Today, I’m writing about sustainability. A big word, bigger concept and something that we’re all more aware of now than ever, which has to be a good thing. Without wanting to sound at all “I was into this before it was even cool”, reducing waste, and being mindful about the resources we use has always been important to me. Growing up in the 90s, a trip to the bottle bank to recycle glass jars and bottles was always a treat, and I was very impressed when I moved to London 10 years ago and found that in some places glass recycling was part of the weekly bin collection. (I think my home council has just about caught up now.)
I’ve (politely and encouragingly) schooled many housemates on recycling, and the current state of my compost bin is never too far from my mind. The “interesting fact about myself” I always use in icebreakers is that I am a moderator for my local Freecycle group, helping to prevent useable items going to landfill. I don’t drive, but being honest that’s more because I haven’t got round to it.
So, when Jan, Laurie and I started discussing a craft subscription box, the sustainability angle worried me. What about all the packaging? And the delivery miles?
We had so much else to work out – having zero experience with subscription boxes! – but luckily the others felt the same, so this is something we wanted to try and get right from the start. We avoid single use plastic as far as possible. We’re looking at how we can let members “opt out” of being sent a tool they may already have, such as pliers for the polymer clay jewellery workshop we did. We’ve managed to use only packaging which is made of materials that are recycled, recyclable or reuseable – or often all three! Our little yellow box is made from 90% recycled cardboard, and we’ve loved hearing about when our members have reused them – to grow seedlings and post presents so far – but we’re sure there will be more to come...
When we were preparing to send out our first craft box back in May, we found a delivery company using only electric vehicles, which seemed perfect – but unfortunately for us, they weren’t able to take on our deliveries due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We now use a regular courier service and are starting to offset over twice the carbon emissions for the journeys our boxes do each month.
Of course nothing any of us do has zero environmental impact, and I’m sure there are ways to improve ours – if you have any ideas, please let us know! But in the meantime I hope this helps you relax and enjoy your knack box as we do our best to be one of the most eco-friendly craft subscription boxes out there.
Want to add some (literal) green to your life? Check out August's craft project.