak. I love being near or on water, whether it be the ocean, a river or an alpine lake. We often plan our trips to include some sort of water. Speaking of trips, we LOVE to travel. Since starting Seek, we haven’t had as much time for extended vacations, but we still get a lot of weekends to explore the US. We hope to explore Montana later this year, a state we have heard is amazing, but haven’t visited yet.”

Seek Dry Goods | EarthHero

What are some ways that Seek, as a company, gives back to the planet?

“Giving back to the planet is something we feel very strongly about. As members of 1% for the Planet, we promise to give at last 1% of our annual sales to outdoor and environmental nonprofits. In 2018, we donated over $7,000 to organizations around the country. Our local Wisconsin partner is the Ice Age Trail Alliance, a nonprofit that protects, maintains and supports Wisconsin’s 1,000+ mile National Scenic Trail. Additionally, we focused the holidays on a “Season of Giving” campaign in which we featured 4-nonprofits over 4-weeks and donated 4x our standard give-back. Being one of the EarthHero brands is also important, as it helps highlight our mission with other like-minded brands.

We are very excited to see what more we can do in 2019!” – Amanda McMahon, Co-Founder of Seek Dry Goods

Checkout all our favorite Seek Dry Goods products here!

 

2018 at EarthHero

2018 is quickly coming to an end. With all the holiday craziness that happens each year, we wanted to take this time to look back and reflect on some of the amazing things we’ve accomplished together over the last 12 months. We’re so grateful for all your support, encouragement, and feedback as we continue to grow and develop what it means to be an Earth hero. 2019–we’re coming for ya!

January

While EarthHero launched back in late 2017 (with our favorite launch product, the Chico Travel Pack!), we entered 2018 excited to take on our first full year as a team. Now I may be biased, but January was a pretty great month for us. We got started with a bang–hiring our fourth full-time team member, myself! We started the year strong by partnering with awesome brands like Earth Mama, RADIUS Toothbrushes, and S.W. Basics, expanding into the personal care categories you suggested, thanks!

February

February brought with it a pretty huge milestone for our team! We hit 1,000 uniquely sustainable products from 50 ethical brands.

On February 4th, while everyone was celebrating the Super Bowl, the EarthHero team was celebrating something of our own. Celebrity and reality TV star Lauren Conrad, who recently had her first child, took to Instagram to share one of her (and our) favorite non-toxic finger paint companies– eco-kids! This sent tons of ethical mamas to our site, and we like to consider it the first time we went “viral”… even if Lauren Conrad had no idea!

We continued adding several new brands… including Tree-Free Greeting Cards just in time for Valentine’s Day, Colorado-local skincare company Lily Farm Fresh Skincare, and Simply Straws reusable drink accessories. And the response to reusable straws was amazing! So amazing in fact, we put our booties in gear to round up every reusable straw option we could find: including bamboo, glass, compostable paper, and stainless steel. This even inspired next month’s theme, as we put a huge focus on a growing category of ours… zero waste!

March

In March we turned our focus to help the Zero Waste movement. We found that most people had either never heard of the concept, or, had been living a zero waste lifestyle for years.

To bridge this gap, we launched our first annual “Zero Waste March”–an entire month dedicated to showing our community how to reduce their waste through daily actions in four main sub-groups: traveling, home waste, food waste, and overall day-to-day zero waste actions. We posted several blogs, hosted our first major giveaway, and interviewed Zero Waste Guru Andrea Sanders of BeZero.

While the marketing team held down the fort, our intensely-talented product manager, Becki, and our fearless founder Ryan headed to EXPO West to seek some of the best and brightest brands in sustainability. And they hit the jackpot–bringing on bestselling brands like Badger Skincare, Haiku Bags, All Good Sunscreen, Stream2Sea, United by Blue, and tons more. This was our first debut into the world of coral-friendly, mineral-based sunscreen, and we got to work expanding the EarthHero catalog to include our top options!

April

Our favorite day is in April… can you guess what it is? Yep–Earth Day! We love it so much we expanded it to Earth Week. Honestly, if we had it our way, it would be Earth Month… Earth Year….you get the picture!

To gear up for “Recycling June” (learn about that down below!), we headed to a very magical place called Recycling Row. Just 10 minutes from our office, this is the holy grail of waste diversion–and contains the Boulder County Recycling Center (BCRC), Eco-Cycle, the Center for Hard to Recycle Materials (CHARM), and the Hazardous Waste Recycling Center. We took a very deep dive into how things are recycled, some common recycling mistakes, and learned a helluva lot about what happens after you toss items in the blue bin. We also had the opportunity to sponsor one of our favorite partners, 1% for the Planet, at their annual event in our hometown Boulder! This was such a great opportunity to meet many like minded brands and companies and brainstorm about how to create bigger and better impact.

At this point, we really wanted to connect at much deeper level with our favorite group of people: YOU. This led to the creation of a Facebook Page called EarthHeroes, where we cultivate conversation and community around the world of sustainability.

But that’s not all! We also uploaded some wonderful brands that are shaking things up in sustainability, including UKonserve, Brush with Bamboo, and bambu home. If you’ve shopped with us before, you’ll know, we’re a huge fan of all of our bamboo products!

May

In May, there were some serious environmental events–such as the world’s largest recorded wave (28.3m) at Campbell Island, NZ. Plus, Hamberg, Germany became the first city to ban diesel cars on some roads. There were also several natural disasters including heat waves over 110F.

