Eco Update 2020

December 17, 2020 14 mins read

eco-update

Did you know at SuperFeast, we really give two hoots about earth? It's much more than two hoots, actually...

 

Today Mason, founder and owner of SuperFeast, provides our annual eco update.

 

He covers:

-- our thoughts on plastics,

-- what we are doing about our carbon footprint and

-- exactly how many waste streams we have at HQ. Above all, the take home message is, truly, every bit *does* count and as a global population, we must continue to take steps in the right direction and really, just try our best.

 

 

Hope you enjoy this one today folks. We'd love to hear from you - any business owners out there doing business practices in better ways? Got any ideas for us? Contact farley@superfeast.com.au - we'd love to hear from you :)

 

And if you're abit of an eco warrior yourself, check out these below resources:

How To Repurpose Your MIRON Jars

Saving Sacred Land from Corruption (podcast ep)

Going Plastic Free with the Plastic Free Mermaid (podcast ep)

Sarah Wilson on Transforming Anxiety (podcast ep)

 

 

 

TRANSCRIPT

- Hello, everybody. Mason here. End of 2020, I'm sure the only thing that's on your mind after a year such as this one is what SuperFeast's been doing on the eco sustainability front. Well, settle, petals. Well, I'm about to update you right now. So something I know that I really enjoy, when I have a company that I'm in the community of and that I follow, I enjoy getting little updates of how the company is managing as they're growing. You know, we've been definitely growing. Still a family-run company, but as is the way when it comes to our Daoist philosophy and our general health philosophy, we're ensuring and trying to create a lifestyle and a culture and a herbal repertoire and a diet, et cetera, for ourselves that's sustainable, meaning it's something that's gonna not become degenerative for ourself and for those around us and for the community so that we can have a nice long happy life. And likewise, if we're gonna be doing that in our own life and working in herbalism, tonic herbalism, we need to be doing that and having as much of a, you know, moving towards a tone and a harmonious flow of what we can try and describe as sustainability. And so we like giving you those updates, as well. So the first one I just wanna quickly touch on, I enjoy always giving you guys the insight, is how are we growing and ensuring that we are sustainably still providing you with at times wild herbs, mostly Di Dao small batch, ultimately the herbs that are just bad-ass in their quality. How are we ensuring that we're able to do that sustainably without going towards what for a lot of people, a lot of people think is an inevitable, just going to a factory farmed mushroom and herb scenario. We haven't done that yet. We are slowly and sustainably growing. As I said, we've keeping it in check by remaining a family-run company, for one, but in the way that we work with the farmers and the way that our partners throughout regional China, throughout that huge, vast area of regional China and where there is huge, vast areas where it's possible for these Di Dao herbs to be grown, there's a lot of area where these microclimates are possible to be found where these herbs grow in these ways where they're just so fantastic for our bodies. It's just hard to kinda get out to these places. So what we are doing is, as we grow, we are either working with particular farmers who can diversify and create a little bit more, we can create a partnership with them and they can begin growing Di Dao herbs. But mostly how it's going is there are very experienced Di Dao farmers and they are helping to up-skill and train people in their village to help localise the industry, keep employment there within their little community and their village, basically, there, and we work with those people as they're growing and we take the cream of the crop reishi, dong quai, whatever it is, and that's how we're slowly growing. And we are growing slowly because that is not a process that we can always scale immediately. But nonetheless, any questions, I'm gonna quickly wrap it up there. There's a lot more to that. However, that is how we are ensuring that we remain Di Dao. And at this time, it's been really sustainable and it's been really effective because at not one point has the quality of herb needed to be compromised. So sustainability is definitely the key there of ensuring that we're growing at a rate and expanding at a rate that allows us to continue to deliver the same kind of herb that is gonna allow you to sustainably stay healthy in your body and your family's body. Long-term, all right, now, first kind of big update. We are in the middle of a carbon audit. Now, although I personally don't feel like carbon is the ultimate variable to measure whether a company is sustainable or not. There are a lot of others. Nonetheless, I know there's a lot of people in our community that are, and a lot of people in SuperFeast, as well, and myself, as well, rightfully so. I'm not pooh-poohing it. I just wanna let you know that we're in the middle of that carbon audit and things are looking really great. We're getting