Posted on March 05 2020
Here at Little Big Learning we think that our high environmental standards are what sets us apart from our competitors. But we’re not shy about sharing our secrets - in fact, this is one area in which we encourage our competitors to copy our ideas (we know you’re reading this!)
We are all about helping little humans grow and thrive. Equally so, we’re concerned about the world that surrounds our Little Big People and we’re conscious that every action we take as a business impacts the planet we are safeguarding for them.
Here are 5 ways we’re trying our best to create a better world for our Little Big people:
When it comes to plastic, the statistics are alarming with our oceans predicted to contain more plastic than fish by 2050. So, right down to the landfill-biodegradable sticky tape, we put a lot of thought into the packaging we use and how it’s going to impact our Earth’s future.
The Little Big Learning range of products come in custom-sized boxes, designed to eliminate negative space (so no polystyrene filler required) and therefore take up less room on their way to you. Yes it costs us more money than 'off-the-shelf' sizes but it completely eliminates the need for packaging 'fill'.
When packing our smaller treasures we use home-compostable post packs or we reuse boxes, paper and cardboard where we can. Sometimes you might even receive your order in a wine box we grab from our local bottle shop. It's not always the prettiest but recycling packaging makes a huge difference when you're sending out hundreds of packages a month.
And yes, the aforementioned packing tape IS biodegradable (not to be confused with 'degradable' which is often more harmful than not-biodegradable at all). It’s from Biogone and they also make the stretch wrap we use to bind boxes together for shipping. It costs us more than conventional packing products but we won’t settle for anything less.
2. Plant-based where possible
Did you know that animal agriculture is the second-largest contributor of GHGs emitted by human activity? It also contributes to ocean dead zones, species extinction, water pollution and destroying native habitats. We’re horrified too.
That’s one of the reasons we operate as a plant-based business - wherever possible. We don't stock leather, felt, other animal products. We couldn't believe it when we learned that traditional crayons contain animal fats and palm oil, which is one of the motivators behind our Eco Crayons.
Unfortunately animal by-products can be hidden in all sorts of places like in phones, laptops, glues and even car tyres. So we’re about progress, not perfection.
3. Plants for Products tree planting
Did you know that we plant a tree for every eligible product we sell? We’re proud to say that in our first two years, as of January 2020 we've planted trees equivalent to 20 football fields and captured 839 tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere!
One of our heroes, Greta Thunburg, along with her activist pal George Monbiot, recently appealed to the world to urge us to use nature to combat the climate crisis, restoring nature being one of the key ways in which we can “rewild” the planet and sequester carbon. We’re onto it, Greta.
4. Local manufacturing
Our range of products is manufactured right here in Perth, meaning we’re cutting right back on transportation emissions, not to mention the other benefits of manufacturing locally. Even the 'rocks' on our Rock Climbing Walls are handmade by a Perth local indoor climbing guru! This allows us to keep the carbon footprint of our products much smaller than if we were manufacturing overseas, and helps to support the Australian economy.
5. Changes in our workplace
Always a work in progress, we are constantly looking for ways to improve our workplace practices.
All our soft plastics go to Redcycle, our cardboard is reused or recycled and we wipe our cute little tooshies with Who Gives A Crap.
We do regular audits of our practices (often over a soy flat white or a biodynamic Magaret River red,) and we’re always discussing ways we can lessen our impact on Mother Earth.
If you’re reading this and you’ve got a suggestion for how we can improve our environmental practices please drop us a line, we’d love to hear from you!
And to our competitors who are reading this, get in touch if you'd like any more info on our practises, we are happy to share!
Written by Madeline Southey, 2020