What is Sustainability?
Sustainability is mostly known as the ability to maintain and support a process over time and continuously. However, there are 3 dimensions when it comes to sustainability: environmental, economic, and social.
When companies/brands use the term sustainability, it mostly refers to the maintenance and wellbeing of their processes, manufacturing, profits, and workers in accordance to the environment.
Sustainability to me means going out of your way to make those impactful changes, whether you use kraft packaging instead of plastic, invest in outsourcing to local manufactuers instead of that cheaper overseas option, or choose eco-friendly materials for your products. Every small step is significant and adds up in the end.
Wanna know a secret? I didn't start selling my products until I had a good understanding of how to make, package, and ship them sustainably. I care so so much about our planet and every action that I take has a lot of thought behind its impact on the earth. I'm crazy dedicated and live this lifestyle so much that sometimes I forget that other people may not have even heard of sustainability!
Each order uses eco-friendly methods and materials. All of my packaging is/can be reused/repurposed/recyclable. I use kraft envelopes and boxes, and soy-based ink for my stamps. My shipping labels and green circle packaging stickers use heat/no ink. If you receive plastic/cellophane bags/tissue paper/excess packaging from me, I am reusing them from another small business or purchase (making sure that they are clean before putting your products in of course).
I also hold off on making some products because they aren't made sustainably or I haven't fully completed my research on how to make them sustainably. This is sad since I see other small businesses making them despite the sustainability of the processes, but I know that in the long run it's worth it and I'll get there eventually.
MadeItMikayla is proud to be a member of the EcoEnclose EcoAlly Community$20 of EcoEnclose
EcoEnclose manufactures eco-friendly packaging and shipping supplies, including some made from 100% post-consumer waste. They also offer custom packaging. You can even calculate your sustainability savings from using EcoEnclose supplies.
MadeItMikayla is proud to be a member of the Noissue Eco Packaging Alliance.Read about the alliance
NoIssue helps makers, brands, and businesses by providing access to custom, sustainable packaging. All noissue packaging is Compostable, Reusable, and/or Recyclable. I'd recommend reading their about page to learn more about these terms (they're totally transparent about this!).
How can I be a Sustainable Small Business?
Reducing your packaging to minimal essentials and working with what you already have are always best, think about what is really really necessary and isn't just cute. However, if you must use additional supplies, there are some brands that sustainaly make packaging and shipping materials, such as EcoEnclose or Noissue.
Make sure to do your research and don't just buy from a brand because you see other small biz owners using it.
How can I be a Sustainable Human Being?
Remember that the best way to be sustainable as a consumer is to use up what you already have first before purchasing more. Do your research to make sure companies aren't greenwashing you, and check that these companies actually follow what they claim in all parts of their businesses. When you're ready to make a sustainable swap, you can check out my recommendations below.
Get a Free Grove Gift Basket
Grove Collaborative curates over 150 sustianable brands to help transform household and personal care products so we can have a clean home and clean planet.
Every order is plastic neutral and every shipment is carbon neutral. Their goal is to be 100% plastic free by 2025.
Everything available at Grove has met standards for non-toxicity, efficacy, sustainability, and is cruelty-free.
Brightly helps consumers make sustainable living and conscious choices easier, no matter where they are on their sustainability paths (beginner to expert).
They're all about sustainability, responsibility, and community.
Brightly is Climate Neutral Certified.
They handpick items in their shop from other small businesses that are ethically and sustainably created around the world in both methods and materials. They have a podcast and community app.
Zero Waste Store provides consumers with trustworthy sustainable brands and household products. It's their goal to change the way we consume today for a more sustainable tomorrow.
They contribute to 1% for the Planet, Terracycle, and other environmental networks.
I personally enjoy their emails with quick info and facts because I learn something almost every day.
Read more about their mission.
Forks Over Knives gives a fresh perspective on food and diets, changing people from animal-based to plant-based meals to help eliminate or control diseases like cancer and diabetes.
I personally enjoy their emails including recipes and tips for a plant-based diet and lifestyle.
I watched the film in college and it basically started me on my path of sustainability, totally recommend!
Watch the documentary film.
15% off MantraBand
MantraBand is a proud member of 1% For The Planet and donates at least 1% of annual sales to non-profit organizations to protect, preserve, and restore the natural environment.
They use kraft packaging for their inspirational and empowering jewelry pieces. They're high quality and beautiful reminders, and I've purchased many pieces myself!
Pela created the world's first compostable phone case and they didn't stop there. The cases' bases are made from flax shive and a plant based biopolymer.
They also release a Sustainability Saturday email every week that I personally enjoy reading.
Lomi turns your food waste into nutrient-rich dirt to give back to the earth. It's on my wishlist for when I get my own house! (but don't wait like me)
Every Action Counts, No Matter How Small
There are tons more beginner level/easy actions that you can take, but here are 8 easy ones that I personally recommend. The best way to start taking action is knowing that your sustainability path will not be perfect and that every little action that you take counts and helps!
Small steps are significant.
Easy Eco-Friendly Actions for Earth Day and Every Day:
♻️ Recycle and Compost
🧼 Buy Bar instead of Bottled
💦 Use a Reusable Water Bottle
🏺 Avoid Plastic Products and Packaging
🥦 Eat more Veggies and Fruit
🏷️ Purchase more from Thrift Stores and Secondhand
💌 Shop Local and Small
🤔 Be Conscious of your Actions and Choices