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Commitment to Environment

The planet is a big place, and the challenges facing it can seem like far too much for anyone to overcome alone. Thankfully, we’re in this together. If everyone does what they can, we’ll benefit from our big planet and make our big challenge much less intimidating.

As a global leader in dinnerware and drinkware, zak! designs is dedicated to setting an example in our commitment to protecting the environment. We have taken steps to ensure that our business goes above and beyond environmental regulations set by local, state and federal agencies. We are committed to improving the environment not only through the products and packaging alternatives we develop, but through our participation in programs and promotions that benefit everyone on our planet.

What We’re Doing

  • Creating fun alternatives to disposable dinnerware and drinkware – find reusable dinnerware in our Tabletop collection, and reusable water bottles and travel tumblers in our Drinkware collection
  • Using recycled materials to reduce waste from manufacturing – Confetti dinnerware is made of up to 40% post-industrial recycled melamine
  • Exploring eco-friendly materials for more sustainable products

What You Can Do

At Home

The most far-reaching changes ultimately start at home. No matter what size home you have or where it it’s located, here are some simple steps that can make a big difference.

  • Plant a garden - Personal gardens, even small ones in individual planters on an apartment balcony, help reduce the amount of pollution created by shipping produce across the country and around the world.1
  • Start a compost - A compost will not only help provide you with rich soil to fertilize your garden, it will reduce the amount of waste you contribute to landfills. Everything from eggshells to grass clippings can be used to create your compost, and the larger the compost, the less garbage you’ll have.2
  • Buy a manual lawnmower - It’s simple: manual lawnmowers are better for the planet because they don’t contribute more pollution to the air. Bonus: you can get a little exercise while finishing up your household chores, and most manual lawnmowers also are self-mulching, so you can cut back on the amount of chemical fertilizers you put on your lawn.3
  • Switch to reusable grocery bags - The convenience of plastic grocery store bags continues to take a toll on our environment, through their mass production and their accumulation in landfills. Reusable grocery bags are more durable, fashionable, and eco-friendly; a win-win-win.4
  • Limit your family’s trash to 1 bag a week - Landfills across the country are reaching capacity faster than new ones can be created, and the only solution is for everyone to reduce the waste we throw in them. There’s no reason a family of four can’t reach this goal of one kitchen sized trash bag a week. Larger families might have a harder time, but we believe you’re up to the challenge. Get creative, get motivated, and get results.

Sources:

  1. Virginia cooperative Extension - Gardening & The Environment
  2. How To Compost
  3. About.com - Reel Mowers
  4. Wikipedia - Reusable Shopping Bag

At School

Saving the planet begins by being more eco-conscious, and the best time to start developing that habit is when you’re young. Environmental responsibility isn’t just for adults, so here are a few tips for kids on getting involved and making a difference.

  • Start a recycling program - Most schools already have a recycling program set up. If yours doesn’t, then find out how to start one. If one already exists, how could you improve it?1
  • Take a no-waste lunch - By eliminating disposable products from your lunch, you’re not only preventing unnecessary additions to our growing landfills, you’re also helping to save our planet’s natural resources.
  • Create positive peer pressure - Peer pressure doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Turn a negative into a positive by showing how cool being environmentally responsible really is.
  • Ask your principal about your school’s energy rating - Even if your school wasn’t built with environmental impacts in mind, it can still be renovated to be more energy efficient. Find creative solutions that your school could implement to improve its energy rating, then present those ideas to your principal or the school board.2
  • Form an eco club - Find other kids who are interested in getting involved and form an after-school club. By putting your heads together and working as a team, there’s no end to what you might achieve.3

Sources:

  1. RecycleWorks - Setting Up a School Recycling & Waste Reduction Program
  2. Energy Star - Energy Strategies for Buildings & Plants
  3. Generation Earth - Youth Groups

At Work

Part of our responsibility as good stewards of the planet is to help increase environmental awareness and action in others. There is no better place to get started than at the office.

  • Research alternative energy ROI for your boss - Every company is always looking for ways to save money. If you can do some research, get some quotes, and demonstrate that investing in alternative energy options will save money in the long run, you’ll be helping to protect the planet and impressing your boss as well.
  • Look into tankless water heaters for your office - Regardless of how big your office building is, it’s a safe bet that a lot of hot water gets used daily. Tankless hot water heaters only heat water when it’s needed, so they’re a great way to save money and conserve energy.1
  • Drink coffee from a reusable cup - Whether you prefer stopping by your favorite java shack on the way in or grabbing a cup from the company coffee pot, drinking from a reusable travel tumbler helps reduce the mountain of disposable coffee cups that are thrown away every day.
  • Set up a rideshare program - Carpooling might seem inconvenient, but once it becomes routine, you’ll discover that it doesn’t require much sacrifice. Help give your co-workers some alternatives to driving themselves into the office every day.
  • Start an environmentally friendly employee reward program - Everyone likes incentives, so talk to your boss about implementing a reward program for employees who make the effort to be environmentally responsible. Not only will it encourage eco-friendly behavior at work, but it could also help boost morale.2

Sources:

  1. Energy Star - Water Heater
  2. Companies That Reward Employees for Going Green

In the Community

Think globally, act locally: it’s more than a slogan, it’s a commitment. Lasting changes in our community become a rock in the pond—who know how far the ripples might travel?

  • Volunteer with local environmental organizations - Regardless of your specific environmental passions, there’s likely a local non-profit with members who share your concerns. Don’t just join the organization, though, volunteer to help out! Your time is worth much more than your money.1
  • Join an energy co-op - Not everyone can afford to invest in solar panels and wind turbines for their home. That’s why across the country, environmentally conscious energy consumers are sharing the cost of investing in renewable energy sources. If there isn’t a co-op in your area, get motivated to start one!
  • Go to local government meetings - The only way to know what your local government is doing to address environmental concerns is by attending public meetings and asking questions. If your town or county isn’t doing enough, research some feasible recommendations to bring to the next meeting.2
  • Shop at the local farmer’s market - Shipping produce around the world creates vast amounts of pollution. By shopping at farmer’s markets, you’re supporting your local economy as well as helping the planet.

Sources:

  1. Natural Resource Defense Council - Environmental Groups
  2. Local Government Environmental Assistance Network