Look at All the Craps We Give! (Sustainable Shipping at Rasa)
Sometimes we are so busy giving all the craps that we forget to tell you about how many craps we give. And by craps, we don't mean actual poo, though Rasa does help keep you regular.
Sustainability is an ethos that runs through the very core of our business. We will do these things whether or not we get recognition for it, simply because it is the right thing to do.
What you may be shocked by (I certainly have been) is just how much our current world is set up to disincentivize making sustainable-first choices. Yes, that is changing to some extent, but if we get out of our echo chambers (which running a business indeed forces you to do), you find most of the world doesn't operate from the place of considering Earth-First.
We aim to be part of changing that.
Shipping is just one piece of this. We also incorporate stringent sustainability practices around our herb sourcing (link highlights like 1/10 of what we're up to here) and packaging (don't get me started on how hard that's been). And yes, we should probably write more blogs about those, too. Like I said, we're usually too busy doing the things to actually write about them!
Here's a little virtual tour through Rasa's fulfillment center:
- 95% post-consumer recyclable boxes - 100% recycled, 95% of which is post-consumer.
- Biodegradable Tape - more than 8x the price of regular shipping tape, and requiring some special efforts to ensure it doesn't melt in the sun...we think it's worth it 🙂
- Compostable Labels - yes, those shipping labels with your name and "Rasa Loves You" on them are compostable, which results in more failures in transit because compostable adhesives break down in a wider variety of conditions...so for the love of Earth, please stick those puppies in your compost!
- Biodegradable Packing Materials - all our packing materials are biodegradable or compostable. On the very rare occasion you might find some plastic bubble wrap in your box, rest assured that it's reused from a 3rd party supplier who sent it to us. 👍(We did recently also start incorporating BIODEGRADABLE BUBBLE WRAP, omg it really does feel like God loves us.)
- Compostable Trash Bags - businesses create trash. Fortunately, due to our hard work, Rasa creates WAY less trash than other small businesses our size, but still: trash happens, and we bag ours up in 90-gallon compostable trash bags which cost I-don't-want-to-think-about-it times more than non-compostable trash bags.
- Minimal Plastic - we're proud that our herb supply chain has minimal plastic, with the only plastic being the bags some suppliers use for our herbs. And we're working with them to use reinforced (FSC) paper bags or reusable barrels where possible!
- Packaging Efficiency - we select boxes that are the exact-right size for our product for the majority of our boxes. We'd rather fit them in tightly than ship air to you, because, well...that's dumb? And we'd rather focus the value on what's IN the box instead of what's ON the box, so instead of getting a fancy box-opening experience, you get a pared-down version that's no more than it needs to be. If we ever do a fancier printed box, it'll be using the most sustainable ink available on the planet, and it'll be simple. You didn't pay for a freakin' $4 box, you paid for some life-changing herbs, and we're gonna deliver that to you.
Other Measures We Take:
- We get pickup from carriers already en route vs. doing multiple drop offs to postal facilities, which saves gas.
- Our Third Party items are primarily recyclable or reusable glass and we strive to work with values-aligned partners who give at least half as many craps as we do.
- We almost never throw away returned or damaged Rasa product—we use it amongst staff or donate to friends, neighbors, and our friendly postal service employees. 😃 (These days, after a quarantine period to ensure everyone's safety.)
Places we can still improve:
- Glossy paper brochures
- Plastic tape from our co-packer
- Energy power from the main city grid - we envision a future where Rasa is operated by off-grid power!
- Gas required work truck
- Some 3rd party products come in plastic or glossy boxes
Hope you enjoyed this walk through one angle of all the craps we give, and we'd love to hear your ideas and inspirations in the comments below!
Author: Lopa van der Mersch