With all of the craziness happening across the globe, we surveyed you, our EarthHero community, about what matters most to you–and we learned a lot. We confirmed that one of your biggest shopping concerns is plastic (both in products and packaging!). You also let us know that two of the biggest barriers to shopping sustainably is trusting the claims companies make, and of course, the cost of authentic eco-friendly goods. We’re always taking notes, and have made some changes thanks to your feedback!

We’re in the fight against plastic with you! While we work with almost 100 unique brands, it’s a work in progress for us to guarantee that every single item ships plastic free. To help you choose, however, we mark the products that ship 100% plastic free in our “Shipping Information” section on every product page! We continue to encourage and educate our brands on the importance of plastic free shipping, and believe that this is something we can achieve together.

While we’ve always valued transparency, we took it a step further this month and broke down exactly what does into our products. Then we gave it a super fancy name: the EarthHero Methodology, which you can learn allllllll about… here!

From there, we tackled the issue of price–looking for ways to bring you the best products, at the most sustainable (for your wallet, that is) prices. We dove into how reusable products actually cost less in the long-run, the unseen cost of single-use goods, and of course, added new features to make it easier for you to shop discounted goods such as the Deals Page!

We also, as usual, uploaded some seriously sustainable brands–many of which quickly became EarthHero bestsellers, like TerraCycle and Plaine Products. Plus, EarthHero was the first American company to launch a Netherlands company called BiOBUDDi, which makes sugarcane based LEGO-style building blocks. Then, we further expanded our personal care & sunscreen category–bringing on the fan-favorite Goddess Garden.

June

Recycling is one of our favorite topics. In June, we highlighted awesome new brands that are using recycled or upcycled materials to make their products, like the folks over at Preserve & Indosole. We wrote blogs all about upcycling, downcycling, and things you can’t recycle but probably assumed you could (whaa?)

New plastic-free brands like Maderacraft and Crimson Goods were added, and we began gearing up for our next big theme, which is actually a global theme nowadays: Plastic Free July.

July

With the rising global movement around Plastic-Free July, and plastic-free living in general, we decided to use this month to “choose to refuse” plastic-waste alongside the rest of the world. And the impact was astounding! In this month alone, some major global players made commitments to reduced plastics–such as Disney banning single-use straws and stirrers at all of its theme parks and resorts, which is estimated to reduce 175 million straws and 13 million plastic stirrers. Starbucks made major news by committing to ban plastic straws by 2020, alongside UK and EU based McDonald’s, and even several airlines like American Airlines. Our personal favorite story comes from Seattle, where on July 1st they made headlines for banning the use of plastic straws and utensils at bars and restaurants.

EarthHero has always been committed to reduced plastic, both in products and packaging, and this month was no exception. We added a feature to our site called Sort By: “Minimal Plastic Packaging” and “Plastic Free Packaging” for our Beauty + Care products, to indicate products that have a touch of plastic packaging (think a plastic lid, or pump), or 100% plastic-free products (they are packaged, and ship, totally plastic-free!)

We also brought on some brands that are great solutions for reducing plastic in your own life, such as BioBag, a compostable Ziploc-bag alternative, Khala Cloths, a vegan food storage wrap to replace seran wrap, and personal care companies like Seed Phytonutrients and Bestowed Essentials–both of which have been revolutionizing personal care packaging through unique packaging materials, like compostable cellulose and recyclable plastic liners.

August

August marks the end of summer. As we said goodbye to sun hats and and aloe vera, we started to look towards the fall… and of course, the return to school for many. We focused on a totally new form of waste that often gets neglected: school and office waste! We looked far and wide to find products that the modern student and parent can use–from lunchtime to arts & crafts and research papers alike. For pens, pencils, and even notecards, staples and notebooks we brought you Onyx and Green, a company using alternative materials like bamboo, recycled plastic, and recycled newspaper to make functional, yet fun school supplies.

But we didn’t stop there. With thousands of students, teachers, and professionals headed to work or school each day, we knew we wanted to tackle one very important part of the day: the brown-paper-sack-Ziploc-bag-filled lunch on-the-go that we all know and don’t-really-love. Not only is it wasteful in the long run, but does nothing to keep your food protected or a certain temperature, and oftentimes will just break–leaving you with a PB&J on the floor.

To tackle this, we turned to our new favorite material, silicone! Brands like Food Huggers, Stasher, and ECOlunchbox all utilize this fabulous non-plastic material, as it’s extremely durable, long lasting, practically unbreakable, and can be used in high temperature situations without leaching plastic chemicals into your food. So, we gathered up all the awesome silicone products we could find, and brought them to you. You’re welcome :-).

September

Drum roll please….

The EarthHero team was beyond proud to welcome the 5th full-time member (and partner) of the team, the wonderful, fabulous, talented Jeff Day, our COO. With 20 years of experience in eCommerce, we’re so lucky to have had Jeff join us, and look forward to many more years to come!

EarthHero was reviewed by some gurus in the sustainability world, like Shelbizleee, Style Wise, Sustainably Chic, Litterless, Mama Eco–and many more! We also brought on new products from brands you know and love, like more Klean Kanteen, SOL Organic sheets, and Plaine Products!

