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EcoWatch is a community of experts publishing quality, science-based content on environmental issues, causes, and solutions for a healthier planet and life.
A plastic Coca-Cola bottle on the beach in Plymouth, England. Matt Cardy / Getty Images

Coca-Cola is once again the brand name most likely to show up on trash collected from UK beaches, the latest installment in a yearly analysis has shown.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Photo by Michele Blackwell on Unsplash

All of us know what it's like to be in an energy slump, and most of us tend to address low energy levels with caffeine. Whether that's in the form of coffee or one of those little energy-shot drinks, there are plenty of caffeinated options. While caffeine has its place, excessive consumption of caffeine can contribute to some unwanted side effects including headaches, insomnia, heart palpitations, and beyond. Plus, many energy drinks are full of sugar and calories.

Fortunately, there are healthier alternatives available. These healthy energy drinks and supplements can help you with a lack of energy without the jitters and unwanted side effects. Keep reading to learn more about the best energy supplements and vitamin subscriptions available today.

Read More Show Less
Up Your Skincare Game: 6 Best Vitamin C Serums

Medically reviewed by Anna H. Chacon, M.D.

Reviews
fizkes / iStock / Getty Images

From eating foods for healthy skin to switching up your morning and routines, taking care of the largest organ in the body can get overwhelming. Recently, vitamin C has grown in popularity in the skincare world — but do the best vitamin C serums live up to the hype?

Vitamin C is not only an essential supplement for your immune system and overall health, but it's also a great skincare ingredient that can help limit inflammation, brighten skin, dull fine lines and wrinkles, fight free radicals, and reduce discoloration and dark spots.

Adding vitamin C to your skincare routine seems like a no-brainer, but before you start shopping for a serum, it's important to be aware that vitamin C is an unstable ingredient. Dermatologists say it's important to find legit and properly formulated vitamin C serums to capitalize on the benefits of the antioxidant. In this article, we'll help you find the right dermatologist-approved vitamin C serum to add to your routine.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Stuart Braun

Mycelium, the silky thread that binds fungus, is being adapted to create everything from shoes to coffins to packaging and robust building materials. Best of all, it literally feeds on trash and agricultural byproducts, detoxifing them along the way.

The biodegradable material that is also grown vertically to save space and uses little water, has emerged as a low emission, circular economy solution in the bid to transition from extractive, carbon-based products.

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Andia / Contributor / Getty Images

If you're a fan of experimenting in the kitchen but are conscious of the amount of food waste you produce, it may be worth looking into purchasing an indoor compost bin. Purchasing one of the best compost bins is a great way to reduce food waste, even in small spaces.

In this article, we'll go over what at-home composting is, how to do it and the best compost bins to aid you in the process.

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Discarded food and beverage packaging. Jasmin Sessler / Unsplash
  • A new campaign draws attention to the fact that Starbucks cups are not truly recyclable due to a coating of polyethylene plastic on the inside of the cup.
  • Starbucks has made several pledges to produce recyclable cups dating back to 2008 — but its cups are still unable to be recycled economically.
  • Solutions already exist for fully recyclable cups, including a coating for paperboard barrier packaging that uses 40-51% less plastic.

When you order your Venti-sized espresso macchiato at Starbucks, it will arrive in what looks and feels like a cardboard cup topped with a plastic lid. After you finish your drink, you might think about dumping your cup into a paper recycling bin. But you shouldn't. Starbucks cups are actually lined with polyethylene plastic coating that makes it nearly impossible to recycle, experts say.

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An endangered honey bee on a wildflower. Roberto Lopez / Unsplash

In Germany, hope is growing for wild bees and insects. Surprisingly, it's taking root in the country's large urban cities, thanks to wildflower meadows being planted precisely to reverse precipitous declines in insect populations.

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Whether you're a conscious consumer yourself or are looking for the perfect gift for your environmentally-friendly friend or family member, we've rounded up the best eco-friendly gifts for sustainable living this holiday season.

