Everyone knows that the environment is a hot-button topic these days. Between wildfires and a constantly-devolving political fight on the issue, it’s been difficult to ignore. On the forefront of many people’s minds is how they can help. While there’s a lot everyone can do personally to reduce their carbon footprint, it’s harder to account for the carbon footprints of the companies we use on a daily basis. Explore some of the greenest companies in San Diego below to help live your life a little greener.

1. Earthwell Refill

Photo by Sdvoyager.com

Earthwell Refill is a clever little social enterprise based out of Kensington and the way they’re tackling our environmental impact is really quite genius. No matter how careful you are, it’s hard to get around the use of disposable plastics. Water bottles, shampoo bottles, and food wrappers are a massive problem in our landfills, especially in the past few decades. The concern with the over consumption of plastic is that they don’t decompose. Once in a landfill, they’ll remain there for thousands of years to follow.

What Earthwell Refill does is take the disposable packaging out of the equation. All-natural household items like shampoo, conditioner, soap, and deodorant are sold here, excluding the packaging. Bring in a mason jar or a washed-out milk jug and fill up! A simple way to transform your day to day living to accommodate the environment’s health.

However much you need is what you pay for, letting you get the exact amount – no more, no less! Not only does this help reduce plastic waste from packaging, but it also keeps you from buying more than you need.

2. 1-800-GOT-JUNK? 

Photo by Yellowpages.com

One of the biggest impacts we can make on our planet is also one of the hardest to account for – waste. As previously mentioned, landfills often are filled with items that ultimately will never break down or take thousands of years to. In addition, some items that are decomposable can sometimes release large amounts of methane gas into our air supply. 

The best way to curb this issue is for individuals to personally reduce their amount of waste and consumption as possible. However, with seven billion people living on Earth, that’s not always possible. From simple life transitions such as remodeling or downsizing, a large amount of junk can be created that’s difficult to dispose of.

That’s where 1-800-GOT-JUNK? comes in. Not only do they help you take care of the junk that’s accumulated in or around your house, but they do it in the greenest way possible. Anything that can get donated or recycled does, even tricky items like refrigerators that require careful disposal methods. They’re a fantastic way to make sure your unwanted clutter is safely disposed of in San Diego.

3. Simply Local 

Photo by Sandiego.com

Simply Local is a merchant marketplace focused on delivering the best, local goods made in San Diego. Located in North Park, the marketplace’s goal is to make it easier for you to purchase your produce, fruits, vegetables, and other products from local farmers and makers. 

By encouraging local business, this helps minimize the impact of big business by lessening their massive farming or distributing operations that are sometimes harmful to the environment. Most animals that have gone extinct or been put on the endangered list in the last century or so because of the constant expansion of farmlands.

Even more, purchasing goods from a local producer minimizes the amount of carbon dioxide released into the air by large trucks, planes, or trains moving materials across the country. These are serious issues that we face in a modern economy and shopping Simply Local may be one of the best ways to combat it. 

4. Bottles and Wood 

Photo by Lauraneuzeth.com

Bottles and Wood, like many of the companies on this list, has its genius in the way it repurposes old products to increase landfill diversion. What they do is find ways to upcycle old serviceware and materials to make unique, handcrafted home items. 

Based out of Kearny Mesa, they take servicewear that would otherwise be thrown away in bulk, like old wood, bottles, and cutlery, and make it into something unique that you can use in your own home. This not only helps the environment, but it also encourages the support of local artists and craftsman who craft the items. 

5. Rerip

Photo by Rerip.org

Rerip, like many other of the social enterprises on here, is a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing waste in a niche, but large, market. Rerip repurposes and refurbishes skateboards, surfboards, and snowboards in ways that greatly reduce the amount of waste in landfills and brings visibility to the need for more sustainable boards. 

Many of these boards are made out of fiberglass, plastic, or some mixture of the two. In short, they don’t break down. Meanwhile, avid surfers, skaters, and snowboarders can run through 10 boards a season. This causes a lot of waste that Rerip is making great efforts to try and reduce. 

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All these companies make efforts to protect our environment in different ways. By shopping local and choosing companies whose missions serve to keep San Diego and the environment surrounding beautiful, you can do your part. How are you living greener?