October

Sustainability made spooky. While that may not be our actual slogan, in October, it is. As the leaves changed and the days got shorter in our hometown of Boulder, CO, we added tons of new fall fashions from brands like tentree, United by Blue, and SEEK Dry Goods so that you could stay cozy all season long.

After months of planning & prepping, October was the month we finally launched our “Green Gift Boxes”, including our New Mom Box, Zero Waste Box, Spa Box, and Home Box–all chock full of eco-friendly goodies from some of our favorite brands. Whether you’re shopping for your sustainable friend, looking for your own one-step sustainability set, or looking for a impactful gift for a business client, these 4 boxes launched our gift box program. Shhh, insider secret…. There will be more types of boxes coming 2019, so you can have even more green gifting options!

But no product, brand, or event could compare to one of our favorite events of the year–the addition of Callie to the EarthHero team, our newest Sustainable Sourcing Manager with a background in fashion merchandising, textiles, and supply chains. With all the new brands and products that we already uploaded in 2018, and a long, long list of brands we aim to add in 2019, we knew Callie was the right gal for the job!

November

November felt like a blur. Between preparing for Christmas by adding tons of new sustainable stocking stuffers, gifts, toys, and holiday card, to preparing for our “Give Back” Friday campaign on Black Friday, it was quite a month!

Instead of just offering great deals this Black Friday (which we also did!), we transformed this day of classic overconsumption into one that allowed you to donate to one of three environmental non-profits. At checkout, it was up to you to decide what percentage of your 20% discount was applied to the order, and what percentage went to an amazing cause. We partnered with the Ocean Conservancy, Friends of the Earth, and the Sustainable Packaging Coalition–learn more about our Give Back Friday campaign here!

We also expanded into some new categories with brands like Conscious Stories’ ethical children’s books, Sustain’s intimate products, and 4Ocean’s charitable jewelry–getting us even closer to having a sustainable alternative for anything and everything.

December

‘Tis the season to be sustainable… that’s how it goes right? After all the engagement we saw around our “Give-Back Friday” campaign on the weekend of Black Friday, we decided to dedicate this entire month to getting as many amazing, eco-friendly gifts, goods, and essentials up on EarthHero so that you could find the perfect gift for everyone in your life. This included holiday season essentials like recyclable wrapping paper from Wrappily, and over 300+ new toys from brands like PlanToys, Green Toys, and Under the Nile! We gathered sustainable stocking stuffers from brands like Solmate Socks, and EcoNuts, and of course, relied on some of our old favorites like EarthHero Bamboo Utensil Sets and all sorts of reusable straws. We promoted our Green Gifting Boxes, and made all sorts of sustainable-Santa-deliveries to families, friends, and businesses alike.

Now, we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but I’d love to include that we hit 10,000 followers on Instagram… there’s just 600 more to go. No pressure or anything, but you definitely should follow us on Instagram here! 

That’s not the only place our community grew. however. Checkout our year, by the numbers, at the end of this blog!

As the year winds down, please excuse us if we get a little emotional. We’re not crying, you’re crying. But on a more serious note, as a team we learned so much this year–both about our amazing community (that’s you!), and about what EarthHero stands for, and where we want to go as a company from here. There’s been sweat, tears, more sweat, more tears, and sure, maybe some blood. But it has all been worth it to be able to serve such an amazing community of changemakers. So, from the entire EarthHero team, thank you, and we cannot wait to spend 2019 changing the world with you.

How YOU Helped Us Grow in 2018!

We brought on over 45+ new brands!

We sourced over 2,000+ new products!

Through tentree’s Plant-a-Tree program, we planted 2,990 trees!

Through our carbon offset program with Carbonfund, we helped restore deforested areas across the midwest!

We partnered with 3 awesome nonprofits–the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, Friends of the Earth, and the Ocean Conservancy!

We got three fabulous new full-time employees, Juliet, Jeff, & Callie, and two new very furry doggos, Baby & Bodhi!

We made 14,000 new friends on Facebook, and 10,000 new friends on Instagram!

 

So, happy new year, EarthHeroes! Bring on 2019 🙂

Interview with ECOlunchbox

An interview with the founder of ECOlunchbox & Blue Water Bento, Sandra Ann Harris

We’re delighted to share with you an interview we did recently with Sandra Ann Harris, the founder and CEO of ECOlunchbox and Blue Water Bento! Her company, which is based in Lafayette, Calif., is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year, so we wanted to learn more about this mission-based company that has sold hundreds of thousands of plastic-free lunchboxes worldwide! Their community is averting the use and disposal of 10’s of millions of pieces of plastic trash annually, according to ECOlunchbox’s recent environmental impact study. Read on to take a sneak peek into the mind of this eco-preneur!

EarthHero | ECOlunchbox

What inspired you to start ECOlunchbox?

We protect what we love, right? For me, the impetus to start ECOlunchbox stemmed from my love of my kids and our oceans. It really struck me when my kids were in pre-school and I was packing lunches regularly for the first time in a long time, how much plastic waste was being generated at lunchtime. It was really shocking to see the garbage cans at the pre-school where my kids were going in the early 2000s literally overflowing with pre-packaged waste from cheese sticks, yogurt squeezes, juice sacks and boxes, etc. At that time Klean Kanteen stainless water bottles were on the market, but there were not plastic-free food containers available for purchase. I looked high and low. I didn’t intend to start a company myself. I was a former journalist and humanitarian aid worker. Consumer products weren’t my thing, but when I realized there was  such a huge hole in the marketplace I decided to fill it by starting ECOlunchbox as a first-to-market-brand specializing in plastic-free food containers that are healthy for people and the planet.

