Small steps can make big waves
A zero-waste lifestyle—or business— is a lofty goal. But it can be worked towards with small, simple steps that add up into something impressive.
With the right inspiration, information, ideas, and innovation, we as a global community can drastically reduce the harm we are causing the planet with waste products and landfill. The low-waste movement is a groundswell gathering momentum. Let’s keep the wave going!
We’ve gathered some inspiring stories, compelling data, helpful ideas, and innovative products which might help you to continue the journey towards zero waste in your home or business.
Let’s hear from a rocket scientist...
Through social media, we get a peek at many different lives. Some of them are being lived in incredible ways! Dr. Anita Vandyke, a literal rocket scientist, medical doctor, and bestselling author, uses her considerable knowledge and her popular Instagram account to show followers how she puts her zero-waste philosophy into practice.
This rocket scientist will tell you herself that reducing waste in your life isn’t rocket science. Dr. Vandyke shares how it’s achievable, even while raising a young family and building a high-powered career.
Her posts include an array of tips and challenges for followers. A video entitled “5 life-changing zero-waste swaps for the new year” includes simple substitutions such as reusable menstrual cups and period underwear, homemade beauty products, plastic-free toilet paper, tooth tabs rather than toothpaste, and bars of soap and refillable hair care products.
Dr. Vandyke shares her secondhand outfits, her plastic-free pantry, her dental and beauty routines, her shopping habits, and interesting information about the environment and how it is affected by modern habits. Seeing her zero-waste ideals played out in real life serves as inspiration and guidance for almost a million followers. Her bestselling book explores this even further.
Tackling our planet’s waste problem won’t be solved by shifting the burden of responsibility entirely to individuals. It will be a global effort and must include the corporations which produce the lion’s share of landfill and harmful waste. However, bloggers and content creators like Dr. Vandyke are inspiring all of us to do our part—and this groundswell of more sustainable and low-waste living is set to become something significant.
From precious material to an environmental crisis.
Being inspired as to HOW we can reduce waste is one thing. Knowing WHY it’s necessary is just as important. And for that, we can turn to the compelling facts and statistics about plastic pollution. These from the UN Environmental Programme are a great place to start.
The problem of plastic is relatively new in the scheme of things, increasing exponentially as the world began to embrace the use of plastic more and more. As recently as the 1950s, plastic waste was almost non-existent.
In the early 2000s, plastic waste increased more in one decade than it had in the previous 40 years. Today, the numbers are grim: Around 300 million tonnes of plastic waste are produced each year. We are throwing out almost our own weight in plastic annually, with some nations more culpable than others.
Here are some more numbers that illustrate the scale of the problem:
- Only 9% of plastic ever produced has been recycled.
- The Chang Jiang (Yangtze River) alone is estimated to carry 1,469,481 tonnes of plastic to the ocean each year.
- Plastic waste persists in the environment for centuries. If we keep going as we are now, we will be buried in it before today’s plastic starts to deteriorate!
- If trends continue, there could be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050.
How innovative companies are challenging the industry
The numbers are shocking, but there is good news—lots of entrepreneurial and passionate people are working on innovative plastic-free and eco-friendly solutions and at NEON, we share that drive.
Natural and more biodegradable alternatives to plastic products are being developed as we speak.
A recent innovation that is an earth-friendly alternative to plastic and much more biodegradable is our compostable mailer. Made of plant-based materials that break down in household compost within 90-120 days, they are a fantastic choice for online businesses looking to make their packaging more sustainable. There’s no compromising on style either with five trendy and vibrant colours to choose from.
All actions, no matter how small, add up to a larger movement. With these earth-friendly eCommerce packaging alternatives, we help your brand gain the sustainable edge and reduce the amount of plastics ending up in our environment.
It doesn’t take much to be endlessly inspired by recent ideas tackling the plastic pollution problem. With a little scientific alchemy, mushrooms are being turned into products that can replace elements of polystyrene, packaging, insulation, aquatic materials, and even furniture. Low-emission bricks are being made from urine. The ideas are astounding. A quick search of the term “compostable” on Material District highlights lamps made from orange peels, home-grown compostable bike helmets, and polymer made of coffee grounds.
Plastic alternatives: what is home compostable?
The journey towards less waste for households and businesses is walked one step at a time. As customers increasingly look for more sustainable brands, replacing plastics with alternatives in eCommerce packaging can help reduce plastic waste and give your business the sustainable edge. If you’ve already started the search, you’ll know that it can be a challenge distinguishing between all the different labels out there.
So what are the marks and certifications of a truly home-compostable mailer? Thankfully, you don’t have to be a materials engineer (or a rocket scientist) to understand that one! In Australia, the test known as AS 5810 requires the disintegration of compostable materials in 6 months, and within one year, the organic materials need to have biodegraded and formed compost. The AS 5810 certification means the packaging is made from a biodegradable plastic suitable for home composting. And we’ve got you covered. NEON compostable mailers are strong and durable, water resistant, and fully certified with AS 5810 as 100% compostable in home compost.
Lead the way in sustainability—your customers, clients, and followers will recognise this.
Do you feel inspired? Informed? Are you impressed by the innovation happening around the zero-waste movement, and armed with ideas that you can implement in your home or business?
We love to talk about these topics because knowledge is power. The more that people know, the more they understand the need for better solutions. By seeing others put their zero-waste ideas into action, we can make small changes that lead to big, hopeful transformations. At NEON, we are excited to continue down this path and bring innovative, more sustainable packaging to you and your customers.