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Earth Day 2019: 8 sustainable ways to make a difference for our planet

Here at Amway, we take sustainability seriously — not just on Earth Day, but every day. With a global business across 100+ countries and territories, we’ve seen first-hand some of our world’s most significant environmental issues, from unsustainable farming practices that use harsh chemicals and harmful pesticides to disastrous air quality that affects millions of people’s health.

That’s why we’ve taken significant measures to promote health and wellness not only for our customers but also for our planet. Some of these efforts include sustainable agricultural practices on our nearly 6,000 acres of Certified Organic farmland to environmental stewardship and alternative energy usage at our offices and manufacturing plants. 50 percent of the energy used to power Amway World Headquarters is sourced from wind power, and we installed 4,000 solar panels at our Nutrilite™ facility in Buena Park, California. Plus, our California employees have the added benefit of only working four days a week, which helps us all cut down on car and traffic pollution in the Los Angeles region.

But, that’s not all. We also eliminated plastic microbeads in our beauty and personal care products (opting for exfoliants from natural sources), incorporated post-consumer (recycled) plastic into some of our product packaging, like our Satinique™ shampoo and conditioner bottles, and pledged to be 100 percent landfill-free across our manufacturing plants by 2020.

And while we’ve come a long way, we know there’s more to do. We’re investigating more innovative packaging solutions that reduce plastic usage and increase recycled plastic usage, and we’ll keep you updated on those in the future.

But, what’s also important to remember is that it’s not just big initiatives that make a difference. This Earth Day, it’s a good reminder that there are many smaller things we all can do every day to help conserve natural resources and preserve our planet, too.

1. Double down on concentrated cleaning products

Did you know that our first product, Frisk, was a biodegradable, concentrated cleaning solution? We were on the market decades before concentrated formulas were fashionable and we still sell the product today (it’s now called L.O.C.™ multipurpose cleaner). While the formula has been tweaked over the past 60 years, it’s still biodegradable (meaning it breaks down into simple elements found in nature) and concentrated: our 1-liter bottle will refill a 500-milliliter spray bottle 20 times (that’s using a one part cleaner to nine parts water ratio).

Concentrated formulas reduce water usage during manufacturing and carbon emissions because it’s less volume to ship. Plus, the bottles will last you 20 times longer than other cleaning solutions, saving time, money and promoting a more sustainable planet all at the same time.

2. BYOB (Bring your own bag)

You know those plastic bags at your grocery store or neighborhood market? This year, it’s estimated that globally we will consume 5 trillion of those plastic bags — and less than one percent are recycled. Many are washed out to our oceans, where they will remain for centuries, putting marine life and water quality at risk.

Instead of using plastic bags, bring your own eco-friendly reusable tote bag. It’ll last you for years and will help keep single-use plastic out of our waste stream.

Amway home products

3. Choose biodegradable, phosphate free laundry detergents

In the 1970s, we introduced our first phosphate-free laundry detergent, SA8™, which we still sell today. Phosphates are often used in detergents to help soften hard water and keep the dirt in the wash water. However, they also are natural fertilizers. When they enter the water, they can promote excessive plant growth and decay, which causes water quality to deteriorate and suffocates aquatic life.

We use a different phosphate alternative than other detergent makers: we use citrates, a natural fermentation product from grain, and sodium carbonate, which is refined from a mineral. Both are fully soluble, so they won’t leave an irritating residue on fabrics, and offer a lower environmental impact than competing products.

4. Make a safer choice with the EPA’s Safer Choice seal

When choosing cleaning solutions, try to avoid ones that use harsh cleaning agents, and opt for products that contain the EPA Safer Choice label, which helps “consumers and commercial buyers identify products with safer chemical ingredients, without sacrificing quality or performance.”

More than 40 of our Amway Home™ laundry, surface, and dish care products have qualified for the Safer Choice label by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Amway was named Partner Of The Year in 2017 for dedication to formulating and manufacturing products with ingredients that are safer for families, workplaces, communities and the environment.

kids drinking espring water

5. Drink tap water

A study released in 2017 reported that globally, one million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute, and that number is expected to climb by 20 percent by 2021.

And while plastic bottles are recyclable, the sad truth is that less than half of the 480 billion bottles sold in 2016 were actually recycled.

Whenever possible, try to drink from the tap and use refillable water bottles. And if you’re worried about your tap water quality, check out a water purifier like from our eSpring™ brand, which reduces more than 140 potential health-effect contaminants and uses UV light to treat water additionally without the use of chemicals. Just one filter can fill as many as 10,000 water bottles — a huge reduction in plastic water bottle consumption.

6. Participate in a beach/river cleanup

It’s likely that beach or river cleanups happen all year in your community. It can be a fun, meaningful way to give back to Mother Nature and while keeping your city clean. Grab some friends, your family and head out to clean up.

Check out organizations like the Ocean Conservancy, Plastic Oceans, 5 GYRES and Surfrider, which all have resources on beach cleanups and can put you in contact with local partners in your area as well.

7. Gosh darn it, recycle!

Recycling seems like such a simple concept, yet National Geographic reports that 91 percent of all the plastic ever made (that’s about 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic) is not recycled. And, for all that remains, it will take more than 400 years to degrade — so plastic produced today will outlast us for generations to come.

Make 2019 the year you finally recycle all things plastic!

8. Commit to loving our planet every day

While Earth Day may be April 22, sustainable practices and a pro-planet mindset should be something we incorporate every day. From sorting out recycling to cleaning up our beaches to making more environmentally friendly choices in the products we use, we can all give our planet the love it deserves today and every day!