cardboard shreds: BENEFITS + USES

If you’ve ever ordered products from us, you may have noticed we use cardboard shreds to package our goods. We stay away from styrofoam packing materials because we understand how detrimental styrofoam can be to our bodies and the environment. We strive to be a clean and green company for our employees, our environment, and you! Before we go over the many ways you can use cardboard shreds, we’d like to discuss its benefits too!

THE BENEFITS

Unlike styrofoam, cardboard is 100% recyclable and biodegradable! The majority of cardboard has the ability to completely degrade in as little as three months. This is environmentally awesome since styrofoam cannot be broken down at all! Styrofoam can only be recycled to make more styrofoam creating a never ending cycle and more harm to our planet. Based on our research, cardboard is a material with one of the least environmental impacts on our planet. When manufactured, emissions and CO2 levels are reduced by 60% compared to other materials. We love protecting our planet!

cardboard shreds can be recycled!

THE USES

Cardboard shreds are not only better for our planet but they can be used in a lot more ways than you might think! 

  • Packaging
    • Cardboard shreds can cushion fragile items making it an ideal packaging product.
    • Using cardboard instead of styrofoam in packaging makes a difference! Consider all the packages that are delivered around the world. Now that’s a lot of packaging. And if every business used cardboard shreds instead of styrofoam, our little planet would thank us!
  • Animal bedding for pets and livestock
    • Cardboard shreds can be comfortable and fun for animals to lay on. It’s the perfect type of bedding! Use it for your cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and more!
  • Fire starters
    • You can stuff cardboard shreds into toilet paper tubes to create a fire starter. It’s great for backyard fire-pits, fireplaces, and camping!
  • Composting
    • Cardboard can be a useful material when gardening because it’s rich in carbon. The carbon helps balance the compost which improves soil quality and suppresses weeds. Learn how to compost cardboard here.

OUR PROCESS

We’ve put together a video where we show you our cardboard shredding process. Happy recycling!

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Ways to Reduce your Carbon Footprint

Climate change is a serious issue that’s becoming more of a topic these days. Our carbon footprint is measured by the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that are released onto our environment. When there is an increase in greenhouse emissions, climate change comes into play. Climate change has led us to global warming. If we want to save our planet, not only for ourselves but for future generations, here are some tips and tricks that you can get started on to help out!

carbon footprint

Stop eating (or eat less) meat

Meat is one of the main contributors of food’s carbon footprint. The methane that is released from animals such as cattle, sheep, and goats are extremely bad for our environment. Red meat uses many resources and it produces five times more emissions than poultry products. Making one vegetarian meal a week can make a great difference, reducing the amount of carbon equal to driving over 1,000 miles.

Drive less

A study that took place in the US showed that public transportation saves 37 million tons of carbon emissions every year. Public transportation, walking, and biking are becoming more popular because it’s a good way to save our planet and get some exercise in!

Unplug your electronic devices

In case you didn’t know, all electronics use energy when they’re plugged in even if they’re off! Research has shown, in the US alone, that leaving electronics plugged in has caused up to $19 billion in energy draining every year folks! Once your electronic device is finished charging, unplug it! It’s that simple.

Conserve water

There’s only so much fresh water that we can enjoy. 96.5% of the water that’s on earth is too salty for human consumption! It’s so important that we conserve as much water as we can because we can’t make any more of it.

Eat local and organic

You may be wondering how eating locally will help reduce your carbon footprint. When you order or buy from distant countries, think about the journey that specific product has to go through. Planes, ships, trains, or trucks all contribute to the emission gases that are destroying our planet.

Plant a garden

Since plants absorb carbon dioxide, planting a garden is a quick and easy way to reduce your carbon footprint. If you decide to start a garden, why not plant some fruits and veggies too?

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Food Trends 2020

At the start of every new year, we strive to improve ourselves with resolutions and new opportunities. We aim to eat healthier, get into more sustainable habits, and be a bit more adventurous when it comes to food. Here are a few food trends that will be definitely changing the way we eat and drink this year.

Meat-Plant Blends

Meat-plant blends are beginning to gain a lot more traction these days. Companies are acknowledging the fact that consumers are searching for new ways to boost their protein intake as well as increase their vegetable consumption. Welcome in meat-plant blends where these two proteins are combined to create foods that are flavorful and nutritious! Companies offer items such as chicken nuggets that include cauliflower and chickpeas, and beef patties with mushrooms mixed into it. You probably would not be able to tell the difference between the new blended flavor and texture! Give these new products a try the next time you are browsing for healthier alternatives at your local grocery store.

