My daughter asked me to write this. She’s almost 12 (going on 16!). Heard of VSCO girl? Save the turtles, use metal straws, wear oversized T-shirts… well that’s all I know, I am by no means an expert – but that’s my daughter. So, she was questioning me about the packaging we use in the business for our customers, what happens to it afterwards and what we do with all the monumental packaging we get into our business from suppliers (man there is a lot!)
Boxes, Packaging, Boxes and more Packaging...
We get a lot of packaging into this place! It is the bane of our life. The street used to call my husband the reverse bin chicken – on a Sunday night, he’d go up and down the street and pop cardboard boxes filled with cut up cardboard into all the recycling bins with room in them. We always had so much! Then a year ago we struck gold! My husband found a recycling centre just around the corner that would happily take ALL our cardboard (we thought they just took metal 🤷🏻♀️). He’s a regular – a total win…. AND it makes my daughter happy.
Then we come to the packaging that goes to YOU. I agonised over this. My preference would be to fill your boxes with beautiful brown paper, that you could throw straight into the recycling or reuse. The thing is – our products are, at times, big and heavy. Glass Candles need the ultimate protection, and unfortunately scrunched up brown paper just leaves too much air in the box for movement… and movement means broken glass. We can’t have your lovely smells coming to you rattling of broken glass.
So, we landed on bio foam peanuts. We do reuse any clean packaging we can that comes into us, so if you do happen to find plastic bubbles or bubble wrap in with your gorgeous Melt Burner, or the lovely brown paper mixed in with your soy melts – we are just recycling, but mostly we will pad out with the foam peanuts to ensure everything arrives to you in tact! We do have breakages, especially in peak times like Christmas (and the huge increase in online ordering during Covid) – just because couriers aren’t as careful with such high volumes. I can probably count on one hand (maybe 2!) how many breakages we have had in the life of our business – thank you peanuts!
We have always used these peanuts. My daughter has seen them around for years… but suddenly it was a problem! I, of course, knew that we purchased bio peanuts – but off she went on the hunt. She came up to me all matter of fact (almost accusing) asking if OUR peanuts break down. She’d been googling them, watching you tube videos. She needed to experiment for herself, so she grabbed one, and ran it under water – totally expecting it to NOT break down (I mean, I am not a VSCO mum apparently so why would I use biodegradable peanuts!🤣). I had never tested this myself… so it was kind of cool. These things turn to mush in seconds! Go on, you know you want to – test it out.
They are more expensive, and I hear heavier than their less desirable cousins (therefore cost more to send), but we feel it’s important to try and keep it as environmentally friendly as possible.
We have our making studio in our home – we are lucky enough to have a huge space which is great. It also means that, with all our candle making equipment and bath bomb presses etc, we have huge electricity bills. Having worked in the electricity industry for most of my adult life and I’ve even been to a coal fired generator – I have always wanted solar panels. Not just for the energy savings, but having a big family, a big house and now a business that uses quite a bit of power, I wanted our footprint on the earth to be smaller. So, this year we did it! Our roof is now completely covered in solar panels – a whole 11.5kw up there baby! I do most of my making in the daylight hours, so hopefully we are mostly using the rays to power us now.
And it’s all a big win with the nearly 12 year old daughter – and anyone with a pre-teen knows, those wins are few and far between! Even with a Mother who can give her an endless supply of bath bombs! 🙄