The Earth is dying.
Okay, now that I have your attention, let’s talk about sustainability.
Sustainability aims to avoid the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain ecological balance. In simpler terms, that means not treating our planet like trash and making eco-friendly decisions in hopes that a healthy planet will be around for generations to come.
Admittedly this is a complex issue, but you as a cannabis consumer can choose to take part in the solution as opposed to the problem by adjusting your cannabis lifestyle in ways that have a neutral impact on the environment.
Unsure of how to do that? Here are five easy ways to become a more sustainable cannabis consumers right now.
Recycle That Packaging
There is so much waste that comes from cannabis products: plastic jars, plastic doob tubes, the plastic wrapping around your edibles… All of the waste from these products should find their way into one of the pretty blue recycling bins once you’re done with them—that is, if it’s in fact recyclable material.
The paper from cannabis packaging may also be recycled, or better yet, composted depending on your city laws.
As for glass jars, the good news is that glass is 100% and infinitely recyclable. Some cannabis stores may even accept and reuse them. Also, there are some companies—like CannaCycle in California—who accept many types of used cannabis packaging and find a way to repurpose it.
Support Sustainability-Focused Cannabis Companies
Whether it be ocean-friendly packaging like Sana or sustainably-grown cannabis from producers like Washington-based Burnwell, there are plenty of companies out here making the preservation of our planet a priority.
One simple decision we can all make as cannabis consumers is to—wait for it—support them. It’s a well-known fact that cannabis raised outdoors uses less electricity than indoor-grown cannabis. Using your purchasing power to demonstrate demand for greenhouse or outdoor cannabis is just one way to support sustainability and those prioritizing it.
Don’t Use Earth As Your Trash Can
Littering is trash, literally and figuratively. Improperly disposing of your waste on land or water has a huge impact on the environment. Flicking your roach could lead to a grass fire. Tossing your trash into water harms marine wildlife. There are plenty of repercussions for using Earth as your trash can.
Instead of tossing that crutch from your pre-roll on the ground, find a trash can to properly dispose of it. Or, if your want to retire from the use of paper crutches altogether, consider reusable glass crutches like the Phuncky Feel Tips, designed by B-Real of Cypress Hill.
Buy Clean Green Certified Cannabis
Cannabis can’t be labeled “organic” because the term is federally regulated; the USDA does not recognize cannabis as an agricultural crop. Because of this, the Clean Green Certified program was created (in California, but has since expanded to seven other states).
This program serves as verification for cannabis cultivated using sustainable, natural, and organically based practices. For information on which cultivators and processors are Clean Green in your state, peep the CGC website.
Properly Dispose of Vape Batteries
Unfortunately, there’s no current solution to recycling those oily vape cartridges (outside of refilling each time they empty). However, you can recycle your vape batteries.
Vape batteries contain lithium, which should not be disposed of in regular trash cans (it’s actually illegal in some states for you to do so). So instead of tossing out those old vape batteries and potentially exposing plants or animals to harmful materials, just Google your nearest battery drop-off location and take them there instead. Your planet will thank you.