Things You Can Do To Make Your Home More Green

Things You Can Do To Make Your Home More Green

Using the word “green” to describe your level of commitment to a clean, healthy, and well-preserved planet is a relatively new concept. It’s only a decade or two old. But as research on climate change and pollution impacts around the globe has increased, so have conversations around how an individual or family can do their own individual part to slow down the devastations of pollution. 

The pollution impacts around our world are enormous and many of the major sources of it won’t be stopped until the international community takes pro-active and united steps to reform and monitor systems and structures for manufacturing. But that doesn’t mean we should wait until other people, big companies, or government systems make a change. We can all do something now. 

Here are some things that your family can do simply by starting some new habits and making some simple changes in life: 

Stop Using Straws

How many times have you gone through a drive through at a fast food restaurant this year? Imagine if each time you did that, you used your own, reusable straw rather than the single-use one given to you. That simple step can make a big difference. 

Did you know that the average person in the U.S. uses 38,000 plastic drinking straws between the ages of 5 and 65 and that Americans use roughly 500 millions straws every day?!

Reusable Grocery Bags

You knew this one was going to be included. Again, we recognize that one family stopping the use of plastic bags at their local grocery store isn’t going to bring pandas back from the brink of extinction. But it will make your family more of a contributor to good than a contributor to bad. 

Have you ever been to a grocery store where someone bags your groceries and uses just about one plastic bag per item? It will make you stop and catch your breath. So consider making a commitment to use reusable bags from now on and make a small dent in the massive problem. 

Buy Better Clothes

Some people have just gotten the excuse they were looking for to go shopping. Did you know that cheap clothing is often made of synthetic materials? Did you know that “synthetic” in this context essentially means “plastic?” That means that every time you wash that shirt you bought that’s made of polyester, you’re flushing microscopic particles of plastic from your home and into nature. Cheap clothes are made of cheap fabrics. Cheap fabrics are made of plastic, and they shed millions of fibers when they’re washed.

The best solution for stopping microfiber pollution from laundry in its tracks is to buy and install the Filtrol. This easy-to-install, easy-to-maintain water filtration system stops plastics before they leave your home and enter our ecosystem. It’s an easy, no-hassle way to make a tangible impact. 

The problem may seem massive, but there is still plenty that can be done in each of our homes to make a difference. What about you? What is a practical step you and your family can take to slow down the plastic consumption? Things You Can Do To Make Your Home More Green

Plastic’s Impact on Wildlife

Plastic’s Impact on Wildlife

The fight to fend off plastic’s intrusion in our world isn’t just a line item of a political agenda or an effort of professional conservationists. It’s being picked up by people on both sides of political aisles, regardless of how they agree or disagree on myriad of other issues. It’s impacting every corner of our planet and has implications for all of us, and so the fight is one to take seriously. 

Plastic of all sizes is having an impact on wildlife. It’s replacing food for them but never digesting. It’s impacting and disrupting an otherwise resilient ecosystem. From tiny beads of plastic and nearly-invisible strands of synthetic fibers floating down river to plastic bags and strands of knotted fishing lines lodged in the digestive tracts of sea life.

The practical implications to wildlife is something few people truly understand.  

The Fishing Gear Death Toll

World Animal Protection released a report in 2014 — an eternity ago as far as plastic production and pollution are concerned — stating that at least 136,000 seals, sea lions, and whales, as well as “inestimable” number of birds, sea turtles, and other animals, die each year from fishing nets that are discarded. These discarded nets (called ghost-gear) entangle themselves on the ocean floor and float aimlessly and mercilessly through the water. 

The Microplastic Impact

When microscopic particles of plastic (less than 5 mm in size) make their way from your home and into your wastewater, they eventually end up back in streams, rivers, and lakes. They end up in the ocean and in our bottled water and favorite beer. They are in the Great Lakes and in rivers that flow from mountain tops. They are 7 miles under the surface of the ocean and they are in the most remote parts of our planet. And these microplastics are being consumed by the smallest members of the food chain — and subsequently then being consumed all the way up until they’re on our dinner plates.

