Seventh Generations Green Features

Seventh Generation is an American company that sells eco-friendly cleaning supplies and personal care items. Seventh Generation produces plant based products made from sustainably sourced ingredients. Their mission is to “create a more healthy, sustainable, and equitable world for the generations to come.” They have many goals in place in order to maintain this mission. One goal  is for one hundred percent of their products and packaging to use bio-based or post-consumer recycled materials. Right now, their packaging is environmentally friendly and is used from recycled materials. The products are non-toxic and don’t contain chlorine bleach, phosphates, dyes, NTA or EDTA. They’ve also designed their packaging to be completely recyclable. Furthermore,  they recently eliminated synthetics in all fragrances and don’t conduct animal testing. 

In addition to producing sustainable products, Seventh Generation also donates ten percent of profits to non-profit community, environmental, and health business organizations. Right when you get to the Seventh Generation website there are tabs that outline their values, products, and their participation in activism. Under their activism tab they outline all of the issues they care about. One of the biggest issues being addressed right now is Line 3, keeping fossil fuels in the ground. Additionally, they have links at the bottom of the page that lead to other websites about climate justice and equity. They also provide links that allow users to get involved in the activism. 

Furthermore, Seventh Generation has another page on their site that outlines their environmental savings on products. Their savings ticker is based on average daily sales for some products in Canada and the US. It details the amount of trees and petroleum saved when you purchase a seventh generation product. The products for trees saved include; paper towels, bath tissues, and facial tissues. The products for petroleum saved include; Liquid Laundry, Free & Clear and all scents, all sizes, dish liquid, all scents and  All-Purpose Cleaner.

Seventh Generation also supports the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Campaign. The campaign is an environmental initiative to get cities in the US to commit to one hundred percent clean and renewable energy usage by 2050. They also have a foundation, Seventh Generation Foundation. The foundation supports community activism and also offers grants to non-profit organizations.  




While scrolling through images of plastic litter being turned into art, I came across this sculpture. I immediately clicked on it and began to read about it. I was drawn to the brightness of it and was curious about what materials it was made of. The sculpture was created by Von Wong and Joshua Got and is named “Plastikophobia”. The name comes from the fear the artist’s felt while creating this sculpture. The sculpture is made from over 18,000 single use plastic cups. With the help of  around three dozen volunteers, the cups were collected from local food centers across Singapore. The collection process took about roughly a day and half. The cups were then cleaned off and  assembled to form a shiny crystal cave. They installed fairy lights throughout the cups to finish it off. The sculpture itself took around seven days to complete.

The picture above shows Max Pagel, one of the volunteers, dressed up as a scuba diver posing in the sculpture. The picture below shows contemporary dancer Jialin Neo posing  in the sculpture.  The sculpture is currently on display in the Sustainable Singapore galleries in the Marina Barrage.

The beauty of the sculpture attracts tourists to come take pictures with it while also spreading awareness on the dangers of single use plastic cups. The goal of the sculpture was to show how the plastic we consume on land can end eventually end up in the ocean. It’s crazy to think that all of the cups used in the sculpture were gathered in a day and a half, strictly from local food centers in Singapore. There needs to be more sustainable or reusable options. The term “Plastikophobia”, created by Von Wong,  has already started to gain popularity and is being used by local artists and photographers to start the conversation around the problem with plastics.

Making Art with Plastic Waste


Life Cycle of a Plastic Water Bottle


Plastic surrounds us everywhere. Almost all of the products we use everyday are made from a form of plastic. As a consumer, the biggest contributor to my plastic footprint is plastic water bottles. I own a hydro flask that I fill up everyday before class, however there are days where I’m running late and will grab a plastic water bottle from the fridge. Plastic water bottles are convenient when I’m crunched for time and need to grab something on the go. Typically plastic water bottles are made from polyethylene terephthalate also known as PET. PET is produced from petroleum hydrocarbons. Polyethylene terephthalate is polymerized to create molecular chains. This allows it to produce PET bottles later on. The water bottles are made by melting plastic pellets, and injecting the melted plastic into multiple-cavity molds. They are then shipped to bottling facilities.

