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At earthYARD we’re all about doing stuff naturally. We think that when it comes to skincare, home care and aromatherapy using natural ingredients is better for our health and our environment. Because we rely on the fruits of mother nature, we feel obliged to do our bit to keep our earth healthy. It’s also just the kind thing to do, but that doesn’t make it easy.
We truly believe that every small step counts and if every person and business tried to do things just a bit better, we’d be well on our way to lightening our collective footprint.
We do our best to make buying and selling our products as green as possible. But the reality is, some factors are out of our control. We focus our sustainability efforts on making what we can control as eco-friendly as possible, and offset what we can’t control while continuing to look for innovations that could provide the right solutions.
Sustainability is serious business at earthYARD, as is transparency, so we thought we’d give you a quick run-down of how we keep the health of our planet in mind.
The United Nations Environment Programme reports that hazardous chemicals and pollutants have reached the point where they are ubiquitous in humans and the environment. With the chemical industry predicted to double by 2030 the impact will likely worsen. Making your own natural skincare and home remedies gives you full control of what is in your products. Sticking to simple, natural ingredients means that fewer chemicals are released into your home and the environment.
Buying raw ingredients for DIY projects in large quantities and reusing your containers will also lower the amount of packaging and waste used.
This one is tough. Our small bottles 15, 25 and 100ml are always packed in glass that can be reused or recycled. Larger bottles (500ml, 1L and 5L) are sent in Amber PET for carrier oils and clear PET jerry cans for water-based products. Thankfully PET recycling has fruited rPETs (a recycled version) which we’re switching to now that there is enough promising data to prove they’ll be just as sturdy as PETs. We also use HPDE plastics in our jars and pails as it can easily be recycled and has been successfully turned into eco-friendly products like playground equipment, road bases and more.
We use plastic packaging because it meets the requirements for product stability and the longest possible shelf life while being sturdy enough and light enough to transport. The only non-plastic alternatives are aluminium (expensive and not practical) or glass (fragile in the mail). Until we come across a fail-safe method of shipping glass in volume without breaking, we really just need to do the best with what we’ve got which is why we’ve implemented the returns system.
Curbside recycling is hard – we get it. This is why we’ve made it easy for our customers to recycle their earthYARD plastic and aluminium for free. All you need to do is fill a box with your used vessels (up to 10kg) and request a returns label through our Online Portal so that we can pay the shipping.
When your used contains arrive, we clean and sort them to determine whether they can be re-used. Part of the process of recycling plastics, especially those that have been in contact with oil is a deep-deep clean. We may be using more water than we would with no return program but we’re saving these bottles from entering waterways. We can also capture water from rain, distillations and recycling in our warehouse plants which can help with our water use. These big ideas are what we need to keep striving for to close the loop on all fronts as much as possible.
If a container can’t be reused by us, we send it off to be turned into 100% recycled PET containers that we buy and use again.
Pollution from packaging is another problem, so we’ve chosen to avoid plastic and opt for compostable and recyclable materials to reduce the footprint of your order. Instead of traditional plastic bubble wrap, we use Geami WrapPak that is reusable, recyclable, compostable and sustainably sourced. We fill space in our boxes using Bio-Fill made from potato and corn starch that is 100% biodegradable. To dispose of the fill, you can dissolve it in water (it will dissolve completely leaving no harmful residues) or place it in household rubbish where it can break down in landfill.
Every shipped order or returns box will mean one tree planted. We do this as a measure to offset the carbon footprint of shipping. We split plantings between new oil-producing trees and trees for habitat creation.
Oil-producing trees are part of this initiative to help Australia increase its capacity to produce local oils. This will help us limit our imports and continue to support local farmers. Habitat forming trees such as pine and native eucalypts are an easy choice. We do this to provide increased refuge for our native animals and to help protect our unique native ecosystems.
We know that these solutions aren’t perfect. But as the old saying goes, ‘don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good’.