Sustainable businesses are rising amidst the outcry against climate change. Some cater to personal care and package-free food. Others strive to produce goods with a zero waste approach. One such business is Enviro-Log.
Enviro-Log is a company that offers eco-friendly logs and firestarters. It is a zero waste business because it builds upon fully recycling all its materials. With their 100% recycled products, they provide many people with affordable and high quality alternative to firewood.
I interviewed Ross McRoy who founded Enviro-Log with the vision of recycling efficiently in the fuel industry. He talks about his advocacy of promoting recycling in a zero waste lifestyle. Get inspired by his zero waste business and learn how to recycle efficiently in both personal and business capacity.
Tell me a little bit about yourself. Where do you work and live?
Enviro-Log is located in Fitzgerald Georgia USA. I live nearby in Tifton, Georgia. Enviro-Log was founded in 2004 from an idea of diverting a former non-recyclable material, waxed cardboard boxes, into a Firelog for Home Heating. I had worked in Alternative Energy for a few years and understood that opportunities could be created with the right solutions. My background in Engineering and Management also prepared me to draft a business plan and build Enviro-Log into a viable business.
What does the word “recycling” mean to you?
It is using resources not commonly reused. In a broad sense, using materials that would normally go to landfill. Any sustainable solution that diverts material from landfills and provides an additional use for the material is recycling.
Why did you start Enviro-Log?
I worked in the Alternative Energy Industry which is focused on using non-traditional fuels. In parallel, an opportunity presented itself for me to use my experience to develop the Enviro-Log Firelog, which is a non-traditional fuel which offers a cleaner alternative to home heating and outdoor living.
How did Enviro-Log start?
I created a business plan and found an investor to help me launch the company Enviro-Log, Inc. From their I had a vision to become an eco-friendly, consumer products and recycling company that works with retailers to reduce their environmental impact and start them on a path toward zero waste by recycling their waxed cardboard. To date, Enviro-Log has worked with over 100 partners throughout North America and diverted hundreds of million of pounds of waxed cardboard from landfills. Our products can be found in many major retailers across North America.
What makes Enviro-Log great for every home?
Enviro-Log Firelogs are a clean, safe and easy to use alternative to traditional synthetic firelogs. Enviro-Log Firelogs are also cleaner in burning than firewood.
How do you produce Enviro-Log Firelogs?
As part of our partnership with retailers, Enviro-Log diverts old waxed cardboard containers (boxes) from the landfills to our manufacturing facility in Fitzgerald, Georgia. These waxed cardboard boxes are a one time use container used to transport fruits and vegetables to grocery stores. Enviro-Log then takes the waxed cardboard and uses a proprietary technology to cut and extrude the waxed cardboard boxes into logs that we cut to length.
The 100 percent recycled product is then returned to retailers and put on the shelves to be sold to consumers. This process is referred to in the recycling industry as a “closed loop.” Enviro-Log’s closed loop experience makes for a fast and easy program start allowing its retail partners to see immediate financial benefits of recycling.
How do you deal with waste in your business?
We are in an unique position in that we are actually helping other business reduce their carbon footprint and increase their recycling programs. Typically, only 1-3% of the materials that we receive are discarded. We try to send our waste to a licensed biomass plant for power generation to limit our use of landfills.
What is your advocacy as a business?
We want to encourage people to recycle and use sustainable products. Although a person may not have recycling in their area, by purchasing Enviro-Log Firelogs they are diverting waxed cardboard containers into home heating and reducing dependence of fossil fuels.
What tips can you give to those who want to start shopping sustainably?
Make a commitment and start with small changes. Shoppers can not only purchase recycle goods, but also recycle their own waste. For example, making a positive difference by purchasing items like Enviro-Log Firelogs – the more Enviro-Logs used, the more wax boxes can be diverted from the waste stream, and the logs can also be used to lower energy bills for home heating.
How do shoppers find genuine recycled products?
Most products are marketed as recycled or environmentally-friendly, and some stores have special display sections for sustainable options.
Aside from running Enviro-Log, what other eco-friendly habits do you practice in your life?
At home we purchase products that use bio-degradable components, plant-based inputs, and recycled content. We also sort and recycle food packaging and other materials.
What advice can you give to people who want to sell products made from 100% recycled materials?
Be flexible – understand that people have choices and marketing the product quality is the primary consideration for consumers. Use of recycled materials helps influence consumers’ decisions, but product quality is the number one factor.
Enviro-Log® is an eco-friendly firelog manufacturer and recycling company headquartered in Fitzgerald, Ga. It offers two products: Enviro-Log Firelogs and Firestarters.
You can buy them at select national retail locations including Home Depot, Kmart, Lowes, True Value, Rite Aid, Sears, Whole Foods, Walmart, Shaw’s, select Ace Hardware, Stop & Shop, Giant Foods, Fresh Market, Harris Teeter, Weis Markets, Winn-Dixie, Bi-Lo, Blain’s Farm & Fleet and many regional retailers throughout the U.S. If you’re in Canada, get them at Lowe’s, Walmart, Target and Canadian Tire locations.
Get them instead of kindling, petroleum-based starter blocks, lighter fluids, and ethanol-based gels. You can find Enviro-Log Firestarters at select retail locations throughout the United States, including Ace Hardware, Lowe’s Home Improvement stores nationwide, Rite Aid, The Home Depot (Eastern Regions) and many regional grocery and hardware retailers such as Weis Markets, Stop & Shop, Giant Foods, and Blain’s Farm & Fleet.
Follow Enviro-Log in their social media for tips and giveaways:
Facebook® at www.Facebook.com/Envirolog,
Twitter at http://twitter.com/EnviroLogFire
Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/envirologfire/