Happy Earth Day!
It’s a pretty big holiday around here—as it should be. Nature gives us so much. The pure joy of getting lost in the mountains, swimming in a lake, running through oak-shaded trails or walking down a city street filled with cherry blossoms on a spring day—not to mention the obvious, like air to breath and food to eat.
I want to leave this world a better place for our children and that means making changes at home to live a greener, more sustainable life. I realize climate change is a problem we can’t solve by our shopping habits alone (looking at you, Congress), but I know that becoming a more conscious consumer is an important step in the right direction.
This year, I’m celebrating Earth Day with a week of daily giveaways from a handful of the eco-minded companies that are inspiring me and making it easier than ever to live green.
Read on to learn more about these incredible changemakers and the tips they’ve learned to live greener themselves!
The giveaway: One month of produce from Imperfect Produce:
Did you know that 40% of all the food produced in the US goes uneaten?! To help fight this waste, Imperfect Produce sends members monthly boxes of fruits and veggies that were deemed too “ugly” for grocery store beauty standards — and at 30 percent less than grocery store prices. It’s insane to me that perfectly good food doesn’t leave the farm because of slight imperfections in color, size or shape. The reality is no vegetable or fruit is perfect. The food from my garden often come out looking far stranger than the grocery store versions (like the time my carrot that resembled a vagina), but they taste just as delicious and are just as nutritious. Most importantly, reducing food waste is one of the top three ways to reverse global warming, according to research by Project Drawdown.
How they live green:
“One of the most surprising things I’ve learned is how much needless waste is caused by best-by and sell-by dates. Standardizing this system would divert over 400,000 tons of safe, edible food from going to waste. I’ve learned to remember that these dates are, for the most part, a suggestion and to give food a look and smell test before throwing something out. I also I try to live a greener lifestyle by using all of my produce, rather than just one part and tossing out the rest. Some of my favorite recipes are broccoli stem hummus and roasted carrots with carrot top pesto.” – Ben Simon, CEO and Co-Founder
The giveaway: Global travel kit from Lina Hanson
Lina is a makeup artist and skincare genius who’s been preaching green beauty long before it was cool. She’s the author of Eco-Beautiful: The Ultimate Guide to Natural Beauty & Wellness and has an incredible line of award-winning green skincare. My favorite is her global travel kit that comes in a stunning one-of-a-kind bag that’s handwoven by the Karen hilltribes in northern Thailand using sustainable eco-textiles and natural indigo dyes. The kit includes travel-sizes of her multi-purpose cleanser, face serum, face balm, body serum, and a luscious perfume in pretty glass bottles and jars. It’s the best travel-sized system I’ve found and all ingredients are natural, organic and ethically harvested.
How they live green:
“Years ago I made the switch to using only all-natural non-toxic skincare and beauty products – not only for myself, but also in my professional makeup kit for when I do clients’ makeup. Educating people on the importance of what we put on our skin is something I’m so passionate about and I do my best to live it everyday. For my own products, I try to reuse the containers for various purposes in my home. For example, I use the glass bottles as little vases or incense holders and the jars make perfect spice containers.” – Lina Hanson, CEO and Co-Founder
The giveaway: One bike and helmet from Woom:
We love going for family bike rides and Woom is an Austin-based bike maker that I have fallen in love with. Their bikes are beautifully designed and made from a lightweight aluminum that the kids can easily handle as they learn to ride. But the coolest thing about Woom is their upcycling program. Parents can trade-in the bike when their child has outgrown it and Woom will refurbish it and donate to non-profit organizations.
How they live green:
“I try to limit the usage of my car as much as possible and use my bikes to commute to the office and run errands. I commute to the office at least three times a week and leave the car at home. Our team members are also encouraged to bike to work. We have two team members who commute 20 miles each day back and forth to work. Removing cars off the road reduces pollution and congestion while improving employee health and well-being. During the month of April, we have an internal commuter challenge where prizes are offered to team members who ride their bikes to work. – Mathias Ihlenfeld, Co-Founder
The giveaway: Clean up kit from Blueland
What our products are packaged in impacts the earth just as much as their contents. In an effort to save 100 billion single-use plastic cleaning bottles, Blueland is re-imagining cleaning products with a refillable system that uses dissolvable non-toxic cleaning tablets and BPA-free, acrylic bottles that last forever. Simply fill the bottle with water and drop in a tablet to create your own cleaning solution. (Bonus: Refill tablets are just $2, so it reduces plastic use and your budget.) I love that I no longer have to buy a bunch of bottles that I throw away and cross my fingers in hopes that they will be recycled or compost.
