Sometimes, we humans seem to forget that we are a part of nature. Our modern lifestyles are full of comforts and conveniences that insulate us from the direct experience of our dependence on the natural world. Yet we are gobbling up natural resources furiously to sustain these lifestyles, while leaving a heavy footprint on the earth.
Chief Seattle had it right: humans are just one thread in the web of life; whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. Earth Day is our annual reminder to be more conscious of the ways we affect that web. Fortunately, simple choices we make every day can add up to have a profound effect on our environment.
At Natural Factors, we believe the earth deserves to be protected and nurtured, just as nature sustains and nurtures us. Here are some of the ways we’re working to reduce our environmental footprint and a few simple ideas for how you can make a difference, too.
Excessive landfill waste clogs up our beautiful planet with trash, leaks toxins into the soil and water, and releases methane gas into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change.
At Natural Factors, we’ve worked hard to reduce the amount of waste we generate. Thanks to composting, we diverted over 1,080 metric tons (MT) of waste from the landfill in 2019 — the reduction equivalent of 540 MT of CO2 per year.
Through this program and other initiatives, we reduced our landfill waste by 79% in 2020! In fact, those drink trays that hold your coffee could contain recycled Natural Factors packaging!
- Reuse your cups: Drink from a reusable water bottle and a reusable coffee mug instead of buying single-use water bottles and coffee cups.
- Reduce paper mail: Tired of junk mail? Go to dmachoice.org and opt out of unwanted catalogs and promotions. It costs $2 and lasts for ten years.
- Shop second-hand: Check out local consignment shops and online resale markets like Poshmark for clothes. You can also arrange a fun clothing swap night with your best buddies.
REDUCING GREENHOUSE GASES
Carbon and other greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere and warm the planet, disrupting the climate while melting the ice caps and causing oceans to rise.
Natural Factors has partnered with Bullfrog Power to make our operations carbon-neutral, including subsidies to the Green Fuel economy for each liter of fuel used in our fleet truck and farming equipment. By offsetting our greenhouse gas emissions, we’ve reduced our carbon footprint by 33%!
- Drive less: Try walking or biking to work at least once or twice a week. It’s great exercise, saves you gas money, and reduces fossil fuel use.
- Shop local: Reduce the need for constant shipping by truck by shopping locally.
- Be a plant parent: Indoor plants help absorb carbon from the atmosphere, purify the air, and regulate temperatures for better energy efficiency.
CONSERVING ENERGY & WATER
Reducing energy and water waste helps conserve our precious planet’s limited resources and reduces the burning of fossil fuels that pollute the environment.
Natural Factors has made changes to our warehouse lighting to save 750,000 kWh of electricity a year. We also switched to steam-cleaning our equipment, reducing our water use for cleaning by 80%!
- Unplug at night: Appliances and electronics use energy when they’re plugged in, even if they aren’t on. Use a power strip to shut them all down at night.
- Air dry your dishes: Turn off the heat dry on your dishwasher. Just run the wash cycle, then crack open the door and let them air dry.
- Turn off the tap: Don’t let the faucet run while brushing your teeth or shaving.
SUPPORTING ORGANIC & SUSTAINABLE FARMING
Current commercial farming practices strip the soil of vital nutrients through monocropping and pollute the earth and water with synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Organic agriculture aims to create a system of farming that is sustainable, by nourishing soil health and biological diversity while steering clear of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, GMOs, sewage sludge, and irradiation.
On Natural Factors Farms, we practice organic agriculture practices like crop rotation, cover crops, and compost application, while creating pollinator habitats. Our goal is to leave the world better than we found it.
- Garden regeneratively: Is your pandemic garden still going strong? Incorporate some regenerative growing techniques this spring.
- Support regenerative farmers: Support your local farmers who are practicing regenerative agriculture and purchase packaged foods and supplements from companies that do too.
- Make your voice heard: Write to your favorite food companies and ask them to go regenerative. It’s a growing movement!
If we all do our part, we can enjoy many more happy Earth Days to come.