Embracing Sustainability: 7 Achievable Steps for a Healthier Planet and Lifestyle

10 min read

Embracing Sustainability: 7 Achievable Steps for a Healthier Planet and Lifestyle

Posted Feb 22, 2024 Updated Apr 15, 2024

At OLIPOP, we're all about creating soda that aren’t only good for you, but also good for the environment. You could say we’re on a mission to embrace eco-conscious living! Interested in joining us? In this blog, we’ll explore practical tips you can take to transform your daily choices into powerful contributions toward a more sustainable future. 

For us, sustainability isn't just a buzzword. It's a way of life that encompasses various aspects of our daily routines (and our business operations!). From recycling to minimizing food waste, we'll offer achievable tips for sustainable living. And we’ll also share the commitments we’re making at OLIPOP to help. Let's dive in and explore the transformative power of sustainable living, one sip at a time.

1. Minimize Your Food Waste

An easy way to support the environment involves not only the food you eat but the foods you’re not eating. We’re talking about food waste! Over one-third of all food produced today goes to waste. [1] That’s why cutting back on food waste is crucial for the environment. When food is thrown away, it produces methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. By cutting down on food waste, we can lower methane emissions and lessen our impact on the environment. [2] 

Not only that, but minimizing food waste also saves valuable resources like water, energy, and land that we use in food production. And let's not forget about energy — wasted food means wasted energy! By reducing food waste, we save energy resources and lessen our environmental impact. [3]

Minimizing food waste isn't just good for the planet, it's good for your wallet too. Think about all the money you could save by managing your food more efficiently! Governments can also allocate fewer resources to waste management when less food is thrown away. Plus, reducing food waste can have positive social impacts — we can redirect surplus food to those in need, helping to combat hunger and food insecurity in communities. [2]  [3]

In short, cutting food waste is a comprehensive approach that tackles environmental, economic, and social concerns, leading to a more sustainable and responsible food system. But what are some strategies for reducing your food waste? Here are some tips: [1]

  • Meal planning: Heading to the grocery store? Hit pause and plan out your meals for the week first. By making a shopping list based on your planned meals you can help reduce impulse purchases and avoid buying more than you need. 
  • Buy in bulk: Consider purchasing those non-perishables in bulk to help reduce packaging waste. 
  • First-in, first-out: This method is all about using up your older items before opening up newer ones. And check if you have an item before you go to the store to avoid purchasing something already in your fridge!
  • Proper storage: Should it go in the fridge, sit on the counter, or sit in a sealed container to prevent spoiling? Maximize the freshness of your foods by looking up the best ways to store them. 
  • Throw it in the freezer: The freezer can also be your friend if items are closing in on their expiration date. For example, throw your browning bananas in the freezer! They’re perfect for smoothies or making banana bread, and can last in there for up to 6 months. 
  • Don’t forget about your leftovers: We love leftovers! Leftovers mean you don’t need to make a whole new meal, it’s sitting right there waiting for you. If your leftovers are piling up, have a “leftover night” with your family to clear out your fridge. Feel free to get creative with it!
  • Compost your organic waste: Sometimes food waste is inevitable! But instead of throwing it out, consider setting up a compost system for your food scraps, or utilize your municipal composting program. 

How does OLIPOP help? At OLIPOP, we measure our energy, water, and waste outputs with a goal of cutting our greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030. Not only that, but our bubbly beverages make a perfect partner for those leftovers sitting in your fridge... 

2. Reduce Animal Product Consumption

Did you know that consuming animal products has a major impact on our environment? It's true! One of the biggest concerns is the significant greenhouse gas emissions caused by livestock, especially methane from cattle. Beef production alone causes about half of the food system's greenhouse gas emissions. [4]

The livestock industry's expansion also drives deforestation and biodiversity loss. When we clear forests for pasture and feed crop cultivation, this releases stored carbon into the atmosphere. And let's not forget about water! Animal agriculture is water-intensive and contributes to water pollution through runoff from farms. Then there’s the fact that we have to feed all these animals. This production of feed for livestock requires extensive resources, leading to habitat loss, soil erosion, and the use of fertilizers and pesticides. [5] Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) generate massive amounts of animal waste, which, if not managed properly, can harm aquatic ecosystems and pollute our water. [6]