How they live green:
“I’ve become so much more conscious of my general waste output after starting Blueland, even in areas outside of plastic. Even though paper is readily recyclable, I hated all the paper junk mail I was getting and learned you could opt out from catalogs at catalogchoice.org. I shop the farmers market every Saturday, and it is also where I drop off my compost weekly. I love it because everything is fresher, involves less packaging, less transportation (and carbon emissions). Plus, it’s a great family activity!” – Sarah Paiji, CEO & Co-Founder
The giveaway: Farm stand and monthly membership from Lettuce Grow
I love growing my own produce. I get to spend time with the kids gardening and picking what we want for dinner and I know exactly what’s going into our bodies. Plus, freshly picked, nutrient-rich veggies taste damn good. A lot of people want to grow more of their own food, but lack the space, time or knowledge to do so. Lettuce Grow is breaking down these barriers with their pretty, space-saving hydroponic farm stands made out of recycled milk jugs. The vertical garden containers are built to help you grow about 20 percent of your food at home and seedling membership comes with tips that makes growing easy—even for brown thumbs like me.
How they live green:
“We need to do a lot of small things that all add up to making a big impact for the planet. It’s all kinda boring (and why a lot of people don’t do it) but it’s our job to make it cool. Here are some things we do:
– We cook more at home to reduce packaging, eat leftovers to reduce waste
– We use dish towels for almost everything and hardly ever paper towels
– We only use beeswax cloth instead of cling wrap or foil
– We’ve replaced plastic bags with reusable silicone bags and plastic trash bags with bags made out of sugar cane
– And no, no, no plastic straws!” – Zooey Deschanel + Jacob Pechenik
The giveaway: $100 gift card to Tentree
More than 15 million tons of used textile waste is generated each year in the United States and the amount has doubled over the last 20 years. Tentree is working to change this by weaving sustainability into everything they do. Their chic and comfy clothes are made with eco-friendly fabrics like cork (stripped cork helps increase the lifespan of trees) and biodegradable linen. They also go the extra mile, making it their mission to reduce their environmental impact through sustainable manufacturing, fair labor practices and planting 10 trees for every item purchased. They also employ people to plant the trees, which provides them with an alternative to deforestation. The long term impacts of tree planting actually results in better farming, more wildlife and more protection from natural disasters, and better education on how to prevent these issues in the future. (Psst…check out their most recent post on Insta and give them a like. For every 10 likes a new tree will be planted in honor of Earth Week!)
How they live green:
“The reality is that living 100% sustainably isn’t realistic for most people. We live busy lives and it’s important that we celebrate the little actions that we all take towards living a more sustainable life rather than vilifying those that aren’t perfect. Personally, I live a fairly carbon intensive life since I have to travel so much for work so I have begun to make a number of other changes in my life to live more sustainably. I bike to work whenever I can, I always carry a reusable thermos, my wife and I have begun to do “meatless mondays”, I have tried to reduce as much single use plastic as I possibly can and, in particular, I try to always use reusable grocery bags.” – Derrick Emsley, co-founder
Check for daily updates and entry requirements in my Instagram stories and feed!
Gen – you are too cool, I love this and I am so proud you were able to partner with so many eco friendly companies. I am a vegetarian, I now use green beauty products, I already re-cycle and I am looking at replacing cleaning products in my house. I am using first aid beauty products and that is thanks to you as I wouldn’t be as aware as I am learning to be. Your blog, posts, pictures and humour make me look forward to what comes next because I am always learning from every post you give us as your audience. Appeciated @nowandgen 🙂
Breanna D Johnson
Love it when you find green companies like this, I really want to do more to reduce waste. Love the ideas behind Blueland & the Lettuce Grow. Might have to give Blueland a shot, The tablet idea sounds really neat.
Lettuce Grow I want to read more about. I’ve seen competitors in the past but the nutrition system needed was off-putting. I live in a condo right now and would love one of these as I don’t have much floor space to grow things (I have a small deck). So my garden is very small and limited right now.
Awesome blog, gives me more new ideas in what I can do, we recycle, compost, grow our own food during the summer,
I use reusable bags for groceries, and I bought metal straws, use mostly vinegar, baking soda and water as a cleaning product but if you have something eco friendly to get rust stains out of my toilet and bathtub ( we have very hard water and a water softner) please let me know.
One small way I’ve committed to helping the earth is by using leftover paints in my artwork and renovation projects. You can find so many shades and types at stores like ReStore and help keep them out of landfills. ✌?
