2022 was a year of transition for us, as we expanded from a home-based operation into our first retail store in downtown Provo, UT, along with our initial foray into the world of eCommerce.
Community reaction to our new shop was incredible, but our proudest moments involved our efforts to develop and model a more sustainable approach to outdoor retail. Our efforts were far from perfect, but as part of our commitment to learning and transparency, we're publishing our first annual Sustainability Report.
30% of shop demolition waste diverted from the landfill
Our Provo retail store opened in an older downtown building previously used as offices. To make it suitable for our purposes, we had to remove walls, replace flooring, add lighting, and more.
We saved all scrap wood from our demolition, and used it to build racks and other store fixtures, allowing us to reduce the amount of construction waste sent to the landfill.
45% of packaging and shipping materials diverted from the landfill
Retail generates an enormous amount of behind-the-scenes waste, mostly in the form of packaging and materials used to transport inventory to the shop. We were dismayed to find that cardboard recycling wasn't a realistic option at our location, so we looked for other ways to minimize our impact. This problem was the genesis for our low impact shipping program, where we ship online orders in used boxes filled with used packaging, wherever possible.
We estimate that 30% of all packaging was recycled and reused, and another 15% shared with the community as free moving boxes.
We recognize that 45% of recycled packaging getting reused is not a high benchmark, and will be looking for ways to bring municipal recycling to our retail location in 2023.
Local Climate Advocacy
$1,455 raised for Conserve Utah Valley
For our first season, we partnered with Conserve Utah Valley, a local non-profit advocacy organization working to preserve some of our most treasured natural spaces. In addition to sharing their content and hosting community meetings, we donated $1 to them for each purchase made at our retail store and online. In the three months our retail store was open, we were able to raise $1,455 for Conserve Utah Valley.
We understand that the impact of one organization or one individual will always be limited when compared to the scope of the current climate crisis. This is a collective problem and will require a collective set of solutions. But we're grateful for any small part we can play in those solutions, and look forward to doing more in 2023.