It can feel daunting when faced with images of miles of plastic filling our oceans; as a planet we seem to have become so dependent on plastic, especially single-use plastic, that it's difficult to imagine a way out. The incredibly positive part of that, however, is that now more than ever everyone seems to be sitting up and taking notice. From the phasing out of single-use carrier bags in the UK, to the chilling images of plastic-filled oceans on this year's Blue Planet, the conversation has started, and that's the first step.
As a company, and as a team, we love and treasure the outdoors. It's the playground for our adventures and the source of our energy - literally, in terms of wood fuel, and mentally, an escape from the four walls of everyday life and a place for us to be free, to surf, wander and sleep under the stars.
As part of our mission as a company we have always pledged to try to limit the impact we have on the planet. We plant a tree for every stove sold to offset the carbon emissions from the wood that we and our customers burn in their stoves, and we champion wood as fuel: it's carbon-neutral and one of the most sustainable solutions for providing heat and energy for cooking.
Plastic free community
Just a few miles away from Anevay HQ, the town of Penzance has just become the first to achieve plastic-free coastline status (part of a programme by marine conservation charity Surfers Against Sewage). This means that as a town they've pledged to get rid of single-use plastics and carry out regular beach cleans, removing plastic littering the shores. It seems like everyone from local coffee shops to big supermarket brands are getting involved, which is incredible.
We ship our products all over the world, and our number-one priority is making sure they arrive to you in perfect condition. Some of our stoves, like the Traveller and Fintan, are heavy and need lots of packaging to protect them. Others, like the Frontier Plus, have glass windows that break if the package is dropped on its way to you. Our biggest challenge will be finding genius packaging solutions that are plastic-free and create as little waste as possible - because after all, replacing plastic with even more waste that requires lots of energy to produce and might end up in landfill can't be the answer.
Our first steps
First we want to get rid of all the plastic packaging in our products. Some of this is easy, like replacing plastic tape with paper tape or wrapping small items in brown paper rather than plastic bags. Some will be harder to implement, as we look down the supply chain and start the conversation with our suppliers to eliminate plastic
We recently changed the paint finish on our Frontier Stove to a more deluxe, durable finish that happens to be much better for the environment. We'd like to take this further and look at other ways we can improve the way we make stoves to lessen our impact on the planet.
We want to take you on this journey with us: we want your suggestions, your feedback, your thoughts on how we're doing and how we can improve. Meeting with one of our retailers (the wonderful Tree Tents) a couple of weeks ago to talk about our Shepherd Stove, we were introduced to a new way of packaging heavy items that involves layers of laser-cut cardboard, moulded around the shape of the product providing a super-sturdy surround that fits easily in a box.
We're finding that the best solutions come from unexpected conversations, from talking to people - so talk to us. Give us your crazy ideas, and we'll try to turn them into reality.
We'll be posting regular plastic-free updates to fill you in on our progress, and hold us accountable to our pledge. Let us know your suggestions in the comments below, or get in touch on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram or by email.
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