At BW Packaging, sustainability isn’t just a trend or something we do for a bit of good publicity. We understand the impact that packaging has on waste and climate change. We work every day to infuse sustainable thinking into our business culture and practices through collaboration with industry partners, innovating sustainable packaging solutions, and educating both our team members and those we serve.
Some of our team members have even taken the additional step of creating sustainable projects inside and outside of the workplace, recognizing opportunities to eliminate waste, reduce CO2 emissions, and lower the impact of their lifestyle on the environment. From home-grown fruits and vegetables to working through the process of installing solar panels on BW Packaging facilities, in this post, we’ll share the personal sustainability stories of five BW Packaging team members.
Michelle Bryson: Switching to Reusable Makeup Wipes
Michelle is the Global Sustainable Packaging Leader at BW Packaging. The nature of her role leads her both to encourage sustainable habits for BW team members and to evaluate her own lifestyle for opportunities to live more sustainably. Most recently, Michelle noticed that she was using (and throwing out) one disposable makeup wipe each day. These wipes — made from hard-to-recycle polyethylene — aren’t very environmentally friendly.
One of Michelle’s daughters came to her with a solution: a reusable makeup wipe that can be cleaned and used in perpetuity. With it, she can still remove her makeup at the end of the day while also saving hundreds of disposable wipes from ending up in landfills each year. The results have been great, and Michelle encourages any make-up wearers to switch to a reusable wipe.
Lina Valencia-Shaw: Home-grown Fruits and Vegetables
Lina is an Accounts Payable Associate with BW Packaging, and her story is both a humanitarian and sustainable effort. Over time, she’s learned quite a bit about how the agricultural industry contributes to deforestation, soil depletion, and CO2 emissions. With this knowledge, she became determined to grow more sustainable food in her own community.
Six years ago, Lina started volunteering to grow fruits and vegetables for her local food bank, utilizing sustainable growing methods with minimal environmental impact. Her green thumb not only offers a greener future for her local community, but also ensures she’s able to provide healthy, holistic food to those who need it most. Her exemplary work serves as the perfect model of BW Packaging’s vision: “People who care, solutions that perform.”
Jason Rebeck: Silverware & Solar Panels
Not content to settle for just one sustainability project, Jason Rebeck, the Office Coordinator for Accraply (a BW Packaging company), has taken on multiple initiatives around his office building in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. He started simply by replacing the office’s disposable plastic plates and plasticware with washable ceramic plates and silverware. Initiating this kind of change involves buy-in from every team member in the building, and it can be difficult to overcome the inertia of old habits. But Jason’s leadership capabilities and enthusiasm for sustainability made it possible.
From there, he started to think bigger, and began working with BW’s Property Management Group to install solar panels on the Accraply facility. The panels will help to lower Accraply’s dependence on non-renewable energy sources, providing a long-term flow of reusable, sustainable energy. Jason plans for the panels to be installed and operational by 2025.
Taz Lombardo: Composting Food Scraps
BW Packaging’s Content Marketing Leader, Taz Lombardo, took up composting in an effort to live more sustainably. He recognized that there are a limited number of nutrients in the world, and once food is thrown in the trash, those nutrients can’t be recovered. Food waste also creates harmful emissions; their transport to a waste facility results in CO2 emissions, and once they’re thrown into a landfill, they cause the buildup of methane gas.
Eager to help reduce these harmful emissions and preserve food nutrients, Taz installed a compost tumbler in his backyard. He fills a Tupperware container with food scraps every couple of weeks which he keeps in his freezer. After the container becomes full, he puts the food scraps in the compost tumbler, making sure to mix the tumbler up about once a week. At the end of the process, he’s left with a supply of sustainable, homemade fertilizer that he can use in his yard.
Louis Greubel: Reusable K-Cups
Louis Greubel is a Content Marketing Specialist at BW Packaging. Like most people, he likes to start his day with a cup of coffee, and he brews his coffee from a Keurig coffee maker. These coffee makers utilize a plastic cup (called a “K-Cup”) filled with coffee grounds that are simply inserted into the machine. From there, water is added, and the machine brews the coffee, using the K-Cup as a filter.
Despite their convenience, K-Cups are problematic from a sustainability perspective because they are not recyclable or reusable. However, Louis’s fiancée Amanda came up with a solution: reusable K-Cups. Users open the reusable cup, add their own coffee grounds, and rinse the grounds out after the coffee brews. The same K-Cup can be used to brew coffee indefinitely. Over the past few years, Louis and Amanda have saved thousands of disposable K-Cups from ending up in landfills.
Infuse Sustainable Thinking into Your Life
As these stories have shown, there are a variety of simple yet effective ways to live more sustainably. We at BW Packaging have learned that collaboration is crucial in achieving our sustainability goals, and each team member who’s shared a story here encourages you to adopt your own sustainability project. You can follow some of the steps we’ve taken, or you can do some research and come up with your own project. Whatever you choose, try to get others involved, too — together, we can build a better world.
To view videos of our Team Members’ sustainability projects and to learn more about BW Packaging’s sustainable packaging solutions and strategy, visit our sustainability page here.