What’s your favorite item in the ECOlunchbox collection?

Oh my gosh, that’s like asking me to pick between my kids. (Laughing!) This is a tough question. I love each and every of my ECOlunchboxes and especially our Seal Cup Trio, which is part of our Blue Water Bento line we launched on Kickstarter back in 2015. I love our Seal Cup Trio and rely on it every single day because it’s leakproof and the three containers can pack compactly with me where ever I go, nesting inside each other. The Seal Cup Large features an orange lid with a sea urchin design. The Seal Cup Medium has a blue lid embossed with a pattern reminiscent of ocean waves on a beach. And the little Seal Cup Small is teal with a nubby shell design. We also have a Mini, XL and Jumbo size that coordinate to make a set of six nesting containers. The Jumbo, which holds 6 cups food, is amazingly useful for veggie grain bowls, which I totally love. I feel so happy every time I use these containers and think about how much I love our oceans and how I’m reducing my dependence on plastic every time I use one of our Blue Water Bento containers.

You put a lot of work into having truly sustainable product and shipping materials. Tell us a little about the materials you’ve chosen for your non-toxic lunchboxes!

Thank you so much for acknowledging us. The heartbeat of what we’re up to is showing the world that it is possible to make choices to reduce dependence on plastics. When I started the business 10 years ago, people, even family members and friends, thought my concerns about plastics when it comes to threatening human and planetary health, were a bit far fetched. But as a former investigative journalist, my research showed that while there may be medical uses and other specific instances when plastic is still the best material available for the job, that’s not true when it comes to food containers.

I see absolutely no reason why people would choose to continue to use plastic food containers, which are known to cause issues with human health due to the prevalence of BPA in all plastics, including BPA-free plastics, when ECOlunchboxes exist. Seriously, in my opinion, we offer a no compromises product that is non-toxic, unbreakable, leak-proof, and dishwasher safe, including the silicone lids, which are safe to be washed even in commercial dishwasher as high heat.

For me the whole point of ECOlunchbox is to innovate and bring to market food containers that check all the boxes. Are we perfect, no, but we are mindful of our choices. As you mentioned, we have also continued to eliminate plastic from any of our packaging and stick to a minimalist approach when it comes to the paper bands and stickers we use on our products for shelf displays. From the beginning, we’ve said no to plastic. Our commitment to remain plastic-free gives us such joy and we love sharing about why we feel so strongly about keeping plastics out of our products. Thank you for this opportunity to tell our story!

What do you think the biggest barrier facing sustainability is today?

Evolving the collective mindset is the biggest challenge facing sustainability. People are usually resistant to change. They’ve gotten used to the throw-away, single-use culture and they can’t envision changing their ways. Last year my husband, who is from Vietnam, and I took our kids to visit villages in northern Vietnam where the Hmong live. We trekked with a local guide, staying with her family in a thatched hut with a mud floor, through communities that were littered with plastic bottles, candy wrappers and other non-biodegradable debris. The young woman guiding us was 32-years-old and she could remember as a child a time when plastic bottles didn’t exist in her community. When she worked in the rice fields she made herself a bottle using a hatchet out of a bamboo stalk. She even made a bamboo bottle with us so we could have this retro experience with her. She could remember a time without plastic in her own lifetime and she was committed to raising awareness in her village that it was time to turn back the clock on modernity and re-embrace the traditions of her parents, grandparents and ancestors. I found our visit very inspiring and it stirred up memories of visiting my grandparents in Palo Alto, California in the 1970s and noticing their refrigerator was filled with glass containers with glass lids for food storage and they were re-using, re-purposing and up-cycling everything possible. No matter whether our roots lie in the East or the West, we can benefit from the wisdom of the pre-plastic generations.

What is silicone, and why did you choose to use it in many of the ECOlunchbox products? How is silicone different from plastic?

This is a great question. I think a lot of people are on a steep learning curve when it comes to silicone, especially since it looks similar to plastic. It took me about three years to research silicone and decide to move forward with our no-leak Blue Water Bento containers. For starters, plastic is a petroleum-based material. Our high-quality, food-grade silicone is made from silica found in sand.

When it comes to offering a highly durable and reusable food container that doesn’t leak and doesn’t contain the estrogen-mimicking chemicals commonly found in plastics, we believe that silicone is currently the best answer. It would be awesome if it were biodegradable, but sadly, like plastic, silicone must be recycled at end of life. This isn’t ideal, but for now it’s the safest, most non-toxic material we have found for our lids.

When it comes to the environment, silicone is highly durable and more ocean friendly than plastic. If one of our silicone lids were to get lost in the ocean, for example, it’s not going to break down into little particles and get ingested by marine life. It resists degradation in sun and sea. We have a lot more info about this question on our website for those who are keenly interested in learning more about silicone.

EarthHero | ECOlunchbox

What’s one thing someone might not know about your products?