By far, some of the most exhaustive work we’ve done to research the impacts and implications of plastic on our ecosystem pales in comparison to the work being done by others. For a lengthy read that unpacks some of what was discussed here and yet goes deep into detail with both selective stories of plastic’s deadly impact on specific sea creatures, check out this article from the National Wildlife Federation.Some of the content from this post was pulled directly from their research and writing. 

Solutions that Work

Solutions that Work

Commercial Plastic Pollution and the Way Forward

Plastic pollution comes in all shapes and sizes, from plastic garbage bags and straws to pieces of synthetic materials invisible to the naked eye. The Filtrol is designed to remove microscopic plastics from your home’s laundry and trap them before sending them out into the ecosystem. It is the most effective plastic pollution mitigation and control system on the market, with iteration after iteration of the technology advancing its effectiveness and success.

Commercial Laundry and its Impact in the US

According to statistics released by the National Parks Service a commercial laundry machine uses, on average, 34.7K gallons of water a year. If each load of laundry releases 10-12 million microfibers from the machine and into wastewater, even conservative numbers would make a massive impact on our water and food supplies.

If a commercial laundry machine washes 2.5 loads a day (based on those averages and statistics released by the National Parks Service), at 40 gallons of water per load and 10-12 million microfibers released per load, conservative numbers would look like this:

2.5 Loads per Day x 10,000,000 particles per Load = 23,767,123 Microparticles per Day

The average laundromat has 20-30 machines. So those pollution numbers, conservatively speaking, look more like this:

23,767,123 Pollutants per Day x 20 Machines Per Facility = 475,342,466 Pollutants per Day per Laundromat

There are roughly 18,600 laundromats in the United States, which would mean that nationwide, laundromats make this kind of environmental impact: 

8,841,369,863,013.699 Pollutants per Day (Nationwide, from Laundromats)

For the sake of conversation, consider that if laundromats are operating at that same level for 300 days a year, the annual rate of plastic pollution output by laundromats in the United States would put 2,654,410,958,904,110 microscopic synthetic plastic particles into the environment. In case you’re wondering, that first number is 2 Quadrillion. 

That’s an awful lot of impact to our environment from synthetic fibers. And it makes a compelling case for commercial laundry solutions for plastic pollution. 

We recognize that these numbers are anecdotal, as it assumes that every laundromat is operating 20 of its machines everyday at an average use rate. Add to that the variability that comes with various commercial machine scenarios. Industrial washing machines, like those used at clothing manufacturers or large hotels, hospitals, use more water and operate on a varying basis depending on demand, production schedules, and economic and environmental considerations. 

Consider that beyond your neighborhood laundromat, every motel, hotel, and hospitality business, and every textile and fabric clothing company is spilling obscene amounts of plastic into the environment with each one of their machines. As we continue to research the real implications of plastic’s presence in our environment, Filtrol will continue our efforts to get our plastic pollution solution installed in every home and business in the country.

Plastic Alternatives – Are they making a difference?

Plastic Alternatives – Are they making a difference?

A trip to the grocery store gives you a chance to be eco-friendly and save a little bit of money with reusable bags. Where companies in the past once handed out stress balls or Bic Click’s to potential customers or new employees, they’re now handing out reusable straws. Legislative efforts and education campaigns are making the problem of plastic more universally known and more unilaterally confronted. 

Single use plastics are a problem.

Grocery bags, plastic silverware, straws, and food containers are everywhere. Plastic pollution varies from water bottles in the ditch and plastic bags on beaches to microscopic particles floating in the ocean and lodged in the stomachs of sea life. 

There aren’t many people who carry a reusable straw with them and choose to use it instead of a plastic, single-use one. The number of plastic grocery bags used at a single supermarket on a single day is barely impacted at all by the eco-conscious family of 4 who bring their own hemp grocery sacks. And while these anecdotal reflections don’t necessarily mean we should abandon our efforts, we also need to consider broader efforts to address the plastic pollution crisis. 

The question is still worth asking…

Are alternatives to single-use plastics really moving the needle? 

Research is continually being done to truly capture the impact of plastic on our world. Cost and convenience seem to be more important than care and conservation, as an ever-growing garbage patch continues to take up more than 615,000 square miles of the Pacific Ocean. We’ve all seen images of plastic in the stomaches of wildlife or around the necks of ducks. We’ve seen research and heard TED Talks. Despite the growing problem and the vast amount of research, single-use plastics are still used in excess and single-use plastic alternatives are still relatively a non-factor in the fight.