Plant-Based, Beyond Soy

Soy milk used to be the latest craze for plant-based dairy alternatives. Nowadays you’ll run into a variety of different plant-based milks at your local markets such as almond, coconut, oat, pea, and rice. Oat milk currently appears to be the most popular plant-based and dairy-free milk substitute. Additionally, it is vegan, naturally gluten free, and is packed with nutrients. You can find oat milk at grocery stores as well as specialty coffee shops near you.

oat, field

Healthy and Convenient

It can be challenging to incorporate healthy and convenient foods into your busy schedule. Thanks to the rise of freshly prepared and grab-and-go options, the only issue you will run into is deciding which tasty items you want be eating throughout the day. Nutrient rich and non-processed foods are now easier to find a local markets. Look out for pre-portioned fruits and snacks, smoothies, and meal kits.

healthy, fruits, vegetables

Regenerative Agriculture

Regenerative agriculture is a farming process that practices to restore soil health without the use of harsh chemicals or disruptive methods. Paying special attention to water management and fertilizer use are a couple examples of how regenerative agriculture works. Other benefits of regenerative agriculture includes the increase of the soils water holding capacity, prevention of soil erosion, and the creation of ideal conditions for crop to become more resilient against bugs and diseases. The goal is to create long-lasting environmental benefits and positively impacts climate change.

agriculture, farm, regenerative

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Eating Organically On A Budget
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Ocean Plastic Pollution Crisis

What exactly is “grass-fed” beef?

Happy New Year! We hope everyone enjoyed the holidays and we hope you’re ready to tackle 2020! We’re thrilled to share all the new content that we have planned. Make sure to stay tuned and subscribe to our blog to stay updated. Now that we have all that covered, let’s move into today’s topic of what is “grass-fed” beef.

grass-fed BEEF

What is “grass-fed” beef?

To keep it simple, grass-fed beef implies that the animal’s primary source of nourishment comes from grass. Organic grass-fed beef ensures that animals are:

  • Free of hormones, antibiotics, and GMO’s
  • Raised in open grass environments
  • Prohibited from living in confined spaces

A true grass-fed system will keep cattle on pastures for their entire lives. Not only are cows eating how they’re meant to eat, this kind of system also aids our environment. Farmers that partake in grass-fed systems use fewer resources that greatly help the climate change crisis.

Nutrients in grass-fed beef

Organic grass-fed beef contains valuable nutrients that factory-raised meat does not. The meat that comes from cattle that only consume grass contains higher levels of antioxidants and vitamins. There are also two to three times the amount of CLA’s, conjugated linoleic acids, in grass-fed beef. CLA’s have been associated with reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, and cholesterol levels. Healthier ratios of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids can also be found in organic grass-fed meat.

grass-fed BEEF

Watch out for misleading labels

Above all, it’s crucial to know what these labels really entail. Just because a label claims to be grass-fed, free range, pasture-raised, does not mean that the animal consumed grass it’s entire life. There are loopholes in the system and because of this, one shouldn’t assume that grass-fed means 100 percent grass-fed. Back in January of 2016, the USDA dropped the definition of what makes a product “grass-fed,” thus leaving it open to various interpretations. Establishments are cheating the system and using dishonest marketing techniques to lure consumers. If you are interested in purchasing organic grass-fed meat, here are a few packaging labels that you should watch out for:

Don’t be tricked by the “free-range” or “pasture-raised” labels. The USDA label for “free-range” only means that animals have access to the outdoors. How much access is given, is never fully clarified. The “pasture-raised” label means absolutely nothing considering the fact that there is no legal U.S. definition for the word. Animals may roam and graze but they may also be switched to confined living spaces after some time.

grass-fed BEEF

The takeaway

All in all, there are greater and better nutrients that are delivered to your belly when you buy organic grass-fed meat. There’s a lot to gain when you learn how to read labels on packaging. At the end of the day, the decision is ultimately yours. Buying organic grass-fed meat is better for your well-being but it can also be higher in price. We hope this article helps!

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Ocean Plastic Pollution Crisis

There is a major plastic crisis that is happening throughout our oceans at the moment. Every year, we continue to produce billions of pounds of plastic and it’s being dispersed into our oceans. The Ocean Blue Project estimates that there are over 8 million metric tons of plastic that enter our ocean every year. Killing over 1 million seabirds and 100,000 sea mammals yearly. The ocean plastic pollution crisis is severe and even though there are various organizations that aim to help, everyone’s help is necessary at this point.

Plastics take years to break down

Plastics take many years to break down. They break down into micro pieces of plastic that are harmful pollutants. Depending on the type of plastic product, plastic can take up to 1,000 years (or more) to break down in landfills.

Garbage Patches

A garbage patch is a large area of the ocean where plastic and other litter collects. They form because of ocean currents known as gyres, whirlpools that pull objects in. There are five different gyres throughout our oceans but the most famous of these patches is the The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Even though the word ‘patch’ is often associated with an area covered in trash, it’s not what many think. A patch is a section in the ocean where debris of all shapes and sizes float and remain. Since there is a large range of types of debris, it may be possible to sail through these patches and see nothing.

