It’s Live the Mission at Inspire Greatness Aveda Institute Denver and recently our sister locations in Phoenix, Tucson and Provo have also celebrated, in the spirit of Earth Month, the environmental leadership aspects of the Aveda mission. Say what? Basically, we are just taking a moment to truly live and inspire our Aveda mission. In Denver, we took a closer look at the world of plastic pollution, inspired by a recent video shared by the Plastic Pollution Coalition, and decided to join the cause.

In terms of plastic pollution awareness, Aveda isn’t a stranger to this cause. Aveda has never used plastic microbeads in its products – which became very popular in other brands and recently was declared by the UNEP as a pollutant. Aveda instead uses natural plant resources like jojoba, walnut shells or wintergreen-derived salicylic acid to gently exfoliate skin. (Click here to see the report issued by the United Nations Environment Program about plastic pollutants in cosmetics).

Today, many Aveda locations accept Caps for their recycling program. Those caps are then made into new Post-Consumer-Recycled (PCR) caps for products and color tubes. What about other plastics though? Like the kind that can’t be recycled or re-used or made into other pretty things?

aveda color tubes AID

A plastic straw, for example provides a very short-term service of minimizing one’s need to bring the cup to the mouth directly. After a few sips, when the drink is gone, the straw is tossed in the trash. It should end up in a landfill but often, like many plastic pollutants, the straw takes a detour and ends up in the ocean where it’s mistaken as food by sea life or birds. I “googled” daily straw use in America and found this online, “Americans use 500 million drinking straws. To understand just how many straws 500 million really is, this would fill over 125 school buses with straws every day.” This is an alarm going off and not enough people are waking up to it. As Jeff Bridges shared in his narration of the Plastic Pollution Coalition video, it’s time to open our eyes.

We challenged our students to pledge how they will take a step towards minimizing plastic pollution. Here are 50 ways our students will Inspire Greatness:

