From the Editor: Entering the Environmental Stream with the Sharks

by | Oct 5, 2018

Reflections from Jen

Single-use plastics plague the planet, and we all know straws are a key culprit. It’s always so satisfying to report on companies like Sandals, Starbucks and Marriott International that are in the process of doing away with straws, because corporate giants like these can make a huge difference with environmental initiatives like this. Perhaps equally satisfying, though, is coming across stories of the smaller companies that are taking on the sustainability challenges our planet faces by launching products like FinalStraw from The Final Co.

FinalStraw is a collapsible, reusable straw that comes in a keychain-sized carrying case (made of recycled plastic). It retails at $25, features a retractable, 9-inch metal straw, drying rack, and “cleaning squeegee,” and is also dishwasher safe. The Final Co. says its mission is to “replace plastic straws, making way for a straw-free earth by 2032.” It plans to expand its line of “Foreverables” to include other convenient alternatives to single-use plastics.

The Final Co. announced the product on Kickstarter and raised nearly $1.9 million; currently, FinalStraw is available for pre-order, with expected delivery in November. Additionally, the founders of the company will appear to pitch the idea on ABC’s Emmy Award-winning show Shark Tank, proof that the company is beginning to be successful in “its mission of ridding the planet of single-use plastics,” says co-founder and president Miles Pepper.

I was equally intrigued by the launch of Half Century Jeans earlier this year. The jeans are built from a special hybrid of materials including Japanese selvedge denim and ultra durable Spectra fibers, which are 15 times stronger than cable steel, the company says. They are meant to last for 50 years – and if they don’t, they come with a guarantee that the company will fix any problems immediately and free of charge.

I can’t vouch for the products themselves because I haven’t used them personally, but I applaud the ideas, the innovation and the effort. When I report on major companies that are facing sustainability challenges head-on, technology companies that are are inventing solutions as fast as they can to help meet those challenges, and entrepreneurs who have joined the fight, I feel a great sense of optimism. We can do this. We are doing this.

Which reminds me: now’s your chance to prove how you’re making it happen. The EL Awards and EMT Awards are open for submissions, so send in your award-worthy products and projects to show off your environmental innovations.

Have a great weekend and, as always, stay in touch,

Jennifer Hermes Nastu
Content Director

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