The Planetary Health Diet

The diet that can save the world

The issue 

Our world population is growing at a rapid rate–currently close to 8 billion people worldwide, and expected to surpass 10 billion people by 2050. At this rate, today’s eating habits continue to pose fatal health problems and severe global warming. 


According to the EAT-Lancet Report, “food is the single strongest lever to optimize human health and environmental sustainability on Earth.” Yet, malnutrition or poor quality diets and overeating are threatening both people and the planet. If eating habits don’t change now, the world we leave for our children will be severely degraded, where an increasing percentage of the population will continue to suffer from malnutrition and preventable disease.

The solution

A collection of 37 world-leading scientists from 16 countries in various disciplines, the EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, and Health, put together the first full scientific review of a sustainable, healthy diet that benefits the health of humans as well as the planet. By assessing existing scientific evidence, the Commission defined a framework for the Planetary Health Diet that is sustainable for both human health and the environment. 


You’ve heard it before and here it is again–eat your vegetables. There’s no surprise that the Planetary Health Diet focuses on diverse plant-based foods, as these require far fewer resources to produce than their animal-based counterparts. In addition to diverse plant-based foods, the Planetary Health Diet also encourages the consumption of unsaturated fats rather than saturated fats, and whole grains. 


What this sustainable diet limits is–as you can guess–all the bad stuff. Limit the amount of refined grains, highly processed foods, and added sugars as well as animal-based products and meat. Notice this diet is not about quitting anything cold turkey, but rather reducing consumption of less sustainable and less healthy food choices so that people can live better for longer. 

animal-based foods more resource-intensive than plant-based foods
Source: World Resources Institute

In developing this diet, the Commission collected data regarding plant-based and animal-based foods and ranked them by their carbon footprint. Beef, unsurprisingly, has the largest carbon footprint; it’s resource-intensive meaning it uses significantly more land, freshwater, and produces higher CO2 emissions than any other food. 

Environmental impacts aside, red meat is also harmful to your health in high quantities. According to a study published in the European Heart Journal, daily consumption of red meat tripled trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) in patients, a chemical linked to heart disease.  Furthermore, the World Health Organization even classifies processed meat (like hotdogs and bacon) as carcinogens, known to increase risk for certain diseases and cancers.


The difference between the Planetary Health Diet and other plant-based diets is that the Commission is outlining a reduction in the foods that produce a high number of carbon emissions with the lowest health benefits. A guideline for following the Planetary Health Diet is reducing the intake of eggs, fish, refined sugars, and meat by less than 50 grams per day. This equates to doubling consumption of healthy foods (fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts) and reducing 50% of global consumption of less healthy foods such as added sugars and red meat. 


In the culinary space, world-class chefs see the importance of ingredients that nourish our bodies and the planet, developing recipes featured on EAT-Lancet’s website as well as boasting these same sustainable food ideals in their own restaurants. It proves that food can be delicious without the need for excessive amounts of meat or animal-based products. Take to Eat-Lancet’s website for Planetary Health Diet recipe ideas you’ll want to try tonight.


This diet, along with leading a sustainable lifestyle by cutting out waste, can save the world so that our Earth can sustain us past 2050 (that’s in 30 years!). If more people reduced their consumption of high-resource foods, we will be steps closer to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement so we can leave a world for today’s children to inhabit for a lifetime.


8 Things we’re ditching in 2020

This year, we’re more focused than ever on sustainability and bettering the planet. Yup, it’s 2020 and in case you haven’t considered it yet, it’s time to make some changes when it comes to what we’re putting into the Earth. 


Ever heard of microplastics? They’re small, broken down pieces of plastic from literal trash humans have created that end up in the land or the ocean less than five millimeters in size, which then are consumed by wildlife and thus ingested by humans. Plastics are treated with toxic chemicals like Phthalates and bisphenol A–among a wide range of other toxic chemicals, which as you could infer, remain toxic even when the litter becomes microplastics that are later absorbed by marine life and ingested by humans. There isn’t enough research to indicate the potential health risks to humans, but we know these chemicals are toxic to the environment, wildlife and humans, so why don’t we make efforts to reduce this kind of waste now before it’s too late?

Single-use straws

Forget 2020, these should’ve been ditched back in 2017. With many accessible alternatives, single-use straws should be a thing of the past. The turtles and generations after you will thank you. Plus, let’s be real, it probably only takes you 10 minutes to finish your iced coffee anyway–is it worth the waste these straws produce? Do yourself and the planet a favor and snag a set of stainless steel straws, stash them in your car, work bag, at home or at your desk so you’re never without one. 


Plastic bags

Not all plastics are created equal. Plastic bags, in fact, are not recyclable. Don’t use them to bag your recyclables and don’t use them to hold your groceries. Plastic bags end up in landfills, litter our water systems, streets, and pollute the ocean. Get with the new decade and get yourself some reusable grocery bags you can use for every Whole Foods run. Stylish and sustainable–that’s how we like it. 


High red-meat diets 

Before you red meat lovers write this off, listen–I love red meat, and with the risk of the vegetarians and vegans coming for me, it’s hard for me to give it up cold turkey. Red meat, among other animal-based foods and food products, are bad for the environment for many reasons. They require a lot of natural resources, making their carbon footprint significantly higher than their plant-based counterparts. Hence, the influx in demand for plant-based products. In addition to preventing environmental repercussions, of course, there are a plethora of health benefits to switching to plant-based diets including reduced cholesterol, less bloat, and lower risk of certain diseases and cancers. For 2020, join many others in reducing red-meat consumption. If not for the planet, then for your overall health. 


Processed foods 

Trust me, we love a good snack with Disney+ as much as the next guy, but reducing consumption of processed foods means reducing plastic and single-use waste as well (think about the packaging!). In fact, back in March 2019, we went plastic-free for a month here at LARQ HQ, and we saw first hand how dependent we are on single-use plastic. If you’re not fully convinced, try it for yourself: be conscious of how much waste you’re tossing away each week. 


Plastic cups 

“Can I get a cup for water?” – something you probably ask when dropping by your favorite taco joint or the movie theaters. You’ll probably receive a plastic cup for water that you’ll probably refill once at the most and then toss into the garbage. Can we just ditch this kind of single-use waste now that we’re in 2020? With so many options of reusable water bottles–and even our LARQ Bottle that uses UV-C LED technology to automatically sanitize the inner walls and purify water–you can truly have water everywhere you go. No need to grab that dinky plastic cup. 


Coffee cups

Sip on your favorite cup of Joe without adding to all the coffee cups in the landfills. Just like cups for water, coffee cups are just as wasteful and unnecessary. Instead, invest in a good thermos or a tempered glass reusable coffee cup. Some coffee shops even give you a discount for bringing your own cup–you know, to offset that oat milk substitution. 