  1. To minimize plastic consumption, I will bring my reusable water bottle to the gym instead of buying a plastic water bottle -Madison Ganger
  2. I am going to lessen my carbon footprint by skipping the plastic bags in the produce section of the grocery store, and always carrying a small reusable shopping bag in my purse for things I randomly purchase. Like the mall, for example. I also keep a small reusable eating utensil in my purse so I don’t find the need for plastic disposables – Amanda Holcomb
  3. I will bring my lunch and snacks in reusable containers each day – Debra
  4. I pledge to no longer use Saran Wrap I will use reusable, sealable containers – Meeshelle Buckmiller
  5. I’m going to stop using straws! – Kayla Adamy
  6. I am going to recycle paper and plastic bottles and cans instead of throwing them away. My mom has a recycling process at work that can make this happen. We can shred and recycle the paper and recycle the bottles as well – Jocelyn Correa
  7. I plan to completely stop using plastic water bottles to help the environment  -Rheanna Rincorn
  8. I will reduce the use of plastic in my life by bringing reusable utensils to school to eat my lunch, instead of plastic utensils! – Ashley Ganje
  9. I will use a reusable bag when shopping! – Tania Sanchez
  10. I pledge to bring reusable bags to the grocery store with me – Chaele Redding
  11. I will stop utilizing plastic in my everyday life! I always use a reusable container, at school, work, and home. I also have been not chewing gum because it is a synthetic rubber (aka plastic) – Shayna Welty
  12. I will try to remove every plastic product in my possession, as well as to stop using straws or plastic forks. – Gabriella Torch
  13. The way I want to give back is to use reuseable water bottles and by reusing my makeup containers – Kaycia Neal
  14. I’m inspired to start recycling more because I’m more aware of how much plastic my family goes through in a single day. My goal now is to start using containers instead of plastic baggies, using reusable bags for groceries the next time I go to the store and to ask restaurants to please fill my reusable drink container instead of wasting a cup. I’m going to bring awareness to my parents, siblings and my boyfriend as well so we can all start recycling together!  – [email protected]
  15. One way I would like to reduce my plastic use is by buying in bulk. By doing this I would not have so many throw away bags that hold items like nuts, flour, sugar etc. – Hayley Brooke
  16. I will start refusing plastic bags at the grocery store! – Amber Diller
  17. Hey I have a bad thing I always do which is buy bottled water. I’ve been slowly trying not to buy them and just use a reusable water bottle. Also, I want to start using reusable bags when I shop. – Dylan Anthony
  18. I will bring reusable bags whenever I go to the store to buy something and be more aware when grocery shopping about what my food is packaged in. I use reusables every day and when I go shopping I try to remember to bring reusable bags! – Michaela Murphy
  19. Not only do I use reusable cups wherever I go but I also use reusable bags when I go shopping. Also, when I make my coffee I use reusable k-cups. On top of that I also buy all of these things for others when they don’t have their own reusable. I believe everything we do matters, no matter how small. – Breighanne Skold
  20. Ever since I started at Aveda, I’ve started taking the train instead of using a car as much as I can, and have stopped using plastic bags. From today on out I promise I’ll always carry reusables in my purse which includes my own to-go bowls and cups, and will no longer use plastic utensils! – Whisper Bissonette
  21. I am going to make a huge effort in lowering my plastic consumption. I plan to do this by not using straws anymore! I also am going to invest in reusable grocery bags, and a water dispense. – Lauren Frost
  22. I plan on using less plastic by refusing straws every day! I never thought of that until the [Plastic Pollution Coalition] video!! Kendall Aragon
  23. I will not use a straw and I will always have a reusable! – Natalia Nali Mejias
  24. To reduce my use of disposable plastics, I will begin taking my totes to the grocery store!- Athena Hernandez
  25. I will stop using plastic bags – Jessica Baca
  26. I will not use plastic today because I brought my own glass ware with some mangoes in it -Tayla Maes
  27. I pledge to be more aware and reuse cups, bags, etc –Shane Burroughs
  28. I would like to be part of this challenge by not only having a reusable in school but when I go out to eat at my house and just every moment of everyday – Madison Baxter
  29. I would love to inspire my friends and family to fill their house with reusables and give them an understanding of why it’s so important!! – Alexi Ortega
  30. I will always use my reusable as well as recycle every day – Kaylee Bauer
  31. I am going to give back by carrying reusable utensils. I am dedicate to no longer accepting disposable plastic bags!– Cassandra Hagelund
  32. Getting the reusable paper, and spreading the word about reducing the use of plastic –Stephanie Wilhite
  33. I will do my part in minimizing plastic by always remembering to bring my reusable everywhere I go, not just here at school –Jorden Sellmer
  34. I will do my best to use reusables here and at home and educate my kids on protecting the Earth and make them aware of all the things we can do to help – Brenda Moreno
  35. Something I will do to reduce plastic usage in my life is to bring my reusable cup into Starbucks every single day from today on. I’m going to invest in one today! Thanks for keeping us aware – Hannah McVicker
  36. I am going to buy a few reusable bags for when I go grocery shopping, and also get a few more reusable so others always have one. I am starting to grow very passionate about this issue because I love the ocean, and I’m sad that the trash is filling my home. I want to cut out single use plastic from my life completely and am going to try my best to do so! – Carley Matthews
  37. Other than using a reusable cup every day, I have reusable totes for my groceries and for when I go shopping. 🙂 – Mona Buhlaigah
  38. I commit to reduce waste by switching over all cleaning products to biodegradable paper and reusable cloth. In addition, I will only use bags that are non-plastic when purchasing goods. – Mark Friend
  39. There are many way that I can eliminate plastic use in my life, first by using and bringing a reusable all the time, not buying plastic bottles, eating at places so I’m not wasting plastic containers. I live by treating the world with respect, it’s one of my best aspects. I will not by bottled soda and cut down on that so I can cut back on plastic use. I will recycle any plastic I can, and defiantly not liter. I understand how much we make an impact on the world and the ocean. I think more people should follow or live by this. – Andromada
  40. I am going to refuse plastic bags and always use my reusable cup. Avoid plastic when possible! – Whitney DESCAMP
  41. I want to make it more of a goal to use a reusable lunch bag instead of grabbing a plastic bag every day. I will continue bringing my reusable cups everywhere I go, not just to school. I want to help reverse the damage we have done to this planet. It is definitely concerning for future generations. – Nicole Gruszka
  42. Thanks for continuing to remind us that there is always something we can do to make a change. I’m going to quit using plastic bags from the grocery store and invest in reusable totes. – Raquel Valdez
  43. I will refuse plastic straws! – Alexzandra Rangel
  44. I am going to be transitioning to using reusable bags instead of plastic bags at the store! – Mackenzie Jones
  45. My name is Aundrea Quintana. I’m in nurturing. I am going to eliminate plastic by bringing a reusable bag every time I go to the grocery store. We always bring home so much plastic bags so I will bring my own from now on.
  46. I am in the process of transitioning to a water bubbler at home. I have to admit that my family buys water bottles and had been purchasing filter water products however it has been a bit pricey. So my goal is to buckle down on a one-time fee and purchase a water bubbler ? Danelle Ellis
  47. I just wanted to share that I have recently started carrying my own fabric bags to the grocery store instead of asking for paper! It really has been a focus of mine since earth month started and I like doing it! -Grey Homack
  48. I have started using a reusable snack bag made by the company konserve. I also am using reusable silverware. Yay. It feels good to care for Mother Earth. – Lacy Wurster
  49. I will contribute to helping the planet by bringing reusable bags to the grocery store. – Jen Essman
  50. I plan to take my reusable with me when I go out to eat so I don’t add more plastics to the ocean. – Stephanie Akbary

Today we became members of this coalition as set intention to take another step further to making a difference in this world. To learn more, visit Plastic Pollution

We ask all coalition members to share the following commitment:

* To work toward a world free of plastic pollution
* To work toward eliminating single-use disposable plastics
* To support initiatives to reduce the plastic footprint within your organization
* To participate in quarterly coalition meetings
* To act as a resource for other members of the coalition
* To share details regarding company-specific initiatives to eliminate the use of plastic
* To recruit new members to the coalition in order to keep new ideas flowing

courtesy Plastic Pollution Coalition

courtesy Plastic Pollution Coalition