As a company we produce waste. Some of it avoidable, some of it not. Some of it recyclable and again some of it not... So what are we doing to minimilise the impact? Here we will try and show just some of the things we are doing to help, with more ways in the pipeline!
Love it or hate it, bubble wrap is a popular and great way to pack fragile items. Sadly it's also not really very eco friendly. We have looked at several alternatives, but most are either much more expensive or are equally unfriendly. In a highly competitive retail world the sad fact is when it comes down to price, customers will nearly always put the cheapest over the most eco friendly. However this doesn't mean we haven't put some thought into it. We looked at biodegradable wrap. Alittle more expensive but not overly so. However alittle research will show that an ever increasing amount of rubbish is now being burnt and so it makes very little difference! The other option was recyclable bubble wrap, sadly only a very few councils offer this option so again the majority of it would be burnt or sent to landfill, again there is little to justify the extra the extra cost. So in the end we opted for adapting our usage. We now use the large air pillows for larger areas to be filled as these use around 50% less plastic over the same volume of normal bubble wrap. We have also opted to use both large and small bubble wrap as whenever the larger bubble can be used it cuts down on plastic by around 10 to 15%. Finally we get alot of stock that comes with bubble wrap, and we make no appologes for reusing this to get another use out of it... we encourage you to do the same!
So right now we can't cut it out... but we can cut it down. Oh and all our new bubble wrap is made from recycled plastic, helping to create a market for recycling these materials.
WATCH THIS SPACE FOR MORE WAYS WE ARE TRYING TO DO OUR BIT AS WE IMPLEMENT THEM.
YOU CAN MESSAGE US WITH IDEAS TOO!
Over the last few years eco friendly alternatives have finally evolved and are started to gain a foothold. Some require alot more effort to get right and so are more suited to experience users, but some are as easy as pie! We are currently stocking a great treatment called 'O-Care' for spas and hot tubs. Although this doesn't replace chlorine etc, it does help reduce the amount needed by over 75%! Less chemicals means less enviromental impact, and better for your skin and over all health. We are looking at a few more and should be stocking them later in 2019. Look out for our concentrated versions of some treatments where alot less is needed meaning less packaging, and less transports costs and impact. Every little helps!
Plastic containers and bottles.
Due to the nature of the products we sell, we use alot of plastic bottles and containers. As nice as it would be to move away to a biodegradable, non plastic range, it isn't quite as simple as that. Many chemicals require particular materials to resist their chemical properties. Add to this there are very strict global rules on what can be used and what tests they must pass first. The good news though is that all our containers are of a type of plastic that is currently widely recycled. We recommend that they are washed first and if possible the labels removed as these are not recyclable and can cause the item to be disgarded at sorting. As with any handling of chemicals, please take care. A good rinse with a garden hose is normally sufficient. Don't remove the labels until you are ready to wash for obvious reasons! Sadly we are unable to accept these back for resuse as they come ready pack for us.
It's easy to sit back and say 'hey all our boxes are made from recycled cardboard'... This is of course not a bad thing, but it takes energy, chemicals and more to turn old boxes into news ones. We think the key is how many times can we use that box before it has to be broken down to make into new ones! As such we try and reuse as many old stock boxes as we can. Yes they may not look as pretty as a nice shiny new one, but at what cost? So please don't be offended if the box your item comes in originally had something else in it! Often we find we generate more boxes than we have a new use for, so we flat pack them and offer them out to the local community for reuse as 'moving' boxes, school activities, in fact anything so long as they get atleast one more use before being recycled. We have seen some of our boxes given away to 'movers' be passed on several times!
The warehouse and office.
Trying to be as eco friendly as we can is about more than just the products we sell... it's about us and where we work!
We are pleased to be able to say that following a recent refit ALL our lighting is now low energy LED type thus reducing energy use. Our office is fully insulated and we only heat the areas that are in use, when they are being used! Even most of our computer and office equipment has now been upgraded to low energy versions. For instance, our old computer had a processor using 140w, our new one uses just 40w. Our old monitor used 100w, the new one just 45w. Our printers are set to auto shut down after 5 minutes of no activity. Being laser ones that is quite a big saving too! Even our computer harddrives are now low energy SSD rather than older style HDD. When all added up the reduction is suprising. Our paper and labels are made from recycled paper where ever possible and we recycle all our old toner cartridges as well as using recycled ones in return. It's not just about being eco friendly... it saves us money that we can pass onto you in the form of lower prices!