Sustainability in a Small Business #dolessharm
You may have seen an online Meme recently, penned by Australian student Carla Borthwick, which goes like this:
As a small business, it can seem daunting to be environmentally friendly. But working with the premise of every small change makes a difference and by recognising that we, as partners, are directly responsible for every decision we make about our business, we have realised we can play our part to take care of our planet.
Here are some of the things we do towards being a sustainable business:
- We reuse packaging we receive from our suppliers wherever possible
- If you receive a parcel with air pockets in to stop items moving about in transit, this has been reused and in most cases it is also fully biodegradable (it will say this on the packaging)
- Our plastic mailer bags are made from recycled plastic
- Our carrier bags and boxes are all fully recyclable
- We have switched to using paper filler instead of bubble wrap in our parcels, and if you do receive a parcel containing bubble wrap, this has been reused
- We are committed to finding an alternative to bubble wrap for customers to transport delicate items home from the shop
- All of our paper, cardboard and plastic waste is taken away for recycling by local pedicargo firm, who transport the waste by bike
- We have asked our suppliers to stop sending us product catalogues, which cost them money to produce and which cost us money to dispose of, let alone the environmental impact
Behind the Scenes
- We have switched from using ordinary tea bags to loose leaf tea or tea bags which are plastic free (Trumpers Tea and Clipper are our favourites)
- We have switched to using recycled toilet paper from Who Gives a Crap, who also donate 50% of their profits to building loos for people in need
- We bring our own lunches to work in washable containers
- We have switched to hiring glassware from a local company for our events instead of using plastic
- Most of the products in our shop are intended to last. We stock items that people will love and cherish for a long time. We are not fans of tat or fad items
- Most of our products are made from natural materials: wood, cotton, linen, wool, glass, stoneware, ceramics.
- We stock products from local suppliers and from global, Fairtrade artisan suppliers
- We do stock mass produced items and items made from plastics, like our faux plants and flowers, but these are carefully considered to ensure they have longevity and will be enjoyed and cherished for years rather than weeks
- We donate surplus items and seconds to charity
To quote Kate Watson-Smith, ‘Is it tokenism? (We) don’t know. But trying to do something has got to be better than doing nothing.’ Is there more we can do? Yes of course there is. We will be asking more questions of our suppliers and ourselves and we are committed to adding more improvements and positive changes to this list as time goes on.
To everyone who cares, thank you.