Love Thy Planet - Being Environmentally Friendly

Love Thy Planet - Being Environmentally Friendly

**Updated 15/02/24**

Whilst I pride myself for maintaining an eco-friendly ethos, I’m aware there are areas in my business that could do with some improvement and so, in time, I hope to be able to say that my business and my products are as safe for the environment as they can possibly be.

The world of “eco-friendly” packaging is vast and confusing - while some things can be recycled or composted, it’s hard to find out at what cost in their production. I’ve read articles about how plastic bags are better for the environment in their manufacture than cotton tote bags - unfortunately, It’s not all black and white and your ability to dispose of the final product safely isn’t just the be all and end all.

And so I thought a blog will give you an honest insight into the sustainability of my products and packaging, and what I need to do to become a better business.

I consciously choose to only deal with UK based companies, many of whom use British materials and all my paper products are FSC certified or at very least, sustainably sourced. FSC stands for the Forest Stewardship Council. Any resource certified by the FSC is your assurance that it is responsibly sourced from well-managed forests and/or recycled sources - so you can buy with confidence that you are helping to ensure our forests are thriving for generations to come.

I cannot get away from the fact that acrylic paints are plastic, but any paint I have left on my palette, I will re-use as a primer for my other canvases, and I make sure any solids are disposed of in the bin. I also set up a filtration system so that I can be sure that all my waste water is clean and safe to dispose down the drain. We are not connect to main drainage here, so I'm very conscious of harming the land, wildlife and water courses around me.

To help offset things a little, I joined up with Ecologi, who help individuals and businesses to fund the world's best climate crisis solutions. Each month, I will be donating to reduce my business’s carbon footprint, and planting trees for every sale on my website. As of August 2022, I have planted over 240 trees and offset 0.5t of carbon emissions.


I use two companies to produce my greetings cards, both of which are FSC® certified

My main range is produced by a company based in Cornwall. They are supporters of the Woodland Trust Project and use only carbon captured papers for the production of all their greetings cards. For every card produced, they help to fund the fantastic efforts of the Woodland Trust in protecting our native woodlands. The cards are made with card stock using 100% recycled post-consumer waste. They come with a recycled kraft brown envelope and compostable or recyclable packaging.

The second company I use for Christmas cards or short runs and is based in Wales. Their mission is to make global printing, local. According to the International Transport Forum, international trade-related freight transport is responsible for 7% of all carbon emissions globally. By operating an international network of print labs — connected through their own software — they help online businesses produce products closer to the end consumer to significantly reduce carbon emissions. So, I can have a card sale from the US, and know that it won’t be flying from here to the other side of the world, but will be printed and shipped from a US print lab. They also have a sustainability policy in place, meaning they use recycled packaging and no plastic where possible. They are printed using eco friendly water based inks.


Although British company, Winsor and Newton, have a section on their website regarding what steps they are taking towards being an environmentally aware business, such as reducing/reusing water waste, reduction of heavy metal use etc, I await their response to my question regarding the sustainability of the canvases of theirs that I use (Note - I have not heard back from W&N since emailing them in Feb 21)

I have found another surface I love to paint on called Ampersand Gessobord. Unfortunately they are an American company, however they are made from true high density hardboard made from US-grown renewable and FSC Certified Aspen wood fibers. Ampersand brand Hardbord is made without formaldehyde or harmful VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) unlike other hardboards and MDF boards.


My prints are produced by a company in England who are committed to leading the industry in minimising the impact of its activities on the environment and have recently reached carbon neutral status. They source the paper I use from St Cuthberts Mill in Somerset, who also have a thorough environmental policy in place. Orders are sent out in sugar cane packaging, paper tape and recycled boxes and plastic used only where absolutely necessary.


The majority of my packaging is reused, either from orders from the above companies, but also sourced as waste from the retail Industry. My partner will tell you not only am I a magpie for “little gonks” but our attic is filled with boxes and packaging of all shapes and sizes! My most sought after prize is Bubblewrap!

While my packaging may include plastics, such as mail bags and bubble wrap, I see it as a good thing that I am delaying it’s journey to landfill by reusing and avoiding buying in more.

I do ship in plastic mailbags (some of which are from 100% recycled material) but I will be switching to more sustainable options once these have run out, having found a company who produces compostable mail bags. I have replaced my sellotape with paper tape on my carboard packaging and envelopes. I’m currently still using sellotape on my plastic mail bags in that hope that it allows them to be recycled easier. This is something I will phase out along with the mail bags.

My greetings cards are shipped out in paper envelopes and sealed with paper tape, allowing them to be disposed of in your recycle bin at home.

As you can see, there is definitely room for improvement particularly in my packaging, but I hope to be completely switched over to more sustainable products by the end of 2024, if not before!

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