I take so much inspiration from Tomales Bay in the Pt. Reyes Peninsula. See if you can guess what the embossed pattern is on our 3-in-1 Splash Box and Mini Splash Pod, which we introduced in 2018. Every time I use this fabulous powerhouse of a lunchbox, I smile recollecting so many good times kayaking, hiking and camping on Tomales Bay, which is filled with eel grass and seaweed.

The eel grass, which is a critical food for marine life at the bottom of the food pyramid in Tomales Bay’s ecosystem, is featured in the embossed celadon green lid of the upstair level of the 3-in-1 Splash Box modular container. The seaweed is celebrated in the dark green motif on the Mini Splash Pod tucked inside the upstairs of this two-level container. Sailors, kayakers, surfers and other ocean lovers notice these details about our products and smile for the love of Big Blue! Jacques Cousteau once said, “We only protect what we love, we only love what we understand, and we only understand what we are taught.” What do you love?

**Want to get your own plastic-free products? Take 15% off ALL ECOlunchbox products with code: ECOlunchbox!**

 

 

Interview with Crimson Goods

Meet Niko Dellios, one of the founders of Crimson Goods, a climate positive company. But what do climate positive products truly mean in our changing climate, and how could they change the way the world does business? We interviewed Niko to get the full scoop.

What is the Crimson Goods story? What inspired you to want to make your products?

The idea for Crimson and climate positive products came to light while our founder, Niko Dellios was sitting on his laptop (powered by a solar battery pack) in the devastated USVI after hurricane Irma. He was thinking of ways he could help fix the world’s climate issues. He wanted to actually reverse the global climate problem and only one real solution came to mind. Bring products to the consumer market that don’t hurt the planet and actively help to reduce the problem.

Once we had our central focus of Climate Positivity and a way of properly accounting for and positively offsetting production, we then looked to sustainably developing products that we already use and love. Naturally, our first two products were natural surf wax and organic coconut oil. Surfing is a common thread in the Crimson team, so we go through a fair amount of wax. A totally natural wax alternative to synthetic surf wax options provides a solution to the suffering reefs and marine life.

Most of us were familiar with coconut oil for cooking, and following our marketing director’s claim for its use as a great natural bug repellent, we charged full steam ahead to create cold pressed coconut oil for topical uses and cooking.

What does “climate change” mean to you? How has a changing climate impact your own lives?

Climate change and pollution affects us both on an ideological and physical level.

Ideologically, it pains us to truly understand how much we are f-ing up the planet. We use layman’s terms when we discuss these issues, because passion gets lost in science. There’s not enough time to act like nothing is happening, when the roof is being ripped from the foundation of your home in a category 5 hurricane, or slowly forgetting that seeing blue skies in your city is not the standard.

We know that our brand cannot solve all the problems in the world, but we wanted to create a line of products that could have a simple impact. At least, with our brand we know from a carbon footprint perspective, the products help reduce the carbon problem, and actively educate the world.

What are some of the main goals for Crimson Goods? What are some of Crimsons goals looking into the future?

Education, waste reduction, and everyday offsets. We’d like to provide product solutions for most aspects of the average daily life. Solutions that reduce waste, offset daily consumer footprints, and make people question their habits. We see this happening with bulk (package-free) solutions, and locally sourcing as much as possible.

What does “climate positive” mean in terms of your products? How is “climate positive”different from “carbon neutral”? How do the carbon offsets that come with your products create an impact?

Climate Positive products prevent more carbon dioxide than they create.

How do we do this? By calculating the level of CO2 impact caused by each product. To do this we take into account production, manufacturing, packaging and shipping. Once we know the impact, we calculate how much CO2 is needed to make the product carbon neutral and purchase an offsets via CHOOOSE. They reduces the amount carbon emissions big industry players (polluters) can get away with. But we don’t stop there. We then add an additional offset amount to make the product more than carbon neutral. This means that every Crimson products actually prevents more CO2 than needed to create it, and the extra offsets the daily lives of our community of consumers, that’s climate positive.

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

The biggest / easiest thing we can do it change our diets. Everyone needs to reduce their meat consumption and fully stop eating beef. It’s proven that methane from cows is actually 23X worse per unit than carbon from transportation. Not to mention, the clearing of forests, backward food supply chain that’s needs to produce cattle.

All together meat is really tough on the environment for not a whole lot of net benefit. We suggest a homemade black bean burger cooked in climate positive organic coconut oil, wink, wink.

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

So many realities about the consumer goods market. With our “Climate Positive” business model, it’s been a crazy battle considering where sacrifices must be made in the supply chain and beyond. We would love to be champions of sustainability, and climate positivity, and habit change, and social influencing, and outdoor specialism, and conservationism, and material development…etc.

We’ve realized that supporting a global market in a “Climate Positive” way is ultimately progress. Sourcing goods from overseas to the U.S., if properly considering carbon costs, can be a solution, if the product doesn’t exist locally. We face these questions daily.

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

Diet is the first frontier; keeping a local, very low meat diet is a big one. Mainly working remote (working from home) has definitely reduced our transportation footprint, and composting at home!

What’s your favorite Crimson Goods product?

Coconut Oil! It’s so versatile. Coconut oil on everything, with everything, for everything, seriously. The whole team uses it in some way every day. Brings back nostalgia of early morning surf sessions in Costa and SE Asia. Oh yeah, another goal of Crimson’s: [an] US based coconut farm.

What’s something unique Crimson Goods has done that your customers might want to know about?

