Plastic waste is a huge problem within nearly every society on earth today. One of the best ways to ensure that we are not continuing to destroy our planet with plastic waste, is to make a change in the companies that initially produce the plastic waste. Over 380 million tons of plastic are produced each year. However, there are a few companies who are working towards more sustainable alternatives.

Through my research, I discovered that the food and beverage company, Nestlé, pledged to make all of their plastic packaging 100% recyclable or reusable by 2025. Nestlé made this pledge in April of 2020, but there are visible changes being made within the company. They also set a goal to have zero environmental impact by 2030 and zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. 

In September of 2020, Nestlé invested 30 million US dollars into becoming more sustainable in many areas. They increased the creation of food-grade recycled plastics, they created a refillable system for pet food in Chile, and they manufactured  a first-of-its-kind recyclable paper packaging for Maggi bouillon cubes in France.

In only a year since making the promise to create more sustainable packaging, 87% of Nestlé’s total packaging by weight and 66% of its total plastic packaging is recyclable or reusable. Nestlé decreased their plastic footprint almost immediately. By August of 2020, they reached plastic neutrality in the Philippines. This means that Nestlé collected and co-processed the equivalent amount of plastic as contained in the products sold and prevented the further flow of plastic into landfills and oceans. 

Many companies make promises about sustainability that they will probably never keep; However, Nestlé seems to be making true efforts towards sustainability. They have made over half of their packaging completely recyclable or reusable in less than a year. In addition, they have also set more goals for themselves as a company in order to accomplish more for people on the plain of sustainability.

Meier, Christoph. “Nestlé Intensifies Its Sustainable Packaging Transformation Journey.” Nestlé Global, 7 Sept. 2020, 

“What Are Businesses Doing to Turn off the Plastic Tap?” UNEP, UN Environment Programme,

Just Start

In order to live plastic free, most people would have to change nearly everything about the way they live their daily lives. How many people are truly willing to do this? I would hope that people have learned as much as I have about the earth and how important it is. How could I not desire to do better for myself and the place we call home? 

There are many things I would be willing to change in order to live a more plastic-free life. First of all, most of the plastic waste I create consists of water bottles and different types of plastic snack trash and straws. Only 12% of those types of plastic are fully recycled. Using less of these items still does not ensure that they will not end up in landfills or in the ocean. In order to ensure that I am not creating any more of these types of waste, I have to stop using them completely. 

Obviously, I can not stop drinking water and eating throughout the day. I can use alternative materials instead of plastic. To replace a plastic water bottle, I bought a reusable water bottle and just continually refill it. Instead of creating more and more plastic waste from snack packaging, I buy snacks that come in packaging that I can reuse or that comes in packaging that is completely biodegradable. I also bought metal straws to replace the plastic ones I used every day.

Making this change was not as difficult as some would think. In fact, I bought the reusable water bottle, the straws, and the reusable snack packaging all in the same day and began my journey of using less plastic. The only challenge I have faced so far is trying to find snacks that come in reusable or biodegradable packaging. I have found that the Aldi in my area is a great asset if you are trying to use less plastic packaging. A lot of the snacks come in cardboard packaging or cloth packaging that is reusable. 

The only plastic item I own that I do not think I could replace is my phone. Many of the parts that make up my phone are made out of plastic. I do not think that there are any phones that are not at least partially made of plastic. If there were, I would consider switching to that brand of phone. 

I will definitely stick to using more sustainable plastic options in my daily life. In addition, I will add more sustainable products and practices in my life. 

If I could give anyone advice on being more sustainable, it would be to just start. It is truly not that difficult to become more sustainable, you just have to begin making these changes. Once you start living more sustainably, it is not difficult to continue.

HP: A True Green Business

In the year 2021, large corporations proudly displaying their sustainability efforts is not uncommon. The sad part is that many of these companies do this simply to attract more customers, not because they want to use their power to make a genuine change in the environment. Instead, they like to make consumers feel as if they are “doing their part” environmentally by marketing off this sustainable image. After doing some research into large corporations that are truly making efforts towards being environmentally conscious, I discovered how much HP is a great representation of exactly that. HP is an IT company that is best known for selling things like laptops, computers, printers, computer accessories, etc. They currently have the world’s most sustainable PC portfolio and 100+ gold rated EPEAT items (which is a ranking system used to help buyers compare and choose electronics based on their “environmental attributes.” 

