Our Guide to Sustainable choices
Being a sustainable business means making sustainable choices
Building Commonsense Organics from the ground (or garden) up means we have made a lot of decisions about the way we work, build, create and maintain our stores. The following information may be helpful as a guide to making more sustainable choices in your home or business.
- we use no native New Zealand timbers or other hard woods. Our counters are made of plantation eucalyptus and our shelving is pine. We use Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood.
- we specify sustainable materials for all our electrical, building and painting requirements
- we are actively seeking to minimize our use of plastic as a packaging material. We have replaced all our plastic shopping bags and plastic pottles with compostable bags and pottles.
- all our printing is done on recycled paper or card, using the most environmentally sustainable inks and methods
- we reuse any paper that is only printed on one side
- we turn off all lights and all computers (except the server and back up computer) at night
- our materials for pest control are approved by BioGro
Don't waste stuff
Being a sustainable business means minimising waste and being productive with what we have left.
Commonsense Organics is a retail leader in recycling.
An external consultant measures the use of waste in our stores and the result is included in our sustainability reports.
- In 2009 our waste weighed 54,711kg.
- 46% of this was organic waste which is all reused.
- 38% was plastic, paper, cardboard, glass and cans which is all recycled.
- Only 16% of our rubbish went to the landfill!
- We recycle 84% of our waste and only sent 8.8 tonnes to the landfill in 2010.
Packaging is a huge issue for our landfills
We reduce packaging where possible and will take back recycled packaging on some products. You as the consumer have immense power when it comes to purchasing products with good packaging.
The Unpackit crew have done an awesome job of demystifying packaging. In the recent 2011 Unpackit Packaging Awards they reccommended rating your chosen packaging by asking these 5 simple questions:
- is it minimal?
- Is it well-designed?
- Is it reuseable over and over again?
- Is it recyclable or home compostable?
- Is it clearly and accurately labelled?
It is the little things that make a big difference
Plastic shopping bags are not sustainable!
We are pioneers in reducing the use of plastic in our stores. We have a wide selection of reusable shopping bags - including our own Commonsense bag made out of fair trade organic cotton. We provide recycled plastic bags at the counter (though the supply of these is reducing as customers use less plastic bags) and we usually have a good supply of boxes.
Help to reduce the amount of waste that goes into the landfill by using a reuseable takeaway coffee cup.
The Ideal Cup is a reusable, takeaway coffee cup designed and manufactured in New Zealand.
More ideas on how to reduce your carbon footprint below!