Plastic wrap 

Just like all single-use waste, plastic wrap has got to go in 2020. Believe it or not, there are alternatives that actually work. Try wrapping your loose food items in bee’s wrap, use Tupperware to store food, or use these silicone cling wraps in a variety of sizes that fit everything from bowls to cups to sauce dishes. 


Plastic produce bags

If you think about it, a grocery store trip can be extremely wasteful if you’re not conscious about what you’re using. Produce bags are not recyclable. They’ll eventually end up in a landfill and most likely into the ocean. The solution? Don’t be afraid to carry that single apple to the checkout. You’re going to wash it when you get home anyway, right? There are also reusable mesh produce bags you can use for heftier trips. Pro tip: put all your reusables by your keys so you remember to bring them with you when you leave the house. 


Small changes make a great difference when more people start to adopt them. Refuse single-use whenever possible and start building habits for a sustainable future. It’s 2020, and it’s time to ditch single-use waste. 



How to have an eco-friendly holiday

Educating your guests about your eco-conscious soiree will be your contribution to the Earth this month. Events surrounding the holidays can be extremely wasteful–holiday parties, gift wrapping, travel and creates a larger footprint than needed. Although some are unavoidable, there are ways to reduce waste for a more sustainable holiday. 

Buy a real Christmas tree instead of an artificial one

A real tree can be composted after it has served you through the holidays, but an artificial one–although reusable year after year–uses a lot of resources to produce, and when you inevitably throw an artificial tree away, it’s going straight to a landfill where it will take tens of thousands of years to disintegrate. So if you buy an artificial tree, hopefully, you’re keeping it forever–or opting for a real tree (the experience is better anyway).

Reuse packaging for gift wrapping 

craft holiday wrapping paper with ribbon

You know all those boxes you’ve opened in Christmases past? We hope you saved them because now’s the time to bust them out to reuse! Hopefully, your recipients reuse these boxes too–extending the lifespan from single-use to reused. 

If you don’t have gift boxes from previous years, use shipping boxes from packages. You can easily dress them up with kitchen twine, ribbon, or string you have lying around. Add some fresh greenery and a handmade tag, and your wrapping is complete!

Send gifts directly to recipients to minimize waste 

To minimize waste from wrapping paper–and avoid wrapping altogether–let the experts do it! Have your gift shipped directly to your giftee! If you’re online shopping for gifts anyway, this will be a nice surprise they’ll love, sans wasteful wrapping paper

Wrap gifts in reusable bags

Instead of using wrapping paper or gift bags for your presents, put them in reusable bags that your giftee can reuse in the future! It’s a great nudge to get people to bring reusable bags with them everywhere they go. It’s like a gift within a gift. 

A gift that doesn’t need to be wrapped

Isn’t it always great to say a lot without having to do a lot? If you’re attending a holiday party and don’t want to show up empty-handed, a bundle of wintery greens or florals is an amazing gift and, you guessed it, doesn’t need to be wrapped. Wine, chocolate, homemade cookies, candies, and toys or treats for the host’s pet, are just a few examples of gifts that don’t need to be wrapped!


Use things you already have around the house

A lot of us have things around the house that would be great for wrapping or decorating around the house. Avoid buying new holiday decor by reusing things around the house or hitting up the local thrift stores. In fact, you might score some amazing finds that you forgot you had–or some cool antiques that are sure to strike up a conversation. 


Twine can be used to wrap around gifts, scrap paper for tags, magazine paper as wrapping paper–you name it. If you’re lacking holiday decor, it might be a good idea to ask your parents if they have things lying around that they could lend or give to you. Our parents or relatives could potentially have old things they’ve accumulated over the years that will make gorgeous (and nostalgic) holiday decor. Plus, if you’re hosting the festivities this year, they’ll be great pieces to reminisce on with the entire family. 

Use dinnerware or opt for compostables

If you’re hosting a gathering that’s more manageable (4-10 people), you could get away with using your nice dinnerware and washing dishes later. However, for large holiday parties, there’s a reason why disposables are so popular. They’re convenient, cheap, and fuss-free–BUT they’re plastic, and not the recyclable kind. If you can’t avoid using disposable dinnerware for your next event, try compostable options (easily accessible via Amazon). Don’t forget to keep a marker nearby for guests to write their names on their plates and cups! As you may know, lost dinnerware is how waste starts to build up. 


Items from nature make excellent decor 

holiday table setting

A nice winter drive around town with a friend or two looking for cute holiday decor in the wild can be a really fun activity. Pine cones and branches that have broken or fallen off trees make a beautiful tablescape or fireplace decor. You could even try making a wreath if you can find enough of them! 

Ask to keep the trimmings from your Christmas tree

woman holiday a wreath in the snow

If you buy a real tree, chances are they will trim off the straggling branches to create a clean trunk to sit in your tree stand. Ask them for the trimmings, which are usually free since they’d throw them out anyway. The trimmings can be used to decorate a mantle, a dining table or even used to create a DIY wreath. 


Energy-saving outdoor lights 

Instead of stringing a ton of lights up for the holidays, there’s a much easier way to decorate and reduce your footprint–light projectors. These save time, energy (yours and the electricity kind), and take holiday decorating to a new level. LEDs are way more efficient and energy-saving than incandescent lights so it makes a whole lot more sense to buy LEDs. 

Whatever you’re celebrating, remember to keep your footprint in mind, seek to reduce and reuse, and don’t forget to spread the holiday cheer. Oh, and don’t forget to pack your LARQ Bottle with you to skip out on any single-use plastic bottles. 


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A post shared by LARQ (@livelarq) on Dec 14, 2019 at 11:01am PST



Founder Spotlight: Sustainable Living with Lindsay McCormick

Here’s something you use every day–toothpaste (hopefully twice a day). And it’s been slowly poisoning the planet for decades. Well, to be clear, we mean the tube that the toothpaste comes in.

Toothpaste tubes are made primarily of plastic #4 or some type of aluminum-plastic composite, which only certain waste facilities will process for recycling, which means much of it ends up in the landfill. And let’s be real, most of us are pretty diligent about recycling when it comes to the office or even in the kitchen, but when it comes to the bathroom, just about all of that goes down the drain (pun intended). So what’s the solution here?

For #PlasticFreeJuly, we’re excited to share with you an interview we had with Lindsay McCormick, founder and CEO of Bite Toothpaste Bits. She’s killing the sustainability game with her groundbreaking toothpaste product that is all-natural and zero waste.

