Right from day one of our business beginnings ten years ago we have been very aware of our environmental impact on our precious planet and we are always trying to make sure we reduce our environmental footprint, but sometimes people don't quite see what we do and why. So it is an opportunity to take a mo and write about what we do. If you are interested that is great. If we are boring you, I am sorry - but we don't apologise for our rather basic approach to our packaging strategy!
Firstly, we had the polythene bags in which we send our food products out, printed with our freepost address, this simple (but costly) action means that when you receive your bird food in our 5Kg polythene bags, you can return the empty bags to us free of charge, just fold the bags and place them into one bag, if you can fold it in half, put some tape around one end and it will go through the post as a large letter, or leave it as it is and send back many bags in one postage as a small parcel - either way, it is free for you to do, just post them in your post box or take them to the post office, we get lots of bags back now and when we receive them we check them over and clean them up and providing they are fit for another journey we send them out for another return trip. If they are a bit worn out or subject to the odd mouse hole! then we just put them in the recycling bin. We have followed some bags and they have completed five trips before recycling - well worth doing. So why are we the only company selling bird food this way?
Next there is re-use. We re-use over 90% of our packaging that comes into us, we might wrap a bat box with a sunflower heart bag, or put some bird seed into a suet pellet box, or maybe use sacks for void packing, we have found this to be very effective and it does protect the goods from the rigors of the courier journey we get lots of cardboard boxes and we send out goods in them, generally speaking we are in balance and so don't throw much away.
We try not to recycle much as we prefer to re-use, but some things come into us in single use plastics or in heavily printed cardboard that is not suitable to re-use, so we have to send this type of packaging to the local recycling centre. We get really large cardboard boxes and these are too large for us to use, so these either get recycled or some get to be used as floor covering in my shed! they keep in the warmth, are great to lay on when I have to work lying down on my motorcycles, so keeping my clothes clean (less detergent - only joking!). Cardboard is excellent as floor covering, when it gets dirty, just recycle it, or if it is subject to an oil leak from my BSA motorcycle after a thrash (35mph) around the green lanes of Shropshire, then I can cut out the soiled part and burn it on our log burner and recycle the rest.
Being out in the countryside our business has grown up around us in the same way as we live, making use of what is around us and getting the job done, rather than making it look pretty. We don't apologise for it, but are always willing to listen and learn, so any advice is always welcome, just leave us a comment below.