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Ecologi - Reversing Deforestation with Subscriptions

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Sustainable Packaging Ecologi

Learn how you can help reverse deforestation with your ecommerce store.

We’ve written quite a lot on our blog recently about subscription services and how we’re perfectly placed to provide them with the very best that packaging has to offer. However, there’s one subscription service we support that we can’t provide cardboard boxes for and that’s totally fine by us.

This particular subscription service is Ecologi and we’re proud to say that The Packaging Club is a member. Ecologi is an organisation that promises simple and impactful ways to reverse deforestation and so far, our own subscription has led to the planting of 628 trees and a carbon offset totalling 3.025 tonnes. That’s obviously just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what we want to achieve and these figures, though we know they’ll grow and grow, are just based on the membership of our company to date.

Ecologi performance for The Packaging Club
The Packaging Club's impact (correct 6th July 2022)

Luckily, Ecologi already has many more members - individuals and businesses - who routinely contribute their “loose pocket change” to the projects Ecologi support; there are countless diverse initiatives underway in places such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Ecuadorean Andes, Delhi and far closer to home in the forests and wetlands of the United Kingdom.

What is Ecologi?

Elliot Coald, Ecologi’s founder, wanted to “provide much-needed hope to those who are feeling helpless about the climate crisis.” He knew that, a bit like he himself was, people are armchair activists and he was convinced they would contribute to solving the climate dilemma facing the planet if only they had an idea of how to start. Ecologi was born out of a desire to meet this need and ensure that people’s goodwill and spare change could make it to the right place. Essentially, the organisation is a facilitator. It gives people - individuals, families or companies - the opportunity to support and fund projects that are out there, projects that are already having great success in restoring balance to the environment and mitigating human impact.

Graphs showing the Ecologi platform total action to date.
Ecologi platform total action to date.

Linking people’s pennies with projects, Ecologi empowers someone like you or me, someone who might not have the first clue how to go about doing anything meaningful (aside, that is, from putting out the recycling bin or using a bag for life). Ecologi enables its members - in most cases perfectly ordinary people - to go that little bit further and be involved in carbon offsetting and reforestation projects. And all for as little as the cost of one cup of coffee! And the beauty of Ecologi’s approach is that numerous small contributions lead to something far, far bigger: a collective of like-minded people who know that because they’ve clubbed together and been shown in which direction to go, they can actually have a significant and lasting impact. Membership of Ecologi means being an active part of the solution to the issues facing our planet.

Proactively Restoring Forests with every order

Here at The Packaging Club we want to demonstrate to customers that we’re a responsible company and that we’re serious about sustainability. That’s why partnering with Ecologi not only makes us feel there’s hope for the environment, but it also makes us feel that we’re proactive in running a truly sustainable company, something that’s equally as important to us as our finances.

This means that we recognise we’re in the business of creating packaging which has certainly come in for a lot of criticism – a lot of it deserved - in recent years. In many instances however, packaging is necessary and although we can all reduce its use significantly and assess what materials we use, it’s almost unavoidable to do away with it completely. Packaging actually has many useful functions: protecting and preserving products, for example, as well as making sure they’re transported safely. And it has other considerable benefits for businesses too: it acts as a marketing tool, displaying important information, creating brand awareness and maintaining customer loyalty all while fulfilling its original purpose - to get products to clients securely.

So packaging isn’t going away. Indeed, since the pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns more people than ever are buying online meaning that their purchases have to be sent to them through the post. After a slight slump, e-commerce is predicted to grow next year, and since packaging isn’t going anywhere, we feel that strongly that companies should focus on making it as sustainable as possible.

This means manufacturing it from materials that remain harmless during their life cycle, materials that can also be reused, recycled or repurposed in such a way that their effect on the environment is as minimal as possible. It’s undeniable that there will still be some ramifications and where this is the case, like us here at The Packaging Club, they can take the initiative in offsetting their carbon footprint (through a membership with Ecologi, for example).

Here, for example, are just some of the environmental benefits in choosing to use cardboard packaging:

  • Can be manufactured resulting in no harmful by-products or toxins
  • Completely recyclable: no detrimental impact on the environment
  • Completely biodegradable and even compostable when it does reach the end of its life
  • Very versatile: can be repurposed and reused with minimal effort
  • Can be designed to fit to size: less wastage, reduces amount of transportation and storage needed = smaller carbon footprint
  • No need for plastics: eliminates the necessity for plastic wrapping

If after all this you’re still not convinced that your business can or should switch to sustainable packaging, think about it in terms of your customers. Sustainable packaging has a huge impact on customer retention as well as having a much smaller impact on the earth.

Ecologi Logo

Here’s what we mean. Recently, an annual poll carried out by The Chartered Institute of Marketing determined that consumers are of the opinion that too many companies use excess packaging. Additionally, a large majority (78% of those adults who took part in the study) want to see far more done by companies to promote sustainable packaging. Interestingly enough, CIM also found that customers were far more likely to retain packaging from purchases to use for their own ends, therefore consciously changing their own previous behaviours whilst encouraging the businesses they shop from to amend their own ways. Consequently, “retailers face reputational damage” if they’re not prepared to be proactive when it comes to ensuring that their packaging is eco-friendly. There’s a real risk of a backlash if their efforts are perceived as tokenism rather than integral to their business model and corporate integrity.

The Packaging Club doesn’t pretend to have all the answers when it comes to tackling climate change, but we’re confident that we can be part of your business’ quest to be environmentally responsible. We can do that by supplying you with carefully sourced, sustainable packaging and solutions such as our FlyPak that will genuinely reduce void fill consumption and help consolidate and reduce wasteful packaging practices.

Additionally, we hope that our affiliation with the brilliant guys over at Ecologi will show that we’re deadly serious about doing our bit to offset our carbon footprint. And we know as yet that it’s only a ‘bit’. However, we hope that by taking this first step, we’ll soon be striding towards a brighter, greener future, for ourselves, for our businesses, for our future generations. And also, for our cardboard boxes.

This article was written by...

Joe Wille

Director at The Packaging Club.

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