Zero Waste + Living Plastic Free

Here at Wild Sage we are committed to reducing our impact on the environment and trying to live in a more sustainable, conscientious way. Ever since our conception, we have worked to reduce our chemical waste as a household, swapping the chemicals in our kitchen cupboard for environmentally friendly, alcohol based solutions. This is the reason why all of the packaging we use is biodegradable or recyclable.

The surge in people moving towards Zero waste living has been inspiring, as thousands of people up and down the country are sharing their journey towards plastic free living. Of course, as many people have pointed out, it’s important to bear in mind that while we are all striving to reduce our impact on the environment, it is almost impossible to be 100% waste free.

The fact is that while some things produce no waste, for example an unwrapped bar of soap, everything that went into making that soap stops it from being 100% waste free. That is, the products we buy can be waste free in and of themselves, but we, as humans, cannot be completely waste free, we can only use products that are less harmful.

Let us explain, a natural bar soap is undoubtedly better than a commercial surfactant, they contain no artificial chemicals that end up in the water supply, they come in plastic free wrapping and they are more often hand made - no huge machinery to add to our pollution problem.

However in order for us to make that bar of soap, we need to buy the ingredients. Our Olive oil is sourced from Greece, because the quality and ethics of the company we use is better than other options, but also because England doesn’t produce olive oil commercially. Our Shea butter we source from a women's cooperative in Ghana, again because England just doesn’t have the climate to produce Shea butter. The packaging and shipping process of all of these ingredients necessarily produces waste.

England has a bountiful source of natural herbs, like Rosemary and Lavender that often grow wild and aplenty. However the base oils needed to make a truly skin nourishing soap just aren’t available in this country. We even tried making a soap bar made entirely with British Rapeseed oil, it left much to be desired (if you have any hints or tips let us know!)

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We decided that, as our ingredients couldn’t be completely waste free, we would source our ingredients from companies that are making a positive impact on the world. The women's cooperative from Ghana, for example, and our rapeseed oil supplier, who delivers everything in metal tubs before collecting and refilling them.

We wrap our soaps with paper because it is better than a plastic alternative. However it isn’t perfect, as the mass production of paper requires deforestation for it to be made so widely available. That’s why we’ve been thinking about a move towards naked soap bars (Let us know what you think!)

So the move towards plastic free doesn’t mean that we are entirely waste free, because we can never be sure what waste is produced by suppliers, and because one way or another our ingredients have to be delivered to us. But we are constantly taking small steps and seeking out new ways to move towards a waste free lifestyle.

Julie Ward