Environmentally Friendly Packaging: Why It’s Important
Chagrin Valley is not just another skincare company.
We are on a mission to make our customers healthier and our Earth a little greener.
We are committed to healthy skin, healthy people and a healthy planet.
We know that from a marketing perspective packaging is extremely important.
While perusing store shelves, whether consciously or unconsciously, many people pay more attention to how a product is packaged than anything else. Since that first impression often leads to a purchase, most skincare companies spend a lot of money and time on creating pretty packaging.
We believe that a company can create packaging that is both aesthetically pleasing and environmentally friendly.
I know that packaging is important to our customers as well. However, our customers are not simply looking for "pretty" packaging they are looking for eco-friendly packaging from a company with an environmental conscience. Our Product Packaging is Over 99% Plastic-Free!
Shipping Packaging Material
The number one function of shipment packaging is to protect your product order in transit. We try to use the least amount of packaging material as possible.
As an eco-friendly company, Chagrin Valley Soap and Salve must:
- minimize packaging materials
- use materials that have little environmental impact
- use materials that can be recycled by our customers
- re-use materials we have received
We believe firmly in the three "R's," reduce, reuse and recycle.
Your package is usually stuffed with our shredded recycled office paper. If you receive materials such as plastic bubble-wrap, we are simply reusing the packaging materials that we have received. It is our hope that these materials can be reused many times before ending up in our landfills.
We not only re-use the packing materials we receive but have also become a repository for surplus packaging materials from friends and family. Although we know that these rescued packaging materials are eventually destined for a landfill, at least they are getting reused before their final fate. If you do not wish to receive any protective plastic packaging, just put a note in our comments box when you check out.
Most of our boxes are from The United States Postal Service. The USPS has "Cradle to Cradle" certification at the Silver level from MBDC (McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry) for human and environmental health. USPS packaging, as well as any other boxes that we use, meet Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification standards.
When necessary use Biodegradable packing peanuts made from natural, organic starch. They dissolve in water and can be thrown into compost piles after a single-use.
What You Can Do With Styrofoam Packing Peanuts from other Companies
If you receive styrofoam packing peanuts from other companies, reusing peanuts is the best way to keep them out of landfills. If you cannot reuse them then call The Peanut Hotline (yes, there is a peanut hotline). It is America's most successful packaging reuse program.
Consumers can call the Hotline at 800-828-2214, for the nearest location that accepts packing peanuts for reuse.
Balancing the proper packaging for our personal care products and their environmental impact requires a lot of research and thought. One function of packaging is to preserve the freshness of our products--in this case product ingredients dictate our packaging choice. Another function is to protect our product in transit to our customers.
The environmental impact is always a priority. As we look at the ability to reduce, reuse and recycle, we also assess the carbon footprint of the packaging across the entire supply chain.
We Strive for Our Product Packaging to be as Plastic-Free as Possible.
The standard packaging for our all-natural Soap and Shampoo Bars is a simple recyclable cardboard box made from recycled paper that can be tossed in your paper recycling bin.
Our organic Deodorant Sticks are packaged in a 100% recyclable paperboard push-up tube--not plastic.
Our organic Body Powders and Dry Shampoos are packaged in recyclable paperboard tubes.
Per customer request, our Bath Teas, Hair Teas and Face Teas are packaged in a resealable kraft paper zipper pouch to preserve freshness. This lightweight packaging is made from recycled kraft paper lined with a food grade polypropylene laminate which preserves the freshness of the botanicals. Although these bags are not recyclable we do not heat seal the tops so they can be refilled, reused, and resealed.
Chagrin Valley Shower Butter Bars are packaged in natural glassine bags. Glassine is simply paper that has gone through a process called calendering. Rough paper sheets are rolled through hot rollers that exert a lot of pressure. The final product is an extremely smooth natural paper that acts as a barrier from grease and air.
The glassine bags are biodegradable and compostable. Just remove the small label and toss them in your backyard compost pile.
The glassine bags are placed in a simple recyclable cardboard box made from recycled paper that can be tossed in your paper recycling bin.
Our gift selections are also created with the environment in mind using Eco-Friendly Green Packaging. We use natural fabrics and fibers and recyclable kraft boxes made from 30% to 70% post-consumer content.
