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Thanks to Blue Planet II and the media, we are now more aware than ever of our impact on the environment. It seems like every two minutes the news is telling us some new statistic about plastic in our oceans and on our shores.
As a small watersports business located on the seafront in Lyme Regis, Dorset, it’s not surprising that we love our ocean. We want to make a difference and ensure that our little operation has as little impact on the planet as possible. This is not always easy!
Over the last few months we have tried to analyse all aspects of our business, to see where we can reduce our footprint and have made a commitment to run as sustainably as possible. We are hoping this inspires other businesses to consider doing the same! Many of the changes we have made have been fairly easy, but make a massive difference in the long run. So what have we been up to?
Due to the fact we rent our shop from the local town council, we don’t control where the energy we use comes from but, we try to make sure that we use as little as possible. This means we have installed LED light bulbs in all our fittings which save energy and money. Even the lights in our dressing and store room are on a sensor so quickly turn off if the space is not in use.
We don’t run a heating system in the shop as our frontage is glass so we heat up like a greenhouse, especially in summer. Over winter we heat a small area with an energy efficient fan heater.
We do not supply plastic bags to our customers but recycled paper bags which we print by hand with our logo. Our parcel bags are also brown paper for any website orders we get through, which we seal with paper tape- every little counts!
One of our biggest struggles in the fight against plastic is our suppliers. Pretty much every one of our suppliers sends our products each individually wrapped in plastic. To combat this, we try and dispose of the plastic responsibly and send emails with pictures to the suppliers of the quantities of plastic packaging that comes with every delivery. We hope if we bug them enough, they'll do something about it! Where we can, we also send the plastic back to the suppliers.
As much as possible we try to partner with environmentally minded brands. As a result, a large amount of our clothing is organic cotton which means it is grown without chemicals and pesticides which poison the land. We even have some clothing made from recycled plastic! This year the flip flops we stock are getting greener as demonstrated in the picture below of new tags that come from Billabong's spring/summer range. One of our favourite brands plants a tree with every order. Our ‘Boylos’ branded clothing is also getting greener this year as we have designed a new range of environmentally friendly clothing made from organic, regenerated and recycled cotton.
We have recently been awarded with the Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Champion award for our efforts and we couldn’t be more stoked! We have also been hugely supported by our local Plastic Free Lyme Regis group who have been a huge encouragement!
We are always checking out ways we can be even greener! In the coming months we are hoping to replace our diesel van with an electric car for all our business related trips to help reduce our carbon footprint. We know that even though our changes are small, we can make a huge difference. If you are looking at ways of becoming greener in your business, please don't hesitate to contact us and we would love to share some of the tips and tricks we have learnt!