The good news is that there are solutions! While a lot of those solutions come from the companies and systems managing animal product production, there are actions we can take as individuals. By making more sustainable dietary choices, like reducing our reliance on animal products and embracing plant-based alternatives, we can promote a more environmentally friendly and resilient food system. Here are some tips:

  • Meatless Mondays: We get that cutting out meat is hard! But why not try one day a week? This global movement encourages skipping meat and other animal products on Mondays.
  • Explore plant-based proteins: Meat is often the center of the meal. But what if it wasn’t? Consider giving plant-based proteins like beans, lentils, chickpeas, tofu, tempeh, and edamame a try.
  • Try meat alternatives: There’s a whole world of meat alternatives out there, from veggie burgers to plant-based sausages. These meatless wonders use ingredients like soy, mushrooms, or legumes instead of actual meat. 
  • Add more plants: Make veggies the star of your plate! Explore different cooking methods, such as roasting, grilling, or stir-frying, to enhance flavors while cutting back on meat.

How does OLIPOP help? Well, hopefully, it’s obvious that OLIPOP is plant-based! We’re your drink partner in plant crime for adding more fiber and prebiotics to your diet. Not only that but we source 100% non-GMO ingredients, so you can feel good about what you’re putting in your body. 

3. Choose Local and Organic Foods

Opting for local and organic food helps reduce carbon emissions, support local economies, preserve biodiversity, promote cleaner water and soil, conserve water, and even minimize packaging waste.

One of the main advantages of local foods is their shorter supply chains, which means they require less transportation. And less transportation means lower greenhouse gas emissions. By choosing local over long-distance products, you're actively contributing to the reduction of your carbon footprint. [7]  [8]

Supporting local farmers and businesses not only benefits the local economy but also helps decrease our reliance on large-scale industrial agriculture and its harmful environmental effects. By choosing local and organic, you're making a conscious decision to support sustainable farming practices that prioritize biodiversity and healthier ecosystems. [7]  [9]

So why not make a real difference with your food choices? By choosing local and organic foods, you can actively contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly food system. Here are a few ideas to help make this even easier:

  • Visit local farmers' markets: Farmers' markets are great places to find fresh, locally-grown produce. They also offer the opportunity to connect with local farmers in your community, ask about their farming practices, and learn more about where your food comes from. [7]
  • Join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program: Subscribe to a CSA and regularly receive a share of a local farm's produce. This direct relationship with a local farm ensures you get fresh, seasonal items and supports the farmers financially. [7]
  • Explore local grocery stores and co-ops: Look for local grocery stores and co-ops that prioritize sourcing products from nearby producers. These stores often carry a variety of locally grown and organic items.
  • Read labels carefully: When shopping in larger supermarkets, keep an eye on the label to identify products that are locally produced or certified organic. See if you can find information about the product's origin and certifications.
  • Shop in season: Be aware of the seasonal availability of fruits and vegetables in your region. This knowledge can help you make more sustainable choices, and ensure you’re enjoying the freshest produce!
  • Grow your own produce: If you’ve got a green thumb, consider starting your own garden or joining a community garden! This is a great way to grow your own fruits, veggies, and herbs. 
  • Opt for organic: Organic farming practices avoid synthetic pesticides and chemicals, promoting healthier soils and reducing environmental impact. [9]

How does OLIPOP help? OLIPOP actively engages in community building, sourcing over 80% of our goods nationally to support local economies. We are also actively engaged with our suppliers to improve their environmental practices, with annual Sustainability Surveys, shared resources, and occasional audits.

4. Recycle & Upcycle 

When it comes to protecting the environment and reducing waste, recycling and upcycling are often the first things that come to mind. And for good reason! Recycling is not just about tossing your trash in a separate bin; it's about saving landfill space, preventing harmful substances from seeping into the ground, and lightening the load on our planet. [10]

Recycling is also a way to conserve valuable resources. By giving new life to materials like paper, glass, plastic, aluminum, and metal, we can reduce the demand for resources and protect our forests, minerals, and ecosystems. Recycling also saves energy, making it an all-around win for the environment. [11]