So what is the way forward? 

At Filtrol, we believe wholeheartedly is that the way forward is to stay the course. We know that the work we’re doing is worth the effort. We know that the problem of plastic isn’t going away and the impacts of it aren’t either. And we know that we all have a part to play. 

While it may seem overwhelming or like an uphill climb, we can’t ignore the massive responsibility on our shoulders to protect our environment for future generations. We need to continue to address the big issues – the single use plastics, the bags in streets and straws at the restaurants. We need to to continue to address the small issues – the Microplastics being flushed into your wastewater with every load of laundry. We need to continue to partner with organizations and manufacturing companies who are paying attention to these issues and doing their part. We need to continue to shed light on the problem and give hope for the way forward. 

And at Filtrol, we’re committed to all of this…no matter how big (and how small) the fight is.

Legislative Efforts to Control Plastic

The Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act of 2021 (BFFPPA ) was recently introduced in Congress and is the most comprehensive legislative effort to date to mitigate the impacts of toxic synthetics on our ecosystem, our communities, and our personal health. Essentially, the bill is building on the momentum and progress made by various state-driven initiatives to employ plastic reduction strategies. Ultimately, the bill is targeting three primary areas of impact with plastic production, use, and disposal. 

Reducing Production 

The process of producing plastic is just as harmful to our ecosystem as the use of and disposal of it. At least 144 chemicals known to be harmful to human health are present in the production of plastic. The development and production process and the pollution that comes from consumer waste and improper disposal all add up to significant amounts of toxic, dangerous chemicals that are impacting our environment, our communities, and our health. 

Increasing Recycling

Only a fraction of the plastic that is produced and sold ends up properly recycled. This means that the overwhelming majority of it ends up carelessly tossed into landfills or littered into our environment. More comprehensive efforts to ensure that plastic ends up where it belongs when it is being discarded can have a massive, lasting impact for our entire planet — from the smallest microbiota to the very top of the food chain; from the most pristine and picturesque landscapes to the food served at a restaurant. 

Protecting Communities

Some geographical and socio-economic communities have greater levels of exposure and vulnerabilities to the toxic components of plastic production. For instance, much of the plastic waste that is either discarded or incinerated is done so in facilities located in lower income communities. This exposes residents of those communities to harmful gases and emissions that can cause significant health issues. 

To learn more about the BFFPPA — and to get involved in making moves against the onslaught of plastic on our environment, our communities, and our health, click here.

To learn more about the ingestion of plastic and its impacts on people and animals, click here.

To learn more about the toxic chemicals that have been identified in plastic, click here.

To learn more about the Filtrol and what we’re doing to stop plastic in its tracks, click here.

Is Bottled Water Helping or Hurting?

When it comes to plastic pollution, the question must be asked, “Is bottled water making it worse?” 

If you have ever been outdoors, you’ve seen an empty water bottle where it didn’t belong. On the side of the road. In a lake. On a trail. In countries like a Haiti, where relief efforts took off several years ago, a simple rainstorm washes thousands of plastic bottles into the streets and walkways. The point: Plastic bottles are everywhere. They’re being manufactured by the millions and they’re wreaking havoc on our ecosystem. While they provide drinkable water – though whether the water is free from plastic microparticles is another discussion – they aren’t addressing other significant ecosystem crises.

According to, Americans went through about 50 billion plastic water bottles last year with a dismal 23 percent recycling rate. Add to that an estimated 22 million pounds of plastic that goes into the waters of the Great Lakes each year, you’re looking at a legitimate issue. 

But does the presence of plastic in bottles undo the other efforts being taken to stop plastic from hitting our ecosystem?  

At Filtrol, we recognize the dilemma in front of us. On one hand, water is polluted with plastic micro-particles. The more unfiltered water you drink from your tap, the more plastic you’re consuming. And the jury is still out on how bad plastic is on our ecosystem and our bodies. For this reason, bottled water (assuming it’s tested and doesn’t have any microscopic pieces of plastic) is an understandable alternative to tap water. On the other hand, if our goal is to protect our environment, disposable plastic bottles are clearly taking us in the opposite direction. 