Since HP has such a good record of making sustainable efforts throughout their company, they proudly display these efforts in an annual Sustainable Impact Report which can be located on their website.  Not only do these reports provide detailed information on what they are trying to accomplish, but they also have the numbers to prove their progress.  In these reports, you can find information on the company’s carbon footprint, many recognitions, future goals and so much more. In their most recent report from 2020, all of their future goals are clearly stated in a timeline with several different time markers. By 2030, they aim to reach 75% circularity for products/packaging, maintain 0% deforestation for HP paper, and achieve carbon neutrality with supply businesses. 95% of HP’s suppliers have gone through a social/environmental assessment, as the company wants to ensure that all of their suppliers are working towards the same ethical and sustainable goals. 

They have full Sustainable Impact reports dating back to 2001, which shows you how over time HP has really grown and so have their effort towards making a bigger impact. The company shifted from resolving the lack of energy efficiency in their facilities to making their actual products more energy efficient. This is a prime example of the progress they have made and how their goals are being met yearly. 2001 HP Vice President Gary Fazzino stated “HP believes in the power of transparency” and that statement has been upheld to this day, building so many partnerships and creating accountability. 

To sum it all up, HP is the perfect example of a true green business. Each year, they work towards creating a more environmentally friendly company with employees that have the same values. They are making large scale efforts towards restoring the environment and creating a circular economy that ultimately benefits everyone. Also, all of their efforts are backed up with the statistics to prove it. They see room to improve and constantly strive for better. It is really amazing to see large corporations take responsibility and create a system where they are giving back as much as they’re taking.


Breaking Boundaries: The Science Of Our Planet

I chose this documentary because it covers most everything we have discussed in our class. It begins with a man named Johan Rockstrom who gave a TED talk and showed people how CO2 has impacted the planet and that we had reached a level of stability in the last 10,000 years and after the industrial revolution the CO2 levels spiked and the earth is not at a point where it’s stable anymore. He also adds that in that period we were in the Holocene and as of now we are in the Anthropocene and in this we have lost of valuable assets to our earth. Starting at the polar ice caps as we all know they have been melting for some time and they are responsible for cooling our earth. In Sweden the icecap are melting at an increased rate ever since we have entered into the Anthropocene as a result the earth is getting warmer and adding to the loss of ice caps. It is also destroying habitats for animals that live in these cold environments.

His next topic for how we need to change our way is land configuration and this is to stop deforestation and the destruction of forests for habitat and farming the more that we continue with deforestation the more animals wont have a place to live. It also causes the soil to be dry and not be able to distribute as much water throughout the forest. As observed the forest that has been torn down and allowed to grow back is not growing back into forest it grows into a savanna and this process is called savannization and is irreversible. In the Amazon alone they have lost about 20% of their forests. With the trees dying there is an increase in the amount of CO2 that is released into the atmosphere. Another big problem with deforestation is the loss of biodiversity and in nature there are many species of animals that are on the brink of extinction and after our last mass extinction we are once again very close to it happening again.

Johan Rockstrom was particularly impacted by the the extinction of many animals. In Sweden  bees have been taken by the UK because they don’t have enough bees and their best solution was to take bee queens to their own country hoping that they can fix their damage. He is astonished that another country had to steal key pollinators for their country just to have a functioning ecosystem. So much of todays crops rely on pollinators and now due to monoculture has lead to the decrease in insects due to pesticides and other crop solutions. I see this particular part of the documentary biased since it is directly impacting his country and he has a personal tie to the situation.  Johan sates to keep the extinction rate from reaching the dangerous levels we need to strive for not losing any populations in the year 2022 2023. the risk of losing even on species we could be a risk for another mass extinction.

Another important aspect that need to be protected is fresh water we as a society need a lot of fresh water. Weather it be for hygienic reasons or for consumption people in the rich world use even more water for household needs and then industry needs a couple hundred more and the rest is for our food this is another subject where I feel there is biased because Johan’s PHD was biased off of fresh water and where it being used. To add on to his biased opinion he discusses how when he was younger he would fish in his local pond and come back home with lots of fish and now in his local pond there are no more fish he says that this is due to fertilizers and overfishing. When growing crops they explain that to produce that amount of crops they need fertilizer but they are giving the plants more than they need and when it rains or the plants get watered the fertilizer washes away and runs off into other water ways and polluting it. When the water mixes with the fertilizer it creates a reaction called eutrophication and this produces lots of algae and it decomposes creating a rotting smell and is using up oxygen and in the water it creates a higher build up of phosphorous. This process also happens in the ocean and over time causes the ocean to be acidic and many animals they rely on calcium shells run into the problem of their shell becoming weaker. In all this is a very well done documentary but it constantly used the same metaphor when comparing the different levels of danger.



