Calendar for the budget preparation of the Green Fee Proposals

Are you a current student with ideas on how to make EvCC more sustainable? 

The EvCC Student Green Fee has funds available and will be accepting student proposals Jan 1st through Jan 31st, 2023

Submit yours to be a part of making EvCC a more sustainable place! 

For details and instructions or to learn about previously funded projects Click Here

In order to submit a proposal, please follow these instructions:

 First, download and save both the budget proposal form, as well as the SMARTS worksheet

Second, fill out the documents, saving them under the following format: ProjectPropsalName.Date.GreenFeeBPF and ProjectProposalName.Date.GreenFeeSMARTS

Finally, email completed documents to sustainability@everettcc.edu

Calendar for the budget preparation of the Green Fee Proposals.

To facilitate the handling of budget requests in preparation of the budget, the following dates will be adhered to:

January:

Opportunities will be provided for all members of the college community to submit budget proposals through the budget request forms. These forms will be sent to all organizational advisors and program directors including the Vice President of College Services. The budget for every project, program or activity must be developed by the students participating in the project, program or activity in conjunction with the appropriate advisor, coach or director. The budget request form should reflect the planned project, program or activity for the next fiscal year and shall be submitted to the Sustainability and Resource Conservation Manager and the ASEvCC Sustainability Officer by the published deadline (Late budgets subject to Student Green Fee Administrative Committee discretion).

February: 

The ASEvCC Sustainability Officer shall collect all budget request forms and prepare a master budget request. The Student Green Fee Administrative Committee shall also meet for a preliminary information discussion session(s) to establish goals and to develop schedules and procedures.

The Student Green Fee Administrative Committee shall invite the various advisors or student representatives to any project, program or activity requesting funding to present their proposals or, if they are from a current- funded program, their budgets. Presentations to the committee are mandatory if requesting a budget increase (written exceptions are subject to the Student Green Fee Administrative Committee discretion).

Requestors presenting to the committee will be scheduled and the scheduled sessions will be advertised by the ASEvCC Sustainability Officer and be open to all members of the campus community. Presentations will be limited to 15-20 minutes in length, including a question and answer period.

February/March:

Administrative Services personnel shall estimate the Student Green Fee revenue for the next fiscal year. The Student Green Fee Administrative Committee will determine a basic amount of revenue that are expected to be produced by each revenue-generating program. The sum of the Student Green Fee revenue and other program revenue will be the annual budget allocation. The Student Green Fee Administrative Committee shall meet to adjust the budget requests to the annual budget allocation.

March:

Account directors, advisors or other representatives of student groups requesting funding for a new program, project or activity, or submitting their budgets to the Student Green Fee Administrative Committee shall be notified in writing of the status of their budget and shall be advised of their

right to appeal. Appeals will be formally scheduled, and once heard, the Student Green Fee Administrative Committee will review them for possible adjustments.

April:

Two (2) open hearings will be advertised to the campus community so that viewpoints regarding committee recommendations can be heard.

The Student Green Fee Administrative Committee shall prepare a balanced budget and present its recommendations to the ASEvCC Student Senate at a budget hearing during a regularly scheduled meeting to be approved with a two-thirds affirmative vote.

The College President shall receive information regarding the budget as approved by the ASEvCC Student Senate.

Learn more about EvCC Sustainability www.everettcc.edu/green

Students for Environmental Action (SEA) invites you to be an environmental hero! Bring clean styrofoam, packing peanuts in bags or boxes, bubble wrap and plastic film to be recycled–for free!

This event is open to everyone! To learn more about Event click here: https://www.everettcc.edu/calendar/2023/01/styrofoam-recycling-event

Location: Parking Lot F

Date: Wednesday, February 1st 10am-2pm 

For more information about this event please contact Laura Wild, Club Advisor at lwild@everettcc.edu

Green Fee Project Examples

Are you a current student with ideas on how to make EvCC more sustainable? 

The EvCC Student Green Fee has funds available and will be accepting student proposals Jan 1st through Jan 31st, 2023

Submit yours to be a part of making EvCC a more sustainable place! 