Bite Toothpaste Bits are little pellets–they’re called Bits–of all-natural toothpaste that only require a wet toothbrush (and a good ol’ bite) to activate–hence the name. They’re packaged in refillable and recyclable glass jars and shipped 100% plastic-free. They use 100% recyclable mailers made from recycled newspapers and sealed with paper tape. They’ve pulled all the stops when it comes to nixing plastic completely.

Image Courtesy of Bite Toothpaste Bits

Lindsay founded Bite in August 2017 with the desire to keep plastic toothpaste tubes out of landfills and harsh chemicals out of our bodies.

“I was traveling all the time for my job as a TV Producer when I realized how much waste I was creating just by brushing my teeth. After looking into alternatives, I discovered all the questionable ingredients that were in toothpaste and that there were not only travel-friendly, plastic-free alternatives so I decided to make my own.” – Lindsay, founder and CEO of Bite Toothpaste Bits.

Elaine: What was the process like creating a sustainable toothpaste brand and product? What kind of challenges did you face?

Lindsay: I started Bite as an advocate for sustainability— I was not trying to start a company rather I was trying to create a change. Bite is relentless in our pursuit of being the most sustainable oral care company on the market. We’re listening to our community, hearing their wants and needs and then finding ways we can make that happen.

Toothpaste is something people have used twice a day, every day for their whole lives so asking people to change a habit that is so embedded in them was no easy feat. Luckily, consumers are becoming more and more conscious of their daily habits and the environmental impact they might have and are willing to take a chance on a new product like Bite.

E: How do you use the toothpaste bits?

L: Brushing with Bite is as easy as Bite, Brush, Smile, Repeat. All you do is bite down on a Bit and start to brush with a wet toothbrush and it will start to foam up like magic!

E: When did your passion for sustainability start?

L: For as long as I can remember I have been obsessed with all things sustainability and the environment. As a kid, instead of asking for presents I would always ask my parents to “adopt” a specific animal in my name. They would then send a check in my name to the World Wildlife Fund and weeks later I would get a photo along with information on the animal I “adopted.” From Orca Whales to Ocelots I basically adopted every single animal I could. I’ve always wanted to make a positive impact on the world.

E: What do you think is the most challenging part of living a sustainable lifestyle?

L: It’s unfortunate that most unsustainable activities are incredibly convenient. As a society, we have placed convenience over sustainability in every way. Whether its remembering to bring your own bag or reusable cup, you’re going to have to make more conscious choices about your daily activities. The good news is that after you’ve been doing it a while it no longer feels inconvenient it just feels normal!

E: What are some changes you’ve made towards a more sustainable lifestyle at home? At the office?

L: Since our home also functions as our office I made it my priority to make it more sustainable. I’ve looked at the things that I do every day and made sustainable swaps for them. Whether it’s swapping out a plastic tube of toothpaste or swapping out regular toilet paper for bamboo toilet paper. Although those may seem like small changes— those small changes really add up. Mason jars for all leftovers and reusable food wraps made of cotton instead of saran wrap.

E: What are some products you stopped purchasing because of their environmental impact? What are some alternatives?

L: I’ve stopped buying drinks in plastic containers. Whether that’s bottled water, juices or sports drink— If I can’t fill it in my own cup or buy it in my own bottle I’m just not going to buy it. In our office and in my house we’re tree-free. We use cloth napkins and dishtowels. Even our toilet paper is made out of sustainable bamboo. In my skincare routine, sunscreen has always been a must for me. I used to be a surf and snowboard instructor and was always slathered in sunscreen. One of the switches I made recently is switching to a mineral-based, natural sunscreen called Nani La that comes in an aluminum container with minimal plastic.

I switched to a mineral-based sunscreen because the chemical UV filters in many sunscreens are bleaching the coral reefs and damaging the ocean.

E: What are your favorite products that help you live a more sustainable lifestyle?

L: Well…. I can’t not say Bite. I love starting off my morning and ending my night doing something I feel good about. Also, I recently bought one of those cute, insta-worthy zero-waste net bags which has quickly become one of my most used purchases. I cram three canvas bags worth of groceries into my net bag. All of the cups in our home and office are mason jars because not only can you use them to drink out of on a daily basis but also as leftover containers.

E: What is a guilty pleasure of yours that you wish was sustainable?

L: Real talk… take out. I always opt out of cutlery and napkins for to-go orders and I love supporting restaurants that use paper bags instead of plastic and paper boxes instead of plastic boxes. I still feel guilty when I do this because it is way more eco-friendly for me to be cooking my own meals. I try to opt for restaurants that use more sustainable packaging (I’m vegan so typically these go hand-in-hand anyway), but I still feel a little bit of guilt when the Postmates rolls up with a paper bag and excess amount of packaging.

E: What are some parting words you’d like to leave for our readers?

L: Every person and every brand for that matter has the ability to shape and influence the way people think, see and act every day. Whether it’s mindlessly tossing out an empty plastic toothpaste tube or glossing over the ingredients list, our daily habits can and will shape the future of our planet. Although you are one person, we are all one person and that’s a lot of people so you are going to have an impact on the world whether you realize it or not. We want to inspire people to make it a good one.

Something as simple as toothpaste tubes is something many of us never even think twice about, but people like Lindsay who are practicing mindfulness and bringing awareness to issues like plastic consumption in toothpaste packaging are driving the mission of saving this planet forward. It makes you wonder: what else do you use every single day that uses plastic? Can you find an alternative?


How to organize a beach clean-up

It’s no secret that plastic is basically the enemy of all species–especially to the ocean–and here’s one way to help: a beach clean-up. Plastic has an effect on everyone, it’s found in 62% of all seabirds, 100% of all turtles, and guess what? It’s in the fish we eat too, so chances are we’ve ingested quite a bit of plastic over the years. 


A beach clean-up is not only a great way to clean your local beach or waterway to prevent more plastic and other waste from entering the ocean, but it’s also a way to get others involved and to spread awareness about the effects of single-use plastic consumption on our planet, a way to educate others about proper recycling techniques, and to encourage everyone to reduce their consumption of single-use plastic. Here’s how you can do all that:

Choose a location

Whether it’s a beach, lake, or river, cleaning up litter around waterways prevents more of it from ending up in the ocean–so you don’t have to be in a coastal city to do your part. The location can be anywhere you frequent or a popular destination among the locals. Your community will thank you for it–and so will marine life! 

Promote on social media 

Keep your event organized by creating an event page on Facebook. You can set the page to “Public” and invite your friends and family to share your event with their friends, friends of friends, and the sharing continues!


  • When should I start promoting my event? Do this a month or two in advance to ensure that people can make time for it in their calendars, but not too much earlier where people forget about it! The key to a great turn out is how much buzz you can create. 


