What About Green?

Seventh generation is a green company that focuses on being eco-friendly especially with its packaging as well as using recycled materials and plant-based products. Their goal is “to transform the world into a healthy, sustainable & equitable place for the next seven generations.” Seventh Generation is all about being 100% biobased and is aiming to be a zero-waste company by 2025.

Seventh Generation logo and symbol, meaning, history, PNG

They also focus on environmental advocacy by supporting other green companies like Sierra Club(an environmental initiative that gets cities to commit to 100% clean renewable energy) Seventh Generation offers grants to many nonprofit organizations, while they also offer help to indigenous-led nonprofits for the environment and social welfare of people. They operate on a large scale and do the absolute most to reach out as far and realistically as possible to cover all the bases of being a clean company. Their website is very open and honest about its efforts to create a better environment and what extra involvements they have with third-party associations. They also have all of their products listed as well as what is contained in them and how the packaging is made and what it’s made from. On the website, it seems very open and honest with its consumers and gives off the appearance of being an ecofriendly marketplace for sustainability. They have their mission, values, activism, blogs, products, and community all highlighted and easy to find so consumers have a better time finding them and doing their own research. All Products | Seventh Generation

I would say there is little to no element of greenwashing because all of what they are saying and doing is true to their statements and they are not making any of their products or advocacy up/exaggerated. They seem very truthful when it comes to how their products are made and the steps they are taking in order to stay true to being sustainable. This is pulled from their 2020 impact report about a goal they had met for that year z In 2020, 97% of product packaging, by volume, was what we considered to be ‘Zero Waste’ — reusable, recyclable or biodegradable” they also state in the same report that As our business grew so did our greenhouse gas emissions and our total plastics use”. The last quote can go to show that although they are doing good things they still fell short on some of the other goals they have in place, thus keeping true to their transparency agreement.

“We have been humbled by what 2020 has taught us, and we emerge with a strengthened commitment to make meaningful progress for future generations. I encourage you to join us in, and hold us accountable for, ensuring that we do our part for a more equitable and sustainable climate future.”

The effects ts that have come from this company have largely affected many people and have helped get our plant closer to being green again. Their efforts have influenced many people to turn to their products as well as chose other green organizations. hopefully, one day soon, every company will be doing as much as Seventh Generation to make our early shine bright again!

Beachy Clean

On October 4th I took part in a beach cleanup on Folley Beach with my sorority Sigma Kappa. We decided to do extra philanthropy work and clean up parts of Folley beach and also use it as a way to get closer with our sisters. It was a super cool experience but also made me kind of sad how neglected our local beaches are. It was clear that they are not cleaned and taken care of as often as they should be. When we went I saw all kinds of litter, masks, plastic and glass bottles, paper plates, bottle caps, and all other sorts of miscellaneous plastic items. I also noticed that on the actual beach there were not as many trash cans as I had anticipated or am used to seeing. (growing up on the jersey shore had made me accustomed to seeing that) Although Folley beach is beautiful and was more maintenance than some other beaches I have come across it still shocked me that so many people thought little about just holding onto their trash or just holding out for a trashcan.

(From Sigma Kappa CofC Instagram)

I grew up on the Jersey shore and like its stereotype, many places on the shoreline are trashed. They can be gross, crowded, and full of litter. But they still are managed by some people and I feel like they need to be more proactive the way they are down south. from what I have seen, people down here care more about what the beaches look like and the experience you have when you are at the beaches as well as the amount of litter you see(although there are fewer wastebaskets and other places for recycling) Down here the beaches, though some still have plastic scattered around them, are far less trashed than the ones further north. It makes me think why this is? Is it the fast pace culture of being near large cities? Is it the fact “beach life” isn’t as prevalent as it is down here? What it is for sure I cannot say. However, I would like to see a better system both up north and down south with ways to deal with people’s trash on our beaches.

