Protecting the planet is a big job, but luckily we’ve got help. We’ve teamed up with some of our favourite Planet Partners to get you in the sustainable mindset and help us plant more trees than ever. Our Planet Partners are changing the way we think about everyday things like food and sports to protect the world we play in. With their help, and yours too, we’re looking to shake things up and get the world thinking a little greener, one environmental-ish step at a time.
Tru Earth started with a simple thought: there has to be a less wasteful way to do everyday things. Their space-saving, eco-friendly laundry strips revolutionized the way we think about cleaning products and packaging waste, making laundry day something to look forward to. Tru Earth is planting 250,000 trees and one tree for every item sold on their website from April 29 – May 6.
We sat down with Ryan, one of the founders, to talk about their breakthrough developments in plastic-free household products.
Q: Tell us a little bit about Tru Earth.
Brad, Kevin, and I started Tru Earth in April of 2019 in the hopes that we could contribute to a world filled with less plastic waste. We wanted to contribute positively to future generations, and to our surprise our message resonated with people around the world. Thus began the #TruEarthMovement.
Fast forward two years later, we have more than 300,000 customers in countries all over the world. The Tru Earth Movement has now kept more than 3.6 million plastic jugs out of landfills, and is responsible for than 5 million loads of laundry detergent being donated to those in need.
Q: Tru Earth has pioneered sustainability in the laundry industry. What has sustainability looked like practically for Tru Earth? What are sustainability goals for the future?
When we started Tru Earth, we discovered that roughly 1 billion plastic laundry jugs were used in North America each year. Upon further investigation we learned that less than 30% of these jugs are recycled in some form. Most people do place their laundry jugs in their recycling bin, but the demand for recycled plastic is so low in comparison to the supply, that upwards of 70% is rejected from the recycling plants and ends up in landfills.
With that in mind we set out to simply try to eliminate 1 million jugs from landfills. Thanks to the success of the Tru Earth Movement, we’ve been able to surpass our goal and eliminate more than 3.6 million jugs in less than two years.
In the future, we have plans to continue to expand our plastic free product lines in the bathroom, and kitchen as well. Our goal is to help eliminate plastic from consumer goods in the home. In fact, earlier this year we released a disinfecting multi-surface cleaner, that helps eliminate the billions of plastic cleaning jugs we dispose of every year.
Q: While we know sustainability requires an everyday effort, Earth Month is a powerful time to amplify earth-first causes. Are you doing anything special for Earth Month?
We are! Not only will we be celebrating Earth Week with a number of initiatives with our team starting April 22nd, we’re also teaming up with tentree. For every purchase on our site between April 29 to May 6, we’ll be planting a tree with tentree. We’re committing to planting a minimum of 250,000 trees regardless of sales, but are hoping we can plant many more. We’ll also be launching a co-branded laundry detergent with tentree, that will help plant even more trees.
Q: What’s the impact of switching to Tru Earth from traditional (or even eco-conscious) liquid detergent?
Average weight of a load of liquid/powder laundry detergent: 35-40g
Average weight of a laundry pod: 25g
Average weight of a load of tru Earth laundry detergent: 1.7g
This equates to less than 5% the weight of traditional liquid/powder detergents. That means we can transport 20x the Tru Earth laundry detergent for the same transportation related carbon footprint.
Liquid laundry jugs used in North America per year: 1 Billion
% of jugs able to be recycled in any capacity: < 30%
# of jugs that end up in landfills and oceans: 700,000,000
Q: What are some harmful chemicals that are traditionally found in laundry soap and other home cleaning products? What are some clean, natural alternative ingredients to look out for instead and that Tru Earth uses?
Parabens: parabens are bad because they have been linked to hormone disruption.
Phosphates: phosphates have been linked to accelerated aging, kidney issues and vascular damage
1,4-dioxane: 1,4-dioxane has been linked as a carcinogen in animals, and has potential adverse effects on humans.
There are many different types of ingredients used in modern laundry detergent. Tru Earth uses primarily plant based biodegradable surfactants to dislodge dirt and keep them off your clothes during the washing cycle. If I was reviewing laundry detergent to use on my family’s clothes, I’d be primarily concerned that the product is free from parabens, phosphates, and 1,4-dioxane.
Q: What tends to be barriers to people using clean products in their homes?
Most people think one of two things when they think of eco-friendly products. Either that they have to give up the convenience of modern products, or that that they won’t work as well. This is one of the things that has made Tru Earth so successful. Not only does it clean just as well as traditional detergent, it’s also much easier (and less messy) to use.
Q: What are the consequences of using products with excess packaging in your home?
As households move more and more towards convenience, we’re seeing landfills and oceans fill up with plastic at an alarming rate. Plastic can take 500-1000+ years to break down. If we don’t start moving towards a solution now, future generations are going to suffer for our convenience.
Q: Can you share three tips for people looking to live more sustainably when it comes to how they live at home and take care of their clothing?
Becoming a more eco-conscious person starts with making small changes. It’s very difficult to flip a switch and go zero waste overnight. If you can start small, and slowly add more eco-friendly alternatives to your life, when combined with millions of others around the world can lead to massive change.
Here are three easy steps to live more sustainably:
- Swap out your existing laundry detergent for a plastic-free laundry detergent like Tru Earth
- Wash your clothes in cold water. By switching to cold water you save energy and money.
- Switch from fabric softener sheets to reusable dryer balls. Or better yet, get a drying rack and air-dry your clothes.
Want to learn more about Tru Earth (and snag some plastic-free cleaning supplies for yourself)? Check out their website.
Want the low-down on the chemicals to avoid in your household cleaning products? We dive into 6 commonly used chemicals and their eco-friendly alternatives.