For details and instructions or to learn about previously funded projects Click Here

In order to submit a proposal, please follow these instructions:

 First, download and save both the budget proposal form, as well as the SMARTS worksheet

Second, fill out the documents, saving them under the following format: ProjectPropsalName.Date.GreenFeeBPF and ProjectProposalName.Date.GreenFeeSMARTS

Finally, email completed documents to sustainability@everettcc.edu

Green Fee Project Examples

Many other colleges and universities in the Pacific Northwest (and nationwide) have taken to student fees to fund their sustainability and environmental goals. Here are some examples of projects they funded through these types of fees. Below are examples of projects that have been undertaken on other campuses, or potential project ideas generated by students for our campus.

Bike Rentals 

Bicycling is one of the most efficient modes of sustainable transportation in urban and suburban areas. Its a healthy and sustainable way to get around, and allowing students to rent bicycles has several benefits. Now with our two student housing buildings, a program like this just makes sense for our campus!

Climate Action Plan 

The climate action plan will build on our past progress and use the campus to confront the difficult questions posed by climate change and test promising new solutions that move the college, and the world, away from fossil fuels. 

It also helps students to understand and address the impacts of the climate crisis, empowering them with the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes needed to act as agents of change. The international community recognizes the importance of education and training to address climate change.

Eco-Scholarships

Some colleges have used the funds from their sustainability fees to offer mini-scholarships to STEM students, specifically those studying environmental sciences or engineering.

ADA Compliance and Improvements

Some colleges have invested in improving their accessibility standards for individuals with short and long-term disabilities. Sustainability isn’t just about protecting the environment, it also incorporates principles of social justice and equity, and one way to promote these principles is by removing barriers that may make it challenging for specific groups of people to achieve educational success.

Water Bottle Fill Stations

Did you know that in the United States alone, we go through enough disposable water bottles in one week to stretch around the globe two times. That’s a lot of plastic that ends up in landfills, estuaries and oceans. Though we already have a few water bottle fill stations, most buildings on campus still need to be retrofitted so we can continue to reduce our campuses reliance on disposable water bottles.

To learn more about Project Examples

Click here: https://www.everettcc.edu/administration/college-services/facilities/sustainability/evcc-green-fee/project-examples

Learn more about EvCC Sustainability www.everettcc.edu/green

Students for Environmental Action (SEA) invites you to be an environmental hero! Bring clean styrofoam, packing peanuts in bags or boxes, bubble wrap and plastic film to be recycled–for free!

This event is open to everyone! To learn more about Event click here: https://www.everettcc.edu/calendar/2023/01/styrofoam-recycling-event

Location: Parking Lot F

Date: Wednesday, February 1st 10am-2pm 

For more information about this event please contact Laura Wild, Club Advisor at lwild@everettcc.edu

Green Fee Funds

Are you a current student with ideas on how to make EvCC more sustainable? 

The EvCC Student Green Fee has funds available and will be accepting student proposals Jan 1st through Jan 31st, 2023

Submit yours to be a part of making EvCC a more sustainable place! 

For details and instructions or to learn about previously funded projects Click Here

In order to submit a proposal, please follow these instructions:

  1.  First, download and save both the budget proposal form, as well as the SMARTS worksheet
  2. Second, fill out the documents, saving them under the following format: ProjectPropsalName.Date.GreenFeeBPF and ProjectProposalName.Date.GreenFeeSMARTS
  3. Finally, email completed documents to sustainability@everettcc.edu

The funds generated by the Student Green Fee and all associated revenue, which is generated, are to be used as otherwise provided by law, rule or regulation of the Board of Trustees for the express purpose of advancing the sustainability goals of the College and the ASEvCC.

When authorized and approved in a manner consistent with this Financial Code, Student Green Fee funds may be used for, but shall not be limited to:

A. Projects, programs, activities or other opportunities for students and the campus community to engage in promoting or implementing sustainable practices in all campus operations.

B. Travel and per diem costs for students and staff members on authorized travel status while participating in sustainability related student programs, activities or conferences.

C. Salaries or compensation for students, who are employed by the Office of Sustainability, or as otherwise needed for temporary positions and internships relating to projects funded by the Student Green Fee funds.

D. Supplies and materials considered essential for the day-to-day operation of the Office of Sustainability, including those for outreach and education, such as general office supplies; collateral and give-away items; posters, flyers, and other advertising mediums; technology deemed necessary for student use within the Office of Sustainability.