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Hopefully one day we are able to keep our beaches and our oceans clean! I know from this whole experience it really made me think about how each and every little piece of plastic can affect the environment but especially clog up our beaches. Overall it’s clear that we need a new system to help out environment keep clean and stop people from littering and frankly destroying our beautiful beaches.  I hope to continue to do beach clean-ups and get more people to participate in them as well. Until next time I will continue to be proactive and pick up trash when I see it and attempt to keep beaches and everywhere in our community clean one piece at a time. It all starts with you and me!

The Art of Destroying the Planet

The creative artist Tan Zi Xi, created a work of art depicting the mass devastation that could be our world in a beautiful project that shows the amount of nondegradable in our oceans. “Plastic Ocean” which is the name of the art piece is now currently on display at the Sassoon Dock art Project in Mumbai. People visiting the display are able to walk through hundreds of pounds of levitating plastic in order to get the full picture of what our world may look like in a few years. From plastic bags and bottles to containers and packaging it’s all there to see in this art installation.

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I do believe that she has a personal bias against plastic and plastic pollution. Tan Zi Xi is also an environmental artist, which means she focuses mainly on showing art that depicts world changes in the environment and creates art to provoke feelings about those issues. She has done many other works to show her disdain for the way people treat the environment as well as also posting many posts on social media sharing her views with her audience and staying true to her brand.
Tan Zi Xi had this to say about her recent display
“Experience the infinity of Plastic Ocean, and be immersed in this man-made tragedy.
The installation reflects an ocean that is highly cluttered with plastic that takes 1,000 years to degrade. Yes, every thoughtless flick of plastic into your dustbin may contribute to the swirling mass of plastic drifting across our oceans. If we humans have already produced more plastic within the past ten years than the whole of the last century, will this plastic ocean be a microcosm of the future state of our waters?”
11 Tan Zi Xi, “Plastic Ocean” - Stage 3 ideas | trash art, plastic art, installation art
The agenda of this is to show people the magnitude of the problem and how we need to act now and be able to visualize the issue at hand in order to change the way society has been handling the pollution problem. Being able to actually see the problem firsthand is a great way to get people to wake up to the current problem. Tan Zi Xi is very aware that people are visual learners and issues that are out of sight are out of mind. Out of sight out of mind, is the motto for most plastic pollution, and the idea that being able to ship off tons of plastic is an unhealthy mindset to have when the problem is not going away. I also think that tan Zi Xi is also a strong supporter due to the fact she is from Asia and a huge amount of the plastic is shipped off to their shores when they already have an issue with the pollution. Being from Asia, it would definitely affect how she views the world as well as how she sees how bad plastic pollution is when Asia is the number 1 contributor and holder of pollution with plastic. Overall this piece of art is a strong message to the problem of plastic and is a good way to bring awareness.

Personal Change for Organic Growth

Things I would consider changing in my life to be more plastic-free would be the replacement of the daily use items I have.

I feel like multiple changes would slightly change my plastic footprint but also be a way to slowly ease my way into living a sustainable life. This is because the items I chose are all things I use daily.

For example:

Type of Grocery Item  The brand I Buy Now 

Less-Plastic Alternative 

Bagels  Thomas’ everything bagels  Buying straight from a bagel store 
Rice  Botan Rice  Tamaki Kenko Hagia short grain rice  
Apples  Fuji apple bundle  Get them each separately than in a case 
Type of Product  The brand I Buy Now  Less-Plastic Alternative 
Tampon  Tampax  o.b. original 
Bleach  Clorox  Clean cut organic cleaning 
Toothbrush  Oral B  Bite toothbrush 

While I’d be more than willing to replace these items, I am a finically struggling college student and currently, don have the means to fund all those changes, I did however try one of them. I bought grocery items that were useless to no packaging. It was interesting having to bring my own reusable bag to the store and then having so many loose items in said bag. I did like not having to deal with the packaging once I got home though. It was also nice to feel like I wasting anything due to there being no packaging on my fruits and vegetable and very little on my other items. I did not like having to find super random brands to get the food that I wanted. It wasn’t fun having to get items that I didn’t know if I would even like either.

However, I will say there is a challenge with giving up some items with plastic as its main component. For myself, it would be my phone (though plastic may not be its main component there still are important aspects of its makeup that need plastic) It would be very hard for me to give up something that makes life so much easier and sometimes safer.

