Everything seems to be marketed as a sustainable product these days, which is why I rarely use the word sustainable. However, last week I was introduced to what I believe is the next phase of sustainable products at the GreenBiz Verge expo, so I’m sharing a few here.
Sustainable food products
Upcycled food ingredients and regenerative agriculture are two of the latest trends in sustainable food products. Let’s start with the basics before we talk products:
What is regenerative agriculture? Regenerative agriculture practices help make soil healthy. Healthy soil is a way to sequester carbon. Proponents of regenerative farming believe its one tool in the toolbox it will take to slow climate change. Drawdown.org lists regenerative agriculture as the number eleven solution to draw down climate change.
What are upcycled food ingredients? Processing foods and drinks create what used to be considered waste. Today, innovative companies are turning that waste into value by upcycling food ingredients like the wheat used to make beer and the soy used to make soy milk.
Drawdown lists reducing food waste as the number three solution to climate change. It’s also a UN Sustainable Development Goal.
By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses.”– United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12.3
Sustainable product examples
Onto the product examples! That’s what you’re here for right? The good stuff that’s better for you and the planet.
Regrained – Breweries end up with a lot of wet left-over grains still full of nutrients and fiber. So Regrained uses this upcycled beer waste to make granola-like snack bars.
Regrained dries the wet grain using a patent-pending process they developed with the USDA. The result is deliciously addicting snack bars that taste better than the leading nutrition bars you’re probably used to. Honey Cinnamon is my favorite and you can buy them on Amazon (#ad) and select WholeFoods and Sprouts.
Renewal Mill – Renewal Mill sells okara flour and chocolate cookies made with okara flour. Okara is upcycled from the leftover pulp of organic soybeans created during soymilk production. The result is a protein-rich, upcycled flour. That may not sound delicious, but believe me, I could have kept eating those soft-baked chocolate chip cookies.
You can buy Renewal Mill flour on Amazon (#ad) and at Berkeley-area grocery stores like Berkeley Bowl and Rainbow Grocery.
Patagonia Provisions – Patagonia has ventured into the sustainable food products market with its Patagonia Provisions (#ad) brand. I tried their organic Savory Seeds in the classic barbecue flavor and it’s a savory alternative to sweet snack bars.
Patagonia has partnered with the Rodale Institute to launch a Regenerative Organic Agriculture certification. Although ROA certified products have not yet launched, it seems like it will be a natural fit when they do.
The fashion and clothing industry is considered one of the most wasteful.
The U.S. alone sends about 21 billion pounds of textile waste to landfills every year.”– ReMake.World.
That’s a problem that needs solving.
SellHoundmakes it easier to sell used clothes with their eBay selling assistant app. With the SellHound app you take a few pictures of the clothing you want to sell, then the app does the rest. SellHound writes the description for you, gives you an SEO optimized title, recommended selling price, and estimated shipping cost. After you approve the listing, it posts directly to your eBay account.
Why sell used clothes?
“Reports have recently emerged that donation centers send around 85%of donated clothing to landfills or incineration. Most people are shocked that the majority of donated clothes end up in garbage dumps rather than actually being re-sold, re-used or recycled,” according to Alicia Earle, Director of Marketing at SellHound.com. “Selling your unwanted fashion on a secondhand marketplace like eBay, ThredUP or Poshmark is one of the most sustainable things you can do with it.”
Fed by Threads – Fed by Threads sells eco corporate apparel. Corporations and sports teams buy a lot of branded clothing each year. Most of that clothing is made in other countries using unsustainable materials. Fed by Threads uses sustainable materials such as organic cotton, recycled plastic bottles, recycled cotton/plastic bottle blends and hemp. Your corporation can even collect those branded shirts and send them back to be recycled into new shirts.
Cupanion sells eco corporate swag in the form of reusable water bottles. Yep, they’re plastic water bottles, but they are reusable. Plus, each time you refill your bottle and scan your corporation’s branded sticker, Cupanion gives clean water to a person in need. If you’ve gotta give swag, it might as well be green swag with a cause.
Our academic and corporate partners around the world are finding innovative ways to be more sustainable and make a positive impact. We believe that by tracking and visualizing the collective environmental and social impact, there is an opportunity to engage individuals through the power of reuse.– Matt Wittek, Founder of Cupanion