Part 2: What is All the Fuss about Regarding Eco-friendly Supplement Packaging

Healthy woman taking best supplements

We are only as healthy as our environment... 

Every living thing in our world is intricately connected. The health of our soil, trees, waterways and skies will determine the baseline health of every plant and animal that calls Earth its home

A crisis of health for our planet equals a crisis of health for its residents and some days it feels like there is too much to be done or that we are losing the battle against pollution and climate change…

When these thoughts of hopelessness take root, it can stop people from doing the very things that can be done to turn around the health of the only home we have.

More than ever, individual choice, responsibility and action need to be our focus...

Often times we can fall into the trap of thinking that our individual choices won’t have any impact on our world, but this couldn’t be further from the truth...

When enough people decide they are no longer going to make purchases that contribute to unnecessary stress on our natural resources, this will lead to changes within a few pioneering companies. When these innovative companies make changes by providing earth friendly options, that begins to effect change on whole industries.

It is at this level that we begin to see true and lasting impact.

In the last decade or so there has been an increased awareness of the need to make environmentally sound choices and companies have begun to respond to consumer interest and demand by growing a Green industry.

smelling clean air

This new focus on Green has led to buzz words such as compostable… recyclable…biodegradable…eco-friendly…sustainable…zero waste and all natural.

When you are doing your best to make choices that support the health of the environment it is important to understand the pros and cons of many of these categories of products. Being informed about your packaging choices will help you make decisions that align with your values in this important area.

 

Recyclable: Used products (waste) that can be made into new and useful products.

Pros: Repurposing used products redirects waste from landfills and reduces the amount of new materials that need to be introduced into the environment.

Cons: Significant amount of recyclable materials still end up in the landfill or are rejected for post consumer use due to contaminants or low quality materials.

What you can do: Remember that simply because something is recyclable, it does not mean its the best choice for the environment. Buying a reusable water bottle is a better choice than using single use plastic water bottles.

 

Compostable: The product has the capacity to disintegrate into natural elements in a compost environment, leaving no toxicity in the soil.

Pros: When placed in an environment suitable for composting (ie a composting facility); compostable items can be broken down very quickly.

Cons: If they end up entombed in a landfill environment where they do not have access to the elements it can take a considerable amount of time for the material to break down. 

What you can do: Start a backyard compost or make use of your municipality’s options for composting. Ensure that only permissible items are placed in the compost so there is no cross contamination from other items.

 

Biodegradable -Any material that breaks down and decomposes in the environment.

Pros: Under the right conditions, biodegradable items break down in the environment in weeks or months rather than years or decades.

Cons: Like compostable materials, biodegradable items require certain environmental conditions to properly break down. For instance, bioplastics cannot decompose in ocean water because it is too cold so this does not help the pollution in our oceans. In addition, plant-based plastics require large areas of farmland to produce the crop (monocropping) and pesticides are often used on these crops, leading to other negative impacts.

What you can do: Keep biodegradable items out of the landfills and remember that plant based plastics still have an environmental impact.

 

Zero waste: The use of products that are reusable or recyclable.

Pros: The ideals of zero waste can promote more conscientious choices.

Cons: Zero waste is more of an ideal than a reality.  Similar to recyclable products, these items may still end up in landfills and always have an end use.

What you can do: Be conscious about your purchases and think about where your single use item or cheap toy is going to end up after you are finished with it.

 

Some other green terms that are often touted can lead to the problem of Greenwashing...

Greenwashing occurs when a company uses marketing that provides misleading or incomplete information that leads a consumer to think the product is more environmentally sound than it actually is.

Eco-friendly- Is “less harmful” to the environment.

Sustainable-focuses on meeting the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations.

All natural does not contain artificial ingredients or preservatives and the ingredients are only minimally processed

The problem with these terms is that they are vague, unregulated and don’t necessarily result in the action or impact that they may imply.

 

At SHINE health our goal is to be pioneers in innovation that is truly environmentally sound...

We want to lead our industry towards a cleaner, earth friendly model that includes significantly less plastic and a lower carbon footprint...

We want to show our customers transparency through very tangible ways that we are meeting these goals...

Our products will be sold in much smaller packaging that is 100% compostable. Less packaging means less waste as well as less impact when shipping the product to your home.

man running outside in clean air

 

We will plant a tree with every SHINE purchase made. 

We are committed to the health of our customers through the products we offer but also the decisions that we make for the health of our planet. We invite you to join us as we embark on this new and exciting adventure.

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SAVE OUR OCEANS CONTEST: We are looking for submissions from bright young product designers to be part of revolutionizing the supplement industry. 


Rules:
- Submit two prototype supplement packaging designs that are environment eco-friendly
- Bonus points will be awarded for creativity in design and solutions

Winner:
- $250 cash
- Design can be added to your professional portfolio 
- Product design will be named after you

Deadline:
- January 31, 2020 at 11:59pm

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Kathy Ryan is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist with over 15 years experience in the health and wellness industry. Her primary focus has been on women's health including weight management, hormone and autoimmune issues. Over the years she has had opportunity to work with and learn from some of the leading natural health experts in these areas. She is currently a writer, speaker and group coach who believes the combination of nutrition, lifestyle, mindset and personalized supplementation regimes leads to the healthiest and happiest outcomes.