The start of something
When I started Eco Lou it was a bit different. I mean it was smaller scale, it was just candles. My first decision when trying this craft of candles was to not waste, I never liked waste. My exploration of this was choosing vessels from Op shops, I did not want to buy a whole lot of new stuff and add stuff around and then decide it was not for me and have piles of useless stuff. So I purchased a bit of wax and I found a lady getting rid of a heap of her stuff she had pretty much given up on the craft. So I go a wax melter, some tools, the rest of what I needed come from op shops. I must admit I shared the journey with my part time job I have with IHC. Some of my clients and I made candles together, we both explored and enjoyed trying something new.
Melts Come after Candles
I started with Candles then come melts. My first packaging with melts with a silicone mould and fragrances I got with that lady I told you abouts gear. I thought I wanted them cute, I started out using Plastic $2.00 shop bags with pretty ribbon pull strings. They looked so cute, but I realised quickly they would not break down.
We changed plastic mesh bags to these paper pockets that will break down. They do not look as cute but they are better for our environment.
The change and commitment
In July 2021, I made a commitment. I wanted in no way to use plastic packaging. I decided every form of packaging had to be biodegradible. That means once used, it would break down, It still allows people employment to make the products but it in no way feeds the pollution we have no our planet.
You maybe curious as to what I mean some of you will already get it and be doing your own efforts, I applaud anyone making an effort. July was my turning point, so from then on I did not use plastic, I would not use bubble wrap (buy it) and I would use paper. I choose to get a shredder and use paper that could be shredded. I often used paper that was around of not needed. I used recycled paper also and newspaper I got with the local paper and used this for packaging. I also used basic paper it is really good when you have glass and want it protected.
I ended up making quite a few products, in my shop you will see this. I picked out glass jars with lids, I believe they would be reused and if not reused repurposed and then recycled. I also offered refilling of locals airfreshner. This meant they reused the same bottle which is a nice way not to add to the landfills.
What I ask for from suppliers?
We are not quite to where I want to be yet. I am being candid with you. I want and need a bit more to be more sustainable. I am not sure how it will happen, I am not that smart to figure it so all you extra smart people think about how we can swap out the plastic lid for sprays and droppers.
This is our swap outs so far:
- Aerosol for Mist sprays instead.
- Plastic bags for paper bags at Markets
- Our shampoo and Conditioner bottle had plastic and now has a cornflour bottle means it is white and does not match but hey its better for the environment and humans.
- Plastic sash for Paper bag with a rectangle of clear cellophane biodegradible.
- Plastic bottles for glass bottles where ever obtainable.
- Bubble wrap to Paper wrap and shredded paper.
This is no competition, who ever does one change is getting it, I will not use plastic for melts I know they look cuter but cute is not enough reason. I hope my transperency is supported, I would love to know how you feel about all this.
Swaps I still need is lids for smaller jars, I wonder if I should do no lid and just cardboard. I wonder if I should just do bars. However having cornflour lids has made it better with liquids. I would like no plastic lids and metal lids for balms that would be nice. So I will keep trying to rid of every little bit of unsustainable packaging I can. If you have any ideas I would love to hear them please share.