We are gearing up to launch a wholesale distribution of paper straws! So if you or anyone you know has a restaurant or is doing an event and needs paper straws, hit us up! Plus, look out for “Climate Positive” events soon in California and beyond. Crimson will be diving into the “Climate Positive” space for experiences as well as products.

Crimson Goods x EarthHero

Simply put, Crimson is changing the way we think about shopping. Every product comes with a carbon offset, which makes the product “carbon neutral” (meaning it neither produces nor reduces our carbon emissions). Because big industry polluters are only allowed to have a certain number of carbon emissions permits, when we purchase them with Crimson products, we take them away from the big polluters who want them–which offsets CO2 emissions. This makes YOU climate positive (yay!), with most of their products reducing the amount of carbon emissions created by a roundtrip flight from Denver to Los Angeles. The end result is you get an awesome product, while preventing more CO2 then you create–which is reversing the impact of climate change! It’s not a charity. It’s a new way of consuming.

 

Interview with Bestowed Essentials

One of our newest brands, Bestowed Essentials, comes with a a wonderful story. Callee, a self proclaimed hippie, began her soap-making journey in 2016, after she found a handmade soap that helped her with her own acne struggle and wanted to research more! Since then, she’s not only created a beautiful line of skin and body care (with plastic-free packaging, woot woot!), but she’s also become a role model in the world of zero waste. Learn more about Callee’s story in our interview below, and catch a never-before-seen exclusive scoop about the future of Bestowed Essentials!

What inspired you to start making soaps?

I was first inspired to make soap after I tried a bar of handmade soap from a gift shop in New Orleans, LA and found that it helped clear the acne I’d been struggling with for over a decade. This led to me doing research into natural ingredients, and I was horrified to learn how many toxic + dangerous chemicals were in my everyday skincare routine. Once I got the hang of soapmaking, it became a really enjoyable hobby for me, and I soon had way more soap than I’d ever be able to use so I started selling it on Etsy and at the local farmer’s market. From there, my product line, and the business itself, has grown into what now enables me to travel the country and spread my passion for ethical + eco-friendly living.

You’ve put a lot of intention into your packaging! What’s been the biggest struggle in seeking out sustainable packaging for your beauty products, and what’s been your biggest accomplishment in that?

The biggest struggle in finding sustainable packaging has been seeing through greenwashing. It’s not enough for me that a material “can be” recycled, I also want it to already be made from post-consumer recycled materials itself. There have been some compromises that I’ve had to make, unfortunately, when it came down to choosing packaging made here in the US with only some recycled content, versus importing higher recycled content materials from overseas with a higher carbon footprint. My biggest accomplishment in regards to my packaging has been reaching 100% plastic-free packaging, for both products + shipping.

Some people worry that natural ingredients might not be as effective as chemical ones. What’s your experience?

Everyone’s experience will be different, because everyone’s body is different. In my personal experience, I have found much success with using natural skincare products, as well as eating natural, unprocessed foods, because what we put IN our bodies matters just as much as what we put ON it. I’ve had acne for nearly 15 years, and after having tried every drugstore brand, multiple topical prescriptions, and birth control pills, what worked best for me has been natural ingredients.

What’s your favorite item in the Bestowed Essentials collection?

Oh that’s such a difficult question to answer! My business is my life, I’ve put my blood, sweat and tears into it. But the product that brings me the most delight to create are my Face Toners, because I love to see the sunlight shine through the glass containers, they remind me of liquid gold. Plus, they’ve been lifesavers for my skin when traveling rapidly through different climates! My can’t-live-without item is my Charcoal + Mint Tooth Powder, though. I could theoretically give up my skincare routine, but oral hygiene is so vital to your overall wellness.

You have a strong zero-waste focus in your brand. What got you started into living zero waste?

The zero waste movement only became a part of my life recently, at the end of 2017. Ever a documentary lover, I came across A Plastic Ocean on Netflix, and it literally changed my life overnight. I made an immediate vow to myself to significantly reduce the amount of plastic that I use, which led me to Googling “how to live zero waste“, and absorbing everything I found online.

As I began documenting my unique zero waste journey while living + traveling the US in a van on Instagram, I not only discovered a wonderful community of people who motivate me, but I found myself being seen as a role model for others who were inspired by my lifestyle. It has become such a passion of mine, that I now run a blog, podcast + FB group to help others live an ethical + eco-friendly life.

What advice would you give to someone just getting started in zero waste?

Remember: progress over perfection! We live in a linear economy, not a circular economy, so it’s impossible to actually be “zero” waste. It’s all about doing the best you can, when you can. Small steps DO make a big difference.

What’s something that somebody might not know about the soap making process?

Soapmaking is both a science + an art. If you’re interested in trying it, do so! And try real soapmaking too; not fake melt + pour kits. Lye isn’t something to be afraid of if you handle it responsibly! But soapmaking can get addicting, and you’ll probably wind up with way more than you can ever use, haha.

What are you most excited about in the world of sustainability?

I’m excited that more and more people are becoming aware of what a massive crisis plastic pollution is! I hope that once enough consumers make their voices heard, that large industries will change their business practices, because the rate at which we’re currently going is not sustainable whatsoever.

What’s your favorite quote?

There are so many quotes that inspire me daily. “Dreams don’t work unless you do.” “Whether you believe you can or you can’t, you’re right.” “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if only you remember to turn on the light.”