E. Promotion of and limited support for curricular and co-curricular programs that have a sustainability-related education component.

F. Subsidies or supplements to campus programs, departments and services (including contracted services) if such subsidies or supplements result in improvements to students’ access to sustainability resources, education, or demonstrates the capability to make the services of a contracted vendor on campus more sustainable.

G. Dues for institutional memberships in recognized sustainability professional organizations, provided that the legality of such an expenditure is first established in consultation with the legal advisor of the College.

Students for Environmental Action (SEA) invites you to be an environmental hero! Bring clean styrofoam, packing peanuts in bags or boxes, bubble wrap and plastic film to be recycled–for free!

This event is open to everyone! To learn more about Event click here: https://www.everettcc.edu/calendar/2023/01/styrofoam-recycling-event

Location: Parking Lot F

Date: Wednesday, February 1st 10am-2pm ,2023

For more information about this event please contact Laura Wild, Club Advisor at lwild@everettcc.edu

Learn more about EvCC Sustainability!  www.everettcc.edu/green or email to 

sustainability@everettcc.edu

EvCC Student Green Fee

Are you a current student with ideas on how to make EvCC more sustainable? 

The EvCC Student Green Fee has funds available and will be accepting student proposals Jan 1st through Jan 31st 2023

Submit yours to be a part of making EvCC a more sustainable place! 

For details and instructions or to learn about previously funded projects Click Here

In order to submit a proposal, please follow these instructions:

  1.  First, download and save both the budget proposal form, as well as the SMARTS worksheet
  2. Second, fill out the documents, saving them under the following format: ProjectPropsalName.Date.GreenFeeBPF and ProjectProposalName.Date.GreenFeeSMARTS
  3. Finally, email completed documents to sustainability@everettcc.edu.

Background of the Green Fee:

In May 2018, EvCC students had the opportunity to vote on whether to assess the proposed Student Green Fee, a $0.50 (fifty cent) per credit fee, with a maximum of $7.50 for 15 credits that would fund various sustainability and environmentally-focused projects and activities on campus while giving the student body more influence over how the campus approaches sustainability. 

With 70% of ballots in favor of the proposed fee and board approval, fee collection began in Winter Quarter of 2019. The uses of the funds from this fee include:

  • Creation of the Campus Sustainability Fund to provide funding and resources to the campus community in the effort to advance the sustainability goals of the College and the ASEvCC.
  • Student employment opportunities in the Sustainability Office
  • Supplemental funds for outreach, education and materials for the Sustainability Office.
  • ASB Senate and BOT approved the Student Green Fee Financial Code 
  •  and Agreement Document 
  • as well as a Student Green Fee budget for the remainder of the fiscal year (Jan 2019-June 2019) in November, 2018.

Students for Environmental Action (SEA) invites you to be an environmental hero! Bring clean styrofoam, packing peanuts in bags or boxes, bubble wrap and plastic film to be recycled–for free!

This event is open to everyone! To learn more about Event click here: https://www.everettcc.edu/calendar/2023/01/styrofoam-recycling-event

Location: Parking Lot F

Date: Wednesday, February 1st 10am-2pm 

For more information about this event please contact Laura Wild, Club Advisor at lwild@everettcc.edu

How to reduce food waste this holiday season?

Food is the highlight of many of our holiday traditions and memories. We can all think of a holiday dish that makes us smile and our mouths water instantly. Yet, about 40 percent of all food produced in the U.S. never gets eaten. In fact, between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, Americans waste 25 percent more than during the rest of the year. During the holidays, millions of pounds of uneaten turkey, gravy, green beans, mashed potatoes and other seasonal trimmings unfortunately end up in landfills.

Food is the single largest material disposed of in U.S. landfills today, amounting to each person tossing an average of 20 pounds of food per month into the trash at a cost of approximately $1,500 per year, per family. This wasted food also wastes money, time, labor, transportation, water and land used in food production. Aside from this waste, food decomposes anaerobically (without oxygen) in landfills releasing methane gas, a driver of global climate change that is up to 86 times more potent in trapping heat than carbon dioxide.

