but from the time I first heard this quote by social activist, Howard Zinn, it transformed my attitude to many things, and looking after our planet better is one of them!
I always said that if I ever had a business that meant I could make a difference to the world, I would try my hardest to carry my personal values into it too. So in the spirit of that, I want to share with you my "small acts" that allow me to do my bit for Mother Earth.
Living an Abundant Life
As you know, I'm really passionate about the kind of ingredients I use in your products. Of course these days there's so much more to consider than just the content of the product itself, and with sustainability close to my heart, I've gone to great lengths to try to be mindful of my impact on the planet.
I personally think we are custodians of this beautiful planet, which gives us all we need to survive and prosper. So we need to treat the earth with respect and consideration. You probably know what I'm going to say next ~ the plastic issue!
I don't have an issue with plastic per se as so much of our lives have been moulded around using it, and some of it is sadly a necessary evil. For example, food waste is one of the biggest contributing factors to climate change, but in some instances a bit of plastic is the difference between your fruit & veg arriving mouldy and it arriving crisp and fresh, and happily lasting a few more days. It's also great at quarantining food so it doesn't harbour any nasty bugs, which is a no-brainer, especially when it comes to vulnerable people. Biodegradable alternatives are currently either too expensive and/or not quite robust enough to work for our mass food markets yet, but that will most definitely change.
Those circumstances aside, what I do think is that we can all think a bit more carefully about how much we demand it, use it and dispose of it. So this is how I'm taking steps to be my own little centre for change.
It took me a while, but eventually I found the right packaging for my truffles boxes that were either made from recycled materials, could be recycled or composted, or could be re-used or re-purposed, and ideally all of the above, and I've nearly done it!
So, unlike most truffle packaging, I don't use wasteful cushion pads, petit four cases and plastic tray inserts in your truffle boxes. Instead I use a grid insert system, made from sustainable sourced recyclable materials, along with recycled glassine paper (for the 12 box of truffles). There's one piece of plastic in the 6 truffle boxes, which is made from recycled plastics.
Dessert pots & lids
The image on the left are of my existing cheesecake pots. They are made from recycled plastic and can be recycled again in your green bin. You can also wash them out and use them around the kitchen for storing things like left over foods and herbs.
The images in the middle and on the right are of my new cheesecake pots. Made by vegware, they are non-toxic and completely compostable, and made from plant-based PLA (PolyLactic Acid) or recycled sugarcane. PLA is a plant-based compostable bioplastic, and an environmentally friendly alternative to petrochemical originated plastic polymers, and can be used to make a wide range of eco-disposable products.
I didn't know this but compostable is much better than biodegradable! Biodegradable materials break down naturally over time, but 'compostable' means it all happens much quicker - between 8 and 12 weeks in the right conditions. This does mean that these pots are more sensitive to heat, so forget the dishwasher! Hand washed, they're fine to use and re-use again and again.
Granola bar wrappers
The image on the left is of my current packaging, which are made from recycled greaseproof paper, and can be recycled in your green bin. I started out using paper due to my obsession with not wrapping my products in plastic, like I see so many other on the go snacks packaged in. I'm excited to share that when my stock of greaseproof paper finishes, I will be switching to plastic bags!
These bags look like plastic, but they're made in the UK from cellophane film that has been accredited biodegradable & compostable, which means that they break down to CO2, H20 and biomass which can then be reused in the eco system to make new plants. They will break down either in home or commercial composting. The film has also been tested to ensure that once composted there are no adverse effects on the plant growth.
Organza Ribbon & Bows
Made from nylon and metallic yarn, these ribbons can be recycled in your green bin.
These can easily be recycled along with your other bottles at your local bottle bank.
Seagrass Hamper Baskets
These baskets are made from sweet grass, pine needles, bull rush and palms. Totally natural ingredients for totally natural foods.
Even here I can do more, so all the cardboard packaging I use is made from recycled materials that can be re-used or recycled in your green bin. I mostly use packaging I've bought myself, but where I can I reuse packaging I've received myself, such as postal boxes and packaging padding like bubble wrap. I think it's one of the easiest, economical and eco-friendly ways I can do my bit with packaging.
I've even recently come across plastic free, recyclable and biodegradable, brown paper sticky tape made in the UK - I never knew there was such a thing! It's also tamper proof (as it can only be torn), making it safe and eco, both at the same time. So this is now my sticky tape of choice. I got mine from fellow small biz Naturally Wrapt, so I get to support another small biz owner too - win, win!
The gel packs that I use to keep your products cool in transit are non-toxic, reusable and 100% recyclable! The contents are not harmful to the environment, and the outer film is also recyclable.
Festivals & Fairs
I do my best here too. The napkins, cutlery and paper bags I give out with my products are all made from recycled natural materials, and are compostable - absolutely no plastic here!
I ask my customers to help me too!
On my home page I'm transparent about my eco efforts, and give my visitors and customers tips on how they can recycle, re-use or upcycle all of my packaging. I also include this info with every order too.
So that's how I'm doing my bit to give back, and minimise my destructive impact on Mama Nature. I'm not there yet, as I know there are other things I could do, and when finances and knowledge allow, I'm sure I will do much more. Let me know your thoughts, and share any eco ideas you have on how I we can all do our bit.
One last thing I'd like to share! Plastic bottles are still with us for the next few years at least, and it's difficult to avoid them, but that doesn't mean you can't put them to some use. I came across this article, 23 Creative Ways To Recycle Old Plastic Bottles Into DIY Crafts. It's got some amazing ideas in it on how you can re-purpose those pesky things and keep them out of the eco food chain a little longer.
For your peace of mind, Abundance Foods is: