There isn’t much point filling this blog with lots of facts or stories, I think by now most of us are aware of our plastic is killing our health and the health of our planet. People are starting to wake up and changes need to be made. We are not exempt from that, our choices need to change too.
We are in the process of changing our plastic use in our business. It is important for us to get it right and make sure that our consumption of plastic is minimal. Our first reaction was to completely change everything in one go, boom, but actually, the reality has been a little harder. We’re a small business, we make our own decisions and it is quite easy for us to change and adapt. We still found it quite hard.
One of the main problems we encountered was the options open to us in terms of ‘plastic-free’ packaging. The suppliers of plastic free are still catching up — and the options that are out there are still extremely expensive. When you consider the cost of our boxes, £35, trying to fit in boxes, mailing bags, wrapping, stickers and a booklet plus postage, 5 items and a little bit of profit for us our budget each month is still quite tight.
Even without cost being a problem there are still very small or limited options for things like mailing bags — paper ones are not strong enough to withstand being left on a doorstep in the rain and biodegradable ones are hard to come by. Stickers for the outside of our boxes are hard to find too.
So we have had to move a little slower than we would have liked — but then again we are a slow living box so not getting anxious and taking our time to get it right seems like the right thing to do. We have made some serious changes though — they’ve happened gradually over time.
We change the size of our box
This might seem like a weird change to make but actually, it makes a lot of sense. Our boxes change monthly; sometimes featuring books or bigger items other times we have smaller more delicate things. We have started to change the shape of our box to fit around the items that we are putting in, this way we are not shipping out excess packaging in the way of extra packaging or physical box to our subscribers.
You might find that one month you have a smaller box than others, but size isn’t everything and unlike companies like Amazon, we decided that we didn’t want to send things in overly big boxes just for the sake of looking the same each month.
We have a recycled paper booklet
We have moved to a recycled paper booklet. If you’re a subscriber you will have noticed that since April 2018 our boxes have featured a paper booklet — it’s not high-gloss or shiny. It is muted and made out of recycled paper and it’s made in the UK so the footprint is very small.
We wanted to ditch high-gloss and go for something more sustainable and easily recyclable in the paper section of your rubbish. This along with the box and our recycled tissue paper can all go in the plastic free zone once you have your items.
We’ve stopped featuring products with plastic
This has been a hard step to take, there are lots of fantastic companies out there that produce products we love and we know that it is hard to find the right packaging. But we’ve had to make tough decisions and we decided in June 2018 that we would try and limit the number of plastic products — we now only feature products that come in alternative packaging or at the very minimum a recyclable plastic.
It felt right. What would be the point in taking all these steps to then put in products that had lots of plastic packaging?
We choose products that have longevity, beauty or functional use
We don’t want to be a subscription box of useless stuff that ends up in a drawer. That helps no-one including our planet. One of our favourite books we featured was Spark Joy by Marie Kondo — she talked about having things that you loved and lasted. Obviously, we can’t guarantee that every month you will LOVE everything in the box, that would be close to a miracle, all our subscribers are wonderfully different.
What we can do is try and find products that have longevity, that are worthy and not simply ‘tat’ in a box. We also seek out products with purpose and use. What we say to our subscribers is, if this product wasn’t right for you to re-gift it to someone else that way we are all sparking joy and limiting things being left in drawers.
We can all take small steps and they eventually lead to something collectively bigger. We are still changing HyggeBox — it will always be an organic, adaptable and relevant box both for our subscribers, the wider community and us. We want to make sure we are keeping our box current and modern and by changing how we work with plastics and non-recyclables is an important part of our ethos. We must all make changes to support our own lives and the lives of others, slow-living is about living a considered and conscious life not just a beautiful one.