Some updates on what NuNaturals has been doing to help create a more sustainable and regenerative plant.
At our core, NuNaturals' purpose has always been "Helping to Keep You Well." When my dad founded NuNaturals 27 years ago, he set out to create a company that makes good products to keep people healthy, takes great care of its employees, and helps to make the world a better place. I heard this a lot growing up: that a business has the power to improve the world.
Being surrounded by the forest, mountains, and ocean here in Eugene, Oregon has certainly influenced our love for this wonderful planet. We have always tried to do our part for sustainability, from being mindful about recycling at our headquarters to repurposing used one-sided pieces of paper to make notepads on the other side. We use compostable vegetable starch packing "peanuts" and reuse our cardboard boxes whenever possible. We recently switched from fluorescent lighting to energy efficient LEDs throughout our entire facility. We are also excited to announce two major accomplishments so far this year.
First: We partnered with our local utility provider, EWEB, to switch to 100% Greenpower. Greenpower is a voluntary program that allows customers to support clean, sustainable energy and encourage renewable projects in our local community. Greenpower allows us to help protect the environment, support local solar energy projects, invest in our local economy, and support projects that advance renewable energy. We are proud to be a part of this program and help fund the great project it supports!
Second: We pursued a third-party certification from Bring Recycling, one of the nation's oldest non-profit recyclers. The Re:think Business certification focuses on ways to conserve resources, improve efficiency, and provide a healthy and quality workspace for employees. It turns out, we were already doing many of the practices that they recommended to achieve the certification. However, a few notable changes we made included adding a commercial composting bin, beginning a "pallet plastic wrap" recycling process, and switching to entirely "green certified" cleaning products.
We feel like we have made some great first steps. But we recognize that if we are to help make an impact with the overwhelming challenges we face, we have got to do even more.
And that's why we were so excited for Earth Day this year. We used it as an opportunity to contribute to Earth Day's mission of "promoting the protection of the environment and its natural resources." We set a goal to plant 1,500 trees and educate school children in the process. Every order placed in the month of April included a tree to plant at home. We partnered with Forest Nation and EarthDay.org to provide these trees, and for every tree kit planted, they planted a tree as well.
We also partnered with Market of Choice, a grocery chain here in Oregon, and our local school districts to put on an Earth Day poster contest. School children from around the state sent in Earth Day themed posters. The response from the community was great, we received over 230 entries! The winning classrooms are being donated trees to plant together and National Geographic learning materials. We picked two winners from Grades 1, 2, and 3 and two winners from Grades 4, 5, and 6 (with a few honorable mention classrooms getting trees as well).
Here are the winning posters and honorable mentions from all grades. We were so impressed with how imaginative the posters were. Some were drawn with pencils and crayons, some were painted, and one winning poster was a collage. Another poster included a poem about the Earth. The quality of work was so high, the hardest part was narrowing it down to pick the winners!
Finally, we are taking action and making a commitment with the Climate Collaborative to reduce the climate impact of our packaging. It is the first of many steps that we intend to take moving forward. While much of our packaging is already recyclable, we think that we can make some improvements. Since the first (and highest impact) step in "reduce, reuse, recycle" is to reduce, we are trying to find ways to reduce the weight, size, and overall amount of packaging for our products. We are exploring how we can use post-consumer recycled and bio-based plastics. We are also exploring different types of compostable packaging, and if or how we can use it. All of this means that there will be some changes coming to our packaging in the future, but you can be assured that these changes will be helping to improve the sustainability of our supply chain, and in turn helping to keep the planet well.
We are proud to make these announcements and promise to continue to work towards a global goal of a creating healthier planet. How did you celebrate Earth Day? We would love to hear from you in the comments below.