A million imperfect people CAN make a difference

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Courtney Fillion, founder of Just Toledo, hand makes small batch, all natural, biodegradable household products that are eco-friendly, returnable and reusable. Just Toledo delivers to specific zip codes to ensure that their products are sourced locally, to prevent excessive shipping mileage and accompanying waste and to reduce, or minimize, the company’s carbon footprint. Fillion says, “There is a tether, a story, between you and the things you make,” and her local, handmade, green lifestyle is an enriching experience. Fillion explains, “It’s a different way to collect endorphins.”

@justtoledo on Instagram 

Eco-friendly processes

Environmentally friendly processes, referred to as “eco-friendly,” are terms referring to sustainability and marketing terms for goods and services, laws, guidelines and policies that reduce or minimize harm of ecosystems or the environment. For those new to the concept,  start by questioning your relationship with nature.  Two key questions to reflect on as consumers in an interconnected ecosystem: 

  1.  Do you believe humans have a moral obligation to protect and preserve the environment? Does nature have ‘instrumental value’ or ‘intrinsic value’? Instrumental value is the concept that nature exists for human beings. Intrinsic value acknowledges that nature is to be respected and honored, not just useful for humans’  interests. 
  2.  What are the root causes of contemporary attitudes and practices with respect to the natural environment, and how can we change them? Since humans share air and waterways but often hold contradicting morals, where can you begin making your individual contribution that aligns with your environmental principles? How can you live in alignment with nature and our surrounding biodiversity so that all surviving organisms can inhabit and thrive on a healthy Earth?

Start making eco-friendly selections in lifestyle and product purchases 

In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Embodiment of your values in consumer decisions and lifestyle choices can contribute to leaving a lighter footprint on this Earth and inspiring eco-consciousness in your friends and family. But, as with most any new endeavor, it’s important to start small, make incremental shifts and accept that this journey won’t be perfect.  Change, despite the size, involves a level of sacrifice — more effort, time or an initial upfront investment. A zero-waste lifestyle is impossible for most people, but that comes with privilege. But if, one by one, we start with small shifts in our behavior, our collective actions have potential to evolve into sustainable lifestyles while creating a healthy biodiverse environment for all. 

Fillion demonstrates how ingenuity and sacrifice can be used to create a sustainable, eco-friendly lifestyle in Toledo. Her mission is  to keep waste out of landfills and waterways, and to create products and a delivery structure that is safe for people and the planet. 

Fillion relates, “Start thinking about effects of your behavior and choices — what you clean your dishes with, your laundry detergent, everything you wash with, goes down the drain, and all of that goes into our shared waterways and it really matters. It’s all connected.” 

@justtoledo on Instagram 

If you are considering taking the leap to using more eco-friendly products, start with one item and try it out. Maybe it’s laundry detergent or dish soap. Maybe it’s shampoo. The key is to look into what is in the product, how it is sourced and how it’s stored. Then, get creative! How can you reuse the container?  Can you use the product without a container? Ask yourself, does this purchase preserve and protect the environment? Remember, start small. Eco-friendly living is an ongoing learning process. 

For web only

Fun & useful environmentally friendly tips and ideas… 

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/06/17/climate-change-30-ways-to-make-your-life-more-environmentally-friendly/39366589/