What Companies Have Gone Green?
While I try to avoid purchasing things out of impulse or just buying things in general, there are situations where I cannot avoid not buying something I actually need to accomplish the end goal! We all know that no matter how much minimalism we practice or how much environmentally friendly actions that we participate in, there will always be a need to purchase a product to bring us closer to the finish line.
The Water Paradox
For Example, in order to avoid using plastic bottles while on the go and be more environmentally conscious, we have to purchase a refillable water bottle. No matter how much we want to avoid it, when you’re the go and you’re in a foreign place and you want to drink water you really don’t have many options. Do you ask for a plastic cup for water? Purchase a plastic bottled water? Purchase a meal and have your water served in a cup?
In this situation, the best way to avoid all of this is actually just purchasing a high-quality water bottle that is made, sourced and delivered in the most eco-friendly way possible. Some examples of quality companies that produce environmentally friendly materials include Klean, EarthLust, Welly, S’well, etc.
What Determines If A Company Is Environmentally Friendly?
When I try to determine if a company is environmentally friendly I try to evaluate it beyond just the product they produce. I’m looking at what steps is the company pursuing to become more eco-friendly in their production, sourcing and shipping of the goods. I evaluate how they package their products including if they contribute to other positive organizations with the profits they earned from consumers.
After my evaluations of several companies across various industries, I’ve created this list of environmentally friendly companies that I believe deserve our hard earned cash separated by their respective industries. If you think I may have missed some companies feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email and I’ll be more than happy to add them to this list once I check them out.
Green Fast Food Restaurants
I don’t know about you, but I love food. Food is so easily accessible for everyone now that people don’t realize how much waste the food industry produces that is extremely bad for the environment. However, no matter what we do we need food to survive. These are some of the companies in the fast food industry that I think is heading in the right direction or is attempting to move towards the right direction for the environment.
- They’ve announced a plan to ban plastic straws for their beverages in all stores by 2020.
- Sourcing socially responsible coffee that does not take advantage of coffee growers. Check out their 2017 Global Social Impact report.
- Using green building materials where ever possible and reducing consumption of A/C at all stores. Check out their Greener Stores strategies.
- Their various efforts to reduce their carbon footprint by reducing the plastic amount used for their cups, deforestation-free packaging and reducing pesticide used with their potato farmers.
- The Ronald McDonald house supporting the local communities.
- More of their environmental sustainability efforts could be found here.
- KFC/Yum! Brands
- For all new restaurants that they’re building ore updating they’re up to environmentally friendly standards of LEED and Blueline.
- One of my favourite initiatives that they’re doing is reducing water consumption and water waste.
- More of their going green efforts could be found here along with an interactive map of the world where their initiatives are moving forward.
Hopefully, you don’t feel as bad after devouring that 50 piece of chicken nuggets knowing that at least the company is trying to move in the right direction for the environment. Washing down them nuggets with a grande frappucino and hitting up the local Pizza Hut after a night out with heavy drinking.
Green Fashion Brands
Another industry that is highly wasteful and extremely bad for the environment is fast fashion. I’m talking about the H&Ms, Zara, Joe Fresh, etc. They’re cheap because of how they sourced their products and materials, poor supplier vetting, poor transparency on their worker’s conditions, etc. Not only that, but the amount of waste it produces by making cheap and contemporary trendy items produces a wasteful environment that is accelerated by the large presence of their brands across the world magnifying the damage severely.
I would recommend users to shop for products that are quality and ideally made to last for a long time. It would be even better if the company is environmentally conscious and is taking steps to make the environment a better place. Bonus points for how transparent the company are with their suppliers is also greatly appreciated! Again, if I missed some companies or you think I made the wrong call, feel free to drop a comment and correct me or recommend me some additional companies.
- They make quality products that last forever and they’re extremely transparent about their products suppliers.
- I usually recommend people to purchase these items when they’re on sale or before the season begins and the prices increase to get the best bang for your buck.
- Great warranty and customer service.
- The North Face
- They’re very similar to Patagonia in terms of quality, semi-transparent, and overall customer service.
- Recommended time to purchase is when they’re on sale, past season & outlets (however their warranty is different for outlet items).
- They could improve more on transparency.
- They’re chicer and in-style that you can wear every day and not look like you’re going out for an adventure in the mountains.
- They’re transparent with their products (does not mean ethical) and it helps you understand how much factors play into the role of producing one item.
- Customer service is great!
Hopefully, this article was helpful in finding brands that you can support if you had to purchase something from them but you’re not sure if they’re environmentally responsible or accountable. There are ways we all can contribute towards a better and more sustainable lifestyle and by purchasing from companies that are trying to find ways to improve their business model when they’re so large and have such a significant impact in production that it is a step in the right direction.
This blog is not just about being minimalist and not spending anything, it is about empowering people to make better decisions that care about their environmental impact. Sometimes we all need to get something out of necessities or out of our own individual desires. All we can do is try to support companies that are making positive progress and moving towards the right direction to where we want the environment to be in.