  • How do I write the description? Make sure the description of the event gets people excited to join your event. State why you decided to do a beach clean-up and how it benefits our Earth. Educate your fellow humans on the environmental and social impact this clean-up will have and how it will benefit us all. Also, include details on the event page for what to bring, what supplies people can donate, and anything else people might find helpful! You can take this opportunity to drop some stats too so that people know what the issue is and how this particular clean-up will help!


  • How do I promote my event? Invite friends and family to participate, spread the word, or donate money to the event. Sometimes people have prior engagements and can’t make it to the event, or don’t have the capacity to make it out to the location, but people are more willing to help than you may think! Encourage people to (at the very least) share the event so that it reaches people who can show up and are happy to help the clean-up! You can also offer an option for people to donate supplies for the clean-up, hauling services, or even donate money to purchase supplies and to cover other expenses the clean-up might entail. 


  • What other ways are there to promote my event? In addition to Facebook, promote your event on any and all other channels as well! Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Reddit, Twitch–anywhere. A unique hashtag for the event will also help you generate buzz and help build recognition between channels. Have a graphic design friend or have some design skills yourself? Create some awesome graphics to help spread the word. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words! Videos? Even better. 


Practice proper waste disposal

Have designated bags for trash, glass, plastic, cans, scrap metals, etc. (educate participants on what goes where!). It might be helpful to distribute a digital cheat sheet of the types of waste people might find, where they go and where to put them. You might even want to have someone who knows the waste disposal system pretty well to help others figure out where to put their items. This will help minimize any incorrect disposals that may jam up the recycling process and cause problems for the waste management facility. 


Recyclables, liquids, compost, hazardous materials, scrap metal, and landfill waste must be organized into separate bins. Plan ahead so you have a good system in place that won’t get confusing over time. 


We can’t stress the importance of proper waste disposal enough! This is the perfect opportunity to educate people on how to recycle properly since this applies to how they recycle at home as well. What your local waste management company is able to take varies by location so be sure to check with them before you hold your event. 

Helpful contacts

If this is your first time putting together an event, remember–you’re not alone! Leverage your friends and family who are as passionate about this cause as you are and seek out help from others! Here are some helpful groups of people to reach out to that can provide some guidance and support for your beach clean-up:


Connect with local park rangers

For any medium-sized or large event, it’s always a good idea to make sure that law enforcement gets a heads-up. There might be supplies you were thinking about bringing that isn’t allowed. Local park rangers are the perfect people to ask questions about where to park, how to get there, the best routes to use for efficiently disposing of waste, whether or not there are dumpsters nearby or if you’d have to use a hauling service to take the collected waste to a nearby waste management facility. 


Connect with local waste management facility

It’s very important to educate your volunteers about proper recycling procedure and what goes where. Did you know that plastic toothbrushes are not recyclable? It’s because they have nylon bristles attached to them. The goal here is to be able to minimize the number of items that go into the landfill by filtering out recyclables and delivering them to the proper recycling facilities. However, some things do have to go to the landfill, and your local waste management facility will be able to tell you what goes where. 


Contact municipality

It does take a bit of leg work, coordinating, and money to haul litter away and the waste management facility does charge for its services as well. Sometimes, the city will want to step in to provide some help taking care of these types of expenses and provide hauling services as a courtesy for the cleanup. Compose a professional email detailing your event and what your goals are, how it will benefit the community, and how big of a turnout you expect. It might also be helpful to provide some images of the location you are planning to hold the clean-up. Don’t forget to provide your own contact information and the event page so city employees have a lot of information to base their decision on! 


Monetary donations

If you’re doing this right, you might have some monetary donations coming your way. Now, you don’t want to just have people Venmo or Paypal you because that might get a little messy. Instead, set up a fundraising option on Facebook, GoFundme, or another fundraising site to keep the total amount separate from your personal banking account. It’s also good practice to keep things transparent for your supporters by doing so. 


What to do with that money? 

For starters, you should check to see if you have enough supplies–if not, you could use the money to buy some for the clean-up (and plan to use them again for future clean-ups). If you were able to get enough supplies donated, you could use the money to cover the costs of hauling services or the fees for waste management and recycling facilities if applicable. If these are all covered (woohoo!), it might be nice to treat volunteers to some food (for example, from a local sandwich shop), or donate the money to the Ocean Conservancy or other environmental nonprofits focused on cleaning up our oceans!

Supplies you might need

  • Water for the volunteers – this is a must. people are taking time out of their days to help clean the area, and it’s important to make sure everyone stays hydrated. Encourage your volunteers to bring their own reusable water bottle to reduce single-use plastic waste from plastic water bottles. Although it is more convenient, we don’t want more trash on top of the trash we’re picking up, right? Remind your participants a few days before the event to bring their reusable water bottles. Provide large containers of water where participants can fill up and compostable cups for those who don’t have reusable bottles. 
  • First aid kit – always have one of these on hand for minor injuries like cuts or scrapes. 
  • Try to use burlap (reusable), buckets, wagons or paper bags to collect the trash rather than plastic garbage bags to reduce plastic waste. 
  • Trash grabbers – Trash grabbers will help reduce fatigue from bending over and picking up trash. These can also be a little safer than grabbing something with your hands.  
  • Thick gloves – If you don’t have trash grabbers, the next best thing is a pair of thick gloves to prevent cuts from broken glass and other potentially harmful litter. 
  • Metal sifter or sieve – You can do a little DIY project or ask if anyone has this, but a metal sifter or sieve is perfect for finding smaller things in the sand or dirt that you might otherwise miss. 


Safety Tips 

  • Try to find a volunteer who knows basic first aid or has medical experience in case of an emergency. 
  • To dispose of hazardous materials like broken glass or syringes, use wide mouth containers such as empty laundry detergent containers that are clearly marked as hazardous.
  • Make sure all participants are wearing close-toed shoes to prevent injury. 
  • Use the sign-in sheet as a way to do a headcount at the beginning and end of the event to make sure no one has gone missing, especially if there will be children in attendance. 
  • Remind volunteers to wear and bring reef-safe sunscreen (no matter if its sunny or cloudy outside); depending on the climate, you might want to advise participants to bring eco-friendly bug spray as well. 
  • Brush up on what to do if you find beached marine life or other wildlife during your event. Let everyone know who to reach and to stay a few feet away until the appropriate people arrive. 


