Embodied carbon is the carbon dioxide that is emitted as a result of the manufacture, transport, and use of a product or service. It is an important metric for evaluating the environmental impact of a product or service.
Bamboo pajamas are pajamas made from bamboo fabric. The fabric is said to be softer and more absorbent than traditional cotton pajamas, and is also said to be more environmentally friendly.
Home battery storage is a system that allows homeowners to store energy from solar panels and wind turbines for use during times of peak demand or when the power grid is down. Homeowners can buy or lease a battery storage system to store energy collected during off-peak hours for use during high-demand hours.
Laundry detergent sheets are a newer form of laundry detergent that come in the form of a sheet. The sheets are said to be more efficient in cleaning clothes as they dissolve in water and do not require any additional ingredients such as fabric softener.
An all electric home is a home that is powered completely by electricity. This means that all appliances, lights, and heating/cooling systems are run by electricity.
Recycled nylon is a type of nylon that is made from recycled materials. The nylon is made from recycled plastic bottles, which are melted down and spun into a yarn. The yarn is then used to create fabrics, such as bags and clothing.
A tote canvas bag is a bag that is made of canvas and is meant to be carried by hand. The bag is often used as a reusable grocery bag or as a bag for carrying other items.
Cariuma shoes are shoes that are designed to be comfortable and eco-friendly. The shoes are made from a breathable and moisture-wicking fabric that is meant to keep the feet cool and dry. The shoes are also made from high quality natural materials. Cariuma Shoes was founded by David Python and Fernando Porto in 2018.
A glass straw is a straw made from glass instead of plastic. Glass straws are reusable and are said to be more durable and environmentally friendly than plastic straws.
Recycled polyester is a type of polyester that is made from recycled materials. The polyester can be made from post-consumer plastics, such as water bottles, or post-industrial waste, such as textile scraps.
A shampoo dispenser is a device that is used to dispense shampoo into the palm of the hand. The dispenser is often attached to the shower wall and is typically activated by pressing a button.
An eco washing machine is a washing machine that is designed to use less water and energy than a traditional washing machine. The machine may have a variety of features, such as a water-saving mode, a low-energy mode, and a quick-wash mode.
Recycled cotton is cotton that has been repurposed from other garments or materials. The cotton is often used in new garments or other products, such as bedding or towels. Recycled cotton is beneficial for the environment as it reduces the amount of waste that is produced.
Trend Highlight – Zero Waste in the Hospitality Industry
By letting guests opt out of towel cleaning in the name of sustainability, hotels have been able to cut costs. They’re now extending this logic to shampoo, by replacing single-use shampoo containers with wall-mounted dispensers.
Tiny shampoo bottles are a high-waste product, since the bottle is thrown out if any of it is used, and the amount of plastic required per unit of shampoo is higher when the bottle is smaller. A dispenser can be cleaned off and topped up, at a lower marginal cost—and with less attention paid to keeping a stable inventory of small bottles. When Marriott started a plastic waste reduction program, they estimated it would cut their plastic use by 30%, eliminating 500 million bottles each year.
Shampoo dispensers, like pillow spray (Glimpse, March 2021), were popularized by hotels but have started moving into homes as well. Wall-mounted dispensers don't just reduce physical clutter, but visual clutter, since they mean replacing a product that has a label with a dispenser that doesn't. Much like cereal storage containers (Glimpse, April 2021), shampoo dispensers are a sort of in-home ad blocker, replacing a callout to a brand with a more minimalist display. Brands know that an appealing package can increase sales, and then increase usage after the sale; for customers who don’t want to be pitched products while they shower (even products they like), dispensers are a good solution.
Shampoo dispensers are part of a long-running evolution in how liquid consumer packaged goods get dispensed: when shampoo was first mass-produced in the early 1900s, bottles had unscrewable tops, followed by push buttons, then pumps. Single-serving dispensers may expand soon, into products like mouthwash; it’s already one of the popular features of the increasingly popular toothpaste tablets. Covid also affected the supply for dispensers, since it led to much higher deployment of hand sanitizer and touchless dispensers, and that manufacturing capacity can be redirected to other products afterwards.
There's a continuous tradeoff between usability, the cost of materials, and designs that increase usage and thus increase sales—but as Heinz discovered when they switched to inverted ketchup bottles, giving their customers the last drop of the product is a great way to earn goodwill, since it means the last interaction the customer has with the product is a reminder that they got their money's worth.
Trend Highlight – Carbon Offsets
As doing good for the environment becomes more and more of a social statement for consumers and businesses alike, carbon offsets are increasing in popularity. What's appealing about carbon offsets in particular is that they allow businesses and consumers to address their negative environmental impacts with money instead of a change in behavior or in business practices.
The goal of offsets is to cancel out the impact of emissions-heavy activities such as taking a flight, driving a car, or ordering a package online. In theory, carbon offsets allow environmental projects to make sense economically, where they may not have before. A company considering building a coal plant could instead choose to build a solar plant, and use the money generated from selling carbon offsets in order to cover the higher cost. The company doesn't have to invest any additional funds of their own to complete the project, and those on both sides of the equation can accrue brownie points in consumers' eyes for making more sustainable choices.
While the idea of carbon offsets was first introduced in the context of business, it has been an increasingly popular topic among consumers. This shows in the data: the rise in online consumer discussion of carbon offsets (orange) is noticeably more sudden than the rise of searches (blue), which includes both businesses and consumers.
While the concept makes sense on paper, though, it's far more complex in practice: accurately pricing certain offsets requires measuring environmental impact far into the future, for instance, and it's hard to know for sure whether certain projects would have been undertaken even without the aid of this additional funding.
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