At Succulents Box, we are committed to minimizing our carbon footprint on mother earth. Below are a few changes that we have implemented at our workplace this past year in order to make our business more environmentally friendly.
Switch from plastic packaging to mostly paper packaging
Shipping our plants on time and ensuring that they are delivered in their best condition is our top priority. Therefore at Succulents Box, our research and development team is always busy improving our packaging method and searching for the most sustainable packaging materials. Up to the beginning of this year, we were still using a lot of bubble wrap to wrap our plants. Bubblewrap is very accessible, and it provides the much needed cushioning for our fragile succulents and ceramic pots. However, being plastic, it does not allow good ventilation and is not eco friendly. Therefore, we decided to switch to tissue paper, which is more expensive, but more friendly to our environment. Our succulents seem to like the tissue paper much better as it allows them to breathe better and is more gentle on their sensitive leaves. Until we can find a better alternative to bubblewrap, however, we will still use them for the ceramic and terracotta pots.
Beside the bubblewrap, we also said bye to laminated boxes and hi to kraft boxes. Our high quality kraft boxes are 100% reusable, recyclable and compostable. We will switch to matte instead of glossy finish on the care instruction cards, postcards, id cards and other paper inserts starting January 2022 as well.
Moreover, our packing peanuts are made of natural, nontoxic corn starch, which makes them totally biodegradable and safe if accidentally eaten by your pets or babies! They can be disposed of by adding them to your compost pile, or dissolving them in warm water.
Reduce, reuse and recycle
At Succulents Box, we take the 3 R’s of recycling very seriously. Many of our plants need to be barerooted for shipping, resulting in a large amount of nursery pots, trays and soil everyday. All the emptied plastic pots and trays are returned to our growers so they can be used for new plants. Meanwhile, the soil is sifted to remove any roots, dry leaves and unwanted impurities. It is then either sent back to our growers to be reused, or used for landscaping around our office property. As for landscaping, we use mostly drought tolerant plants to save on watering, particularly succulents from returns or plants that could not pass quality control. Any plants that recover would either go back in our stock, or be donated to local charities.
We try to reuse and recycle all packaging materials from supply orders and returns. All paper boxes are broken down and taken to the local recycling facility weekly. All inserts such as airbags, bubblewrap, shredded papers, peanuts, cardboard dividers are reused. Wooden pallets from big supply shipments are reused in our greenhouses as tables. The backing of our shipping labels and old documents are shredded and used as cushioning in our packaging. At our office, we use electronic documents and videos whenever possible, especially when it comes to long documents such as employee handbooks, company policies and training materials.
Energy efficiency upgrades
Except for the graphic design teams that need strong desktops, all of our office staff are provided with laptops which are 20% more energy efficient. To reduce wasted energy, we use smart thermostats to control our office’s temperature and take advantage of the big windows for natural lights and airflow. This way we do not need to keep the lights on and the air conditioner running all day. Our greenhouses have 70% shade cloths to filter out UV lights and keep the interior of the greenhouses cool, making it more comfortable for our plants and staff, especially on hot summer days. Sunlight is abundant in Southern California where we are, therefore in early 2022, we will install solar panels to generate green electricity for our office operations.
Give back and support small local businesses.
Kindness and giving back are our core values since day 1. Every year, we donate thousands of dollars to charities, particularly education and environment charities. In 2020, we donated $10,000 to One Tree Planted to support their reforestation effort. A tree is planted with every dollar donated across 43+ countries in North America, Latin America, Africa, Asia, Europe and the Pacific.
We are also a proud partner of Arcadia since 2021, a climate-change-fighting tech company with the mission to reimagine the closed, complex way of powering our homes and businesses. Every new subscriber to Arcadia through our website would receive a $50 Succulents Box gift card!
Last but not least, we support small and local businesses, which helps minimize the transportation costs and fuel. Handcrafted artisanal products such as jewelry, candles, soaps, pots, and fertilizers are periodically featured in our gift boxes.
Maintaining a sustainable and environmentally responsible business is not easy. Succulents Box pledge to be a clean and green company and hope that we will set an example for others to follow.
See more about 2021 Holiday Gift Guide
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