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Striving to be an Eco-Friendly Organization

Striving to be an Eco-Friendly Organization

Not-So-Eco-Friendly Ways (The Backstory)

A few years ago, I put paper napkins on my list for Costco. As a family of four, the package of napkins from Costco can last us well over a year.

Unfortunately, I totally spaced that we bought them. So, they remained on the list.

Inevitably, we bought more napkins (Yes. Even though my husband said, “didn’t we just buy those.” Damn it, don’t tell him he was right!).

After purchasing TWO Costco-size packages of paper napkins, we basically had an end of the world amount of paper napkins in our possession. Sign me up for prepper courses, we’ve already got a jump start on napkins!

Now, in hindsight it would have been best to take the second package back to Costco. For some reason though, that thought never came to mind as an option. We obviously were not thinking. So, thank you for pointing that out (captain hindsight). But, it’s a little late now.

What do Paper Napkins Have to do with Being Eco-Friendly Business?

Well, despite striving to reduce the amount of waste in our home, apparently paper napkins have been one of those habits we just have not broken ourselves of just yet.

However, with our paper napkin supply finally dwindling, I’ve been thinking. Taking stock of just how much waste our household (or any household, in general) accumulates, is eye opening. Here are a few examples of the type of waste that has started to add up and has been increasingly concerning to me:

  • The face lotion tube that needs to be replaced every 1.5-2 months.
  • Laundry detergent containers that hold mostly water and fill up the trash can way too quickly.
  • The hand soap we use, it’s the non-fragrance type, but doesn’t have a larger refillable package that’s more recycling friendly. So, it’s means we buy a new bottle… way too often.
  • Face wipes and cotton balls, these really add up when you take into consideration we’ve got three females in my home. And,
  • The number of paper towels we can go through, sometimes just to wipe up water, is disheartening. It’s also frustrating when I watch a kid dry their clean hands with a paper towel and then throw it away.

While I’ve outlined these things in the present tense, we’ve actually transitioned away from many of these products. Here are some examples of how we have worked to have a more sustainable household, or at the very least reduce waste:

  • Our laundry detergent is slowly being replaced with laundry sheets that completely disintegrate in the wash without leaving behind microplastics. And, the packaging is almost entirely paper (we just need the company to swap out the plastic tray).
  • We’ve swapped out disposable face wipes for resusable washclothes that remove make-up and act as an exfoliator. (In fact, I no longer buy face wash. I just use these).
  • Cotton balls have been replaced with reusable cotton pads. They can do tiny tasks like removing a small amount of make-up or used with a facial astringent. We do, however, need a more sustainable option for removing nail polish (my kids really like to paint their nails).
  • Paper towels have been, mostly, replaced with bamboo towels that can withstand thousands of uses. Not to mention, they are highly absorbent and are great for wipining off counters, drying hands, or cleaning around the house. And, the reason we are here today…
  • Paper napkins. We’ve since transitioned to cloth napkins!

My favorite swap out of all of these has been the napkins. Over the past month, I’ve invested in cloth napkins. And, I’m not talking about ones that we bought brand new. Instead, I’ve picked up a few different sets of fabric napkins at the local thrift store. In fact, I just got some yesterday. It was a set of 12 marked at $6. But, it was a red tag and those were 50% off. So, I got 12 cloth napkins for $3 — that can be used over and over and over again. Plus, since they are second hand, I’m not super worried about them getting stained or keeping them “nice.” They are for everyday use. Woot woot!

Why am I telling You All This?

Well, making these types of switches may not sounds huge, but when you add them up across the board — within my house, your house, and everyone else that’s working to make a conscious effort to reduce waste — we’re making progress.

And, it doesn’t end here. I want you to know that having an eco-friendly business is something that’s important to me.

Image of a wood table with a blue checkered napkin on the left side of it. Text overlay reads “a small change can make a big difference.” -Ankita Singhal

Eco-Friendly Practices in This Business

As a business owner, it is essential to make these same sort of adjustments to my everyday operations to reduce or limit waste (it’s one of my business values). As a product-based business that ships things across the country, and overseas, the amount of packing material used can be frustrating. Instead of adding to the landfill, I want my business to limit materials that cannot be properly recycled or reused.

Here are some ways my business is working to do our part to reduce waste:

  • We ship our products in recycled cardboard boxes, when possible. Plus, those boxes are made from 95-99% recycled materials. And, they’re produced in Colorado.
  • Our packing tape is paper, so the cardboard boxes can actually be recycled and not end up the in wish-cycling container.
  • Reuse of packing paper, when we can. And, I bet you won’t even know the difference! In other words, when we receive a package (most often containing our materials before being made into our fantastic products) we keep the packing materials to be re-used.
  • The plastic bags used to ship clothing are recyclable; just make sure to add them to your recycle bin! We also have clear plastic bags that some shirts are stored in before shipping. Those clear bags will completely disintegrate in hot water; they do not contain any microplastics either.

What’s wish-cycling?

Putting something in the recycling bin with the hope of it being recycled when it actually ends up in the dump because it can’t be recycled.

Wrapping it Up (in Recyclable Materials. LOL)

As this business continues to grow, I’m committed to do everything possible to reduce waste. In fact, I’ve got a couple of ideas for how I can use second hand materials to create products in the future (if you’re here for it, let me know in the comments! Because it’s gonna be pretty cool!)

So, stay tuned. Also, if you’ve got some ideas for how to help me create a more eco-ffriendly/sustainable business, let me know. We’ve all got our blind spots and are not always aware of every single way we can improve unless someone points it out. In other words, I appreciate your insights.

XOXO Kristi

Last Updated on June 21, 2022 by Kristi Coughlin

About Author

Oh, hey there. You’ll probably find me eating a piece of pizza and overthinking life. The good news for you — I’m sharing some deep thoughts about the many life lessons learned over the years. Airing A-L-L the dirty laundry is because we gotta let go of that shit in order to find true happiness. Tell me, are you ready to let go to bring about happy in your life?

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