The life cycle of a water bottle starts when it is manufactured. After, they are distributed to stores where they are sold. On average a single plastic water bottle lasts me around a few hours. Once it’s empty I try to recycle it, but if that’s not an option I throw it in the trash. If the bottle is recycled it gets shredded down into flakes, and then melted down into pellets. The pellets are then sold to companies that can melt them and turn them into different products. If the bottle doesn’t end up getting recycled it could end up in a few places. The three most common things to happen to the bottles are, they end up in a landfill, the ocean, or they get incinerated. When the bottles end up in a landfill or the ocean, the PET can take up to ten years to break down. When the plastic is in the landfills over time the toxic chemicals leach into the ground, which ultimately could end up in the water we drink. When in the ocean, the plastic affects marine ecosystems and could harm the sea life. Animals mistake the plastic as food and eat it. This is not only harmful for them, but for us too. In addition, when the plastic is incinerated it releases harmful toxins back into the atmosphere.

We are in control of our consumption of plastic. To help prevent the plastic from ending up in landfills or the ocean, it’s important to recycle or refrain from purchasing plastic bottles. There are alternative reusable water bottles that can be used to replace plastic ones.


Plastic Reality

Plastic surrounds us everywhere. We all use plastic in our daily lives whether we know it or not. Starting my plastic journal I felt fairly confident that the number of plastic items I used would be moderately average. I try my best to use sustainable items like a hydro flask instead of plastic water bottles, or cloth bags instead of plastic ones. However, once I started my day I knew the number would be much higher than I anticipated. Many of my everyday items I used were plastic and I didn’t even know it.

As the day went on the number of plastic items I came in contact with grew tremendously. Many of the items I used were all disposable like masks, silverware, cups and plates. On top of that, I only listed things once. I didn’t repeat them. I used many disposable plastic items multiple times throughout the day and they weren’t even included in my total number. In total I touched about 30 plastic items, but if I counted everything that repeated the number would have been much higher.

I think that this number is a fair representation of how much plastic I touch in a day – except for the fact that I didn’t repeat items. Everyday is different but most of the items I ended up using, I use on a daily basis. This journal was a complete eye opener for me. As I said before I thought my number would be on the lower side, but in turn it was much higher than I thought. So many of the items I used everyday are made of plastic and I never even realized.

When it comes to recycling I try my best to recycle whenever I can. However, living in the dorms makes that much more difficult. I have yet to find a recycling bin on the floor of my dorm, which is a problem. At home I make a conscious effort to recycle but it’s much harder here. I definitely agree with Beth Terry’s quote “Guilt is not encouraged.” but after completing this journal it’s hard not to feel guilty about all of the plastic I encounter. This is because I know most of it can be replaced with something more sustainable. 


Making The Change


Change can be hard for a lot of us, but if we don’t start now will we ever? Change can be especially hard when it comes to items that we use everyday. Every morning I have a routine; I use the same products, wear the same clothes, and eat and drink the same foods. However, almost all of the products I use are made of plastic and can be replaced with something more sustainable. I have always tried to be environmentally friendly by using a Hyrdo Flask instead of plastic water bottles, using cloth masks instead of disposable ones, and bringing my own cloth bags to the store instead of using the plastic ones they provide for you. But even in doing that, the amount of other items I use that are plastic outnumber and outweigh that. I’ve never thought about changing any of these products until completing Beth Terry’s grocery shopping and personal Care/Cleaning worksheet.

Most of my plastic footprint comes from my personal care items. Face wash, shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer – the list could go on. However, many of these items I can switch to products that are more sustainable. The first thing I would change is my shampoo and conditioner. Right now I use Kevin Murphy, which is 60$ for both. I would switch this to The Unwrapped Life bars of shampoo and conditioner. Not only do these save a tremendous amount of plastic, they are also cheaper. 30$ for shampoo and conditioner however they do come with less. This would not be a big change for me because I actually used to use these before. Another product that I would change is my hair oil. Right now I use Verb Ghost Oil, but I would switch it to Love Hair Oil. Love Hair uses materials that are manufactured using 100% renewable energy, which is recyclable at the end of their life cycle. The last item I would change is my cotton swabs. I use so many people during the day when I do my makeup. The cotton swabs I currently use are Q- tips, but I switched over to bamboo swabs from Well Earth Goods. The bamboo cotton is biodegradable unlike the Q-tips One item that I am not willing to switch is my facial wash. I have very sensitive skin and certain products cause me to break out very easily. I currently use CeraVe cash wash and it has taken me a while to find a facial wash that actually works for my skin.

Change can be very difficult but if it’s going to benefit the environment and the earth then I am willing to do it. I intend on making all of the changes I said before and I hope others will try to make changes as well.