all our ducks in a row. And it should be early next year we'll be able to give you the update of where we are there. And in terms of offsetting, I mean, it's gonna be nice to see if there are any areas where we're really kind of, like, I don't know, relying on an unsustainable practise, and offsetting, I mean, for us, it's not the ultimate thing to just rest upon. You need to ensure that you're doing better in all those areas, which is what we're keen on. But in terms of offsetting, I mean, we're already working with Rainforest Rescue, and I'm looking forward to, there's potentially a couple of other, basically people and organisations working to restore ecosystems at the moment working in far North Queensland along cassowary corridors. And so, hey, we just kind of see that that's a win-win and we appreciate those of you that had requested to know and Farley and the other ones, other people in SuperFeast that were keen and curious to know where we're at on that one. I'm really excited to, I'm really grateful that they're driving it. I'm excited to see what comes about. Now, in terms of what I was saying there in terms of you can't rest on your laurels just by doing a little carbon audit, I just wanna make sure that the tone here is one, as a business, we're not sitting on a pedestal trying pretend like we are this holy business doing, we are a sustainable business and we are an ecologically minded business, and especially for me, ecologically and sustainably, it makes sense for people to not be institutionally reliant for their health, but be more sovereign in their health and be preemptively taking the most precious and incredible herbs in the world so that they don't have to become, let's face it, an excessive drain of resources on people and the community, which is what sickness does. And so that's the core for me. That's my core passion there. But in terms of everything else we're doing, which I'm gonna be getting to now, with waste streams and reducing plastics and doing carbon audits and that kind of thing. I've had a couple of companies that I really admire, and they've just, they're really bloody preachy about it, and they talk a big game, and sometimes it feels like a condescending game, and it's like they're the experts and they feel bloody righteous about it. I wanna make sure that SuperFeast, you're not getting any of that kind of tone. We're just trying to have an open dialogue. And if there's anything that happens in any kind of interaction you have with our business and if you see we can be doing better, if you have a suggestion or you want to get out why we're doing something, we're not going to give you an answer all the time to justify that or to basically, I've had a couple of experiences recently with companies that I really admired, and when I kind of had an experience as a customer where I was like, hang on, this isn't matching your message whatsoever. What's going on there? I just got kind of smacked away or just like, no, no, no, it's okay because we're doing all these other things. We're allowed to do that. And right, I was just like, get back, gonna come back down to earth, please. If you ever experience anything like that with our business, really happy to have a chat. And there's some things that we're just not doing, that it's not where we'd like it to be, and we're keeping on going 'cause we've got a core mission with the herbs, but we're bloody working on it to make it more sustainable. So yeah, just trying to be real with you guys. So one of those things is the craft bags. We have cut out the 500 gramme, just that's one, we're just trying to lower the amount of sizes that we have to try and minimise just the amount of craft bags that we're going through. But 250 gramme bags, one kilo bags, craft. It's been a year and a half that we've been doing over 10 samples with home compostable bags, and just because our product is sensitive to moisture, none of them will work to the temperature, so the technology doesn't really work. And so we're still kicking around with that and we're looking for a solution that we find is gonna be right in alignment with where we wanna go in the future. If anyone has a less moisture-sensitive product or a food product, feel free to write to us and we'll let you know all of the contacts there that we've used, because there's probably a lot that you guys could be using. But yeah, we'll give you more of an update there hopefully soon. We've got our finger on the pulse of when that technology becomes available. Miron glass jar, the most incredible glass absolutely in the world, most precious. Please just continue to reuse those. If you throw it out, a mushroom fairy dies, okay? Don't wanna say anymore there. Now, we had a lot of people recently in our survey, and a lot of people often quite do it, this would be something that would really help out business side of things which would be if we offer samples. We haven't yet because although you can say we try to be principled and we try to be reasonable and there's some areas we're gonna go ahead, like with the craft bags, samples would just create way too much single use waste, and we haven't been able to find a solution that is, say, in glass, and