Now, let's talk about upcycling. This genius practice takes discarded materials and turns them into new products that are even better than before. By repurposing what we already have, we can minimize the need for new resources and challenge the idea of disposable culture. Upcycling is part of a circular economy and sparks creative solutions for reducing our environmental impact. [12]

Recycling and upcycling are essential in building a sustainable future. By conserving resources, reducing waste, and encouraging creative reuse, we can create a world that's kinder to the planet and smarter in our consumption choices. Here are ways you can make recycling and upcycling a part of your daily life:

  • Look for recycling symbols: Check for recycling symbols on packaging to identify materials you can recycle. Then, dispose of these materials in the appropriate recycling bins. Avoid putting non-recyclable items in recycling bins, as this can contaminate the recycling stream.
  • Check out Earth 911: Need help recycling? Earth 911 is North America's most extensive recycling database. Simply enter the material you are trying to recycle along with your zip code and click search to find recycling options near you. 
  • Know your local recycling guidelines: Recycling looks different depending on where you live! Understand your local recycling guidelines to ensure you’re sorting materials correctly. 
  • Clean and separate materials: Clean recyclables before placing them in recycling bins. Remove any food residue or contaminants. Separate materials into categories like paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, aluminum, and metal. But again, make sure you’re checking and following your local recycling guidelines! 
  • Reuse and repurpose: Before recycling, consider whether you can reuse or repurpose that item. Who knows, there might be a DIY project in your future! Or a great jar or container for storage.

How does OLIPOP help? At OLIPOP, our commitment to sustainability isn't just talk—it's part of who we are. This dedication to sustainability extends to every step of our process and value chain, ensuring we foster sustainable economics. For example, we aim to reduce our packaging waste, increase our use of recyclable materials, and increase the recycled content in our packaging. In July of 2023, we also became a Certified B Corp with a score of 91, marking our steadfast dedication to positive global impact. 

5. Opt for Eco-Friendly Packaging 

Along the same lines of recycling and upcycling is opting for eco-friendly packaging. Eco-friendly packaging is all about minimizing harm to the environment by using materials and practices that are biodegradable, compostable, easily recyclable, or made from recycled materials. It also prioritizes the sustainability of raw materials used in production, like aluminum over plastic or glass. [13]

One of the key advantages of choosing eco-friendly packaging is you reduce resource consumption. These options often rely on recycled or renewable materials, decreasing the demand for forests and minerals. Plus, the manufacturing process requires less energy, contributing to energy savings and lower greenhouse gas emissions. [14]

Not only does eco-friendly packaging minimize pollution, but it also promotes waste reduction by encouraging the use of easily recyclable or compostable materials. It supports the principles of reduce, reuse, and recycle, helping to combat the accumulation of persistent waste in landfills. [14] Here’s how you can choose eco-friendly packaging to support a more sustainable and responsible approach to packaging:

  • Choose products with sustainable packaging: It’s not always easy or possible, but when you can, try and opt for products with minimal or eco-friendly packaging. Consider options with reduced packaging materials or those using materials that are easily recyclable or biodegradable.
  • Avoid single-use plastics: Minimize the use of single-use plastics by choosing products with alternative packaging materials or using reusable containers and bags. Consider bringing your own reusable bags when shopping or filling up your reusable water bottle instead of buying a plastic one!
  • Bring your own container: Speaking of shopping, another great idea is to bring your own reusable containers when purchasing things like bulk goods or deli items. Many stores encourage or accommodate customers who bring their own containers. 
  • Reuse packaging materials: Save money and the environment by reusing packaging materials whenever possible. Boxes, bubble wrap, and other packing materials are great to hold onto when you need them for shipping, storage, or moving.

How does OLIPOP help? Let's not forget about corporate responsibility! Companies that adopt eco-friendly packaging demonstrate their commitment to the environment and align their business practices with environmental stewardship. That’s our goal at OLIPOP, and we do that in many ways, one of which is the use of recycle-friendly aluminum. Greenhouse gas emissions associated with aluminum cans are the lowest they can be for a single-use carbonated beverage. ​​In fact, nearly 75% of all aluminum ever produced is still in use today. [15] We also aim to increase recycling rates through labeling and education.

