To celebrate the launch of Mother Tarot, I am outlining the ways in which my business is carbon neutral and zero waste.
As a creator, I’m responsible for the products, waste, and emissions that I create, which is why I'm purchasing carbon offsets, producing meaningful things that last, and reducing my waste to the absolute bare minimum. And when it comes to sustainable packaging, I’m taking the onus off of my customers and into my own hands.
The following are ways I practice sustainability in my business:
My decks are Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified, which confirms that the forest is being managed in a way that preserves biological diversity and benefits the lives of local people and workers, while ensuring it sustains economic viability.
I avoid buying plastic, and take responsibility for the plastic I buy.
Shrink wrap is important to many of my customers. I take the chore of recycling this plastic off my customers’ by offering to remove and properly recycle this plastic film. This option is available when adding decks to your shopping cart. I recycle that shrink wrap and all other plastic waste that I can’t reuse or isn’t taken by my local recycling company in my Terracycle box.
I am in the process of switching to 100% recycled, recyclable, or reusable shipping materials for all direct to consumer packages.
I do not believe in wasting what I currently have on hand. When I have run out of my current shipping supplies, all materials coming your way, from box to packing paper to labels to tape, will be easily curbside recyclable in many municipalities. That means no peeling tape or labels off your box, and no throwing extra plastic in the trash when you receive your deck.
I am switching from using Uline, a company with hard-right conservative values, and am now sourcing shipping supplies through a company called Ecoenclose.
Reusable packing supplies: I pack all of my wholesale orders with reusable bulk that I have on hand, such as wrapping paper scraps or bubble wrap. I reuse many of the cardboard boxes that I receive personal packages in. I do not wrap smaller items like pins or scarves in plastic.
I buy carbon offsets. I offset my business’s carbon impact through a company called TerraPass, through which I have calculated my business’s footprint, including all shipping and energy use emissions. I purchase additional carbon offsets to account for the decks that I have manufactured. I calculated my emissions through a website called 2030Calculator.
I ship securely to avoid damages, which result in wasted resources through returns and replacements sent in the mail. I use flat-rate boxes and minimums that pack safely and efficiently when packing wholesale orders.
I buy goods locally and consciously. I use zero-waste, eco conscious PNW-based screen printers for my spread scarves and a Seattle producer for my lapel pins. All of my Tarot decks as well as my pin and keychain packaging are printed with soil-safe soy ink on FSC Certified paper.
I avoid extras. I do not include free stickers, postcards, or even packing slips in my packages. These things often just wind up in waste streams because they’re unnecessary and too small to recycle in most municipal recycling centers. If you see business cards in your box, know that I am still sending out what I have ordered in the past but do not plan to buy again.
I make monthly rent payments to the Real Rent Duwamish. Protecting the land, and honoring the Indigenous peoples of the land that I operate my business on is an important part of my sustainability plan. Indigenous leadership is essential—especially when addressing climate challenges—and Duwamish lands make up metropolitan Seattle.
Some challenges that I am facing:
Shipping labels: 100% recyclable shipping labels with 100% recyclable backing aren’t quite sticky enough, so I’m conducting more research in this area.
Turnaround times: Ecoenclose ships much more slowly than Uline does, so I can’t be lazy about ordering supplies.
It’s easier for small companies like mine to make changes quickly in comparison with larger companies. I hope these actions inspire other small businesses to make the sustainability adjustments they can, while we can.