Sustainable living is a great way to reduce our consumption of Earth’s natural resources, and there are plenty of ways to get more involved. For example, you could start using reusable shopping bags instead of plastic ones or switch to LED lightbulbs, which are more efficient and use less energy. You could also begin composting food scraps and other organic waste or make cleaning products using natural ingredients like baking soda and vinegar. Most of us do small things already and are conscious of our impact on the planet. Most people want to do more. According to a cross-generational study by Southern Cross University, 77% of individuals want to learn more about sustainable living.
Sustainable living doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. With the right resources, everyone can make a difference. Anne Marie Bonneau says, “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.” We are passionate about researching and connecting with innovative companies that make it easy and affordable to adopt sustainable habits. We know that the more accessible and affordable it becomes, the more people will be willing to make a change. We hope everyone will join us in this journey to heal the planet!
We want everyone to ‘do’ sustainable living imperfectly, and we want to help you accomplish this. We’re excited to share the sustainable living companies we have researched and use ourselves. These innovative companies are working to create change. As Anna Lappé points out, “Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.” Supporting companies with similar environmental values and goals as your own is a sure way to cast your vote for a healthier planet. ACE Recycling has compiled a list of non-profit and for-profit organizations that we think are worth supporting. We invite you to join us in supporting these trailblazing companies pioneering a new way of thinking.
What is your Impact?
The first step to living more sustainably is to find out where you stand. One way to do this is to examine your ecological (carbon) footprint. Once you have a baseline, focus on the areas you know you can quickly adjust to lower your impact. Here are some general rules of thumb to keep in mind:
1. Production, transportation, and food handling generate significant Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions. The impact of food, especially meat, is particularly devastating. The production of food is 26% of Global Carbon Emissions. This number will continue to rise as our population grows.
2. Buying from local small-business has a notable impact on your community’s environment, economy, and health. The benefits range from lowering emissions to creating jobs and increasing the tax base to help infuse schools and infrastructure with needed funds.
3. Food waste is enormous! The USDA estimates 30-40 percent of the food supply in the US is thrown away. When this food sits in a landfill, it creates methane, an even more potent greenhouse gas than carbon.
4. Plastic waste is one of the most significant environmental threats. Microplastics have infiltrated our water, air, land, and bodies. Calculate the plastic impact you have by using the EarthDay.org Plastic Calculator.
TEDEd Earth School
Earth School covers everything needed to unlock a cleaner, healthier, and safer future. Explore this site to feed your curiosity and hope, and find out how to take action now. This website has great resources to learn about the factors of carbon and evaluate where you stand. There are hundreds of short, engaging, informative videos, quizzes, and pre-built lessons.
Why is Sustainable Living Needed?
Knowledge is power. Understanding the natural processes humans impact, causing changes in our natural environment, is essential. We all hear about water, carbon, and climate change. Most understand they are connected, but only some recognize the cycles governing these natural systems as intricately interconnected. Nature indeed illustrates the ripple (or butterfly) effect most gloriously.
It is impossible to affect one system without directly impacting many others. A great example of this is the Amazon Rainforest and river basin. The health of the Amazon is directly linked to the planet’s health. The Amazon is one of the most important carbon sinks on the planet, giving it the designation of the “World’s Lungs.” In addition to pulling carbon from the atmosphere, it is also vital to the world’s water cycle. The vast rainforest creates weather, mostly rain, which moves worldwide. The many threats to the Amazon region, including deforestation and climate change, are diminishing and changing the natural cycle that the rainforest is central to and we are dependent on.
Far away in Africa, changes there are also threatening the Amazon. The deserts of Africa supply the rainforest with vital nutrients. The wind carries nutrient-rich dust from the African deserts and sprinkles this natural fertilizer over the Amazon rainforest. This intricate cycle is finely tuned to recycle nutrients and provide life on Earth with the oxygen, climate control, and water it needs to survive. This cycle shows the tell-tale signs of disruption due to shifting weather patterns caused by a warming climate.
To fully understand the need for each of us to invest in sustainable living, even imperfectly, you must understand the basics of the way Earth functions. From this basic understanding, it will become evident that your actions affect others. Seeing the “big picture” allows you to prioritize the choices you make in your everyday life. ACE Recycling gets you started with articles that generally explain the two big cycles altered by climate change, the carbon and water cycles. Additionally, we describe the circular economy and give you tangible ways you can get in the circular economy loop. Click on the articles below to start learning.
