Sustainability and a Small Business

Sustainability is something important to me, over the last few years I have gradually made swaps around the home.  When it comes to the business it is a much trickier process, but today I realised how many changes I have made toward my goal of being plastic free.

Over 90% of the packaging I use is ‘eco friendly’. I have replaced the plastic bubble wrap with a paper honeycomb alternative. The tape I use is made from paper, and of course all of the cardboard boxes are recyclable.

There are a few things that are not economically viable to change. To give you an idea we use little grip seal bags for our hair bow ribbons. It allows us to pre make up stock and keep it tangle free.  1000 grip seal bags are around £3, that sky rockets to over £15 if I replace with a recycled version! Everything that is an eco responsible replacement is more expensive to buy, it stings and I have absorbed the cost without increasing prices, because I think is important.  There is no plan B for planet Earth.

NAJB sells a mix of our own designs, we make our earring hangers, hair bow holders and name signs.  We also buy some of our range from suppliers, It’s a bitter quandary when a lovely new stock item arrives in thick polystyrene! I reuse any packaging I receive.  I am talking to my suppliers about making changes with their manufacturers but my voice is quiet and I doubt I am heard.

If you have an interest in being more eco responsible and would like to know more about Plastic and its impact then I highly recommend ‘Turning the Tide on Plastic’ By Lucy Siegle.  It is full of fascinating and alarming facts and lots of advice and helpful suggestions.

Some of my top tips for the home are:

  1. Research via your Local Councils website and see exactly what you can recycle with your home refuse collection.
  2. Visit an Eco friendly shop, they are great for inspiration! I am a regular buyer from an independent website www.andkeep.com. Spending sometime on their website can really get you thinking about the changes you can make.
  3. Make changes gradually, there is no point sending something that is usable to landfill.  I am waiting to switch to a reusable version of cling film, something like Beeswax Wraps. I won’t make the swap though until I have finished the roll that I have.