Photo by Brian Yurasits on Unsplash

Photo by Brian Yurasits on Unsplash

Photo by Brian Yurasits on Unsplash


How to Throw a Plastic-free Party

If you’re still purchasing single-use plastic cutlery and cups for your parties, you might want to think again. Plastic can take 10,000 years or more to disintegrate, all the while releasing toxic chemicals into the Earth. And if you think about how much single-use plastic cutlery is tossed away after each party, it won’t come as a shock to us if we end up living in a world made of complete and utter trash. And how, you may ask, do we even go about hosting a zero-waste party?

Well, the answer is to stop thinking in terms of convenience and to start becoming more aware. If you’re conscious of the plastic you use and toss away, you’ll begin to realize how much of it you’ve actually used over the years. We did, and we certainly found some creative ways to reduce single-use plastic consumption. We think you can too.

Here’s some food for thought: why do we use and dispose of plastic so frivolously when the material lasts practically forever?

Use REAL silverware and plating

For smaller gatherings, the answer is in reusables. Now, bear with us for a sec, we know it seems daunting to use silverware and real plates when hosting, but it’s much easier than you may think. Guests are usually more attentive with silverware and plating because it comes with the notion that you only get one! Single-use plastic cutlery and plates, however, are considered disposable and abundant, so it’s likely someone will toss it away right and be quick to grab a new one.

Keep your washing machine handy and allow a few willing guests to help with clean-up. You’ll be surprised when your guests spring to help you since you busted out the fine china (or Ikea?). It makes your gatherings that much more special.

Use glassware and labels

Go for glassware that’s versatile and that will hold up for many parties to come–like mason jars–to avoid using single-use plastic cups. We know that rustic style isn’t for everyone, but there are ways to dress them up for any occasion. We love mason jars because they are just that–versatile and pretty durable considering the material. Labeling will help guests hold onto their glasses instead of grabbing a new one.

For labeling, get creative. Tie a ribbon around the jar below the ridges and include a felt tip Sharpie so your guests can write their names. The ribbon will stay on throughout the event and you don’t have to worry about your jars being ruined. If ribbons aren’t your thing, you could also invest in some chalkboard labels for your jars. You stick these on and allow your guests to write their names in chalk–erase them after the party and reuse! Have fun with it. There are plenty of creative ideas you can use to fit your party’s theme.

How about for beer pong?

Don’t worry, you can still have your fun! If you and your crew love beer pong, maybe it’s time to invest in reusable stainless steel party cups. Yes, they do exist, and you’re welcome. If you must, however, try to reuse your plastic cups as much as possible instead of getting new cups every time. You can even label them so you know for the next party that they’re for beer pong.


When it comes to water, the most common, quick and convenient thing to do is to buy a case of bottled water for your party. But let me ask you this–how often will you find a bunch of half full bottles of water around unclaimed and forced to pour out the water and toss the bottle? Too many times. Not only is that contributing to plastic pollution, but it also is a complete waste of water!

The solution? Encourage guests to drink tap water. You can fill up some pitchers with iced tap water at the table that will make a great addition to the table setting. For extra filtration, add a stick of activated charcoal into the water overnight so you’ll have filtered water by the day of the event. If you’re attending any party, bring your water purifying LARQ Bottle and avoid using another glass for water.


Sustainable reusable bamboo straws by The Other Straw
Courtesy of The Other Straw

By now, you should know better than to buy a bunch of plastic straws for your party. Depending on the type of drinks you’re serving you might not even need straws and we can trim off unnecessary waste here for sure. But if you absolutely must, try to find paper straws instead which are widely available at stores like Target, Walmart, and even discount stores. For more durable reusable straws that your guests can even take home as party favors, try reusable bamboo straws. They’re biodegradable so, at the end of their lifespan, they won’t be contributors to the growing issue of waste.

Compostable cutlery and plates

These usually use abundant and extremely eco-friendly material, bamboo. Bamboo is 100% compostable and biodegradable, so it’s a great choice as a single-use substitute. You’ll find plates, cutlery, and all things bamboo with a quick google search. We’d highly recommend this if you’re having larger gatherings that you just don’t have enough silverware and dinnerware for–or if you’ve got children attending your gathering.

Label landfill, recyclable and compost bins

Too many a time we’ve been in the awkward position where we don’t quite know if there is a recycling bin at a party or if everyone’s just tossing things in the same large trash bag. To help your guests decipher what’s what, label or even color code your waste bins–even including examples of what to toss will help! Put them in layman’s terms; “Scrape off food waste here” or “EMPTY beer bottles only” are some easy-to-understand, easy-to-follow examples of instructions you should use! If you’re not sure what kind of plastics are recyclable, read about how to recycle plastics. This will help you properly dispose of all the trash without having to sort through everything in the end too. Yay for efficient clean-up!

Make an announcement to your guests

If you’re throwing a plastic-free or zero-waste party, you ought to let all your guests know. Shout it from the rooftops, include it in the Evite, or even make a sign at your party about it! Seriously, the more you educate your guests and friends, the more we can help save the environment one zero-waste party at a time. Plus, we’ll have a ton of fun in the process.

By cutting out single-use plastic from parties you throw, or encouraging others to eliminate the use of plastic at parties, you’ll be saving thousands of single-use plastic from entering our environment and polluting the Earth. Don’t forget that sustainable practices can be applied anywhere–from sustainable travel to ways to conserve water. Now, who needs a drink?


6 Sustainable Chefs that are Changing the World

#1 Massimo Bottura

massimo bottura - italian michelin star chef cooking in food for soul kitchen
Source: Grundig

Massimo Bottura, Italian restauranteur and chef patron of Osteria Francescana was named the top restaurant in the world by World’s 50 Best. Osteria Francescana is a three-Michelin star restaurant based in Modena, Italy. Needless to say, he’s masterful at his craft. What is admirable about Bottura is his vigor toward not only creating delicious food but also changing the world by reducing food waste. Bottura turned an abandoned theater in a Milan suburb into Refettorio, a soup kitchen that turned over 15 tons of excess food into meals for the homeless, working poor, and refugees. He remains a champion in reducing food waste–one of the prime issues of the restaurant industry–and has even formed his own non-profit Food for Soul to encourage sustainable practices in the food industry to reduce food waste.


#2 Dan Barber

Dan Barber - Michelin star farm-to-table chef in his Blue Hill farm

Dan Barber hails from Manhattan’s West Village as the Chef of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns located within the nonprofit farm and education center, Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture. Also known as a “chef-thinker” or chef and scholar, Barber is a philosopher of sorts when it comes to food–emphasizing the importance of pleasure and thoughtful conservation, knowing the source of the food on your plate, and the process of how your food got there. Barber evangelizes agricultural policies to push forth more a model of environmental responsibility. His book, The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food, explores the world of food beyond “farm-to-table” to propose a revolutionary way of delicious and ethical eating. His mission is to educate and push Americans toward a future of food that is as sustainable as it is delicious.


