The biggest buzzword of this summer is Plastic Free July, and rightly so. We wrote about it previously in our yearly re-cap that finally the world took notice of the serious situation that plastic pollution brought upon the Earth. This year, it seems that the plastic free initiatives have taken another step forward and made their voices heard – probably for the first time ever for most people.
We run a small company, but like every business, we have an ecological footprint, too, the size of which is bigger than what we ideally want it to be. The Plastic Free July call inspired us to seriously and methodologically start thinking about ways that can reduce this footprint. It sent us on an exciting and challenging quest that we would like to share with our community to inspire, and also to learn from each other.
There are smart guides on the Internet and Facebook that help ordinary people to reduce the plastic in their household, but it is a bit more complicated for a business. It is not enough to find more eco-friendly solutions – we also need to make up for the costs of doing business in a different way. This post is the first of a series in which we will tell about our efforts to solve this puzzle, and yet have fun in the meantime.
As a first step, we looked at ways that may bring immediate results in our fight against plastic. The obvious answer was to get rid of the plastic in our packaging. We’ve long had a policy that orders for over 10 helmet covers are shipped bulk, without single packaging. This helped reduce the trash that remains after the helmet covers are delivered, since such volumes are most often ordered for teams and used at one location without further distribution. Now we had to figure out something to get rid of the plastic when we need to individually package our helmet covers.
Traditionally, we put our helmet covers in a plastic bag with the tag attached through a thin plastic string. It is a quick and easy way to insert the handling instructions and to protect our product while it is making an often long-long journey to its final destination. It takes about 2 minutes to fix the packaging, which is also a factor for a business.
As a first step, we created our plastic free packaging option. We need to be perfectly honest and tell you that the completely plastic free packaging is only possible for the DHL express shipping at this point. It could be another great reason to opt for this shipping along its other great feature, the On-Demand-Delivery.
The free shipping still comes in a standard plastic bag issued by the delivery company we use. However, instead of putting our helmet covers in a plastic bag, we now ship them in a trendy, neat paper wrapping sealed with a call to share your picture and show us how it looks.
It may not seem a lot, but we try to incentivize our customers to opt for plastic free package by giving a 10 cents discount on the final order value.
But we are not going to stop here. Our team is already working on figuring out a way to make the free shipping option plastic free, too. And a little fun surprise is coming along that may help get rid of the packaging completely and introduce a nifty solution for another issue that a lot of our customers face on a ski trip. Give us a couple more weeks and we will reveal that, too.
In the meantime, we kindly ask you to please, consider your decision every time you buy a plastic item. Big journeys start with small steps and if we all do just a little, it can make a huge impact.
We don’t inherit the Earth from our ancestors. We borrow it from our children.