2019 was a year to celebrate many plastic-free accomplishments here at ECOlunchbox! We are proud to report that we grew to serve an ever-widening community of plastic-free users around the world and embarked on several new initiatives.
Our mission is to help the environment by providing the best plastic-free food containers we can put to market that are healthy for people and planet as well as educating about the dangers of plastics. ECOlunchbox’s mission to avert plastic pollution and activate ourselves and others around this issue is the heartbeat of our company.
We’re a small fish in this big pond, but like each one of you, our work in saving our beloved planet is vital. We’re excited to share about this last year, keep reaching new goals about 2020, and hopefully inspire you to keep changing the world.
Without further ado, here’s what we’ve been up to during this last lap around the sun:
1. New Exciting Eco-Friendly Products
We love our customers and we’ve really been listening to them! What we’ve been hearing for awhile now is that our take-out loving customers need plastic-free containers that are leakproof and large enough for restaurant portions. They’ve been looking for something to empower them to swap out plastic, styrofoam and those kraft cardboard boxes that look compostable but really aren’t since they’ve been sneakily lined with plastic so they’d be waterproof.
In response, we created two new eco-friendly leak-proof products in 2019 with stainless steel lids and soft-close clips that are easy to use for all ages. Check out our new Bento Wet Box collection featuring our Bento Wet Box Large Rectangle and Bento Wet Box Round. Now you can enjoy your take-out or leftovers without increasing your carbon footprint!
2. Seeking B-Corp and Green Business Certifications
In addition to extensively documenting our social and environmental practices as part of our B-Corp certification process, ECOlunchbox also undertook re-certification as a California Green Business! As part of our green business re-certification, we made some important, sustainable improvements to our office operations and eco-friendly business practices! We added more energy-efficient lighting and switches, new aerators to the bathroom faucets, switched to deep green 100% sustainable energy source, began researching a solar system for our headquarters, sourced a refillable laser printer cartridge supplier, swapped out bamboo toilet paper for 100% PCW recycled toilet paper, and adopted a staff environmental policy!
To keep going with the greening of ECOlunchbox, we've committed to continue to monitor our water usage and greenhouse gas emissions in 2020, so we can work towards an additional 2% reduction in each area in the year ahead.
These might seem like boring things, but we are so excited to be reducing our carbon footprint and hopefully setting an example for other eco-conscious businesses around us!
3. Measuring Our Environmental Impact
We wanted to know if our work was really helping the environment so we crunched the numbers and the results are in! We’ve sold over 706,925 eco-friendly lunch boxes and found that our products are keeping 47 million pounds of trash from ending up in the ocean or in landfills. This equates to offsetting the carbon dioxide equivalent of 9 million pounds of coal from being burned or the greenhouse gas emissions from 20 million miles driven by passenger cars. Check out our Planet Impact study for the full scoop. We’re also saving families who use our reusable products at lunchtime $435 a year, according to our lunch study! That’s pretty exciting stuff, if we do say so ourselves!
4. Zero Plastic Shipment Launch
We’re listening to customer feedback and practicing what we preach! This year, we launched our Plastic-Free Shipments Initiative! We are continuing to pluck our plastic from all the nooks and crannies of our business operations. For example, we swapped the poly bags that used to protect our silicone lids from dust with recyclable tissue paper wrappers. We replaced plastic tape with recyclable kraft paper tape. Whenever possible, will be avoiding the use of shrink wrap when we send palletized shipments. We are still using USPS Priority Mail padded envelopes but swapping these for something plastic-free is top of our list for 2020 improvements.
5. Local Activism
With the help of an amazing team of local volunteers, ECOlunchbox is supporting the passage of local ordinances incenting restaurants and consumers to stop using single-use restaurant take-out containers. It’s one step at a time in the world of environmental activism, but we’re here to help educate and empower people to reduce dependence on plastics!
6. A Voice in the Food Service Industry
Plastic waste abounds when it comes to foodservice. We’re excited to a tidal wave of plastic-free and zero-waste awareness among chefs, caterers, universities and event planners. coming from these businesses! As a mission-based company, we are happily providing these businesses with advice and education surrounding more eco-friendly options. We’re also excited to work with restaurants and others to provide co-branded ECOlunchbox containers as well as develop special sizes and styles of food containers for catering, take-out and special events.
7. Spreading the Word About the Plastic Crisis
Our founder, Sandra Ann Harris has completed writing an inspirational and educational book about the plastic pollution crisis and how you can get involved! We expect an August 2020 release date, so be on the lookout and get your copy ASAP to learn more about this important issue!
2019 was an exciting year of growth and learning and we couldn’t have done it without our earth loving, eco-conscious customers! We are looking forward to this year with hope and excitement!
What are some ways you are reducing your carbon footprint in 2020? We’d love to hear from you on our Facebook Page!