Here is some great tips to reduce food waste : 

For most holiday hosts, the fear there won’t be enough food is inevitable. But making too much — like cooking for an army in a mess hall instead of family and friends in your dining room — is a surefire way to end up with a food waste fiasco. An online party planning calculator, known as a the “Guest-imator,” can help.

Buy less food. It’s easy to get carried away buying all the yummy foods and treats grocery stores showcase during the holidays. But in reality, we often buy more food that we can cook and eat. 

Here are the “10 Best Foods to Buy in Bulk & Reduce Waste.”

Before you even head to the store, shop in your own kitchen. Chances are you don’t need a new bottle of vanilla extract or Worcestershire sauce, or yet another head of garlic. They’re all likely hiding in the back of your fridge. 

Try to use every part of the fruit or vegetable. Broccoli, kale and Swiss chard stems are more than just edible, they’re yummy. Don’t throw away lemons after squeezing out just a tablespoon. Slice and use them in water pitchers or zest their fragrant skins for sauces, pies and cocktails.

Healthy alternatives = less waste — Coincidentally healthier foods are the ones without as much packaging, for example homemade bread, fresh produce, meats from the deli rather than prepackaged on foam trays. Avoid processed foods in non-recyclable packaging.

Keep track of leftovers. Store leftovers in serving-size containers that you label with the contents and the date. It helps to put the most perishable foods in the front of the refrigerator so we can keep an eye on them. Plan to eat leftovers in the same week in which they were cooked. Otherwise, store them in the freezer.  Keep a list on your freezer door to remind you what’s inside.

Donate unopened excess boxes or cans of food to a food pantry. Donating leftovers can be hard because many food pantries will not accept cooked items for food safety reasons.

You can help fight hunger by wasting less food and turning your savings from that positive practice into lifesaving food for those who need it. 

Have a safe and Happy Holidays! 

Learn more about EvCC Sustainability!  www.everettcc.edu/green

Mariya Zelenskyy – Media and Outreach Coordinator  sustainability@everettcc.edu

Sustainable Holidays

https://www.marthastewart.com/276321/gift-wrapping-tips-and-techniques

Each holiday season, there is so much money spent on presents, food, gift wrap, decorations, and lighting up our homes. Whether in-store or online shopping, it is so important for us to keep in mind that many of the trappings of the season end up in the trash and ultimately in landfill. While it’s a season to celebrate with our loved ones, let’s also try to focus on making this holiday season a more sustainable one. 

Here are some really easy ways that everyone can join the “happy sustainable holidays” movement: 

Try alternatives to gift wraps– Gift wrapping paper found in stores is cheap and convenient. But colorful and shiny foils are not recyclable. Even if you have a shredder, most wrapping paper contains dyes, glitter, and laminates and is often too thin to be recycled effectively. Try an alternative like a colorful section of the newspaper, or opt for the recycled, recyclable kraft paper and a beautiful, reusable ribbon.

Use LED Lights– Conventional holiday mini lights use a lot more energy than LED lights. LED lights not only help to save on energy but they last much longer – and they will help to reduce your carbon footprint. Even better, string some pom poms together for a chic, zero-energy solution.

DIY gifts– Gifting your friends and family something that you made yourself is thoughtful and touching. It could be handmade soap, candles, or a beautiful photo frame with your family picture in it! 

Eco-friendly gifting– Try choosing gifts that are sustainable and recyclable and that also come with recyclable packing. You could gift reusable items like water bottles, bamboo products, organic soaps, or wallets and accessories made from rescued off cuts of leather, recycled or sustainable materials. 

Use a container-grown Christmas tree– Though it seems like buying a plastic Christmas tree is more sustainable, but consider that when you decide to replace it after a few years, it will just end up as landfill. Instead, use a container-grown Christmas tree that you can plant in your yard during the spring. You could also use a potted tree and then opt for a recycling program if there is one in your city. 

Practicing sustainability may not always be easy, but it is a conscious effort that will reap rewards for us and for future generations. Let’s all use this holiday season to spread this message by example! 

Learn more about EvCC Sustainability!  www.everettcc.edu/green

Mariya Zelenskyy – Media and Outreach Coordinator  sustainability@everettcc.edu

Eco-Friendly Ways to De-Ice the roads and sidewalks

With snow and ice piling up, you may be tempted to turn to harsh road salt and other chemicals to combat slippery surfaces.

