After much research and product testing, the team landed on Green Cell Foam. “What’s great about it is that it’s compostable and biodegradable,” Askinosie says. The outer film can be recycled with plastics or dissolved safely in a kitchen sink.
Currently, about 90 percent of retail purchases are shipped with Green Cell. The company will transition to shipping 100 percent of retail with Green Cell and eventually use the product for wholesale shipping. “We are taking this in stages,” Askinosie says. It’s a significant investment at roughly three times their previous shipping cost, but the company is absorbing that cost in creative ways, versus passing it on to the customer. One way Askinosie Chocolate mitigates its investment is by reducing the size of the box being shipped, which reduces shipping costs.
Askinosie also decided to phase in the new shipping materials instead of throwing out the shipping boxes they have already. “We thought it’s better to start, even if it’s imperfect, than it is to hold off until we can do it perfectly,” she says.
Take Small Steps Toward the Overall Goal
For other businesses looking to reduce their carbon footprint, Askinosie suggests researching green practices within your industry. Look at your model, pick one area you think is a pain point and start there, she says. Start somewhere, she says, “even if it’s as simple as getting a recycling bin.”
“As business owners, we have an opportunity to make a difference,” Askinosie says. “And this is an area where anyone can make a big impact in ways that will be felt for generations.”