Omg gen I think….no I KNOW you are the most inspiring women on the face of the earth. I can’t thank you enight for making this world better in every way possible!
❤?❤?❤?❤ amazing you are! Adore and appreciate your work and words!
I just got home from our recycle place with our haul of plastic and glass. Our city also recycles paper, cardboard, ect. which I am very happy that they do. I also grow tomatoes, nectarines, tangerines, blackberries (jam) and a variety of other veggies. We have friends that we exchange lemons and oranges with for our fruit. I love to see other ppl commiting to saving our planet and its inspiring to see you so commited also, thanks for sharing!
I love all these eco- friendly ideas! I am being nicely educated about our earth safe products which is very interesting and exciting to me so thanks Gen! Your amazing girl!
Great ideas to help keep our planet alive for our children.We all need to get more involved in efforts to make our world more eco-friendly.
Wow!!! Gen , I have loved you since I first saw you on #Wildfire. I’m a huge animal lover so naturally I was drawn to watch your show. First I loved the horses then I just loved your work… sorry, yes you were my second love of the show 🙂 when I saw you on my fav show #supernatural I was so excited to enjoy your work again! The passion you put into each character you play is commendable!! Who wouldn’t love you?!?! Then you & Jared get married & to be completely honest (sorry in advance if you ever actually read this with your schedule and following), I was taken aback. Then I did some research and (to make a long story short), you… the “real” you, turned out to be the person I had hoped you’d be… the “passionate, animal loving, nature loving, caring family loving, earth loving real person” that you are! Thank you for being that person and now this!!! When I was younger I was able to celebrate Earth day with like minded people and always prayed for more. Now many, many moons later (lol) my prayers continue to be answered and I couldn’t be more thrilled!!! Thank you & @therealmishacollins (don’t know if that’s right sorry), and others help to heal this Beautiful World! I hope and pray that All these wonderful ideas spread like #wildfire , ( sorry had to go full circle, lol). But seriously every little bit helps us help the world!! You guys don’t have to do all this but you do! That’s freakin’ awesome!!! Even though I am just one person… thank you all who are making all of this possible and for the #spnfamily, for making this one person not feel so alone anymore. Really, God Bless you all!
Gen, this is amazing! I’m so happy I came across this in my news feed. I’m definitely going to be checking out these eco-friendly companies. I started my non-toxic journey about a year and a half ago and it’s something that I’ve become very passionate about as well. Thank you for all of you support. The world needs more people like you. 🙂
This giveaway is such a great idea!!!! I’d love to join, but i guess this is only for us residents? (Because i think itll be too expensive to ship the fruits and veggies internationally)
Stay awesome! Thank you for you.
I do my best to keep it green at my house. I clean with homemade cleaning products (vinegar and baking soda, for the most part), I’m vegetarian and eat mostly vegan, we garden and compost, I hang-dry laundry when possible, keep the lights turned off and the heat low when I can, I make things with items I already have on hand, I repurpose and recycle, I try to combine errands so that I’m not using the car so much… It’s work, but they’re all worthy endeavors. This planet needs so much more care than we give it, and it breaks my heart.
I just bought the starter kit at Blueland, the thought of not having so many bottles makes me so happy!
I am in a bike charity you might love, Gen. Join me: greatcyclechallenge.com/Riders/AndriaMacDonald
greatcyclechallenge will raise money this summer for children with cancer. Such a beautiful cause to support. The bike is obviously going to be put to good use if I win. Thanks for the chance to enter today. Things come by like this to let you know it will all work out. Do good, share good, and hope for good things to come along. I had a baby on Earth Day who is now 25. That was a great way to celebrate Earth day! 😉
Now & Gen Earth Day Giveaway Special - Giveaway Frenzy
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Thank you for this amazing opportunity to show us how to love and learn how to become more eco friendly! Love you Gen & Jared! I have watched all of supernatural and I admire y’all so much ❤️ would love to have a chance to win this! Thank you
You are such an inspiration! Thank you for sharing your eco friendly tips. I love the Lettuce Grow stand!! It looks like a really cool and easy way to grow your own produce.
I’m so excited! My husband and I love gardening soooo much but we have no land to do it on. I’m more than excited, here’s to hoping! ♡
I always use my own bags for shopping and recycle, recycle, recycle.
You are awesome, keep doing what you do
Thanks Jen, we celebrate by trading plants with friends, so much fun
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It was hard for me to ignore the house on the pic. Very earthly!