Being Green

By: Tawnya Sawyer

I once read that while there are many definitions of ‘green and sustainable’ practices, the Holy Grail of being green¬†is one that takes a waste stream from one system and creates a productive input into another system. Clearly this is one of the most attractive features of aquaponics. It converts the waste stream from aquaculture into a complete plant fertilizer that by itself, sustains a soil-less plant growing system.

But that isn’t good enough. As a company that serves the aquaponic gardening market, we embrace and extend the notion of green and sustainable practices throughout our business as a core value. From the beginning, we’ve reused almost every bit of inbound packaging material for outbound shipments to our internet customers. In fact, if you ever see any plastic or Styrofoam-based box filler material from us, it is actually just packing material we received as part of an in-bound shipment from another company.

This has now become especially relevant as we have been focusing on the packaging for our private label products. At every turn we have asked ourselves if there is an alternative material that is biodegradable, made from recycled materials, or is at least recyclable. We’ve made some exciting discoveries along the way enabling us to launch many of our products in almost 100% green packaging. Here is how we are getting there.being green

  • Biodegradable zip-lock and heat sealed internal bags for our AquaCycle, AquaUp and fish feed products
  • Biodegradable labels for those bags
  • Biodegradable, cornstarch-based packing peanuts (I don’t get upset now when the dog grabs one and starts running around the house!)
  • Kraft paper from post-consumer recycled paper content
  • 100% recyclable boxes (no wax or gloss)

The only non-green element is the vinyl label. We haven’t figured out an alternative that has the aesthetics and durability of vinyl that we will need for retail shelves. Any suggestions?

Is this “being green”¬†approach more expensive? Sure. But we feel that the cost of being part of the problem is far higher in the long run than being part of the solution now. We hope you agree.