6. Use Renewable Energy at Home

Ready to make a big difference in the fight against climate change? Another great strategy, if you have the means, is to embrace renewable energy at home. By ditching fossil fuels, you can significantly reduce your carbon footprint and cut greenhouse gas emissions. Say goodbye to coal and oil—with renewable energy, you're helping preserve our planet's precious resources, improving air and water quality, and safeguarding habitats. [16]

Harness the power of the sun and wind with renewable energy sources like solar and wind power. Not only do they conserve finite resources, but they also minimize the environmental impact of extraction. But the benefits don't stop there! By using renewable energy at home, you'll enjoy energy independence, long-term cost savings, and contribute to a resilient energy system. And when more and more households join the renewable energy movement, together we can make a collective impact that helps combat climate change on a global scale, creating a more sustainable world for all. [16]

Here are some tips to guide you through the process:

  • Conduct a home energy audit: First things first, begin by understanding your current energy consumption. Conduct a home energy assessment to identify areas where energy is wasted. This will help you prioritize areas for improvement and determine the right renewable energy solutions for your needs. [17]
  • Start with energy efficiency measures: Before investing in renewable energy systems, there are ways you can implement energy efficiency measures to reduce your energy consumption. This may include upgrading insulation, sealing drafts, using energy-efficient appliances, and installing programmable thermostats. [17]
  • Research available renewable energy options: When you’re ready for the next step, start by exploring the renewable energy options suitable for your location and needs. Solar panels, wind turbines, and small-scale hydropower are common choices. Research the costs, benefits, and requirements associated with each option. [17]  [18] Also, a lot of utility companies offer a renewable energy plan, which is a good step towards cleaning the grid!
  • Understand local regulations and incentives: Familiarize yourself with local regulations and incentives related to renewable energy installations. Your region might offer financial incentives, tax credits, or rebates for homeowners adopting renewable energy solutions. 
  • Consult with renewable energy professionals: Seek guidance from renewable energy professionals or consultants. They can assess your home, provide valuable insights, and help design a system that meets your energy needs and budget.
  • Check for community solar programs: You can also explore community solar programs if it’s not feasible to install an individual system. These programs allow you to share in the benefits of a larger-scale renewable energy installation located off-site. [19]

How does OLIPOP help? We measure and continuously monitor our energy, water, and waste outputs. After establishing a 2022 baseline for greenhouse gas emissions, we're committed to halving these emissions by 2030, in line with the Paris Agreement and SME Climate Hub Initiative. Our ongoing efforts are geared towards achieving Net Zero emissions by 2050.

7. Choose Sustainable Transportation When Possible

Choosing sustainable transportation modes like walking, biking, and public transport is a win-win for both you and the planet. Not only do these options help protect the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality, but they also have numerous benefits for you and your community. [20]

When you walk or bike instead of relying on traditional car travel, you're making a positive impact on the environment. These low-emission or emission-free modes also act as exercise, meaning you're improving your physical health while being mindful of the environment. Opting for sustainable transportation also saves you money and makes economic sense. Plus, public transport offers cost-effective options for those looking for affordable travel alternatives. 

So why not join the movement and embrace sustainable transportation? It's a holistic approach that promotes a healthier, more connected, and environmentally conscious society. Here’s how you can make a difference, one step or pedal at a time:

  • Walk or bike when you can: For short distances, consider walking or biking instead of hopping in your car. This not only reduces your carbon footprint but also promotes physical activity and a healthier lifestyle.
  • Use public transport: Opt for public transport such as buses, trams, or trains for longer distances. Public transportation is often more energy-efficient and produces fewer emissions per passenger compared to individual car travel.
  • Carpooling and ride-sharing: When you can, share rides with others through carpooling or ride-sharing services. This helps reduce the number of vehicles on the road, easing traffic congestion and lowering emissions.
  • Choose fuel-efficient vehicles: Hybrid and electric vehicles are all the rage right now! If you have the means, consider choosing a fuel-efficient, hybrid, or electric vehicle.
  • Utilize bike-sharing programs: If you live in a city or a place with a bike-sharing program, consider taking advantage of it! A bike ride is both a convenient and sustainable mode of transportation, not to mention a fun way to get some exercise.
  • Work remotely or telecommute: If you have the option and the interest, consider working remotely or telecommuting. This reduces the need for daily commuting, contributing to lower emissions and energy consumption.