You’re not alone—but before you head to the hardware store, consider these green alternatives (the Earth and your pets will thank you).

Driveways and walkways

Sand: While not the best at melting the snow, sand provides increased traction on surfaces, and can help your card from getting stuck in a snow pile.

Sugar beet juice: The juice from sugar beets is an even better ice-melter than salt, and is much easier on plants and metal surfaces.

Coffee grounds: Like sand, the grainy texture of coffee grounds works wonders at providing increased traction on surfaces. It also is slightly better at melting snow and ice because of its dark color (which attracts more sunlight).

Pickle brine: It might seem like this isn’t a very salt-free alternative, and you’re right. But when mixed with water, pickle juice has a similar effect as sugar beet juice, only with less staining power, and is still safe for plants and animals (and won’t corrode sensitive surfaces).

Windows and delicate surfaces

Vinegar-water: Combine three parts white vinegar with one part water, and you have yourself the ultimate window de-icer. Spray on car windows if you’re in a hurry to defrost. 

De-icer

A popular and relatively safe DIY de-icer uses dish soap and rubbing alcohol diluted in water.

If you must use a commercial de-icer, magnesium chloride and calcium chloride are slightly less harmful to plants (and work at much lower temps) than rock salt (sodium chloride). Urea can work as a de-icer, too. Used sparingly, urea can be beneficial as a fertilizer. But it can also lead to eutrophication in downstream waters and burn plants at higher concentrations.

The EPA maintains a list of de-icers that meet their Safer Choice Standards. These Safer Choice standards do not guarantee absolute safety to humans, pets, and the environment. But they do exclude the most harmful ingredients while assuring comparable product performance.

Traction

Before reaching for de-icer, consider materials like sandbox sand or kitty litter that won’t melt ice but can provide traction. Fireplace ash is another choice; depending on your soil type, this could be beneficial to your plants. Alfalfa meal is another material that may serve as a fertilizer while also providing traction.

Be the Good Neighbor!

Elderly or physically limited neighbors can’t apply your new de-icing knowledge without risking injury. About 100 Americans die shoveling snow every year. If you can make the time, offer to help clear a neighbor’s sidewalk to help prevent falls or worse. It’s a great way to establish a new relationship and make your community a better place.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and there a plenty of people finding a way to remove snow and ice inventively without the use of harsh chemicals. 

Learn more about EvCC Sustainability!  www.everettcc.edu/green

Mariya Zelenskyy – Media and Outreach Coordinator  sustainability@everettcc.edu

Recycling 


Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products. Recycling can benefit your community and the environment.

Benefits of Recycling

Reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators

Conserves natural resources such as timber, water and minerals

Increases economic security by tapping a domestic source of materials

Prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials

Saves energy

Supports American manufacturing and conserves valuable resources

Helps create jobs in the recycling and manufacturing industries in the United States

Steps to Recycling Materials

Recycling includes the three steps below, which create a continuous loop, represented by the familiar recycling symbol.

Step 1: Collection and Processing

There are several methods for collecting recyclables, including curbside collection, drop-off centers, and deposit or refund programs. Visit How do I recycle… Common Recyclables

After collection, recyclables are sent to a recovery facility to be sorted, cleaned and processed into materials that can be used in manufacturing. Recyclables are bought and sold just like raw materials would be, and prices go up and down depending on supply and demand in the United States and the world.

Step 2: Manufacturing

More and more of today’s products are being manufactured with recycled content. Common household items that contain recycled materials include the following:

Newspapers and paper towels

Aluminum, plastic, and glass soft drink containers

Steel cans

Plastic laundry detergent bottles

Recycled materials are also used in new ways such as recovered glass in asphalt to pave roads or recovered plastic in carpeting and park benches.

Step 3: Purchasing New Products Made from Recycled Materials

You help close the recycling loop by buying new products made from recycled materials. There are thousands of products that contain recycled content. When you go shopping, look for the following:

Products that can be easily recycled

Products that contain recycled content

Below are some of the terms used:

Recycled-content product – The product was manufactured with recycled materials either collected from a recycling program or from waste recovered during the normal manufacturing process. The label will sometimes include how much of the content was from recycled materials.

