Patagonia Green Efforts

Patagonia, a designer outdoor clothing cooperation, is one company in the United States that is actively working toward a greener future. Starting with an entire section on their website detailing their specific efforts toward green activism and informational infographics that detail the production line of textiles from start to finish, Patagonia has dedicated an entire section of its department to sustainable movement. They have created different programs, volunteer efforts, donation events, and more sustainable, concious efforts towards a greener future.

Patagonia’s company has reported that this season “87% of [their] line uses recycled materials” This practices encourages reducing plastic waste as well as reusing it, as well as avoids uses of fossil fuels to decrease climate change effects. Overall Patagonia’s activism section on their website encourages to keep yourself concisous when it comes to buying new clothes and textiles, and cut down on our societies desire of consumption. By encouraging the reduction of consumption of clothing items, Patagonia puts out the message that they would rather have quality over quanitiy and reduce the waste that goes directly into our enviroment. They have documented on their website all the materials put into their products, which feautre plasitic textiles such as wool and nylon, but as well as recycled versions of the materials as well.

A report and study by McKinsey & Company is placed on Patagonia’s website that showed “consumers buy 60% more items of clothing and keep them for half as long as they did 15 years ago”, and with clothing contributing to “10% of pollution as a whole” apperael companies need to start understanding their overall effect on climate change and plastic/textile pollution.

The Patagonia company has not only priotized green effrots as far as their prodcution line goes, but details on their website the exploration of the entire footprint their clothing brand creates. I think this is valuable as, although they are a major company, they are transparent and clear with their consumers of the lifespan and impact their products have on the enviroment. Patagonia has not only built a company of informative and responsible understanding of their enviroemtnal impact, but has created several programs to establish real, active efforts to improve their company’s carbon and sustainablity footpring. One program is the “Materail Traceablity Program” which strives to establish the traceability of all their materials in the supply chain and work towards only using “enviromentally sustainable materials available”. Patagonia has also created a “self-imposed Earth tax” which will put forth 1% for the planet and support different enviormental non-profits.

Although many companies use words such as “sustainable”, “green” and “conscious”, its apparent that sometimes large cooperations will market to the consumer what they want to hear, only to continue to practice unethical and polluting methods behind closed doors. I think Patagonia is one of the few major apperael companies that not only is conscious of their specific effects on the environment and informative, yet calls other companies out on their uses of ‘Greenwashing’ on their main infographic under activism.

Patagonia’s company I beleive is one of the few major companies that is truly transparent with their production line to understand the types of wastes and pollution that they may put forth in the enviorment. I think as our enviorment declines and our plastic pollution rates get higher, its these major companies responsibles to figure out the most effective way to reuse, recycle, and overall destory their plastic pollution all together.

Flying Solo-Less

Alaskan airlines has recently announced they are going to switch from single use bottles and plastic cups to plant-based cartons and paper cups throughout 2022, starting on Thursday November 4th, 2021.  This is a big change for the company.  During a conducted study, the company looked into the products on board that carried the biggest environmental plastic footprint and found beverages to be the problem.  Alaskan airlines has worked hard to make attempts to recycle their plastic goods but this effort wasn’t always carried out by passengers or even some lazy airline workers so they decided to turn to a new alternative that should be better for the planet.

Paper Cups

Alaskan airlines has already stopped the use of all plastic straws on their flights.  Making the switch to plant-based cartons and paper cups will remove around 22 million plastic cups and 32 million plastic bottles, or ~1.8 million pounds of single-use plastic, from their flights throughout 2022.  To put this number into an image for you,  this is equivalent to how much 18 Boeing 373’s weigh.


Boeing 373

This change was brought into action by Diana Birkett Rakow, the Alaskan Airlines vice president of public affairs and sustainability.  She noticed all the beautiful places the airline flies over, and decided a change needed to occur within the company to make sure these places stay beautiful and untouched by plastic for years to come. Alaskan airlines is the fifth-largest airline carrier in the United States, so hopefully after this change is set into place, other airlines will realize how beneficial the switch to plant-based cartons and paper cups can truly be for the environment and they will too be persuaded to make a change within their companies.  Alaskan airlines has also started allowing passengers to pre-order fresh made food before their flights to cut down on plastic snack packaging during their flights.

Paper cups have their pros and cons though.  Paper cups break down faster in landfills and are easier to be processed at a recycling plant when being compared to plastic cups.  They are also still single use, which helps cut down on the spread of germs and contact, which is especially important during times like now when Covid-19 is still spreading around to lots of people.  One major con of these cups is that many contain an inside plastic film layer, used so liquids cannot seep through.  They can also cost more which may just not be a reasonable switch for some smaller businesses that have to keep their expenses low.