Widespread Movement

Many people have been fighting for years to reduce the pollution in the oceans and in the environment in general. These efforts were appreciated by the world, but there was not much done by larger figures in the media to help support these efforts. This is changing though. In a newly found movement called Team Seas, many large you tubers and social media influencers have come together to bring a larger awareness to the general public, especially younger kids who follow these influencers closely. The movement was started by Mr. Beast and Mark Rober and is similar to their movement they did a few years ago called Team Trees.

The pollution from plastics in the environment is ever increasing. The rising demand for plastics is causing a rising number of these plastics to end up in the oceans and other environmental locations. The demand also is causing the plastic manufacturing plants to be producing more plastics, in turn releasing more possibly harmful chemicals into the atmosphere. These rising pollutants in the environment are causing mass harm to the organisms that come into contact with said pollutants, and large faces in social media are realizing this. That is why the two people previously stated started this movement.

The movement was started on October 29 with one goal in mind. To clean the oceans and coastlines. The movement is based on a donation system, where one dollar is equal to one pound of trash that is promised to be removed from the oceans. The organization has a goal of at least 30 million pounds of trash removed by January 1st of 2022. This may seem like an unobtainable goal in such a small amount of time, money wise and man power wise, but the two founders of this organization have employed help to help clean the beaches. In just under a month, the organization has already raised $16,357,774, and the efforts to cleaning the beaches are already starting.

It is not just influencers that are bringing awareness to this movement as well. Other non-profit organizations, such as Ocean Conservancy, have already pledged to donate money and help participate in the cleanups all over the world. The movement has helped to bring attention to the problem, not just to older people who have lived with it, but to the younger generations who will have to live with the repercussions of this pollution if something is not done to change our habits and the demand and litter of plastics is not reduced.

This movement will hopefully be a huge step forward in conservation efforts. It will hopefully bring the negatives of pollution and plastics to the eyes of the whole world, and will create motivation in everyone to change their habits and help clean the world for generations to come. The two main organizations backing this movement are Ocean Conservancy and The Ocean Cleanup. These two organizations have much experience in the conservation of the oceans and will hopefully use this movement to pave the way for a brighter future.

Sustainability in Beer

Green business features have been gaining popularity recently. Firstly, let’s start off by explaining what a green business feature is; a company that embraces sustainable operations, products and materials, labor, and shipping methods. The business I chose to focus my blog on is New Belgium Brewing Company. 

In 1998, a young couple biked through Belgium. This trip sparked inspiration to bring Belgium brewing tradition to their home town in Colorado. They opened the first wind powered brewing company in Colorado. Their brewing company expanded and grew. By the summer of 2003, they decided to be a part of the change. They created an in -house sustainability department, becoming a Certified B-Corp and 1% for the planet member. In their efforts, they installed solar panels, created electricity from waste water, and reused heat for brewing to reduce energy waste. In 2009, they created at the time the largest private solar array in their home state of Colorado. They focused on their product’s lifetime in order to choose their perfect packaging. They chose to use glass bottles rather than cans to cut down on emissions. They partnered with the Glass Recycling Coalition to make their bottles, further reducing their waste. After more years of trying to perfect sustainable brewing,their beer Fat Tire became the first American certified carbon neutral beer. 

Since the owners and founders discovered this type of brewing on bikes, they have supported biking through their whole career. They have donated over nine million dollars to bike advocacy groups across the United States, donated part of their land in Asheville to act as a biking trail, and host bike races in their Fort Collins brewing location. 

The owners and founders of New Belgium Brewing are members of the Business for Innovation Climate and Energy Policy, along with being on the board of the We Are Still In movement. I chose this business because of their values: we inspire social and environmental change. These values personally spoke to me. While doing our litter sweep, one of the most common items my group found was alcohol cans, bottles, and caps. I love that they incorporate both social and environmental values. Drinking is often found in social settings. By them producing as little waste as possible, it not only reduces waste but benefits people. 

Greenwashing can be seen in many different organizations. It provides a false sense about a company’s environmental standing. Throughout my research on New Belgium Brewing, I could not find any signs of greenwashing. I believe that the couple that started this company truly believes in their values.On their website, they have a section completely dedicated to their sustainability. They have different tabs based on each sustainable thing they have been a part of. From biking, packaging, distribution, heating, along with so much more. Their efforts are very wide scale. They have lost thousands of dollars of profit in order to reduce waste. If you are interested in this company, I highly recommend checking out their website. They have a ton of information on each process. I believe that this is one of the companies that is doing good for the world.

