These moms choose sustainable enterprises to give you plastic-free options
Do you ever feel guilty whenever the groceries you ordered online arrive wrapped in so much throwaway plastic? Or maybe you are wrapping leftovers, and you feel mortified for having to use so much clingwrap that you know will eventually end up polluting the planet.
So much plastic gets thrown away after a single use and you are right to feel concerned because all the plastic that we use in our lifetime stays on the planet even long after we are gone.
In fact, the Philippines is one of the world’s top ocean polluters which is why international advocacy organization Oceana is campaigning to ban single-use plastic products and packaging in the country. Stopping toxic plastic from the source is the only way we can prevent it from causing further damage on our waters and nature, which includes us.
Mothers like you who juggle responsibilities at work and your homes often find yourself facing the dilemma on how to limit or even better—eliminate—toxic single-use plastic from your households.
And this is exactly what moms from these two eco-enterprises aim to help you achieve.
Evegrocer’s plastic-free grocery delivery scheme
Worried about the quality of life future generations would have as a result of the global plastic crisis, sisters Ma. Leonelle de Leon-Sandoval and Czarlene de Leon started Evegrocer, an online store specializing in sustainable grocery delivery.
“Climate change and plastic pollution are some of the biggest problems facing Filipino families and for the generations to come. We were worried about climate issues, like forest fires, global warming, and typhoons, as well as pollution. We were also alarmed about what was going to be the quality life of the future generations like our kids,” explained Ma. Leonelle Sandoval, Evegrocer Chief Executive Officer.
As mothers, the De Leon sisters also recognized the challenges faced by moms in balancing work, family, and grocery budgets in the light of increasing prices and even more so as the pandemic made trips to supermarkets a rarity. So, Evegrocer prioritized creating relief bundles which they call Necessity Bundles, which are care packages that contain necessities such as rice, liquid detergent, and cooking oil – all packed in sustainable materials.
“Shifting to reusable packaging is not just for the environment. It also has economic benefits. We help farmers and small to medium-sized enterprises enter the market, have their products distributed nationwide, and introduce real competition in the industry,” Sandoval shared. To date, Evegrocer has expanded its product line to other food items.
To encourage the use of refillable, Evegrocer offers a subscription model for their refillable items which also helps ensure that containers are reused.
“Customers have been enthusiastic about this sustainable grocery delivery scheme. Evegrocer’s platform has rapidly grown through word-of-mouth testimony and recommendations from previous customers to their friends and family. With a 55 percent return rate, it suggests that customers and a portion of the market are ready to and interested in taking responsibility for their waste,” Sandoval said.
Food gets longer shelf life with The Good Cloth Co.
Like her fellow moms from Evegrocer, Interior designer Cara Marcelo is no stranger to receiving deliveries being wrapped in so much single-use plastic. “My heart aches every time. I ask myself as a business owner: how do I stop this from happening?”
Beeswax wraps by The Good Cloth Co.
Earth-friendly Alternative Bags by The Good Cloth Co
Beeswax wraps have been around for a while and offer a convenient and eco-friendly way of packing food for travel or storage. What makes them even more special, according to Marcelo, are its antibacterial properties which are especially useful during the pandemic when grocery runs have been few and far between.
In one of her Instagram posts, she shows just how versatile beeswax wraps are by covering the crown of a bunch of bananas to keep them from ripening too fast. Herbs, leafy greens, and even sliced fruit are also kept fresh for days by storing them in beeswax bags in the refrigerator, according to Marcelo.
“After buying from the market, you end up wrapping leafy green vegetables in newspaper or plastic, but the moisture buildup accelerates spoilage. We’ve seen how the antibacterial properties of beeswax can help preserve not only vegetables but even cheese and bread,” said Marcelo.
Marcelo said managing The Good Cloth Co. has been worthwhile and fulfilling because it gave her the chance to empower a handful of mothers from Quezon City. These women are from Love to Learn Center that provides feeding and teaching programs. “When we started training them, they thought that this was a volunteer project. But now, most of the income goes to them and we told them that we are going to grow this business together.”
Oceana Vice President Atty. Gloria Estenzo Ramos said that Evegrocer and The Good Cloth Co. are just two of the rapidly growing businesses in the Philippines that they have partnered with as part of the advocacy group’s campaign to ban single-use plastic in the Philippines. From June to December last year, Oceana’s partner eco-enterprises were able to abstain from using as much as 25,528 single-use plastic products and packaging.
“We are so proud to be partners with local businesses ran by mothers that are paving the path towards sustainable living amid the difficulties posed by the pandemic. They do not only benefit their own kids but the entire generation of Filipinos as well. These sustainability-mindset moms are proof that plastic-free mechanisms are viable and possible. We hope that more businesses will follow in their footsteps and help shine a light on the road to a future of zero-waste and sustainable e-commerce in the Philippines, and government will have no choice but to perform the mandates of health, safety and environmental protection for all,” Ramos said.
Oceana is an international advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans. Since 2014, Oceana has been working closely with national and local government
agencies, civil society, fisherfolk and other stakeholders to restore abundance of Philippine fisheries and marine resources.