#3 Melissa Kelly

Melissa Kelly from her Primo restaurant farm
Source: Primo Restaurant

Melissa Kelly is the Executive Chef and proprietor of Primo, a restaurant located in Maine, US. Kelly and her partner have spent over a decade cultivating a farm on Primo’s 4.5-acre property that serves as the main source of the ingredients she uses for the restaurant. Having access to her own farm means that she is in control of how the ingredients are grown from start to finish and can ensure the freshest and highest quality of ingredients are being served. It also means that kitchen waste can be recycled or composted properly. She spreads the importance of farm fresh local ingredients to aspiring young cooks and educates others about the true farm-to-table philosophy.

#4 Jose Garces

Former Iron Chef Jose Garces in his Luna Farms home
Source: SJ Magazine

Jose Garces is not only an Iron Chef, but he’s also an author, restauranteur, and the owner of Luna Farms, 40-acres of farmland aimed to grow fresh organic vegetables, fruits, eggs, and honey year-round in Ottsville, PA. Luna Farm plays a critical role in supporting the Garces Foundation and its mission to educate children about the nutritional benefits of sustainable agriculture, meal preparation, and healthy eating.


#5 Eneko Atxa

Eneko Atxa, Michelin star chef-owner of the most sustainable restaurant in the world, Azurmendi in Spain.
Source: En La Cocina

Azurmendi, a Michelin 3-Star restaurant located near Bilbao, Spain, named Most Sustainable Restaurant in the World, is the product of famed chef, Eneko Atxa, who is also one of the youngest chefs to ever achieve 3 Michelin Stars. The Azurmendi restaurant was designed and built on sustainability, Atxa’s philosophy to life and cooking. The building itself reuses rainwater for the garden, greenhouses, toilets and more. The large open windows make you feel like you are outdoors and takes advantage of the sunlight to reduce the need for artificial light and energy, it produces renewable energy to cover part of the restaurant’s energy needs, and produces a portion of the ingredients used in the kitchen in their greenhouses on site–planting more than 800 trees to reduce CO2. The building as a whole is a testament to the commitment to sustainability Atxa is advocating for–a truly inspirational masterpiece.


#6 Filip Fasten

Filip Fasten, Michelin star chef of Agrikultur in Stockholm
Source: Superb Experience

Michelin-starred Agrikultur, run by Filip Fasten in Stockholm, offers what Fasten calls “Nordic Comfort Food”, a prix fix menu of vegetable-based dishes where the protein is used to enhance the flavor depth rather than to be the star of the dish. He sources his produce and food from local farms and uses flavors that honor the land. The menu changes constantly to celebrate seasonable harvests to ensure the freshest quality, flavor, and helps the community, including hunting his own game during hunting season to serve at the restaurant.


Reducing food waste, eliminating added chemicals and processing from food, and locally sourcing food products are the biggest ways these Michelin-rated chefs and restauranteurs are helping to lead change in the food industry.


Some of these ideas can be adopted into your own daily life using methods of composting, nurturing your own organic garden, and buying what you need instead of what you want, locally. The best chefs in the world know exactly where their food is coming from and how it was produced or raised–whether it’s from their own farms or from a local farmer. Do you know where your food is from, or what went into producing it?


Are you recycling plastics correctly?

Ever walk up to a waste disposal area and wonder what goes where? There’s trash, compost, plastic, paper–it can be a bit overwhelming. You don’t want to put a recyclable plastic in the trash that goes to the landfill, but you also aren’t sure if what you have is even recyclable.

Get to know your trash a little more so you’ll know what goes where next time you encounter this dilemma. Here are some facts about recycling plastics that may help you along the way:

#1 Plastic bags aren’t always allowed in the recycling bin

Although plastic bags are made up of the same materials that theoretically can be recycled in most modern recycling systems, machinery just isn’t able to handle it. Depending on your waste management service, plastic bags might not be accepted as recyclable items because they get tangled in the machines which slow down the process of recycling. They end up being manually detangled and ripped from the machines and thrown into the landfill. Do a little research to find out if your local waste management services allow plastic bags.

In most cases, it’s recommended to have loose plastics in your plastic recycling bin rather than plastic that is tied up in plastic bags. It’s confusing because we think, “well it’s all plastic right?” Right, but they’re not the same type of plastic. We’ll get into more on that later.

Most large grocery store chains accept clean, dry, used plastic bags for special recycling programs to be used to make new items. Take them here if you have plastic bag waste!

#2 Rinse it out

Any recyclable containers that originally contained food should be rinsed out before tossing into the recycling bin. You just need to make sure you rinse out any remaining food particles. However, for sticky substances like jam or honey, you will need to scrub a little to get the stickiness off of the container.

If your local recycling program allows plastic bags, make sure you get any remaining residue off before tossing it into the recycling bin. If there are small crumbs, shake it out; if you had a spill, rinse off the remaining residue and allow to dry before tossing.

#3 Always cap your bottles

In the past, it was advised that people remove caps from bottles because the caps are made from a different material than the bottle, which made them difficult to recycle. Now, waste management facilities are able to recycle the bottles with caps and are advising that people first crush the empty bottles, then put the cap back on. This will increase the number of plastic bottles that can be transported at one time.

#4 Check the codes on plastic cutlery

Not all plastic cutlery is made of the same recyclable resin. And unfortunately, the recycling symbol is not always labeled on each individual fork, knife, or spoon. The plastic recycling number should be indicated on the box or bag that the cutlery comes in, so before you toss it, read the labels so you can let your guests know to throw them in the trash or in the recycling bin.

#5 Remove paper labels on plastic mailers


This one seems intuitive if you think about it since paper and plastic are recycled separately, but if you didn’t know, please remove the paper labels from your plastic mailers before putting them in your plastic recycling bin. The paper and adhesive interrupt the recycling process of the actual plastic, and with interruptions, there is more time wasted and less plastic being recycled.

#6 Know what those recycling symbols and numbers mean

There are 7 Resin Identification Codes (RIC), those little numbers with recycling symbols you see on plastic packaging and products. Be advised: just because a product has a RIC labeled on it, doesn’t mean it can go in your curbside recycling bin at home. As the name suggests, these are merely identification numbers to let you know what kind of material the plastic is made of–some are easy to recycle and accepted almost all recycling programs, and some are extremely difficult to recycle or cannot be thrown into your usual curbside recycling bins.

Why do you need to know these codes? Chances are if you’ve been throwing everything with an RIC on it thinking they all can go in the same recycling bin, you’ve probably been making the recycling process more difficult, inefficient, and causing more problems for the environment along the way. As it turns out, sometimes throwing a certain plastic in the trash is far better than guessing that it’s recyclable, as you read in tip #1.


