Sustainability at Oh Goodness
At Oh Goodness, the aim is to produce products that enhance wellbeing while maintaining sustainable production practices. All ingredients are sourced from accredited suppliers and are chosen not only for the properties they provide but also for the impact sourcing them has on its ecosystem. For that reason you won't see, for example, beeswax or palm oil in the products. I also take care to ensure that any products like micas are avoided, where children are often exploited in the mines where they are sourced.
It's important to me that all Oh Goodness products are supplied in recyclable or reusable containers. All jars have metal lids, and these are fully recyclable. The small disc on the inside of the lids is a wax plastic, which is regrettable, but at present cardboard inserts are unable to be sourced in this country. Rest assured I will keep looking! I have heard of them in the UK so I'm hopeful they will be available here someday. The lid itself is fully recyclable as is the glass jar. The glass jars also make great spice containers and the metal tins are excellent small items holders.
I currently send orders out in recycled paper jiffy bags, which are themselves recyclable or even compostable. These do not require tape as they are self sealing and I now use paper tape and recycled boxes for wholesale orders.
I willingly accept cleaned jars for reuse. Anyone who returns jars to me receives $1 off the price of their next jar.
The back end
There is a lot of hidden waste in the supply and manufacture end of a production process. For example, my glass jars come wrapped in plastic packaging, and until I requested otherwise, the lids came in a large plastic bag! I requested that my lids be supplied in alternative packaging, however the shrink wrapped jars are out of my (and my suppliers) control as they come from overseas. Luckily, I have soft plastic packaging recycling available to me here in Wellington so these are currently taken there along with my household's soft plastics.
Ingredients often come in glass bottles - many of these I will repurpose to decant larger bulk amounts into for example, otherwise they are recycled. Smaller glass bottles containing essential oils are either recycled, reused or given to my local lavender oil supplier to reuse for their oil.
Both my main ingredients suppliers are keenly aware of the issue of waste in packaging of ingredients, and many of the soft bags are compostable. If this is the case it goes into my home compost, otherwise they are recycled (where possible). Both of these suppliers provide reused shredded boxes as packaging within the box and I in turn use this in my own wholesale boxes and smaller parcels to protect the glass.
Larger plastic containers for ingredients and oils are sometimes inevitable, and I try and repurpose these into functional items where I can. For example, I have managed to create perfect soap mixing containers out of pails that originally contained coconut oil! I also use hard plastic containers to package bulk orders. These are then returned to me for refilling. I have also taken such containers to my local kindergarten / daycare for them to use for paints etc.
Oh Goodness has been supporting The Ocean Cleanup project who are attempting large scale ocean plastic cleanup. Closer to home, I've recently signed up to the One percent Collective, which helps organisations contribute and manage their charitable donations. My chosen charity (so far) is the Sustainable Coastlines initiative, who support the health of coastlines and waterways in NZ.
Oh Goodness' level of involvement is small at this stage. But as the company grows, so too will the contributions, and the diversity of chosen charities. We all have to start somewhere, and this is where I have chosen to begin our journey.
Sustainability is a daily practice, and i'm always open to new ideas and thinking through solutions to daily issues. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have ideas to help Oh Goodness become more sustainable.