Ocean Plastic Pollution Crisis

The Impact

There are various risks and impacts that come with garbage patches being spread throughout our oceans. Marine animals can get tangled in debris and this often causes death. There have been many instances when whales, dolphins, seals, turtles, and other sea animals have washed up on shore with bellies full of plastic. Marine animals aren’t the only ones suffering from plastic, it affects humans too. We are constantly exposed to microplastics that are found in tap water, seafood, beer, and sea salt.

What can we do?

With the ocean plastic pollution crisis being as severe as it is, it’s important that we all put in work to help the cause! We’ve listed a few tips to keep in mind.

  • Don’t use plastic bags!
    • Every second, 160,000 plastic bags are used around the world and they are used for an average of 12 minutes
  • Invest in stainless steel straws over plastic straws
    • 500 million straws are used every day
  • Don’t buy single use plastic water bottles
    • Single use water bottles take 450 years or more to decompose
  • Carry a reusable coffee cup
    • About 50 billion paper coffee cups are being thrown away in the US every year
  • Say no to plastic utensils
    • The Ocean Conservancy has listed cutlery as one of the most deadly items to marine life and wildlife.

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Eating Organically on a Budget

As much as we’d all like to eat healthy and organically, we understand how expensive it can be. Foods that are organic are often higher in price than foods that aren’t. However, there are ways to overcome price points and still eat healthy. Eating organically on a budget is possible! Before we go over our tips, let’s discuss the basics.

What does organic mean?

Organic produce or other ingredients are grown without using genetically modified organisms, pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, or other chemicals. The animals that produce organic meat, eggs, poultry, and dairy products do not take growth hormones. In order for a product to be labeled as “organic,” it must pass rigorous standards set by government approved certifiers.

Why should I eat organic food?

Consuming organic foods are healthier for our bodies but not many of us know exactly why. Products that are grown organically have an ample amount of nutrients that conventionally grown products don’t. The circumstances in which food is grown can greatly affect the environment and an individual’s well being.

  • Organic foods are often fresher
    • Farmers who grow organically don’t use preservatives to make their produce last longer. Produce harvested from these farms are usually fresher and need to be consumed before it begins to decompose.
  • Animals that are raised organically are not given antibiotics, growth hormones, or fed animal byproducts
    • Animals that are raised humanely have the ability to move around freely which means that they are overall healthier.
    • Feeding animals animal byproducts increases the chances of infecting livestock with mad cow disease. Mad cow disease begins with animals and can be spread to humans if the infected part of the animal is consumed.
  • Farmers that grow organically are helping the environment
    • Farming without pesticides can benefit other animals throughout the area.
    • The organic farming process can save water, enhance soil fertility, prevent pollution, and use less energy.
  • Fewer pesticides are used in organic foods
    • Higher pesticide exposure has been linked to various diseases: asthma, Alzheimer’s, birth defects, cancer, developmental and learning disorders, ADHD, autism, Parkinson’s, and diabetes.

Tips for eating organically on a budget

We often emphasize how important it is to be aware about the foods that go into our system. Eating organically can make a great change to your wellbeing and lifestyle. You don’t have to break the bank to do it either!

Tip #1: Follow the “Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen List”

  • If you decide to make an organic switch in your diet, you don’t have to purchase all organic groceries.
  • The Environmental Working Group has come up with the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen List.
  • Produce on the Clean 15 list are grown with fewer pesticides and they don’t necessarily have to be purchased organically. Products on the Dirty Dozen list are farmed with greater pesticides and chemicals. Professionals recommend purchasing items on the Dirty Dozen list organically.
  • Clean 15:
    • Avocados, Sweet Corn, Pineapples, Frozen Sweet Peas, Onions, Papayas, Eggplants, Asparagus, Kiwis, Cabbages, Cauliflower, Cantaloupes, Broccoli, Mushrooms, and Honeydew Melons
  • Dirty Dozen:
    • Strawberries, Spinach, Kale, Nectarines, Apples, Grapes, Peaches, Cherries, Pears, Tomatoes, Celery, and Potatoes

Tip #2: Shop store brands

Store brand foods are often more affordable than brand-name foods. Especially for organic foods. Here are a few stores that offer their own house brand.

  • ALDI – Simply Nature Line
  • Walmart – Wild Oats Marketplace Line
  • Target – Simply Balanced Line
  • Kroger – Simple Truth Line
  • Stop & Shop – Nature’s Promise Line
  • Safeway – O Organics

Tip #3: Buy Locally

Skipping the middleman and buying directly from local farmers can save you a significant amount of money. Visit your local farmers market and explore the various fruits and vegetables they have to offer during the season.

Conclusion

We hope these tips help you out on your next shopping adventure! Remember the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen List, try shopping store brands, and buy locally! Eating organically on a budget is not impossible. Happy shopping!

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