The most impactful thing we can do to help our planet is to live sustainably. The second most impactful thing we can do is support individuals and organizations leading the charge to change how society interacts with our environment. The two most powerful ways to offer support are with our money and vote.
We want to make sure you explore EarthDay.org. EarthDay.org has started so many significant initiatives. In addition to taking action, their website is an incredible place to learn and gain the tools to help spread the word. They offer toolkits that make it easy to take action and organize.
Climate and Environmental Literacy
Conservation and Restoration
End Plastic Pollution
Food and Environment
Action on Climate Change
Sustainable Living Companies in Phoenix
Resinate offers recycling for the unrecyclable. They recycle dispensary and pharmacy packaging. These items are historically difficult to recycle and end up in landfills. Look for their Energy Pod at local dispensaries. The Energy Pod allows people to safely and conveniently recycle plastic, paper, cardboard, and metal packaging.
This closed-loop textile recycling company converts denim and other types of cotton into “shoddy fiber.” “Shoddy fibers” are used to create many industrial and automotive products. They accept all types of textiles, making them a great place to dispose of damaged or non-donatable clothing. The employees of ACE Recycling ship a couple of boxes of textiles to them a couple of times a year.
Waste Not picks up perishable, fresh food from grocery stores, catering companies, and other businesses. Then deliver it that same day to a network of over 85 nonprofits that feed those in need, such as shelters, trauma centers, transitional housing complexes, and more. Waste Not re-distributes food destined for a landfill and gives those in need a lifeline.
OnePointOne is headquartered in Avondale, AZ. OnePointOne’s industry-leading, proven, and patented Vertical Farming Platform was designed to maximize plant output while minimizing environmental impact. Willo Farm is a division of OnePointOne, powered by OnePointOne technology, selling Beyond Organic(TM) vertically farmed produce directly to consumers through a membership-based subscription from seed to your door.
Sustainable Living Companies Elsewhere
Plastic Recovery & Recycling
4Ocean is an innovative company that harnesses the power of collaboration to pull plastics from the ocean. They masterfully engage local communities by paying local fishermen to pull the plastic. Providing a living wage to locals while helping to heal the environment they rely on to survive. They reuse this plastic by creating bracelets and other products.
Ecomended sells all things sustainable living, from personal care products to household goods.
Reducing Food Waste
Imperfect Foods is a grocery delivery service with a mission of zero food waste. Imperfect Foods sources “imperfect” foods, meaning they have cosmetic quirks or are just surplus. 35% of the U.S. food supply went unsold or uneaten in 2019. When you shop with Imperfect, you save food from waste, which conserves the resources that go into growing it.
Clothing Recycling & Donation
TexGreen is a textile recycling and re-distribution company that strives to provide easy and convenient public solutions for unwanted materials. There are three drop-off sites in Phoenix.
- Mercado Del Rancho, 9301 E Shea Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85260
- The Promenade, 16243 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85254
- SanTan Village, 2269 S Santan Village Pkwy, Gilbert, AZ 85295
Replace the plastic wrap with an all-natural Bee’s Wrap. 100% compostable Bee’s Wrap is made from four simple ingredients and is reusable for up to a year.
Ditch the laundry detergent bottles with Earth Breeze. These laundry detergent sheets are plastic- and cruelty-free, offering dermatologist-tested ingredients with a powerful clean.
Electronic Waste Drive Partners
Community Waste Drives
This Tempe small business has partnered with ACE Recycling to conduct free, public electronic waste drives and paper shredding events twice a year since 2022. Run by a former educator committed to community service, Rev gives back to their community while protecting our environment.
Fletcher Heights & Tatum
Owned and operated by a former educator, Primrose Schools of Fletcher Heights and Tatum have participated in Earth Day electronic waste drives with ACE Recycling since 2021. Primrose is truly community-based, with service being of the utmost importance. They hold several fundraisers throughout the year to give back.
For the Record…
This statement clarifies that the companies listed on this webpage did not pay for a mention and that ACE Recycling uses them themselves. It also emphasizes ACE Recycling’s commitment to sustainable living and its endorsement of each company listed.