Wherever possible we aim to minimise our impact environmentally.
We recycle all packaging - for example in over 12 years we have never bought any bubble wrap, we simply reuse the packaging sent to us by suppliers, or use shredded paper. Our cardboard boxes are recycled to send goods out, or given away for re-use usually for house moves, often by members of www.freecycle.org
a useful place for recycling your unwanted items.
However due to the volume of orders and in order to protect your goods we do have to buy in some new plastic pouches, and for these we have chosen an environmentally friendly compostable bag made from sugar cane, potato starch and other renewable resources that can be converted into chemicals and polymers using conversion processes similar to those of traditional polythene. These bags conform to EN 13432 environmental standard. This means in an industrial composter (council collected green waste) these bags will biodegrde within 3 months, longer in a home compost bin which doesn't reach the same high temperatures.
As additional protection we also wrap your order in tissue paper which can be recycled or composted.
However, these bags are not the strongest, and for larger, heavier packages we use a very local company that manufacture plain grey bags using largely recycled industrial plastic waste. This company make in quantity for mail order companies and we buy surplus left over from their manufacturing runs, so can be a bit random in sizing. These bags can be recycled via the plastic recycling bins found at many supermarkets, which is a great way of recycling these. Waitrose use their plastic waste to make benches which are donated to local community projects. We like the idea that this is a product re-using plastic waste, and being very local is handy as well as minimal transportation miles.
In summer months or where we know we will have dry weather, we may also at times use Kraft paper bags. We don't use these in wet weather as they tend to disintegrate in heavy rain and wouldn't want your nappies to get damaged. They're also a lot heavier to ship to us, and we are concerned about the environmental cost of creating the bags in the first instance, but they're from a FSC accredited source.
For paper we use recycled or more usually an FSC approved paper where the central core of the paper is recyled, sandwiched between two layers of paper from FSC appoved wood sorces, this minimises the use of water and bleach in preparing a suitable surface for print and the fresh paper is from a properly managed wood source. Much of our printing is using solid ink (Xerox Phaser 8550 printer), this minimises waste as the ink is supplied in solid blocks in paper cartons that is recycled, we also use a laser printer and recyled cartirdges (Viking own brand) which are sent for recycling once used.
We maintan 2 acres of grass meadow - this is cut for hay annually, and one acre of bluebell woodland to offset our carbon usage, and have 4kw solar panel system on the roof, which generates more electricity than we use.