zak designs
.

Environment

environment

The planet is a big place, and the challenges facing it can seem like far too much for anyone to overcome alone. Well, they are…but thankfully, none of us are alone. We’re in this together. If everyone does their part (and maybe just a little extra), it turns our big planet into an advantage and our big challenge into something that isn’t so intimidating.

As a global leader in everyday dinnerware, Zak Designs is dedicated to setting an example in our commitment to protecting the environment. We have taken many steps as a company 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 we share the planet with.

What We're Doing

  • Creating fun alternatives to disposable drinkware – find reusable water bottles and travel tumblers on our Hydration page
  • Using recycled materials to reduce waste from manufacturing – Confetti and Sprinkles dinnerware are made of up to 40% post-industrial recycled melamine
  • Exploring eco-friendly materials for more sustainable products – the Moso collection is made of 35% bamboo, a rapidly renewable resource
  • Developing biodegradable products so less goes into the landfill – Moso Biodegradable dinnerware is made of 65% bamboo, and can be disposed of at any waste facility that accepts compostable products
  • Click here to learn more about these and other great eco-friendly Zak products!

What You Can Do

Ways to be Eco Friendly at Home

At Home

Truly, the most far-reaching changes ultimately start at home. No matter what size home you have or where it is, here are some simple steps you can do to 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 egg shells 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 - Not only are manual lawnmowers better for the planet because they don't contribute more pollution to the air, but they're better for your body because you get to exercise while you whittle away at your honey-do list. As an added bonus, most manual lawnmowers also are self-mulching which means you can cut back on the amount of chemical fertilizers you put on your lawn.3
  • Use re-useable grocery bags - Like bottled water, the convenience of plastic grocery store bags continues to take a toll on our environment. Not just in the mass production of these bags, but in the landfills where the majority of them accumulate. Reusable grocery bags are more durable, more fashionable, and more eco-friendly.4
  • Limit your family's trash to 1 bag a week - Landfills across the country are filling up faster than new ones can be created, and the only solution is for everyone to limit the amount of 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. If your family is larger than that, it might be more of a stretch, 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
   
Being Eco Friendly at School

At School

Helping to save 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, it's for everyone. Here are a few ways kids can get involved and make a big 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 are 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 - Just because your school might not have been built with environmental impacts in mind doesn't mean that it can't 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
Being Eco Friendly at Work

At Work

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

  • Research alternative energy ROI for your boss There isn't a company in existence that isn't looking for ways to save money. If you can do some research, get some quotes, and demonstrate to your boss that investing in alternative energy options for the office building will save the company money in the long run, you will not only be helping to protect the planet, but possibly your job security.
  • See if tankless water heaters would work for your office Regardless of how big your office building is, it's a safe bet that a lot of hot water gets used on a daily basis. Tankless hot water heaters are a great way to save money and conserve energy. 1
  • Take coffee in a reusable cup Whether you like to stop by your favorite java shack on the way into work, or grab a cup from the company coffee pot, by drinking from a reusable travel tumbler, you are helping to reduce the mountain of disposable coffee cups that are thrown away every day.
  • Start a rideshare program Carpooling might seem inconvenient in theory, but once it becomes routine, you'll discover that it requires little or no sacrifice. Help give your co-workers some alternatives to driving themselves into the office every day. 2
  • 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. 3
Sources:
  1. Energy Star - Water Heater
  2. Companies That Reward Employees for Going Green
Being Eco Friendly in the Community

In the Community

Think globally, act locally is more than a slogan, it's a commitment. If we throw a rock in the pond by making lasting changes in our community, who knows how far the ripples might go.

  • Volunteer with local environmental organizations Regardless of what your specific environmental passions are, there is 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 if one's available 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 joining together to share in the cost of investing in renewable energy sources. If there isn't a co-op in your area, get the gumption to start one!
  • Go to local government meetingsThe only way to know what your local government is doing to address environmental concerns at a local level is by attending public meetings, and asking questions. If your town or county isn't doing enough, come to the next meeting with well-thought out and feasible recommendations. 2
  • Join-or form-an Environmental Advisory Board Every city and county has Community Boards made up of ordinary local citizens just like you who are dedicated to making a change in their local community. Find out what Boards have openings in your area, and get involved.
  • Shop at the local farmer's market Shipping produce across the country and around the world creates vast amounts of pollution. By shopping farmer's markets, you're not only supporting your local economy, you're helping the planet.
Sources:
  1. Natural Resource Defense Council - Environmental Groups
  2. Local Government Environmental Assistance Network