What does the future look like for Bestowed Essentials?

Okay, I haven’t shared this with anyone yet, but frankly, Bestowed Essentials has been rapidly outgrowing my van, so early next year, I will be spending a few months in South Dakota to set up a warehouse and hire my first full-time employee to take over production for me. It was a hard decision, especially as a perfectionist, feeling like no one can do it as well as I can, or love it as much as I do, but I realized that I am holding back the potential of Bestowed Essentials, and this is the right decision to make for both the business, and myself, so that I can focus more energy on helping people live an ethical + eco-friendly life!

Shop Bestowed Essentials here!

4 Beauty Brands Breaking the Plastic Mold

Microbeads have been getting a lot of attention recently when it comes to our beauty and care products. We hear why they’re bad (think: tiny plastic pieces directly entering our waterways), but it’s not as easy to identify them. At EarthHero, we do the work to choose products that say no to microbeads, so you can shop assured that your beauty routine will be microbead-free!

From microbeads to packaging, here are four of our favorite companies tackling the ugly side of the beauty industry: plastics.

Plaine Products

True to their name, Plaine Products uses plain & simple ingredients–no microplastic particles allowed. All their personal care formulas are carefully crafted from all-natural, vegan ingredients that are power-packed with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Instead of using nasty parabens, sulfates, and phthalates, Plaine uses aloe vera as their main ingredient in their hair and skin care, an ingredient long known for its healing and nourishing properties. Our favorite part? Their formulas contain no palm oils, and are designed to easily biodegrade! That means with every wash, you’re actively reducing the amount of non-biodegradable microplastics that go down the drain every day.

Beyond their amazing formulas, they’re taking plastic-free a step further with their innovative 3-step refill system. Step 1: When you shop Plaine Products for the first time, you can choose if you want your 100% aluminum bottle to come with a plastic pump, or not! Step 2: Enjoy! Step 3: When you’ve used up your shampoo/conditioner/hand soap/lotion/whatever, you can ship the bottle back to Plaine Products to be refilled with your favorite product. If you opted for the plastic pump, you’ll keep that to be reused with your new bottle–reducing the amount of plastic used in the long run!

S.W. Basics

S.W. Basics knows that great skincare is about more than just great ingredients–it’s about simplicity. That’s why they use only truly natural and certified organic ingredients, with no GMOs, synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or other yucky additives. Many of their products proudly flaunt having less than 5 ingredients, inspired by their humble roots as a “handmade in the kitchen” personal care brand.

Exfoliants can be the biggest perpetrators of microplastic pollution (haven’t we all been tempted by that one Pink Grapefruit scrub promising perfect skin)–but S.W Basics is different. Their 3 ingredient exfoliant contains no plastic microbeads, relying instead on organic oat and almond flours with a touch of mineral-rich sea salt to naturally remove dry and dead skin. Plus, unlike normal scrubs, it’s totally customizable to your skin’s needs. Feeling extra dry? Mix the powder with olive oil to moisturize while you scrub. Dealing with acne or troubled skin? Mix the powder with yogurt to neutralize the bacteria that causes pimples. The best part: it’s in a glass bottle, with an aluminum lid–perfect for your plastic-free skincare routine!

Seed Phytonutrients

Fact: the typical American creates 4.4 pounds of waste every day, with 30% of it from packaging. Seed is on a mission to open the world’s eyes to the ugly side of the beauty industry: plastic packaging. They’re making a difference with their innovative shower-friendly bottle, made with recycled materials. The compostable outer sleeve and recyclable inner bladder design is used for their shampoos, conditioners, face washes, and more–which are all crafted from organic ingredients, not plastic chemicals.

They start with post-consumer materials, giving old materials a new life through recycling. A specially designed exterior mold allows the 100% post-consumer paper to become densified, and is coated in clay to become water-resistant. For the interior they take post-consumer plastic, forming it to be an extremely thin layer. Instead of glue, this inner belly interlocks with the exterior paper layer, which can be removed to reveal a packet of seeds (get it… Seed Phytonutrients…) The result? A shower-friendly bottle that’s just as sturdy as the other guys, with 60% less plastic overall. Read more about the ingredients and plastic-free packaging of Seed: here.

Bestowed Essentials

Bestowed Essentials is here to show you that natural is absolutely beautiful. Created by a self-proclaimed hippie, Bestowed Essentials has been earth-focused from the start. The founder, Christianna, started this company with a simple line of all-natural soaps in 2016. She has kept to those ideals, and has grown her beauty line to include charcoal tooth powder, herbal toners, and shampoo bars!

Their inspired products are made without any chemicals or plastics (looking at you, microbeads), from the ingredients to the packaging. Check out their soaps, for example. Not only are they made with all natural ingredients, including essential oils, real fruit, natural extracts, and hydrating seed oils, but they’re packaged in a 100% recycled (and recyclable) box! Their charcoal tooth powder? Packaged in an easy-to-reuse glass jar. Even their bath salts are housed in a 100% biodegradable cellophane bag!

Product Breakdown: Seed Phytonutrients

EarthHero Seed Phytonutrients
The core team behind Seed Phytonutrients. From left: Lea Koussoulis, Brad Farrell, Shane Wolf, Scott Schienvar.

