7 Ways We Reduce Our Company's Carbon Footprint
A juicy pink shade catches your eye. The lack of undesirable ingredients seals the deal. But have you ever thought about the carbon footprint of your makeup? That beautiful pink lipstick may be perfectly safe for your health but, if it was packaged in materials that were harmful to our environment after it has been discarded, or the company upheld operational practices that only fuels climate change...it's worth reconsidering.
The world we leave to our children tomorrow depends on what we buy, consume and throw away today. This is why the Founders and team at Hynt Beauty are committed to trying to reduce our carbon footprint and minimizing the impact we have on Mother Earth, as much as we possibly can.
However, there’s no way around it; reducing a product company's carbon footprint is a tough challenge for everyone. This is especially true for small businesses and startups where the revenue margins are lower and must be reinvested back into the company's operations, growing needs and staff, and expanding inventory. Not only that, but when it comes to packaging, formulations, shipping, etc., eco-friendly materials and sustainable operational practices get very pricey especially when you can only buy in smaller quantities. Therefore, even with us, we still do have a variety of changes that we are still wanting to make but haven't the capacity to do quite yet.
While we are much aware that we do fall short of what we wish we could do eventually, we arealso happy and proud of what we have put into place to date! We wanted to share such practices and habits with you and with other small business owners and staffers, in hopes to further inspire changes that are slightly more budget-conscious and much easier to activate, than say, what the Zara's and IKEA's of the world can do (like internally owning the entire supply chain from farm to t-shirt).
Packaging and Shipping
Let's start with a bigger one that you are most likely familiar. While online shopping has made it easy for you to purchase anywhere, anytime, there's a lot more that goes into your trash bin than if you were out shopping and consolidating into one big bag along the way.While we are not Amazon, which ships average 1.6 million boxes A DAY (26 million boxes in one day at its peak in 2016), we do ship anywhere from dozens to hundreds of packages each day and the last thing we want is for those boxes and packing materials to accumulate in a trash heap somewhere for decades to come.
Our padded envelopes and shopping boxes are all made from recycled materials. We even re-use boxes if this doesn’t jeopardize the integrity of the shipment. Recycled materials are more delicate and there are only so many uses a box can take before it starts to fall apart.
The products inside are safely cushioned among a sea of biodegradable, non-toxic peanuts. They work as well as traditional peanuts but decompose in water so that they don't end piling up in landfills.
We also pack a little thank you note with every order, a small gesture to let you know how much we appreciate all your love and support. This note is printed on biodegradable wheat straw paper so it won’t hurt the planet if you decide to toss our love away...(we're just kidding on the love part).
Shopping locally is something everyone, including businesses, should do to reduce their carbon footprint!We’re pleased to say that we buy many of our materials and supplies locally! In fact, most of our contract manufacturers are located nearby, right here in the state of New Jersey! This allows us to regularly go onsite to check on production, which reduces shipping time, costs and allows us to be more mindful of our impact on the planet.
We do manufacture a small handful of our products, such as our luxurious Forte High Definition Eyeliner pencil abroad because we haven’t found a manufacturer that can guarantee the same quality, closer to home -- but we're still on the lookout.
Bookkeeping is the boring part of business no one likes to talk about but it’s the one with the potential to generate the most wastage. When an order comes through the website, we print it. Although it may seem unnecessary in the digital age, having a hard copy of all your invoices is essential for companies that does its own fulfillment. We currently still do our own fulfillment as it is important to us that we have complete control over the way orders are packed to ensure accuracy and safety of the product even when the delivery service handles it roughly along the way.
We print out all our orders on biodegradable wheat straw paper, too, and both sides at that. On the other hand, when our vendors email us our invoices, we have them sent directly to our virtual bookkeeper, Bettia, who then enters the information in our bookkeeping software. No paper is generated in that process.
Recycling is one of the easiest things each and everyone of us can do to help preserve our planet. There’s simply no excuse not to! Our company is very strict on this point: all glass, plastics and paper go into the appropriate recycling bins. Paper that contains private or confidential information are shredded before being tossed. We take security seriously, too!
How often do you leave the lights on when you move to another room? Not only does this make your electricity bill spike up, it also contributes to climate change. The rules at our office and also personally with our families are clear: if an area is not being used, turn that light off!
In case you’re wondering, we have similar rules for heating and cooling our workspace. If something isn’t being used, it’s turned off.
Traveling for work is very common these days. For some of us, it’s an exciting opportunity that allows us to mix business with pleasure while for others an inconvenience that takes us away from our families. But have you ever spared a second thought for the pollution generated by all this frequent flying?
Our founder, Meryl Marshall, used to travel all over the country for staff trainings before realizing the huge toll it was taking on herself, her finances and the planet. These days, she saves a lot of money, time and energy by doing Skype and Facetime calls!
Disposal of expired goods
Cosmetic companies are faced with tough decisions and choices on a regular basis and this is rarely more felt than when we have to dispose of goods that haven’t sold in time prior to the expiry date.
One of the ways in which we minimize the amount of expiring goods is to limit our color selection to only the most popular of shades. Although we understand this can be incredibly frustrating to consumers who are looking for the perfect foundation or concealer shade, the truth of the matter is that cosmetic companies can’t just simply order the amount of product they need. When doing production runs, manufacturers require a certain minimum order quantity to be met and these numbers can go in the thousands. If a shade doesn’t sell as well as others, it becomes an inventory liability and a huge waste.
But even when inventory is carefully and consciously managed, it’s unrealistic to expect every single product to be sold. When disposing of expired goods, we painstakingly take everything apart and recycle as many parts as we can. However, we do take precautions. For example, when we notice that a particular product or shade isn’t selling well, we don’t wait until the last moment to dispose of it. Instead, we act at that moment to donate them to women, schools, or causes so they can enjoy them for many months before they reach their expiration dates.
We firmly believe that small businesses should do their part in preserving this beautiful planet we live in and sincerely hope that we can continue to inspire you and others to reconsider your own carbon footprint! We'd also love it if you can share with us your practices or habits that we may be able to integrate, too!
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