According to Stanford University, Americans toss 25 percent more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day than any other time of year. Don't become a statistic — check out our last-minute eco-friendly stocking stuffer ideas, sustainable gift wrap guide, and the products listed below to have a low- or even zero-waste holiday.

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Crayfish are an important part of freshwater ecosystems, and change their behavior when exposed to antidepressants. Nick9002

Antidepressants are designed to make humans feel better, but they can have a surprising impact on non-human animals when they enter the environment.

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USDA

Buying “green" can be confusing! Many products claim to be “natural," “eco-friendly" and “biodegradable." But what in the world does that mean? Unfortunately, because there's no standardized definition for any of these words, they're actually meaningless. In fact, many companies intentionally use vague words like these to market their products as if they're better for you and the environment than they actually are.

Here are 13 of the most reliable eco-labels in the market. What makes them so good? They've been defined by independent institutions or nonprofit organizations that have set meaningful criteria that companies must prove they've met in order to use the eco-label in question. When you shop for anything from produce to mattresses, look for these “third party" certifications to back up the claims a company makes regarding the environmental and human health benefits of their products.

1. Organic

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) collaborated with scientists, consumer groups, environmentalists and the agriculture industry to set standards for the meaning of the word "organic." Products labeled "100 percent organic" must contain only organically produced ingredients. Products labeled "organic" must consist of at least 95 percent organically produced ingredients. Products meeting either set of requirements may display the USDA Organic seal on their packaging. Processed products that contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients may use the phrase "made with organic ingredients," but may not use the organic seal. Processed products that contain less than 70 percent organic ingredients may not use the term organic other than to identify the specific ingredients that are organically produced in the ingredients statement. Overall, when it comes to food, the organic label, while not perfect, is the best indicator that no or minimal pesticides, hormones and antibiotics were used for growing and processing.

2. Green Seal

For more than 25 years, this nonprofit, science-based organization has developed certification standards to minimize the environmental and health impacts related to cleaning products, coffee, paint, windows, even sticky notes. To earn the Green Seal, a product must meet rigorous evaluation and testing objectives, as must the facility where it is manufactured.

3. SCS (Scientific Certification Systems)

SCS certifies environmental claims related to recycled content, certified organic ingredients, water efficiency and sustainable forestry. SCS certifications meet international environmental labeling standards as well as guidelines issued by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for responsible environmental marketing.

4. Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)

FSC sets standards to ensure that forests are being managed in an environmentally responsible way, and that products like timber, paper and furniture are made sustainably.

5. LEED

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) label represents a green building rating system for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. A program of the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

6. ENERGY STAR

This label, overseen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, indicates homes and buildings, plus appliances, computers, lightbulbs, copiers, printers, furnaces and many other products that meet strict energy-efficiency guidelines that help save energy and money and protect the environment.

7. Veriflora

Developed by SCS (see above), this label is awarded to flower growers who do not use "extremely hazardous" or "highly hazardous" agrochemicals. The Veriflora label also indicates that growers are converting to organic and sustainable crop production practices. The standard contains extensive water and ecosystem protection measures to ensure that farmers are not damaging surrounding wildlife or habitats. In addition, it requires growers to provide a fair, equitable and safe workplace for their farmers.

8. Fair Trade Certified

This label demonstrates that the farmers and workers behind Fair Trade goods were paid fair wages and have opportunities for better health care, housing and education. The Fair Trade label is attached to coffee, chocolate, cocoa, tea, fruit, rice, sugar, spices and a variety of clothing and crafts produced in developing countries.

9. Certified Humane Raised and Handled

This label provides independent verification that the care and handling of livestock and poultry on farms enrolled in the program meet high-quality, humane animal care standards. These include access to clean and sufficient food and water; sufficient protection from inclement weather; and enough space to move about naturally.

10. Leaping Bunny

Leaping Bunny is the certification program of the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics. The mark certifies that companies have not tested their products on animals during any stage of development. The company's ingredient suppliers make the same pledge. Look for the Leaping Bunny label on cosmetics and personal care, household and cleaning products.

11. Marine Stewardship Council

The Council's eco-label indicates seafood that comes from certified sustainable and well-managed fisheries. Look for it on fish and shellfish.