Check out these details and facts about plastic bottles taken directly from Healthy Human, an organization that seeks to build a healthier planet with innovative and eco-friendly products (such as reusable plastic bottles). 

  1. It takes 3 times the amount of water in a bottle of water to make it as it does to fill it.
  2. Plastic water bottles are made from a petroleum product called polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which requires giant amounts of fossil fuels to make and transport.
  3. The production of bottled water uses 17 million barrels of oil a year. That’s slightly more than it would take to fill one million cars a year with fuel.
  4. It takes almost 2,000 times the energy to manufacture a bottle of water than it does to produce tap water.
  5. If you fill a plastic water bottle so it is about 25% full, that’s about how much oil it took to make the bottle.

So with the dilemma and discussion related to plastic pollution, we recognize that the work in front of us isn’t as simple as a one-size-fits-all solution. The problem of plastic isn’t going away because of Filtrol. It’s not disappearing because of Healthy Human. If this problem is going to be taken care of, it’s going to take a lot of people. It’s going to take innovation, education, and legislation. It’s going to take a change of mind and a change in lifestyle from all of us. 

In the Belly of a Whale

In the Belly of a Whale

How much plastic is being ingested by sea life? 

In April of 1969, an article was published in The Auk that showed the stomach of an albatross containing indigestible plastic particles. Since then, plastic’s impact on our environment has been on our radar and in our global conversations. 

Every time a load of laundry is done in a home or business, it washes microscopic particles of plastic into the ecosystem. These pollutants don’t break down or get filtered out by treatment and filtration processes. And as these wash through our plumbing and into our water supplies, they’re invading our environment. They pass through filtration and are spit out into rivers and streams, and eventually into oceans. 

How much plastic…exactly?

A good question without a good answer. Advances in industry and innovations in manufacturing have led to the production of synthetic materials that are totally and completely foreign to nature. They don’t deteriorate or break down. The number of plastic particles in our oceans can obviously not be counted. Trillions upon trillions and tons upon tons of them. Truckloads full. 

According to the World Economic Forum, a total of 386 marine fish species have been known to have ingested plastic particles. And the higher on the food chain a sea animal is, the more likely it is that plastic can be found in the stomach of that animal. Sharks, tuna, grouper, and whales are known to eat smaller fish. These smaller fish are eating even smaller sea creatures and ingesting tons upon tons of these microscopic pieces of plastic. So the more organisms and fish that something eats, the more pollutants it’s ingesting. The challenge in these realities is that only about 2% of ocean species have been tested for plastic pollution. 

As the research continues into how exactly this plastic is impacting the wildlife that is consuming it, the efforts are continuing to educate people on why good, plastic-free principles are important. The work is also continuing to reduce the outflow of plastic with disruptive solutions and advances in technology that will filter out these microscopic pollutants. 

Protecting Minnesota

For years, we’ve been doing research that has the potential to make a global difference and we’ve distributed our plastic filtration products to almost every continent. As the problem becomes more and more apparent and as people become more and more aware of the need to make significant moves in a better direction, there are more contributors to the conversations and more innovators to the problem. Plastic, after all, is found deep in the ocean and on top of the highest mountains. It’s impacting countless species of fish and birds, being ingested by animals and people alike, and is eventually found on our plates and even in our beer. 

At Filtrol, we want to be part of the global solution to this problem.

But we also want to be part of the local solution. In Minnesota, our local ecosystem is one of the best things we have going for us. With over 10,000 lakes, miles of serene landscapes, and more water front property than coastal states, we are an outdoor enthusiast’s dream with four seasons of outdoor activity, from snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice fishing in the winter to jet skis, wakeboarding, and camping in the summer. Avid hunters and fishermen have miles upon miles of forests, fields, trails, lakes, rivers, and creeks. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area offers solitude and the southern and western parts of our state produce crops that are shipped across the country. 

In all of this flurry of activity and opportunity in our state, we are serious about keeping Minnesota all that it was meant to be for our children and grandchildren…and then for their children and grandchildren. 

Part of this means that we’re doing the hard work and research to make sure the products we build in our labs are easy to install and maintain for people. We don’t want anybody to not use our plastic filtration system because it didn’t seem worth the headache. 

