Written by Lea Coté LEED Green Associate and Sustainability Officer for Botanical PaperWorks Since Botanical PaperWorks was certified Climate Smart in 2019, we have been working hard in all areas to bring down our carbon footprint and continuously improve our eco-journey. For Waste Reduction Week and Circular Economy Month, we want to celebrate some of the ways Botanical PaperWorks has been reducing waste. Let these ideas inspire you to embrace sustainable practices in your own life and business endeavors. 1. Making seed paper products with recycled paper waste One way to make a drastic impact on our environment is to reduce and stop sending items to our landfills. Seed paper is made with post-consumer and post-industrial waste embedded with seeds so it can be planted to grow beautiful wildflowers which are beneficial to pollinators. No waste is left behind. When our customers choose seed paper products instead of items made with virgin paper or plastic, we are partnering with them to reduce the amount of waste in the world! 2. Composting our organic waste Since April 2023, Botanical PaperWorks has been collecting our organic waste for pickup with a local social enterprise, Compost Winnipeg. To date, we have collected and diverted over 1166 lbs of organics from our landfill. This is equivalent to half an acre of forest sequestering carbon for a whole year! 3. Educating our staff As we learn more ways to reduce our impact, we want to ensure all our employees are well-informed, engaged, and equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to implement sustainable practices throughout our company. We hold staff presentations, make helpful waste diversion signage, and even have a company recycling inquiry board to answer any waste questions. 4. With greener shipping Reusing shipping boxes We currently collect our incoming shipping boxes and repurpose them for packaging our product orders. Like our seed paper process, we want to give these boxes new life by packaging customer orders in good condition boxes, thereby reducing the number of boxes we order for shipping too. Eco-friendly box filler We repurpose shredded seed paper cutoffs into a lighter, more eco-friendly packaging material. Plantable box filler reduces plastic, protects products, and provides the customer with a little extra gift of colorful seed paper to plant. Reducing our cutoff waste, and finding a better alternative to shipping materials makes sense. Properly sized materials In addition to reusing boxes and making box filler, we also aim to minimize excess material in your shipments. Shipping air inside orders by choosing oversized boxes adds weight and emissions. You may have encountered interesting-sized shipping packaging before. At Botanical PaperWorks, we make sure that each order is carefully assessed and packaged with precision. 5. Having waste diversion events & community clean-ups Reducing waste goes beyond our products so we find ways to have an impact in our community. For Earth Day 2023, we organized a waste collection event to gather items that people can responsibly recycle or reuse again. Items collected included electronics, scrap metal, hard plastics, and art supplies. We also hosted an annual Spring Clean-Up with staff to help reduce litter in our neighborhood as well as improve the overall community for everyone. Botanical PaperWorks is proud of the strides we've made in reducing our environmental footprint and championing sustainability. As we celebrate Waste Reduction Week, we invite you to join us on this eco-journey. Not just during this special week but throughout the year, because together, our impact is stronger.