I have spent years creating work for food and beverage companies. Work that I am really proud of! But admittedly, there has been a certain pain that comes with seeing that work printed on plastic and plastic-lined products. It may seem dramatic, but it feels at times like a my own personal little design endorsement on an earth-damaging piece of garbage. I super hate it.
Then I had this revelation that, wait a second, I own this business. I can call whatever shots I want, and make business decisions that line up with my own personal values. For all the trials and stresses of running a small business, this is absolutely one of the ultimate perks.
So, A Name Brand Co. now has a provision in our contract that we will only work with sustainable, earth-friendly food packaging. You opening a coffee shop and want us to design the brand and subsequent artwork for your go-cups? Then you’ll be ordering your cups through our approved print vendors. If that’s not a commitment you can make, then we will be politely declining the project.
We are thrilled about our packaging partner, Innocent Packaging. Tony and his team are doing incredibly important, innovative work in bioplastics. Absolutely everything they produce is 100% compostable and plant-based. And the products are so dang high quality, we would want to use them regardless. Plus, they’re based in New Zealand, where some of their baseline product designs feel super different and interesting to those of us here in the states.
”But Sarah! Doesn’t working with a New Zealand-based company increase your footprint via shipping?!” What a great question / thinly-veiled-accusation, dear reader! No, it doesn’t. Their production facilities are in China just like everyone else’s, so shipping plant-based, 100% compostable food packaging products produces the same carbon footprint as the non-compostable, pure plastic counterparts from other vendors.
Here’s the main thing. The main point, for me. I feel like we all want things to be better, to be different. But we fail to realize sometimes that we ourselves can make small, actionable decisions to incite that change. It’s like we are all rallying together, ready to respond and react when someone else, somewhere else, incites some BIG change on a HIGH-UP level... and we’re super ready to get on board once that huge change trickles down to us.
But it doesn’t always work that way.
It’s us... individuals, small business owners, whoever... realizing that we are completely empowered to make these kinds of decisions and start making change in small ways. And if enough of us make a lot of tiny decisions that make a lot of tiny bits of good happen... that adds up to something. And we have to do it.