Just weeks after our first daughter was born, we moved full-time into a motorhome. The dream: Create a fulfilling life with our daughter while spending every week in a different, beautiful part of the United States. In our minds we were already hiking the Rockies and swimming the Great Lakes, but we didn’t consider the first task-at-hand — getting rid of everything that couldn’t fit in our 200 square-foot home-on-wheels. It became very overwhelming. How could a young couple like us accrue so much random and unnecessary stuff?!
This experience became a paradigm shift for us. How could we continue to make the most of this life without destroying life through careless consumerism?
We decided to limit our possessions and recycle as best we could. During our travels, however, we were surprised that many cities didn’t have the infrastructure or the means to recycle! We went weeks at a time filling our back storage until finally finding recycle bins. This led us to create this video with the intent to bring recycling to every city.
Knowing we have more to learn, we recently asked our following on Instagram what efforts they’re making to better the environment. Here are a few responses:
Reusable water bottles/straws
Using soap bars + cloth diapers
Buying garage-sale/Donating used
Conscious diets/Less single-use plastics
This inspires us! One answer we consistently saw was to limit plastic use. We share that sentiment. Ideally, the world uses ZERO plastics or has any packaging…but that isn’t feasible just yet. Not everyone can grow their own food, make their own laundry detergent, and spin their own yarn. We need some form of packaging to deliver and preserve these products (especially food) until they’re used up. What type of packaging is best? We connected with the Flexible Packaging Association to discuss these concerns and would like to share a little about what we've learned so far.
Some packaging that contains plastic may actually be better for our environment when we consider the entire lifecycle of the package and the product.
This type of packaging is called flexible packaging.
The Flexible Packaging Association (FPA) defines flexible packaging as being “produced from paper, plastic,
film, aluminum foil, or any
combination of those materials
and includes bags, pouches, liners,
wraps, rollstock, and other
The site PerfectPackaging.org explains how this type of packaging is second only to nature’s original. It requires less raw materials to create than most packaging, which helps the environment right away. It also limits food waste. Food waste contributes a significant amount to greenhouse gas emissions, and it’s something that we can control! The resealability of flexible packaging prolongs food’s shelf life. This enables us to finish consuming the food we buy VS throwing it out from going bad.
Flexible packaging is quickly becoming the preferred solution for brands as a step in the right direction. A major reason is due to reducing their environmental footprint overall by using less raw materials to create. It also makes snacks easier to manage for your toddlers
Instead of cereal boxes with cardboard + unsealable bags, companies are adopting flexible packaging that seals and prolongs shelf life. This results in less food waste going to landfills. The other benefit is this packaging from Bear Naked Granola is recyclable if taken to the right location. You can learn more about this recycling process and where to drop off this type of packaging here.