I got this note a while back from Kelly S. in NYC.
I was a bit bummed to see that you ship using Styrofoam peanuts especially after reading your Social Responsibility commitment. Is there any way you can use a different packing method?
First of all, I really appreciate Kelly for writing. So many customers would have just gone, “Hey, what gives? Bramble Berry says they strive to be environmentally friendly but then they send me these hideous, terrible-for-the-environment-green-packing-pellets-of-Mother-
Earth-death,” rolled their eyes and moved on. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to tell you why we use those little hideous green puff balls to get your package to you safely.
First things first, we get it. We don’t like those little green ecologically damaging messy ball of air more than you do. In fact, given that they litter our office, cost us a minor fortune and take up a bunch of storage space, I’m willing to bet we like them even less than you do.
But, we haven’t yet found anything better to ensure your package gets to you safely. We have tried what feels like everything – from the air packets (disaster disaster disaster), to the bio-degradeable peanuts (one broken bottle and they totally disintegrate, ruining the entire package), to paper (heavy, expensive, and doesn’t provide great cushion when wet) to strange, crinkly, weird , cut up randomly odd paper strip thigies with foam inside them (didn’t work) and a couple more that I’m not remembering. Oh yes, and the cut up cardboard strips that cost a fortune, were heavy and left the package-reciver with 5 pounds of cut up cardboard strips. That was not a popular experiment.
So, we do our best. We recycle. We give back to charitable causes. We’re energy neutral. We buy solar and wind power. We donate our time to non-profits. And we try not to waste anything in our office. And, I compost at home (do I get extra bonus points for that?). But, when it comes to getting your packages to you safely, in the lightest weight shipping box we can, for the best price… Green packing peanuts can’t really be beat.
If you have a better option or are using something different at your company, please write me. I really want to learn about it and try it in our company. Anything to help save the planet, one box at a time.
What about popcorn?
I heard of a few companies that use it, and then you can feed it to your backyard menagerie!
I think it’s Wholesale Supplies Plus that does the egg carton method. It’s very cool, I agree! We’ve looked into that idea here but it doesn’t work with our current size of bottles. Given that we have 18 months worth of bottles on hand right now, we’re a bit stuck but we are looking at everything we can do to reduce our environmental footprint right now.
I too re-use all the peanuts I get from suppliers to mail out my own packages.
I just got a bottle of essential oil from somewhere….can’t remember where right now…and it was wrapped in what looked like two sections of a large egg carton taped together to form a little cylinder. Don’t know if you’ve tried that method, but it seemed to work well.
In any case, congratulations on doing your best to be as environmentally conscious as possible!
Thanks for your feedback, especially to Anon with the link to bio-degradable peanuts that supposedly will not totally ruin themselves with fragrance spills. We will definitely check that out.
We used to be able to use all recycled peanuts and had a truck that we would go around to businesses in town and get all of their peanuts. As Bramble Berry grew, that option simply didn’t work very well because we go through so many peanuts now. It is mind boggling to see how many bags of peanuts we use now.
Even the small change to a more environmentally friendly peanut would make a big difference for us, I think.
I will definitely check into the peanuts that Anon recommended.
I think whats important Anne-Marie is that your doing your best to help protect the environment. Every little bit counts 🙂
Hi AM. Nice to see you’ve got a blog going here! How on earth did I ever miss the link on the home page?
It was nice seeing you today. Glad you and ‘the Boy’ are doing well.
I’m off to see what kind of good stuff you’ve been whipping up 🙂 Now that I’m back in the soapmaking groove I may have to messy up my kitchen!
We always recycle our BB peanuts by reusing them in our mail out packages.
These are 100% recycled and provide a great cushion. Not cheap! Great job with your social responsibility committment!
Reuse the peanuts – it’s what I do when I get a box from you guys. I haven’t bought peanuts for years because my suppliers use them and I reuse them. It’s the best alternative that I can think of.
(this applies to BB customers, not BB themselves, I’d imagine)