This switch is part of Alaskan Airlines’ five step plan to reduce their environment footprint and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.  Although this switch may seem like a huge step, there are still many more items that will need to be switch out and replaced over the years before this airline can claim they are 100% plastic free.  This switch only affects the materials water is served to customers and plastic cups will still be used on Alaskan airlines to serve alcohol and soda to consumers.


Plastic Straws? Think about the Paws!

Plastic straws are used every single day by billions of people. Now, although they are bad for the environment and harm the animals, citizens of the world seem to not care. As long as they can sip their drink without a care in the world, they’re all for plastic straws. Plastic straws are actually extremely toxic to the environment. Plastic straws are made from polypropylene. The other materials they’re made out of plastic resin, colorants, and other additives. In order to make a plastic straw, the plastic resin and other materials and mixed together, and then the mixture is made into a tube shape. After this, the straws go under specialized operations. After this, they are packaged and ready to be sold. Plastic straws are a one use item, which is why they’re so toxic to the environment. Typically when straws are thrown away they end up in landfills. After landfills, the wind usually carries them to either oceans or rivers affecting marine life. The environmental impacts of plastic straws are astonishing. Plastic straws are no biodegradable so insects and bacteria can’t consume them so they don’t go away like for example paper does. It could take straws up to 200 years to biodegrade. Plastic straws are also hard to recycle and are the seventh most collected item plastic items found. Since plastic straws are light, they fly away easily, making them go to places they’re not supposed to be. Plastic straws are also harmful to ocean wildlife. It was estimated that about 800 species in the ocean are affected by the ocean plastic pollution and that about 100,000 marine life animals die every year because of it. The social impacts of this include many people around the world taking action to ban plastic straws. We are in complete control of these impacts because ultimately we are the ones choosing to use these straws. Some assumptions I’ve made are that plastic straws aren’t that bad for the environment but in reality they are and it’s so easy for us to stop using them but we keep using them anyways.

Plastic Straws

The last straw: In N.J., single-use plastic straws to be provided by food  businesses upon request only starting Nov. 4 ⋆ Princeton, NJ local news %

Sustainable businesses..

There is almost nothing around us that is not made of plastic. It seems that plastic is involved in almost every aspect of our lives. It is everywhere you go and it’s really convenient in many ways.  However, even though these plastics can be repurposed, single-use ones harm our ecosystem. Thus, it is so unfortunate how something so small can have so much negative impact. It is especially harmful to the ocean. The ocean is dominated by marine organisms, and plastic negatively impacts their health.  While the situation is receiving much more attention there are so many businesses that have been very successful at being sustainable. Even though it cannot fix the plastic pollution overnight it is important that businesses are taking these steps in trying to make a change that can help the environment. 


One business that is taking these steps at being more environmentally sustainable is Lush. 

Lush is a company dedicated to creating fresh, cruelty-free, vegetarian, handmade, low-waste, and effective bath, body, skin, and hair care products that are sourced ethically and without animal testing. The company leads the way in the development of solid products, which eliminates the need for packaging. Millions of plastic bottles are saved from being produced, transported, and disposed of every year by their naked bubble bars, conditioners, and henna hair dyes. In addition, when you purchase naked products, you get the best ingredients and fragrances, so your money is spent on products that are the best for your skin and hair, rather than fancy packaging that can be discarded easily. A simple change from packaged to naked can have a profound impact. Take the shampoo bars for example. 124 million plastic bottles were prevented from ever being made due to selling 41 million shampoo bars since 2005. The amount of plastic saved is about 3417 tons, which is about the weight of 30 blue whales.

Outback Mate

Solid, naked products have been a hallmark of Lush for decades since they don’t require any synthetic preservatives – this means that they are completely self-preserving. The product recipes are designed so that there’s little to no water required for bacterial growth, and instead, we substitute honey and salt, natural preservatives that don’t contain synthetic chemicals. Offering unpackaged bath, shower, and body products encourage others to become innovative and reduce their packaging usage too by raising awareness of the overuse of disposable packaging.

When Lush can’t eliminate packaging completely (like in the case of liquid body washes or gift sets), they use materials that are recyclable, reusable, compostable, or post-consumer recycled, like their 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic bottles and pots. In a way not every big business is going to be 100% plastic-free so in a way lush might be greenwashing some of their products. Overall they seem to be doing a good job at trying to be sustainable for the environment. It’s also cool that Lush has also been experimenting with using ocean plastics in its packaging. The removal of plastic from the ocean would be economically beneficial while supplying packaging made from post-consumer plastic. 

I think their attempted effects on trying to become more sustainable and making an impact on other businesses,  are very good, especially the fact that they try to eliminate as much waste as possible which can be very good for the environment. 

Nature, Earth, Sustainability, Leaf, Arrows, Caution