Nike Trash Talk – Blog #5

Nike Trash Talk – Calvin Gorman

Corporations around the world have such a great influence on not only our environment but also our population. Large corporations such as Nike hold such strong power due to their global reach to draw attention to certain issues, in this particular case environmental issues. 

Nike is arguably the biggest and most popular global apparel brand and the corporation holds a lot of power in influencing people and drawing them to certain matters. Although Nike is trying to become more sustainable and has now joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, the company still has a long way to go before it can be branded as totally sustainable. Upon my research I found an initiative that Nike has started where they have partnered with Steve Nash, an All-star player for the Phoenix Suns who is very invested in environmental sustainability. The project was given the title, “Nike Trash Talk”. The collaboration aimed to create a usable and durable basketball shoe that was made entirely from manufactured waste. Senior Creative Designer for Running Shoes Kasey Jarvis, was the Nike director who worked with Nash to create the Trash Talk shoe. The silhouette of the shoe was identical to one that Nike had produced before, however this sustainable model was made entirely out of scrap material collected from Asian Nike factories. 

With Nike having such a large global reach and Steve Nash being involved in the project, many people heard about the shoe before it was even put on shelves. Thus bringing a lot of demand to the shoes and raising awareness about why the shoes were being made out of recycled material. When thinking of shoes being made with trash and other scrap materials we would imagine that they would be sold in smaller less expensive stores such as Target or Walmart however this would not draw enough attention to the project. Therefore Kasey Jarvis decided to release the shoes exclusively at the biggest NBA shoe store in New York City. Where the shoes sold out in a matter of hours. 

Overall I believe that this collaboration was definitely quite a significant step in the right direction for Nike, there is still a long way to go for them to achieve true sustainability. I also think that there should be more education into why these shoes are being made, and not just the fact that an NBA All-star promotes them.

The Life of a Computer!

For this week’s blog, I chose to analyze the life cycle of my computer. My computer is something I use every day and I thought it would be interesting to look into the environmental impacts of something I rely on so heavily. Computers aren’t made completely of plastic but they do have essential plastic components. Computer hardware also contains lead and mercury which can be quite toxic which I will get to later. Plastic in computers is used as insulators and capacitors as well as casing and keys. Computers are manufactured in factories however sometimes they need to travel from factory to factory to receive different parts. This process of added transportation creates more carbon emissions that are involved in the process of making the computer. The computer then needs to be deployed from the factory to a seller. Again, more transportation emissions are generated by transportation. Once it makes it to the seller, it is sold to the customer for usage. The use and operation of a computer are typically the longest part of the life cycle. This typically lasts around three to four years depending on the owner. Computers on the market are also constantly getting upgrades. If the customer is the type to want the newest computer each year, this will cut down the use and operation time. During the operation period of the computer’s lifetime, it is often known to break or slow down towards the end of three to four years. Some computer owners choose to get maintenance done on the computer but more commonly, owners tend to buy new computers that have a longer lifetime compared to their current computer. Once the customer is done using the computer, then it is ready for disposal. Computers can’t immediately go to a landfill. They need to be disassembled and decommissioned so that the hardware can be disposed of properly. Then these pieces of the computer are thrown into landfills…or they may make their way into the ocean. If lead and mercury from the hardware make their way into the ocean it can cause immune problems for marine life. If toxic phthalates make their way into the ocean it has the potential to be very harmful to marine life as well.

I thought it was very interesting to analyze the lifecycle of a computer. I normally think about the life cycles of throw-away, short-lifetime items so I liked being able to look at something with a longer life cycle. I often don’t think about the hazards that come with the disposal of technology so this was a good reminder about the risks and effects that come with purchasing technology. Personally, my current computer has lasted me from the beginning of high school until my freshman year of college. According to the article that I read, my computer should be at the end of its life cycle, however, it has done a great job holding up, even during the elder years of its life cycle. My dad has even offered to purchase a new computer but I don’t really see the point unless it completely stops working. This is very similar to my phone. Throughout high school, I had an iPhone 5 which was considered very old especially in my senior year. It still worked for me so I didn’t really see a problem with it. At the end of my senior year, the camera stopped working and the battery life started to go down so I ended up purchasing a used iPhone 7 to replace it. I personally do not see the necessity of owning the newest version of a product every time one comes out unless I absolutely need it. Through learning in this class about how companies purposefully make products that have a shortened lifespan, I actually find joy in using a product past the intended lifespan that the company sets for it.