12. Demeter

This label represents the Demeter Farm Standard, which indicates that a farm is organically farmed, GMO-free and also operated to promote soil fertility, animal welfare, conserve water, protect biodiversity and managed to follow the cycles of nature. Look for it on wine, tea, juice, pasta, sauces and many other foods.

13. NON-GMO Project Verified

This label indicates that products bearing it have been produced according to the best available practices for avoiding genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). It does not promise that a product is "GMO free" because there is always some risk that seeds, crops, ingredients and products have been exposed to GMOs somewhere along their growing or production cycle. It does, however, create a powerful incentive to seed breeders, farmers, processors and manufacturers to adopt practices that reduce use of GMOs while giving consumers a way to limit their exposure.

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A grey heron walks amid plastic waste at the beach of Costa del Este in Panama City on April 19, 2021. LUIS ACOSTA / AFP via Getty Images

By Jenna McGuire

In a groundbreaking report published Tuesday, researchers revealed that just 20 companies are responsible for producing 55 percent of all single-use plastic waste worldwide.

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Pexels

By Gavin Van De Walle, MS, RD

Coffee is one of the world's most popular beverages. It contains a very popular stimulant called caffeine.

Many people reach for a cup of this caffeinated beverage immediately after rising, whereas others believe it's more beneficial to hold off for a few hours.

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Cesar Carroll / EyeEm / Getty Images

We often hear about foods that can boost our immune systems, but did you know there are dietary choices that can actually weaken your body's ability to fight off infections? Studies show that ultra-processed foods, and those full of empty calories without nutrients can be detrimental to your health.

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EcoWatch is a community of experts publishing quality, science-based content on environmental issues, causes, and solutions for a healthier planet and life.
A plastic Coca-Cola bottle on the beach in Plymouth, England. Matt Cardy / Getty Images

Coca-Cola is once again the brand name most likely to show up on trash collected from UK beaches, the latest installment in a yearly analysis has shown.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Photo by Michele Blackwell on Unsplash

All of us know what it's like to be in an energy slump, and most of us tend to address low energy levels with caffeine. Whether that's in the form of coffee or one of those little energy-shot drinks, there are plenty of caffeinated options. While caffeine has its place, excessive consumption of caffeine can contribute to some unwanted side effects including headaches, insomnia, heart palpitations, and beyond. Plus, many energy drinks are full of sugar and calories.

Fortunately, there are healthier alternatives available. These healthy energy drinks and supplements can help you with a lack of energy without the jitters and unwanted side effects. Keep reading to learn more about the best energy supplements and vitamin subscriptions available today.

Read More Show Less
Up Your Skincare Game: 6 Best Vitamin C Serums

Medically reviewed by Anna H. Chacon, M.D.

Reviews
fizkes / iStock / Getty Images

From eating foods for healthy skin to switching up your morning and routines, taking care of the largest organ in the body can get overwhelming. Recently, vitamin C has grown in popularity in the skincare world — but do the best vitamin C serums live up to the hype?

Vitamin C is not only an essential supplement for your immune system and overall health, but it's also a great skincare ingredient that can help limit inflammation, brighten skin, dull fine lines and wrinkles, fight free radicals, and reduce discoloration and dark spots.

Adding vitamin C to your skincare routine seems like a no-brainer, but before you start shopping for a serum, it's important to be aware that vitamin C is an unstable ingredient. Dermatologists say it's important to find legit and properly formulated vitamin C serums to capitalize on the benefits of the antioxidant. In this article, we'll help you find the right dermatologist-approved vitamin C serum to add to your routine.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Stuart Braun

Mycelium, the silky thread that binds fungus, is being adapted to create everything from shoes to coffins to packaging and robust building materials. Best of all, it literally feeds on trash and agricultural byproducts, detoxifing them along the way.

The biodegradable material that is also grown vertically to save space and uses little water, has emerged as a low emission, circular economy solution in the bid to transition from extractive, carbon-based products.

Read More Show Less
Trending