Getting Bigger, Reducing Waste

This week we have a lovely and very direct example to demonstrate that old phrase "economies of scale". 

As you can see, after 3 years of staring guiltily at empty 3.5-pound boxes of washing soda that are exactly the same as the ones you can find on many retail shelves, we finally have upgraded to more industrial quantities and packaging. The 50-pound bags are a relief to waste-haters (and a throwback packaging format for Mike, who spent some time on the farm growing up). 

It's one of the small people-planet-profit victories we like to celebrate; just ask how excited we were about our paper tape dispenser. (In fact, that could be an entire post. Glorious paper tape!!) 

PEOPLE: opening individual boxes is a massive, massive pain. Box cutter through the perforation, grab the box, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat. The strong glue holding the boxes together makes breaking them down flat such a pain we simply skipped this and would shove them into a big box for recycling. They were...unpleasant to work with.

PLANET: 50 pounds of washing soda fits in either a single 0.4-pound bag or about 14.5 paper boxes, totaling 2.6 pounds. That is an 85% reduction in waste! 

PROFIT: Buying in bigger quantities means we are paying less per pound. This helps us keep costs down and reinvest in other triple-bottom-line improvements like more efficient lighting and equipment (to name two things on our wish list) as well as keep the bottom line of our business healthy so we can keep this whole thing going for years to come. 

This wonderful triple bottom line of waste reduction is why we made a specific goal on this topic in 2016. Our glorious new washing soda packaging is going to help us meet this goal!


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  • Laura on

    This is so awesome!!! Nice job Meloria!

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