we've tried glass and cork, and it would be a little packet. It would be essentially the little satchels that people people are using for coffee and mushrooms and things like that, which, my gosh, they're so handy. I really wish that we could use them. I don't judge people using them. It's just for where we're at, it's just a little bit against the grain. And so we just can't do samples right now, even though it would really help our business a lot, apparently, we're not gonna go down that route. And maybe we will if we can get to a point where we find something compostable or something that can be upcycled or recycled in a real sustainable manner. But that's where we're at with our samples. Plastics in the warehouse. Although plastic was just, my gosh, an incredible invention, and we utilise it in a very minimal, but a very effective way in some areas, we are really enjoying getting the plastic usage, especially virgin plastics, it's plummeted, the use in our warehouse, especially in the last two years. There's no virgin plastics going out in orders. Recyclable tape. And as we've told you guys, even our pallets, we don't use pallet wrap. We have straps going in there, which has been a huge bonus. But then what we've been doing is we've found a compostable pallet wrap, and we have been buying that and providing that to our distributor to be using on anything that goes, any pallet that goes of, that is using, sending SuperFeast out, and ideally others, as well, they're gonna be using a compostable pallet wrap. And we've given that to the people who are delivering our Miron, as well. They've actually started purchasing it and using that for themselves. And so that was a real positive effect, a positive step, we feel. And then moving on. The waste streams in the warehouse is another area. We have eight waste streams, more than I can remember right now, but recycling, cardboard, clear plastic's been upcycled, coloured plastic's been upcycled, and we've still got our sub pods rocking at work, which is really incredible. But in that light, as well, it is, it seems, as for any business in anywhere that's slightly industrial, there is a possibility for you to be able to funnel plastics specifically into areas where it can be utilised and put to use, recycled, upcycled. There's no reason why we can't be doing that and shouldn't be doing that. I feel like that's like a no-brainer, and we're really enjoying sharing that, and I'm kinda proud that we're doing it in a really non-douchey manner, as well, and we're proving to really spreading the word around that, and it's becoming really quite simple, I think. It's just like, Richmond waste will come and collect out the clear plastics that we can't, at the moment, we have a certain amount coming in, and it's nice to know that we can go and those can be put to use. So that is the eco update for now. We're working really, really hard constantly behind the scenes. But if there are any questions that you have about the way that we're approaching sustainability in general and the way we're managing our presence and our footprint on the land. As always, leave it better than you found it, and there's a lot of variables to that conversation and that statement, a lot of different ways to interpret it, and we're always up for the conversation because it is not beyond us to know where we could potentially be doing it better. And we find it quite interesting and actually one of the core principles for us, so we don't see it as a hindrance. We're also quite realistic about it and we take our time with the conversation. We are very, we focus a lot on humans as well as really taking some pride in restoring ecosystems here in Australia where we can. If you'd like to know any of our resources that we're using around this part of our business, hit up Farley, farley@superfeast.com.au, or just hit us up on social media. We're happy to share anything on that side of things. I mean, there's, you know, I think as a lack of a better word, part of the conscious business community, it's something I think there's some really incredible people out there who have shared resources with us, and it's been really nice to come across that, and we share out a lot. We have a lot of businesses coming to us and asking us about different ways that we're becoming sustainable. But there's a lot of companies out there that really hold their cards close to the chest. I get it if it's something to do with your branding and that kind of side of things. But I mean, when you're cagey about something that is just literally just something there that's to contribute to better land management or better practises, not sharing those, I think you're into a little bit of greenwashing. I think you're doing it, in it for the wrong reasons. So maybe pull your finger out and put it into some... That's gonna be super crass if I was gonna talk about getting it out to one kinda brown and into better soil kinda brown. Let's just wrap it up there, everybody. That's me. I'm obviously too in the compost conversation to be trusted with the 2020 eco update anymore. Love you. Hit us up with any questions. Love you guys.



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