Post-consumer content – Very similar to recycled content, but the material comes only from recyclables collected from consumers or businesses through a recycling program.

Recyclable product – Products that can be collected, processed and manufactured into new products after they have been used. These products do not necessarily contain recycled materials. Remember not all kinds of recyclables may be collected in your community so be sure to check with your local recycling program before you buy.

Some of the common products you can find that can be made with recycled content include the following:

Aluminum cans

Car bumpers

Carpeting

Cereal boxes

Comic books

Egg cartons

Glass containers

Laundry detergent bottles

Motor oil

Nails

Newspapers

Paper towels

Steel products

Trash bags

EPA released significant findings on the economic benefits of the recycling industry with an update to the national Recycling Economic Information (REI) Study in 2016. This study analyzes the numbers of jobs, wages and tax revenues attributed to recycling. The study found that in a single year, recycling and reuse activities in the United States accounted for:

681,000 jobs

$37.8 billion in wages; and

$5.5 billion in tax revenues.

Learn more about EvCC Sustainability!  www.everettcc.edu/green

Mariya Zelenskyy – Media and Outreach Coordinator  sustainability@everettcc.edu

Save Energy

Easy Ways to Save Energy at Home and Spend Less

Consider these steps to cut your home’s energy consumption, keep utility bills low, and lead a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

Energy-efficient home upgrades are not only environmentally responsible, but they can also save you a lot of money over time. Even small updates, such as swapping old lightbulbs for LED versions, can make a huge difference. And while large-scale changes like replacing windows or adding insulation help reduce energy consumption in the long run, a lot of energy-saving updates can be accomplished in a day or less. Another reason to consider? Many of the energy-efficient renovations you can make to your home qualify for tax credits. Below, see some of the top home improvements for reducing energy consumption and saving on your utility bill.

Turn off the lights when you leave a room. If that’s difficult for you or your kids to remember, buy lights with occupancy sensors that automatically turn off when there hasn’t been any movement for a period of time. Consider dimmer switches that let you reduce lighting when you don’t need it and have occupancy sensors. Dimmers can easily replace a regular switch and keep a low profile.

Leaving gadgets and charger cords plugged in when not in use can account for as much as 10% of a home’s energy use. Simply unplugging what’s not being used can make a big difference on your energy bills. Instead, plug devices into a power strip that you can switch off when not in use. Remember to unplug what you can when you leave your home as well.

Do your laundry in cold water. Many of today’s detergents and fabric softeners are much more efficient and don’t necessarily need hot water. Using cold water means you won’t have to waste energy to start up the water heater.

In the summer months, line-dry your laundry instead of using a dryer. Reducing your use of a dryer can save up to $100 a year in operating costs. Plus, line-drying is easier on your clothes, so you save what you would otherwise spend on wear and tear.

Lower the temperature on your water heater. Most water heaters are set much too high at 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Save energy by turning your water heater down to 120-110 degrees. Don’t worry, the water will still be comfortable.

Replace incandescent bulbs with light-emitting diode (LED) versions. According to Energy.gov, LED lightbulbs use up to 90% less energy and last up to 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. While more expensive than traditional bulbs upfront, LED lightbulbs save money over time thanks to their long lifespan.

Simple things, such as making wise decisions when choosing home appliances, understanding your daily energy consumption, and developing some simple energy-saving habits are just some of the ways to save energy in our home.

Learn more about EvCC Sustainability!  www.everettcc.edu/green

Mariya Zelenskyy – Media and Outreach Coordinator  sustainability@everettcc.edu

Zero Waste

Sometimes the process of becoming zero waste can seem overwhelming.

Whether you’re just starting to learn about it, or you’ve been working towards it for months now, you’ve probably figured out that it’s not something that happens overnight.

It’s hard to change the ways we’ve done things all our lives.

One of the most overwhelming aspects of modern life is knowing about major global-impact issues like climate change and plastic waste pollution and feeling like there isn’t much that We can do to really change things.