Overall I do think I will stick with starting to change over my ways into a more sustainable lifestyle. I want to keep trying to make environmentally conscious decisions, also when I am at stores to try and find more options than I had when previously looking. I really want to stick with this because it makes me feel better about myself and makes me feel a little more in control of my own environmental choices.

These choices although they are small can make a large impact, not only on my personal footprint but can also encourage others I know to make similar choices. Thus a cycle of sustainability starts, even if it’s just by a couple items from a couple of people. Society needs to start the beginning of the sustainability cycle and that starts with everyday choices. It starts with you and me making the decision to pick the slightly pricier option to make a change. Especially because pollution is a direct cause of plastic use and that results in human and animal death. It’s all of our responsibility to keep our planet clean. But for our choices to be made easier, it starts with companies making more options for consumers and having more ethical practices for their products.

Water Pollution Statistics | Alliance Disposal

(Figure 1 deadly pollution graph)

My Advice for those contemplating making similar choices would be don’t be afraid to try new things and you may even find you like it better. Also, you can find items that aren’t super expensive while still being sustainable. I would give the advice as well that you don’t have to start all at once and change your whole life overnight. You can start small and work your way up to it. Do not be afraid of change or how long it takes, take it one step at a time!

Handcuffs Made of Plastic

Although I’d like to think of myself as a young, environmentally conscious, organic, Gen-Zer, today’s experiment proved me wrong. After evaluating the number of plastic items I had touched for Journal entry #1, I thought “Wow, that’s kind of a lot! And even after talking to my classmates, I didn’t even hit the tip of the iceberg of what I missed…” So that’s why today when carrying around a bag full of disposable plastic items, I was pressed on seeing the true extent of what I missed the first go around.

Well, by about 10:30 the bag was already overflowing. I was shocked but also slightly annoyed that I still had to keep adding to this bag while being forced to lug it around the rest of the day.

Things I found in the bag at the end of the day:

  • plastic bags(from convenient stores and small plastic baggies)
  • plastic cups(solo and clear)
  • plastic straws
  • food containers/wrappers
  • plastic cutlery
  • plastic plate
  • water bottles
  • cup of noodles
  • sanitary items (tampons/pads)
  • Q-tips
  • candy wrapper

There was so much more I had collected by the end of the day, but these were some I chose to highlight because I feel many college students use these on a daily basis.

While I feel I collected my own weight in plastic today, I know this is not an accurate representation of my lifestyle. I think I use more plastic than I had found while conducting my experiment. I feel as if someone were collecting all the single-use plastic I usually use on a daily basis, the findings would be quite different. This is because I feel subconsciously I was always somewhat thinking about the experiment. My total plastic footprint is definitely larger than I had originally thought and this has made me realize I need to make a more conscious effort to make choices that are more environmentally conscious.

However, this also made me realize that there are not that many viable options for college students to live that way easily. I feel there’s little access for college students to get information on recycling facilities, let alone to use them. And even though some places at the College of Charleston claim to recycle, do we really know if that’s what they are doing with it?


After this whole experience has ended I have learned a couple of things. I learned that 1. There is a huge problem with disposable plastic items and how frequently they are used in our world. When in reality do we really need them to be that expendable when they are not even biodegradable? 2. Being environmentally conscious of your plastic footprint got a lot harder once I go to college. Many of the things I took for granted while living at home are now things that would be far too expensive and just simply not viable. Also, the outreach for college students (who probably have a very large footprint compared to the rest of society) is just not there and it should be especially when it’s as easy as offering to recycle.

Finally, I learned that we are truly in plastic handcuffs when it comes to saving the environment. Looking at the life I live now I don’t know how we are going to get the country, let alone the world, on board with this minimal plastic idea. How do we stop what’s already here? How do we get rid of an item that we physically cannot break down? Where will all of these items go? How will we replace them in a capitalistic society? After reflecting on Beth Terry’s words I do not feel guilty about the plastic chains I just feel liberated to break them. But how will that translate to a world where our hands are figuratively and literally tied with plastic? That, I do not know.