The movie Bag It inspired us to take a look at all the plastic that surround our lives and ask, “How can we reduce the amount of plastic we use?”
In our personal lives, we can start by remembering to bring the reusable bags to the stores – we are often guilty of forgetting to put the bags back in the car after doing the groceries. We can also start bringing our own bags for trips to Target and other non-grocery type stores. Daniele and I usually bring our left-overs for lunch, but we are known to occasionally eat those single-serving frozen meals … and they always come packaged in plastic, sometimes even double-packaged in plastic inside a paper carton. We’ll definitely try to cut down on those.
But what about our business? Do we use plastic irresponsibly?
Asking ourselves this question led to an interesting discovery. We were packaging our products in plastic sleeves, not because it was necessary, but because we thought it made the product look nicer. So for that initial wow factor of opening a product that is covered in shiny new plastic, we were creating unnecessary waste. Besides, our products are artisanal and intrinsically beautiful … they don’t need any help looking good. Out with the plastic sleeves.
We also realized that we use bubble wrap and bubble mailers (those envelopes lined with bubble-wrap material) quite extensively – out of convenience, not out of true necessity. Out with the bubbles. In with 100% recycled kraft paper and 20% recycled newsprints. These changes won’t come without a little bit of cost (more time to prepare the shipments, higher packaging costs) but we are convinced that in the end it will be a sound business decision. And, thinking about our 2.5-yr-old daughter’s future, a moral one too.
These are just the beginning of what we hope will be a path towards more responsible living, and a less plastic business. If anyone out there has any other ideas on how we might be able to use less plastic (and less stuff in general), we’d love to hear your thoughts.