Monday, March 30, 2015

Eco Friendly Packaging at Expo West

Hitting the Expo West floor this year was different. I wasn't there to sample every gluten free pizza, although I might have. I was on a mission to explore an often undiscussed, but tremendously important piece of the Expo: Packaging. I don't mean this from a branding perspective, but from a sustainable and eco-friendly one.

I needed to find the companies that didn't stop with a natural product, but one that included nature in their packaging. This includes the companies that are skipping plastic and unnecessary packaging. Food companies offering incentives for refilling their glass jars, or cosmetic companies that package their products in home compostable paper packaging.

To find natural products, in natural packaging, was a game changer.

With every booth I approached, the product being displayed became second to the packaging. Using the Waste Less Challenge "This-for-That" approach, I was able to discover brands that supported greener practices by using low waste packaging. If a product came in plastic and there was a similar product in a more sustainable material, I opted to learn about the product with greener packaging.
What comes to mind as I write this is that I was judging a book by its cover. But when plastic packaging has the potential of leaching chemicals into its natural product unknowingly to its consumer, isn't it better to judge by the packaging than trust just what's on the inside?

Enjoy this photo collection of companies in the natural products world inside and out.

Note: I did not sample all of these products. The purpose of sharing these photos is to demonstrate that eco-friendly packaging is a viable option that some companies are taking advantage of. 

 Spices in paper containers? Yes! Even when spices come in glass jars the lids are usually made of plastic. Algarrobos Organicos of Peru showcased a variety of cooking ingredients in simply beautiful paper containers.

Have you dreamed of refilling your glass cleaning container at a eco-friendly store near you? Common Good is encouraging just this. Their laundry and dish soap come in glass bottles with their refilling stations being available for awesome retailers. 

Gluten free granola that comes in a glass jar. PUREnola. Is there more to say?

Evanhealy offers serums, oils and creams with the majority of their products in glass containers. It is great to see more cosmetics skipping the plastic.

Joyful Bath Co's packages their bath salts in glass jars for a more eco-friendly bath.

Eco Soul Life had these fun camping sets that at first glance look to be enamel. They are actually made from bamboo and have a life of about 3 years. When they reach the end of their life, their products can be home composted. Their packaging was made of compostable materials too.

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