1. Green Toys
Green Toys is a California-based manufacturer that specializes in classic children’s toys made from 100 percent recycled materials. The company reprocesses plastic milk jugs into a clean, safe, BPA-free plastic, which is then molded into dish sets, play food, blocks, toy cars, and baby toys. All steps in production–from reprocessing to packaging–happens in California alone; no materials are imported, thereby reducing greenhouse gasses associated with interstate transport. All Green Toys products are packaged in recycled cardboard with no cellophane, twist ties, or any other non-recyclable material. This reduces waste and also makes the packages easier for little hands to open. It is estimated that every pound of recycled plastic used in manufacturing saves enough energy to power a laptop computer for an entire month, or a television set for three weeks.
2. Container Exchanger
Large corporations and transport businesses use thousands of boxes and metal, plastic, and wooden containers every day. Many of these vessels end up in landfills when emptied, where they can take years to break down. ContainerExchanger.com aims to break that cycle by providing a link between companies looking to offload their used containers and those who require them. The company specializes in the sale and resale of bulk containers, storage bins, plastic pallets, and other metal and wood receptacles. Each container can be reused thousands of times; reselling them saves labor, money, and reduces each participating company’s overall carbon footprint. As Container Exchanger’s operations continue to expand, so too will its healthy environmental impact.
The founders of EcoProducts believe that “Waste is a waste of resources.” EcoProducts produces disposable cups, plates, and other tableware with a twist–all of its products are created from renewable or post-consumer recycled material, and many are recyclable in turn. Renewable resources include plant starch, sugarcane (used instead of paper), and a compostable plastic derived from corn. All products are manufactured using solar power as well. This use of alternative energy and sustainable materials produces less waste, preserves virgin forest, and improves soil through post-use composting. EcoProducts caters to green-minded restaurateurs in order to ensure an environmentally friendly impact on the modern food industry.
4. The Home Depot
Home Depot, though one of the larger corporations deserves recognition for its environmentally beneficial efforts. Since launching Eco Options in 2007, the home improvement retailer has done much to promote water conservation, energy efficiency, cleaner air, sustainable forests, and healthy homes. It was the first national retailer to carry FSC-certified lumber, has reduced the energy consumption of its stores, specializes in low VOC paints and environmentally-friendly cleaning products, and offers a recycling program to its customers that accepts CFL bulbs, batteries, and even old cell phones.
Going green is about so much more than labeling; more and more companies, manufacturers, and workplaces are joining in community efforts and implementing environmentally responsible practices. After all, we only have one Earth, and it is the duty of all to be good stewards.