In today's stressful world, everyone can use some special relaxation time. Give a wholesome, all-natural, unique and eco-friendly skincare gift.
We decided on recyclable tin-plated steel tins and aluminum tins for our salves and lip balms because they are light-weight and easy and inexpensive to recycle. The steel in our tins contains between 30 and 50% recycled content.
- Aluminum requires only 5% of the energy to recycle into new cans, compared with mining new ones and creates little pollution.
- Recycling steel uses 60% less energy than making new steel. Since aluminum and steel can be recycled over and over without breaking down, the quality of the recycled product is just as good as the virgin product.
- A recycled can is generally turned into a new can and back on store shelves within 60 days after hitting the recycling bin.
- At the consumer level, each can that is recycled substantially reduces the environmental footprint of the next can.
- Americans could save more than $3 billion worth of energy each year by recycling cans.
- There is so much aluminum in circulation right now, that if we recycled all of our aluminum, we would never have to make more from scratch.
The treatment pumps, available with some of our products, are metal on the outside, but the inside tube and protective cap are plastic. The misters, available with the body oils, are the same.
If you purchase our tins in a retail store, there will be a protective poly shrink band around the lid.
Please recycle aluminum bottles and tins. Cans in the landfill are a wasted resource. Every can that is thrown away is a lost opportunity to save energy and preserve the environment. Reuse tins to store buttons, safety pins, etc. My husband uses our damaged tins to organize little pieces and parts in his woodshop.
Better yet, upcycle your used tins or used glass containers. Upcycling uses your creativity to turn packaging or other waste materials into a "different" product by exploring new ways to repurpose them.
For example, our family paints glass jars for vases, pencil holders, etc. Let your kids decorate tins to store mini keepsake items--upcycling can be a fun way to introduce children to a greener lifestyle.
Our body, face and hair oils are packed in glass bottles. The caps are tin-plated steel. We pack some of our oils, for ease of travel, in BPA free aluminum bottles.
Although glass is heavier than metal, our sugar scrubs, deodorant creams, and delicate whipped butters do not fare well in aluminum tins.
Metals are good conductors of heat and cold and the temperature changes dramatically affect the products. We decided on glass as an alternative to plastic. The caps are tin-plated steel.
If you purchase our glass containers in a retail store, there may be a protective poly shrink band around the lid.
- Glass jars are 100% recyclable and can be recycled without any loss in quality.
- Over a ton of natural resources are saved for every ton of glass recycled.
- Energy costs drop about 2-3% for every 10% cullet (crushed recycled glass) used in manufacturing.
- One ton of carbon dioxide is reduced for every six tons of recycled container glass used.
- Glass is made from all-natural sustainable raw materials--sand, soda ash, and limestone. Plastic is made from petroleum-based non-renewable fossil fuels.
How is glass recycled? Crushed recycled glass, called cullet, is combined with virgin raw materials (silica sand, soda ash, and limestone) in the glass manufacturing process. Since it takes less energy to make glass from cullet than from the raw materials, recycling glass is more energy-efficient than making it from new raw materials.
A Note About Biobased Plastics
We did a lot of research on biodegradable and bio-based plastics. Bioplastics are "plastics" made from renewable resources such as sugar cane and corn. While this seems great, they have major drawbacks. Growing the crops needed to make bioplastics comes with the typical environmental impacts of agriculture, including greenhouse emissions from farm machinery and water pollution from the runoff of fertilizers used in large quantities. In some cases, these indirect impacts from “growing” bioplastics may be greater than if we made plastics from petroleum.
Furthermore, the new bio-based compostable plastic packaging is only compostable in commercial industrial composting sites that are not even available in most cities. This new packaging cannot be recycled and if accidentally placed in your recycling bin may actually damage the recycle stream of ordinary plastic. If it ends up in a landfill it will emit methane (a nasty greenhouse gas).
So, if you cannot recycle it, and there is no industrial compost facility in your area, it will end up in a landfill. Although the idea of using bio-based plastic may be a good one, the infrastructure is not in place to make it a good choice at this time.
For more information please read about Chagrin Valley's Environmental Commitments.