How does OLIPOP help? As a remote company from the outset, we've decided to maintain this model and forgo a physical office to decrease emissions by eliminating daily commutes. 

Sustainability Tips: The Takeaway 

Thank you for being a part of the change and joining the OLIPOP Movement today to help us make a healthier, more sustainable world. Whether it’s by choosing our products, sharing our mission, or taking steps like recycling or opting for sustainable packaging, every action counts. Together, we can transform the food and beverage industry one can at a time! Want more information? Sign up for our newsletter, follow us on social media, stay connected, and contribute to our collective journey towards a greener planet.


  1. Fight climate change by preventing food waste. (n.d.). World Wildlife Fund. https://www.worldwildlife.org/stories/fight-climate-change-by-preventing-food-waste
  2. Hennepin County. (n.d.). Benefits of reducing food waste. Choose to Reuse. https://www.hennepin.us/choose-to-reuse/tips/2022-reducing-food-waste
  3. Buzby, J. (n.d.). Why should we care about food waste? USDA. https://www.usda.gov/foodlossandwaste/why
  4. Reducing meat consumption good for personal and planetary health. (2022, July 28). Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/meat-consumption-health-environment/
  5. Rust, N. A., Ridding, L. E., Ward, C., Clark, B., Kehoe, L., Dora, M., Whittingham, M. J., McGowan, P. J., Chaudhary, A., Reynolds, C., Trivedy, C., & West, N. (2020). How to transition to reduced-meat diets that benefit people and the planet. Science of the Total Environment, 718, 137208. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.137208
  6. Why are CAFOs bad? (n.d.). Sierra Club. https://www.sierraclub.org/michigan/why-are-cafos-bad
  7. McCurdy, M. (2022, May 17). Health Benefits of Eating Locally. University of New Hampshire. https://extension.unh.edu/blog/2022/05/health-benefits-eating-locally
  8. Cho, R. (2012, September 4). How Green is Local Food? Columbia Climate School. https://news.climate.columbia.edu/2012/09/04/how-green-is-local-food/
  9. Varanasi, A. (2019, October 22). Is Organic Food Really Better for the Environment? Columbia Climate School. https://news.climate.columbia.edu/2019/10/22/organic-food-better-environment/
  10. Recycling Basics and Benefits. (2023, November 27). United States Environmental Protection Agency. https://www.epa.gov/recycle/recycling-basics-and-benefits
  11. Benefits of Recycling. (n.d.). National Institutes of Health. https://nems.nih.gov/environmental-programs/pages/benefits-of-recycling.aspx
  12. Upcycling. (2023, August 15). Heal the Planet. https://healtheplanet.com/100-ways-to-heal-the-planet/upcycling
  13. Saveth, B. (2023, June 23). Embracing Sustainability: The Rise Of Eco-Friendly Packaging Solutions. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2023/06/23/embracing-sustainability-the-rise-of-eco-friendly-packaging-solutions/?sh=2d4633a6271d
  14. Reis, J. R. (2022, June 29). The Importance of Environmental Packaging and its Uses Around the World. Naturpac. https://naturpac.org/news/the-importance-of-environmental-packaging-and-its-uses-around-the-world/
  15. Infinitely Recyclable. (n.d.). The Aluminum Association. https://www.aluminum.org/Recycling
  16. Renewable energy – powering a safer future. (n.d.). United Nations. https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/raising-ambition/renewable-energy
  17. Residential renewable energy. (n.d.). U.S. Department of Energy. https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/residential-renewable-energy
  18. Microhydropower Systems. (n.d.). U.S. Department of Energy. https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/microhydropower-systems
  19. Community Solar Basics. (n.d.). U.S. Department of Energy. https://www.energy.gov/eere/solar/community-solar-basics
  20. Sustainable Transportation and Fuels. (n.d.). U.S. Department of Energy. https://www.energy.gov/eere/sustainable-transportation-and-fuels
Cheat Sheet
  • Sustainability is a way of life that encompasses various aspects of our daily routines.
  • There are strategies you can take as an individual to transform your daily choices into powerful contributions toward a more sustainable future. Ideas include minimizing your food waste, reducing animal product consumption, recycling, and more.
  • Rooted in our core values, we're committed at OLIPOP to making a positive impact on the planet and the communities we’re connected with.
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