PETE (1) – Polyethylene Terephthalate

PETE or PET products like soda bottles, water bottles, salad dressing containers, peanut butter containers, and others are allowed in your curbside recycling.

HDPE (2) – High-Density Polyethylene

HDPE include products like milk jugs, shampoo bottles, household cleaner containers, cereal box liners, and yogurt containers that are allowed in your curbside recycling.

PVC (3) – Polyvinyl Chloride (also known as Vinyl)

V or PVC is difficult to recycle, so it is rarely accepted by curbside recycling programs. These products include food wrap, plumbing pipes, window cleaner bottles, detergent bottles, medical equipment, cooking oil bottles and shampoo bottles.

LDPE (4) Low-density Polyethylene

LDPE products are not accepted by most curbside recycling programs. However, there are some that do, and even some independent recycling programs that may be accessible in your community. Common LDPE products include squeeze bottles (think hand creams and toothpaste), plastic shopping bags, carpets, food wraps, shopping bags, clothing, dry cleaning bags, and frozen food or bread bags.

PP (5) Polypropylene

PP is considered one of the safer plastic products and can usually be recycled by your local curbside recycling program. PP products include medicine bottles, straws, bottle caps, ketchup bottles, syrup bottles, and some yogurt containers.

PS (6) Polystyrene (Styrofoam)

PS has been deemed difficult to recycle and has even been subject to local bans as it poses health and environmental risks. PS products include foam packing, insulation, egg cartons, disposable cups, plates, carry-out containers, and meat trays. Most curbside recycling programs won’t accept these.

OTHER (7) Miscellaneous Plastics

Products with this symbol are difficult to recycle and contain toxic BPA. It is extremely rare for a curbside recycling program to accept this type of material. Number 7 products can include nylon, baby bottles, certain food containers, signs and displays, computer cases, sunglasses, and bulletproof materials.

#7 Check your local recycling programs

In order to find out what type of plastics your local recycling program accepts, and are great places to get started. These sites narrow down your search in your zip code and provide links to information from your communities recycling and waste management programs.

If you find that some products aren’t accepted like shopping bags, might have drop-off locations near you. You’ll find a list of items that will be accepted and be on your way to helping this global issue.

Earth Day may be over (April 22), but here’s your gentle reminder that you should be thinking about your impact on the Earth every single day. You don’t have to go completely plastic-free (because we know how difficult that is), but every small change–even something like sorting your waste properly–can make a huge difference. Wherever you can, refuse or substitute single-use plastic, especially the harmful ones we’ve mentioned in this article. Don’t know where to start? Check out our article on sustainable ways to start living a plastic-free lifestyle.


We tried to go Plastic-free – Here’s what happened…

The focus for Earth Day 2019 (April 22) is to protect our species, a focus that aims to educate and raise awareness of the unprecedented spike in endangered species due to human activity. Deforestation destroys habitats of plant and animal species, sunscreen washes into oceans killing the coral reef, and pesticides pose major health risks to a wide range of species including humans–just to name a few. One major issue we’re especially passionate about is plastic pollution.

Plastic can take 500 years or more to photo-degrade, becoming micro-plastics that continue to pollute the Earth and releasing toxic chemicals into the Earth. Plastic pollution is littering the oceans and shores, causing the deaths of wildlife that ingest plastic materials inadvertently. At current rates, plastic is expected to outweigh all the fish in the sea by 2050.


We decided to do our own #PlasticFreeChallenge in light of Earth Day by attempting to going plastic-free for the past few weeks and boy, was it difficult. Through this plastic-free challenge, we’ve come to realize exactly how much waste we produce on a daily basis.


At the start of this challenge, we really didn’t know what we’d be getting into. Seriously. Everyone in the office expressed how simple it would be to not use plastic cutlery we originally had in our break room and use silverware instead, or how we wouldn’t use plastic straws anymore and used the stainless steel ones we all had tucked away in our desks. Although those are great ways to reduce our environmental footprint, we had no idea how much more there is out there–in packaging, in our kitchens at home, in our grocery shopping, in our bathrooms–yikes! Plastic is EVERYWHERE.

mean girls plastic Source: GIPHY

Perhaps we did know how much there was or could acknowledge the amount of plastic waste we produce, but we were blinded by the convenience or so used to seeing and using certain items that we just didn’t notice it anymore. Everyone in the office was asked to log their plastic waste in a journal. We found that through logging each piece of plastic waste, we became more conscious of our decisions to buy certain things or to refuse others.


#1 Plastic Cups and Plastic Bottles

Plastic waste - plastic bottle, plastic cup

This was an obvious one for us. Yes, we actually do use our LARQ Bottles everywhere we go–they truly don’t leave our side. But, we’re constantly seeing plastic cups and plastic water bottles at parties and social events, or even when traveling.


Most of us have our own mugs here, and the office has some mugs, plates, and bowls for people who don’t. They’re actually great conversation starters and allow us to express ourselves!


However, I’ve personally had an experience with helping to plan a party for my sister’s birthday and the issue of hydration came about. The simple answer was to buy a case of mini water bottles. My response–please, no. The solution wasn’t the easiest, but it definitely reduced plastic bottle and cup waste. We purchased two large water dispensers (yes, these were plastic, but we figured potentially less than the 100 pack of plastic water bottles we would’ve purchased instead) and we got paper cups instead of plastic. It was actually a relief to not have half-consumed bottles of water lying around everywhere unclaimed, and not having to fish out empty plastic water bottles from the trash to put into recycling. It actually made cleanup EASIER and more green.


#2 Plastic Cutlery


As mentioned before, plastic cutlery was one of the easier ways to minimize our plastic waste. We used silverware from home, and some of us ordered nifty silverware for travel on Amazon. It even became more acceptable to lend utensils to our peers if they forgot theirs.


#3 Drinks to-go

tumbler and paper cup with stainless steel straw

Remembering to bring straws or reusable tumblers was difficult but we got the hang of it. We did get some weird looks from baristas but we took the opportunity to tell them about the plastic-free challenge and most people were understanding and accommodating! Some even had paper cups for their hot drinks that you can request instead of using plastic cups.


#4 Take-out

take out food from pupuseria and plastic and styrofoam waste

When it comes to food, take out can sometimes be more convenient than dining it, but at what cost? A few of us went to a Pupuseria near the office to get lunch one day and they didn’t have any seating, so we had to get take out. The amount of waste we received that day was unsightly. If we weren’t doing this challenge, it wouldn’t phase us because it’s so normal, but having to document this, we were frankly embarrassed. We even refused plastic cutlery here.