Say hello to Seed Phytonutrients, a young company with some seriously old-school values. Founded in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, with a little help from their good friends over at L’Oreal, this mission-driven beauty and personal care company is planting the seeds of health, well-being, and sustainability with every one of their innovative products.

Seed’s philosophy is simple. Everything they do as a company furthers their four brand obsessions–from minimal plastic packaging to sustainable business practices. Join us below as we break down what gives this brand the EarthHero seal of approval–plus, a Q & A with our founder, Ryan Lewis and Brad Farrell from Seed!

 

Seed Phytonutrients | EarthHero | Product Breakdown

Obsession #1: Promoting Natural Beauty

Seed knows that natural beauty and healthy living go hand in hand. How you feel and what you choose to put into, and onto, your body has a huge impact on the way we look and treat ourselves! That’s why Seed uses the natural power of seeds as the main ingredients in their products, as seeds contain naturally occurring high concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, phytosterols, carotene, and vitamins A, C, D, and E. By using the cold press and expeller method to extract these nutrients from the seed, they maintain the true integrity of the plant, with the highest levels of purity. This creates sulphate-free, plant based, cruelty-free, vegan, gluten-free, and paraben-free formulas, with a delicate natural fragrance and natural ingredients (that’s a mouthful!). After the seed goes through the cold presser, Seed Phytonutrients returns whatever pulp is left to their farmers to be used as organic feed for animals.

 

Seed Phytonutrients | EarthHero

Obsession #2: Leading Environmental Sustainability

As non-recyclable plastic pollution becomes a bigger and bigger problem for our planet, companies like Seed Phytonutrients and partner Ecologic have stepped up to revolutionize plastic-packaged personal care. Their revolutionary shower-friendly bottles feature a 100% post-consumer recycled cardboard and compostable exterior coated with minerals from clay to be waterproof, alongside a thin, post-consumer recycled plastic liner that can be recycled at the end of its life. The result? Shampoo and conditioner bottles contain 60% less plastic than most typical personal care bottles. The interior plastic is so thin, 95% thinner than conventional plastic bottles, that it actually collapses as it’s used!

Plus, they use plastic-free recycled and recyclable packaging wherever possible–such as balms, serums, and soaps. When paired with EarthHero’s recycled and recyclable cardboard shipping packaging, you get a truly zero waste shower experience!

Seed Phytonutrients | EarthHero

Obsession #3: Supporting Independent American Organic Farmers

To become a certified organic farm here in America, you need to wait up to a whopping 3 years after switching over to organic practices before you can market the yield as certified organic. This can create financial risk for the farmer, and that paired with the high startup costs of switching to organic in the first place often leads to farmers switching back to conventional agriculture. Seed wanted to support the brave organic farmers that are putting their livelihood on the line for the sake of the planet, and dedicated their business model to doing just that. By paying for the seeds and 100% of their farmers crops up front, regardless of yield, they allow the farmers to reinvest in their farms and plan for future crops–instead of worrying about their current yield.

Independent farmers like Linda Shanahan and Eric Vander Hyde of Barefoot Botanicals grow some of the sunflowers used for Seed Phytonutrients’ products that contain sunflower seed oil. Their farm, just two miles away from Seed’s Doylestown headquarters, gets regular visits from the Seed team, who pays a fair, pre-negotiated price upon planting. This lets Linda and Eric plan for the future, increasing the long-term sustainability of organic farming. At the end of the day, it’s about so much more than just high-quality skin and hair care products–it’s about the family owned farms all over our country.

Seed Phytonutrients | EarthHero

Obsession #4: Preserving Seed Diversity

Did you know that over the last 100 years, we’ve lost 94% of our planet’s seed diversity? Diversity, in both plant and animal species, is highly important because it is that diversity that protects them from insects and pests, diseases, changes in climate, and natural disaster. Through their partnership with Hudson Valley Seed Company, Seed Phytonutrients is taking on seed diversity by putting a little surprise in every compostable shower-friendly bottle. You guessed it, it’s seeds! After you’ve used up all the product in your bottle, remove and compost the post-consumer cardboard exterior to reveal a packet of heirloom herb seeds, such as sweet basil, thyme, lemon basil, and wild arugula.

Hudson Valley Seed Company, founded by Ken Greene, was founded off of a revolutionary idea to preserve seed diversity: create a library of seeds to share with the community. Originally called the Hudson Valley Seed Library, Ken and his partner, Doug Muller, have been purveying organic, heirloom, and open-pollinated plants since 2008. They commission artists to design beautiful covers for their seed packets and include planting instructions and a brief history of the plant itself to go inside Seed’s shower-friendly bottles. The varieties chosen are easy to grow with any climate, soil, or experience level–with hopes that these little seed packs will open someones eyes to the importance of farming. In the words of Ken, “Whether a person plants the seeds or gives them to someone else, I hope they’ll take a moment to read the pack and think about where seeds come from,” he says. “Even when you’re buying a bottle of shampoo that has plant essences in it, before the farmer, there was a seed.”

Q & A with Brad Farrell

EarthHero | Seed Phytonutrients Founder | Q & A

We love everything the forward-thinking folks are doing over at Seed Phytonutrients, so we invited them to EarthHero office in Boulder, Colorado to chat about some of the awesome initiatives they’re working with! Watch the full interview between our founder, Ryan Lewis, the VP of Global Brand Marketing at Seed, Brad Farrell below.