As one of Australia's first online eco stores (we've been around since 2004!), we take our commitment to sustainability very seriously. We're already doing a lot, but we're constantly striving to improve and find more ways to work better. Here's some of the actions that we're already taking:
Climate Positive Workforce
Hello Charlie is a climate positive workforce. Through ecologi, we ensure that all of our employees' personal emissions are fully offset. That includes emissions from their homes, holidays, food, hobbies and travel. We're also planting trees, and financing carbon reduction projects around the world.
100% Carbon Neutral Delivery
We have work with Shippit and Australia Post to deliver your parcels.
Shippit measures how much carbon is generated by the courier from the moment your parcel is picked up to when it’s delivered.
They purchase carbon offsets to support projects to prevent and reduce greenhouse emissions, so that your parcel achieves net-zero emissions overall.
In this way, we’re helping to neutralise the carbon emitted during the process of delivering your parcel, plus we’ve investing in projects that deliver economic, community and social benefits. Find out more about Shippit's carbon offset programme here.
Australia Post does something very similar for their business customers.
Read more about Australia Post's carbon neutral parcel delivery promise here.
Planting a Tree for Every Order
From July 2021, Hello Charlie is now planting a tree for every order placed on our website. We are working with Ecologi, who partners with companies like Eden Reforestation Projects and One Tree Planted to help plant millions of trees around the world each month. These projects include planting mangroves in Madagascar and reforestation across Australia in areas devastated by bushfires.
Our founder and owner, Vanessa, has just replaced her old car with a 100% electric Nissan Leaf (fulfilling a dream after first seeing a Ford Think electric car at the Frankfurt Motor Show over 20 years ago!). We'll be installing an electric car charger at Hello Charlie, to help encourage any other employees who decide to replace their cars with fully electric cars and to be able to offer charging at work.
We're currently undergoing BCorp Certification. BCorporations are businesses that balance purpose and profit and make a positive impact for their workers, customers, suppliers, community and the environment. It's a big project, especially for a small team like ours, and we're hoping to be certified within 12 months.
We already know that Hello Charlie is a force for good, and we're undergoing independent certification not only so that we can back up our claims, but also so that we can learn where else we can improve on our sustainability journey.
100% Green Power
Not only that, Powershop themselves are a carbon neutral company.
Although buying Green Power costs us a bit more, we think that this is an important choice that makes a big difference for the future of our planet.
We reuse, repurpose, and recycle packaging whenever we can. If we have to buy new, we make sure that it's either compostable, recyclable, or made from recycled materials.
The biodegradable packing peanuts are made from natural, nontoxic sources, such as wheat and corn starch. They dissolve in water and can be thrown into compost piles after a single use. We don't buy these, we reuse them from packaging we are sent from our suppliers.
Clean paper, like tissue paper, butcher's paper, scrunched brown packing paper - all of these get sorted and reused to protect parcels. We don't get enough clean paper for our needs, so we also buy butcher's paper that's made from recycled newspaper.
If we have to use new satchels, we choose certified compostable satchels from Heaps Good Packaging.
We reuse as many cardboard boxes as we can for packing your orders. Boxes that are too large, or too damaged for us to reuse get collected and recycled by a specialist cardboard and paper recycler so that we know that it's actually being recycled.
When we need extra cardboard boxes, we get them made locally (right here in Melbourne) so that we can reduce our eco footprint, and of course the boxes themselves are recyclable. We also have lovely customers who drop them back in to us so we can use them again!
Office and General Supplies
We use only 100% recycled paper in our printers, and we double side and reuse every piece of paper before it goes off to get recycled and repurposed yet again.
We use Who Gives A Crap toilet paper. They're a Certified BCorp company who produce bamboo and 100% recycled toilet paper, and they donate 50% of profits to build toilets for people in need.
Our printer cartridges are recycled, refilled and then sent off to be recycled again.
All our batteries are rechargeable, no single use ones around here.
We use the same products that we sell here at Hello Charlie in our kitchen and bathrooms - for example Dr Bronner's castile soap for handwashing, Koala Eco, Ecostore and Kin Kin naturals for our cleaning products. We use bidegradable dishcloths and scrubbers, too.
We have a fridge, kettle, sandwich toaster, toaster and a microwave to encourage our team to bring their own lunch instead of getting a takeaway. There's no plastic wrap in our kitchen - we microwave with a plate or Agreena silicone wrap to cover dishes and prevent splashes instead.
Our mobile phone plan is with Belong, who have Australia's first carbon neutral phone plans.
We're looking into working with TerraCycle so that we can recycle not only our waste, but help our customers to recycle their waste, too.
We're about to offer carbon offsetting in your shopping cart.
And we're looking into a way to make every one of your orders carbon neutral, too.
If you've got any ideas on other ways that we could improve our sustainability, we'd love to hear them! Please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You might feel that you can't make a difference by yourself, but every little helps. Lots of people taking small steps adds up to a big difference!