Source used:

No more plastic!!

Our world is filled with plastic. Plastic can be found in almost every aspect of our daily lives. Plastic is used in so many everyday products that we purchase and use it. The use of single-use plastics can hurt the environment, while some can be reused. There has been a lot of attention focused on the situation, and several legislative initiatives have been undertaken, but it does not appear that progress is imminent. It is very concerning that we cannot see that it is too late until it is too late. 

There is a prediction in an article written by the UN that “plastic pollution in oceans and other bodies of water will more than double by 2030”. While Ocean Conservancy and Team Seas are among the organizations working to clean our oceans, they cannot solve the problem on their own. Governing bodies, as well as citizens, must work together to make the world a better place.

There is a growing amount of plastic being produced every day, and since this plastic will always find a way to enter the ocean, it will cause several problems to the environment. Not only are the plastic toxins harmful to the ocean, but they act as sponges that absorb other toxins before entering the water. Because these chemicals are ingested by animals in the ocean, they are hazardous to humans. Humans consume fish and mammals contaminated with these chemicals. Initially, if governments require businesses to cover waste management costs by 2040, they will face a $100 billion financial risk. In addition, it can lead to an increase in the amount of illegal waste disposed of domestically and internationally. It can cause many problems in our society and even more plastic to be exposed to our earth. There are many more factors involved than we initially think.

 According to the UN article, plastics are also a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. “In 2015, plastics emitted 1.7 gigatonnes of CO2 and by 2050, they will produce 6.5 gigatonnes.” This means that plastics not only contribute to ozone depletion but also help accelerate global warming. That is a major concern for the environment as well. The article also mentions that “In water sources, this type of pollution can cause hormonal changes, developmental disorders, reproductive abnormalities, and even cancer.” It is a scary thing that something we require to survive can be polluted and our health is put in more danger. 

In this article, the everyday person is the intended audience. It aims to shed light on the plastic problem and encourage people to push for a more sustainable and plastic-free world. Clearly, the article aims to create a more plastic-free economy and to encourage people to oppose plastic industries and make the world a cleaner place. It is a biased article because it does focus on getting people aware of these terrible problems and that we need to do a better job at fixing them. We humans started the problem, now it is our job to help clean up the problem. Even though recycling may not be enough, it is certainly a start for a safer and better free earth.

Marine debris, including plastics, paper, wood, metal and other manufactured material is found on beaches worldwide and at all depths of the ocean.

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Plastic Ocean

This Artist Is Turning Ocean Waste Into A Work Of Art | Verve Magazine

Artist Tan Zi Xi created this art installation creating a “plastic ocean” in which people can experience life below the Pacific Garbage Patch. Plastic Ocean is installed in an art gallery in Singapore. This piece by her was made up of over 20,000 pieces of plastic which she gathered from recycling and beach clean-ups. She states, “Through my art, I hope to increase awareness about the dire situation our oceans are in and also improve more people to evaluate their personal plastic waste generation and disposable habits. Plastics are non-biodegradable and will remain on Earth for a very long time. Plastic Ocean will appeal to the morality of the public and shed light on how the culture of convenience is unsustainable” Through this piece the artist is hoping to bring awareness to us who have an out-of-sight-out-of-mind mindset on how our own plastic footprint is affecting our earth.

Making Art with Plastic Waste | Eco-Age

This art installation named Plastikophobia was made by artists Von Wong and Joshua Goh. This installation stands in the Sustainable Singapore Gallary and was made up of 18,000 plastic cups collected from local food centers across Singapore to raise awareness for single-use plastic pollution. This art piece took almost a hundred volunteers and ten days to bring this project to life. This project not only does bring reality to the forefront about how much single-use plastics are used and wasted but how this plastic affects day-to-day activities people enjoy. They decided to photograph this piece as if it was a diver in the ocean, who is now consumed in this pool of plastic. The name “Plastikophobia” comes from the fear of plastic. I think this name is really fitting for this piece. The fear that plastic will one day consume our ocean and activities we enjoy doing.


Both of these art installations are not only pleasing to the eye but bring awareness to the people looking at them.  I would love to one day be able to see these art installations for myself and learn more about the artists who chose we use these materials rather than basic art materials. I think art with a deep meaning that is able to speak to everyone in this world is a really cool concept. All of us are in the midsts of this environmental crisis and art is a good way to express and educate