Take all that plastic we go through day in and day out. It’s about the stuff that comes with food and bottled drinks, cosmetics, carryout containers, bags and wrappers — more than 40% of all plastic made is packaging, which is used only once or twice before being thrown away. Don’t we feel at least a little guilty when we toss one plastic snack wrapper or coffee cup after another into the trash?

If not, maybe we should. According to a recent analysis examining global plastic waste generation between 2010 and 2016, the United States was responsible for more plastic trash than any country in the world. That’s millions and millions of tons of plastic waste. Per capita, that boils down to nearly 300 pounds of plastic trash per person(!) per year.

Will it be recycled? Some will, yes, but not that much. It’s estimated that only about 9% of plastic waste generated in the U.S. is recycled and that the rest ends up in landfills, incinerators and, unfortunately, marine environments such as rivers and oceans. And there, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, it will remain for hundreds of years.

How can we stop plastic pollution from filling our oceans and endangering wildlife and the environment? Simple: Every one of us, from world leaders and corporate leaders to individuals, needs to take urgent action to reduce how we use and dispose of plastic. 

Here are 9 of the best plastic-free products:

1. Reusable grocery bags 

Opt out of plastic bags at the market. Grab a tote bag — charity and thrift stores and online marketplaces like Etsy are great places to look, or learn how to make your own! 

2. Package-free haircare 

Shampoos and conditioners typically come in plastic bottles, which can be a nightmare for anyone looking to cut plastic waste out of their bathroom. 

Ditch the plastic and go naked with the solid shampoo bars and conditioners. Making haircare solid eliminates the need for plastic bottles, reducing the environmental impact enormously and saving tons of plastic from ever being produced or entering landfills. They’re easy to travel with because they are small and won’t spill in your bag, and they’re very easy to use.

Animal cruelty-free shampoo bars that last up to 80 washes. 

The zero-waste shop Package Free also has multiple options for package-free haircare. And if you’re not a fan of bar soaps for hair, the shop also carries refillable conditioners (packaged in aluminum) that are vegan and chemical free. Opt out of the pump and go for the cap for a fully plastic-free conditioner.

3. Reusable drinking straws

Plastic straws litter our oceans, causing harm to wildlife and are polluting our environment. How we can  solve this everyday problem?

You can find plastic-free straw options at Package Free and Public Goods

4. Plastic-free dish soap

Zero Waste Outlet offers a plastic-free vegan dish-washing block that can last you up to six months of use. You can also purchase its three-piece dish-washing kit that includes the soap block, a palm pot scrub brush, and a bamboo soap dish.  

5. Reusable water bottles

Instead of buying plastic bottled water or using disposable cups, try out a stainless bottle.

6. Reusable and plastic-free food storage and service

The easiest way to protect yourself is admittedly pretty difficult: getting rid of plastic food storage containers. No more pop-top plastic cereal containers or zip-top plastic baggies, no more reheating your soup in the quart-sized plastic takeout container it came in. It’s a big change to make, so we did our part by rounding up some of our favorite nonplastic food storage containers in stainless steel, bamboo, cork, silicone, glass, linen, and wood. Refrigerate, freeze, and microwave to your heart’s content.

7.Make laundry day plastic-free

Liquid laundry detergents packaged in plastic containers can be easily switched out for more environmentally friendly, natural soaps.

8.Waste-free skincare accessories 

Disposable cotton rounds and their plastic packaging are wasteful. The Waste Less Shop for reusable facial rounds, which come in two colors for different applications. The rounds come with a wash bag to keep things clean and plastic-free. 

Switch out the plastic shaving razors for reusable metal razors with replaceable blades instead.

9.Plastic-free oral hygiene

Innovative companies now offer plastic-free dental hygiene alternatives including tubeless toothpaste products and bamboo toothbrushes. Bite, for example, offers tube-free oral care tablets that come in glass jars and act in the same way that toothpaste does to clean your teeth and freshen your breath.

It can seem like a big ask at first, with everything seemingly wrapped up in plastic from food to everyday household products. The good news is that there are eco-conscious brands that want to reduce the amount of plastic you bring home. Finding replacements you can trust can feel overwhelming, but it helps if you know where to start looking.

To Learn more about EvCC Sustainability!  www.everettcc.edu/green

Mariya Zelenskyy – Media and Outreach Coordinator  sustainability@everettcc.edu