This week we're celebrating a place near and dear to our hearts, our first home, planet Earth.
We stand firm in our belief that the Earth deserves to be celebrated everyday, and that our only home deserves more care than we like to think we give it. Too many businesses don't give a second thought to how their way of life impacts the environment. The common thought process is to make more products, make more money, reach more people. And what gets trampled in the midst of that way of thinking? The natural world around us.
As a company whose values are rooted in our outdoor playground, whose product serves to fuel life's adventures outdoors, Wildway strives to meet the needs of our customers AND the environment we love to our core.
The process to incorporate sustainable practices into our business didn't happen overnight, but over years. Sustainability hasn't always been popular opinion or a hot topic as it is now; as innovative practices and products are now being created, we're on our way to improving a planet that has been thrown aside for far too long.
Here are 4 ways we're already working to improve the environment...
1. Transitioning to Post-Consumer Recyclable Packaging
In the fall of 2020 we announced that we would be transitioning our packaging from plastic to post-consumer recyclable (PCR) plastic. The difference? PCR plastic is made from used plastic that still has life left in it. Instead of creating new plastic, we are using what has already been created as a means of prolonging the life of plastic.
Since we began using PCR plastic, we have saved enough plastic to equal 18,680 milk jugs. Placed on top of one another, they would stand at 15,240ft which is higher than the tallest peak in the lower 48, Mt. Whitney at 14,494ft! Currently our granola bags are utilizing this PCR material, but we are hoping to phase it into our snack mix packaging as well.
Due to the nature of our product, we are currently limited in the type of sustainable packaging we can use. In an effort to preserve the freshness of our real ingredients, sustain a reasonable shelf life, and more, PCR plastic allows us to maintain our product's quality while preventing additional new plastic from reaching landfills.
Learn more about our packaging here.
2. Offsetting CO2 Emissions
In September of 2020 we teamed up with Eco Cart to offer a unique opportunity at checkout for customers to choose to offset the carbon emissions of their order.
What does this mean exactly? When a customer checks the box to offset the carbon effects of their shipping, they pay just a few extra cents to offset the equivalent amount of carbon emissions created for us to ship their order to them.
Since September, our customers have helped us to offset 56.8 tons, or over 113,000lbs, of CO2 emissions that would otherwise be released to pollute the air. In other words, this is equal to saving 10,187 trees. Let that sink in. Only an average of 8.7% customers choose to make their order carbon neutral, but imagine if that was 100% how much CO2 we could offset!
3. Sourcing Sustainable Ingredients
What is a sustainable ingredient? According to The Inside Scoop, a sustainable ingredient is one that is "produced and transported in a way that limits its contribution to global warming [and] must also protect biodiversity and ecosystems".
We don't just use real ingredients because they're the best fuel source of fuel for our bodies, but because they're better for the environment too. While many companies get their ingredients from distributors who source ingredients from all over the world, we are working on cutting out the middleman to source directly with the farmers and growers themselves for the highest quality ingredients.
We source from partners who have the same values, like Sol Simple, who dry their bananas using heat lamps powered by solar panels. The mixture used for all of our hot cereals incorporates upcycled ingredients from nut processing, helping to reduce food waste. We care about where and who our ingredients come from and how they are produced.
4. Partnering with Conservation Organizations
In 2020 we partnered with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF) to donate a contribution of our profits in an effort to help better the outdoors. We created our seasonal line of granolas as an opportunity to release exciting new flavors, but more importantly to donate 10% of revenue to the TPWF.
We're experts in making delicious, real food fuel. Though we love the environment and seek to do what we can, we recognize we're not experts in saving and preserving it. In addition to donating a portion of profits from our seasonal granolas, we also give customers the option to round their order to the nearest dollar to donate to TPWF.
We know our audience cares for the environment just as much as they care about the ingredients in our products that come from it. We like to believe that every penny counts, especially when it's going to a worthy cause like the great outdoors.
Here's what we're working towards for the future...
1. Getting a Plastic Neutral Certification to remove as much plastic from the atmosphere as we are creating
What does it mean for a company to be plastic neutral? It’s just as it sounds, for every amount of plastic that we create, an equal amount of plastic is removed from the environment by an external recycling/waste management company.
We can’t completely eliminate plastic from our packaging due to the nature of our product being made from fresh ingredients that are susceptible to spoilage if not packaged properly. As a way to right this wrong, we’re determined to become plastic neutral for the betterment of the outdoors.
2. Transitioning to home compostable mailing bags for our entire ecommerce business
What does this mean? You might be familiar with receiving your goodies in our white Wildway bags or in a plastic bubble mailing bag, but change is on the horizon. Beginning April 2021, we will be transitioning our plastic bubble mailing bags to compostable bags that still protect your beloved Wildway products, but are better for the environment.
These compostable bags are made of recycled plant materials and PBAT. From nature they are derived, into nature they decompose. In just 3-6 months, you can watch your bag decompose into the soil and become food for the worms!
How can you dispose of the compostable bags at home? Easy, throw them in your compost, use them as a “pot” to plant flowers your favorite veggies in the ground, use them to hold your food scraps and then include them with the rest of your garden waste.
Be on the lookout for a new looking bag and the newest way you’re helping us help the environment.