Naturallythinking and the Environment
At Naturallythinking we realise the importance of the environment we live in, after all without nature there are no natural products.
Naturally, we take our responsibilities seriously and examine every aspect of our business to ensure we minimise our impact on the environment.
Our electricity is supplied by ecotricity which is 100% gained from renewable sources. We minimise our usage of electricity by the use of energy saving equipment wherever possible.
Our buildings incorporate designs to maximise natural resources. We use a large amount of natural light and ventilation, to reduce the amount of artificial light which needs to be provided. Our lighting and heating is designed in such a way that during the winter, even when it is zero degrees outside, the heating isn't needed inside, using Natural sunlight and day light to provide warmth.
The production of our cream and lotion based products requires water to cool the jackets of the machines in the final stage of production. We have developed an in-house system that 100% recycles the water, extracting the heat gained during the heating process to heat our warehouses during the winter months and warm water during the summer months for the next batch of production. This one act dramatically lowers our water usage (by over 1000 gallons a day) and our electricity usage in water and building heating.
Our Shipping Packaging, Recycling & Reducing Waste
Our single biggest waste product is cardboard and paper. Deliveries of our ingredients, bottles and jars are all packaged in cardboard, combine this with our biggest shipping cost was packaging it became apparent that we had to do something about our problem.
In 2010 we invested in cardboard and paper recycling equipment which turns our waste cardboard into packaging which is then used to package our products for shipping, not only does this save us significant amounts of money, allowing us to keep our carriage charges down, but has a significant environmental benefit, reducing packaging, landfill, and carbon footprint in transportation. We now recycle 99% of all our cardboard and paper waste and are currently working on facilities to recycle our plastic wrapping waste into useful packaging.
Our shipping cardboard boxes are either made from recycled cardboard, or upcycled boxes we have obtained from local manufacturers that would have previously gone to Landfill.
In 2016 we have started our "Free Containers" initiative. As part of our production process, we have many containers that we have no use for, from 5 Litres to 1000 Litres. This available to our customers for their own usage. There is no cost for these containers, the only requirement is to pay postage for delivery or they can be collected for Free. These containers have uses from household buckets, retro furniture, water butts and storage in gardens and allotments.
Our Product Packaging
We always try to use the most suitable packaging for the product, not only taking into account the environmental cost of the packaging, We must also consider the importance of ensuring the packaging is suitable for the job. There is no point in using packaging which will be environmentally sound, but will lead to problems, breakages and leakages with the product, effectively wastingthe product and result in us resending products where breakages happen, this simply causes more environmental damage.
Bottles & Jars
After much analysis and research, we decided in 2007 to move the majority of our packaging away from glass. The recycling abilities of glass are very good as, however this is significantly outweighed by the energy required to recycle and transport glass along with the transportation costs due to the weight. The advent of PET plastic gives many of the advantages of glass (good recyclability and no leaching into the soil) without the disadvantages. PET plastic has a low transportation weight and requires a very low heat to recycle the material. Increasingly as plastic and recycling technologies improve we are finding more and more recycled content in our plastic bottles without lowering the quality of the finished product.
We also use aluminium for exactly the same reason, aluminium can be 100% reformed so our aluminium bottles and jars are often made from 100% recycled material and it can be 100% recycled again, once again with a low energy input and very low transportation costs.
We do still use glass bottles for our essential oils. Glass in this circumstance offers the best overall protection for the integrity of the oil and in terms of providing a suitable medium for customers to use. We are, however researching other materials for the future which may prove more appropriate and environmentally friendly.
Our Ingredients, Global Responsibility
A significant part of our products are made from essential oils which are farmed throughout the world. Many of these oils come from poorer parts of the world and it is our responsibility to ensure that not only environmentally but ethically that the oils are produced in a manner which looks after both the environment and the people that work there.
Direct work with the growers wherever possible
By dealing direct with farmers we can ensure that ingredients we buy are farmed ethically and with environmental responsibility. We will not for example buy Patchouli from Indonesia where many farm on the terraces which leads to landslides, endangering life and ecosystem.
Ethics & Environment
We will not buy Indian Sandalwood where not only people die for its production, but the trees, which take nearly 200 years to grow and provide an amazing habitat for wildlife are cut without regard.
Co-operatives and Community
We do however love to buy from co-operatives and local projects, where people have come together to find a way of bring prosperity, work and hope to their communities, where their local environment is their home and therefore they do not abuse it.
Ecosystems & The Aquatic Environment
We only use preservatives and ingredients which will break down in such a way as not to pollute ecosystems and the aquatic environment. We continually monitor new ingredients which come to the market which can further enhance our environmental commitments.
As we grow, our responsibilities to ourselves and our customers grow. We aim to uniquely start to grow most of the essential oils we sell, this way we can ensure that our workers are paid a fair wage, our environmental credentials are always upheld and of course the quality always remains what you expect from Naturallythinking