You’ve likely seen the labels on your favorite granola bar, your single-use product replacements, and vegan/organic/recycled items you’ve purchased in the name of doing the right thing for mother nature. Good on you. The 1% for the Planet label is widely recognized and respected, and that makes me feel incredibly excited for the changes happening to consumption patterns.
We’re proud to announce that as of February 1, 2020, Lake Effect Co is a 1% for the Planet Partner.
So when I was chatting with one of our vendors Magic of I about how I could support them in the wake of the Aussie fires, they mentioned joining them in becoming a 1% partner. After about .5 seconds of thought, that was an obvious yes. After a moment or so of research, I realized our commitment to FLOW - For Love of Water would more than qualify us, as FLOW is a 1% approved org. While my chosen partner is not benefitting Australia directly, I truly believe that any commitment to and action taken on behalf of the earth, and all of her needs and wounds, contributes to the greater good. We can stay in our own lane and still raise the vibration and health of this planet.
This declaration also helps us for so many reasons, which simply allows us to do MORE good. It provides credibility, visibility, and connection with other businesses with similar values. Sharing resources. Sharing stories. Sharing good vibes. But it also helps you as the shopper make a smart choice when you buy - are you supporting someone who has the planet central to their business, processes, heart?
“Members of 1% for the Planet contribute one percent of annual sales directly to any of the approved nonprofit environmental organizations in the network. Nonprofits are approved based on referrals, track record and environmental focus. Thousands of nonprofits worldwide are currently approved.”
1% for the Planet shows our commitment. 1% is just the beginning, and it’s an undershot of all the ways we give and consider mama nature in all that we do.
Doing the right thing
A few of you have noticed that we are discontinuing some of your most-loved items. When we committed this business to Mother Nature, that meant walking the talk on all levels. This may mean needing to get more creative on sourcing - in the case of some of these best-sellers, we simply no longer felt like their sourcing was up to our standards. This may mean tighter margins. But what it also means is that we can source and sell in a way that feels right.
When we’re faced with tough decisions, in life or in business, there’s always an answer that is ethically right. We know it in our hearts how to act, but we may be going up against time, convenience, money, etc. At the end of the day, only you can know if you could have done better with your actions in terms of general ethics AND responsible living, but we urge to give this some serious thought.
Ways we care.
Packaging: Without going into all the nitty gritty, I want to tell you about how your package makes it to you as responsibly as possible. We don’t buy new boxes - we reuse. We don’t buy ANY plastic packaging - if it comes in your order, it’s something that’s been sent to us and we’ve reused. Our mailers are 100% recycled, Made in the USA, reusable, and 100% recyclable. The paper in your package is recycled - from inserts to tissue. Can we do better? Potentially, and we will take any opportunities we can to improve.
Products: we do our best in buying environmentally friendly or as low environmental impact as we can that still puts things in price ranges that work for you and for us. We try to hit at least one of the following when we consider buying: low-impact, organic, recycled, locally-sourced. Not all products are hitting this yet, but I’d say we’re about 75-80% there and it’s a topic EVERY time we order ANY product. We sometimes sacrifice margin for responsibility because we believe that impact is important. We won’t be able to sustain a business on that approach long term though, so we’re continually in the process of fine-tuning our products/pricing accordingly.
Not every product in our shop is sourced perfectly. Not every process in operations is one we feel good about in terms of its impact.
We do our best and we hope that our ripple effect, including these conversations help. We believe that by our continual talking about environmental impact, our in-store and sourcing commitments, that you’ll start thinking about this when you buy from other places, you’ll start letting other shops you buy from know that you care, and that you’ll allow us to serve as a bit of an inspiration for environmentally-conscious living. May we suggest that you use up what you have first, be intentional with your actions, think impact over convenience, demand better, ask questions, but also offer support, compassion and not judgment (of yourself and other humans and businesses doing their best in this arena).
First image via instagram.com/mikebalonekphotos. This last image of me taking in sunset at the pristine Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.