Here’s what our Customer Success Manager, Adria had to say: “Being out of town/ having a family emergency/going and eating out made avoiding plastic extremely difficult. Going for the healthy choice (salad) meant it was coming in a plastic container, getting Mexican meant we had plastic salsa containers (but their tacos came in compostable boxes) and Indian came in plastic containers. Some of these containers are reusable, but there comes a point where the balance between storing them and actually using them hits a breaking point.”


We even noticed that ordering certain foods, we’d naturally get more plastic–anything that has a sauce accompaniment would come in a plastic sauce container, all wrapped in a giant plastic bag, with plastic utensils thrown in, sometimes in excess. The solution? Try to dine in whenever possible.


#5 Food packaging

food packaging waste

Part of the struggle here was we all love snacking so much, and most packaged food is riddled with plastic packaging, which by the way, you can’t even recycle. Yvonne, our Senior Marketing Manager, describes her personal experience with this, “I needed to go to the grocery store because I make my dog’s food from scratch so had to pick up a few items. I went into Trader Joe’s and realized that almost EVERYTHING is in plastic even when it doesn’t even need to be. I did pick up my favorite snack (butter waffle cookies) then realized the inside packaging was plastic! I headed my way to Safeway in the produce section which, thankfully, had packaging-free veggies that I could pick up. This one grocery trip really made me realize that we are surrounded by plastic and made me much more conscious about where I should go buy my food.”

man eating chips Source: GIPHY

To further illustrate the struggle of refraining from snacking, Adria chimes in again: “Tough moments were not eating chips at work, or forgetting about the challenge when eating things like a fortune cookie — the wrapper was already open by the time I even thought about it!” Now, I can’t really think of a real solution for this besides not snacking, but that probably is the solution here–or at least in moderation. It’s probably better for your health anyway?


This wasn’t just snack packaging either–but some drinks. K-cups and tea wrappers all were used in the office which compelled a lot of us to switch to loose-leaf and purchase stainless steel tea diffusers. Adria chimed in on this matter as well, “I didn’t realize how much my tea I drank every day, and how many wrappers I was throwing away that would end up in the landfill. Switching to loose leaf tea was something that I had been wanting to do, and this gave me the push to do it. I also didn’t realize that they had it at my local co-op, so it was a much easier transition than expected.”


Through researching how to recycle K-cups, we found out that you can separate each component of the K-cup to be recycled. Some of us actually have Nespresso machines at home, which are made from aluminum (no plastic) that can be recycled at a Nespresso boutique or you can order a free recycling bag and drop it off at UPS.


#6 Beauty products

Another one that seems unavoidable to some is beauty or personal care products. Beauty and personal care packaging are most commonly made of plastic that requires special care to recycle or isn’t recyclable at all. Yvonne reflected on the matter, “I finished one of my cleansers and was about to recycle it but – guess what? It’s plastic. I took a look at my vanity and bathroom and realized that I had tons of travel size products which are all in plastic. I plan on refilling them but some are one-use which makes it harder to refill…I’m planning on purchasing products in glass packaging which is easier to recycle and re-use.”

beauty packaging plastic waste

Becoming more aware during this challenge made us question alternatives or solutions for recycling products like these. Through quick Google searches, we were able to find out that companies like L’occitane have recycling programs for beauty packaging (from any brand!) and some other brands like MAC offer recycling programs for their own packaging.


#7 Shipping packaging

plastic waste from shipping

Ordering things online at our convenience has become so normal that we rarely think about the environmental impact. As we realized after a couple of online orders that the bubble wrap lined paper envelopes are not recyclable, we tried to combine our Amazon orders to reduce waste or wait until we had a few things in the cart instead of shipping one thing at a time to reduce waste.

#8 Food storage

mason jar food stroage containers

Learning to avoid using plastic cling wrap or zip bags for snacks and loose food items was a big one for this challenge, especially at home. The remedy for this, although not as convenient, was to use reusable food containers, Stasher bags, mason jars, or purchasing products in glass jars when available. If your local grocery stores have a bulk section, bring your containers with you to fill up instead of using a plastic bag. We like to bring an expo marker to write the code and date of purchase on the lids to keep everything extra organized.


The challenge helped us become more conscious of the plastic in our lives. Truly, once you start seeing it, you won’t be able to unsee it. Now, we invite you to do your own plastic-free challenge. Just remember, it’s not about doing anything perfectly–in fact, we sure as hell didn’t! But small changes can be the push you need to live a more sustainable plastic-free lifestyle.


Depending on your lifestyle, you might want to pick up a few things to help you along on your journey. Here’s a checklist of products we mentioned (and some we didn’t) that you might want to invest in to get you on your way! Keep in mind, you don’t need everything on this list. If you see plastic items in your daily life that can be swapped with an item or two below, you probably should get it; if not, don’t! It’s that simple.


Build your own eco-kit:


  • Reusable water bottle
  • Tumbler
  • Stainless steel straw
  • Reusable cutlery
  • Silicone storage bags
  • Mason Jars
  • Reusable food wraps
  • Glass food containers
  • Reusable shopping bag


Find out more on ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle.


Whether it’s in observance of Earth Day or a change you want to make to help make the world a better place, we invite you to do your own #PlasticFreeChallenge and tag us in your Stories on Instagram so we can cheer you on! Before you get started check out’s Plastic Pollution Calculator to help you gauge how much plastic you’re currently using and how much you can commit to cutting out for the rest of the year.


Our Partnership with 1% for the Planet

We’re proud members of 1% for the Planet, a nonprofit network dedicated to funding diverse environmental organizations so that together they can have a more meaningful impact on the world’s environmental issues.

one percent for the planet logo

1% for the Planet was founded in 2002 by Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Craig Matthews, founder of Blue Ribbon Flies, their mutual love of the outdoors led them to realize their responsibility in saving it.

As members, we donate 1% of sales to this network, contributing to six core environmentally focused nonprofit sectors: climate, food, pollution, water, and wildlife. How do we know our money is going to the right place? 1% for the Planet approved nonprofit partners are carefully vetted in order to be eligible to receive funding from members like us. They are continuously vetting environmental nonprofits around the world. Being in partnership with 1% for the Planet connects us to nonprofits and working on diverse sets of projects around the world to combat some of society’s major environmental issues.

At LARQ, we’re passionate about doing better, as a brand, and as a company, striving to become a more sustainable business. Not only are we hoping to reduce single-use plastic consumption globally, but we are also hoping that as a business we can strive to reduce our carbon footprint. If we can all make small steps toward leading more sustainable lives, we’d have a greater impact on the world as we know it.