We also are committed to keeping the Filtrol affordable. Being socially and environmentally responsible shouldn’t cost so much. An affordable, easy-to-install and maintain filtration system can make it possible for individual people to make exponential impacts on massive, microscopic issues. 

We’re also serious about making the Filtrol effective.

The Filtrol is already doing good work, but we know we can do better. We’re always trying to improve our catch rates. We’re continuing our efforts to produce minimal waste even in our manufacturing, so that from start to finish, the Filtrol is environmentally-conscious. We’re always trying to expand our reach, so that more people in more places are using the Filtrol. And we’re always trying to protect the place we love to call home. Minnesota!

Fast Fashion and Its Big Impact

Fast fashion refers to the strategy in clothing retail to replicate high cost styles and trends at a fraction of the cost of name brands. Fast fashion does not necessarily mean inexpensive, as some fast fashion brands charge much more for their clothes than others. Their production and manufacturing standards are sub-par, and some of them have a reputation and a history of poor work conditions. The problem with fast fashion brands as it relates to our efforts and our concerns at Filtrol is the massive and devastating impact that fast fashion is having on our environment. 

Consider this:

The cheaper the fabric, the more likely it is that the fabric is made of synthetic fibers. Synthetic fibers are generally not biodegradable. They shed millions of microscopic particles of plastic when they are washed — particles that never leave our environment. They leave our homes and businesses and end up trickling into our water supply and food supply. They are consumed by animals. They are found in fresh water sources, in highest mountains and miles deep beneath the surface of the ocean. They are found in our beer and our cod. They’re everywhere. 

And given the low quality of many fast fashion products, they also don’t last. This means that even beyond shedding fibers, when they run through our laundry, they also have a shorter life and end up in landfills at a much higher rate. 

The summary is this:

– Before you buy, do your research.
– Don’t assume that clothes that look nice on a mannequin in a storefront are nice to our environment.
– Don’t equate affordable fashion with responsible choices.

The more you can research the companies you’re buying from and the more intentional you are about the fabrics you choose to wear, the more you’re going to help protect our environment. At Filtrol, we care about what you wear because we care about our environment. Pay attention to the clothes you buy and be intentional about the brands you choose. Together, we can get back to real water. 

What to Do with All the Litter…

Not many people drive along the freeway or walk along the beach without feeling at least some sense of disgust or sadness over garbage on the ground. Plastic bags stuck in trees. Fast food packages stuck in the brush. Straws, wrappers, cigarettes. It seems every once in a while while driving down the road you stumble upon an area that has been especially pummeled with litter and trash. It can feel out of control and beyond help. Signs on the side of the road point to families and businesses who have adopted a section of highway to try to help. But yet the problem doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. 

What Can We Do?

It seems that no matter how many garbage bags (made of plastic) you fill with trash, there’s no difference made. Garbage is everywhere. So is the impact. It’s affecting our scenery and our drinking water. 

And so before we abandon our fight and decide that our best days are behind us, we believe that small, simple steps can make a big, lasting impact on the world around us. 

Install a Filtrol. Expand Your Definition of Impact. 

The work that Filtrol does to stop plastic pollution in its tracks isn’t stopping plastic bags from getting stuck in trees or cigarette butts from getting dumped into the street at traffic lights.

Ultimately, the installation of a Filtrol on your home or business laundry systems is making a big impact on the plastic waste you’re producing. But it’s bigger than that. It’s doing more than stopping millions of microfibers from entering ground water, drinking water, and food sources. It’s doing more than preserving our ecosystem and protecting our precious resources. 

it is helping people engage with the problem that’s all around us. It’s helping people to see that plastic pollution is something we all need to take responsibility for. It’s helping people put money into the cause and to put action to the frustration they feel when they see garbage. 

When you’re invested, you’re more likely to pick up the garbage you see on the side of the road or at the beach. When you’re invested, you’re more likely to go out of your way to make your surroundings more beautiful and less cluttered with trash. When you’re invested, you’re thinking about how to engage other people in the discussion and into becoming part of the solution. 

So get invested! Buy a Filtrol for your home and business and be part of a bigger conversation.