Interplanetary travel may indeed become a real norm in the future just like all the technological advancements we've got today that seemed merely magical in the past. However, it is not yet so. We've only got one planetary home at this point. Earth is still the only one we've got. Environmental protection is inevitable no matter how we carry it out or in whatever side of the sustainability argument we may be.
That's what we have in mind here at Store with a Heart® as we take micro yet still heartfelt steps to be more eco-friendly in ways we can.
Yes. Store with a Heart® is "Best Sustainable Online Gift Store 2022 - Australia" and "South Australia Prestige Awards 2020/21 Gift Store of the Year." Yet these awards are not all there is to it. They are - among others - symbols and reasons for our commitment to do more now and for our future together, as we all strive to make a difference.
WHAT WE DO NOW
We aim to reduce the use of finite earthly resources wherever and whenever possible. Here are samples of how we do this.
Our printed products - mugs, shirts, face masks, caps, pillow cases and all - are made on demand. We don't print them until you order them. Thus, we limit resource usage to when they're needed.
Our store is a gift store. Yet we gift-wrap your items only as an option. We minimise packaging material usage without compromising your items' presentability and safety from loss or damage.
Where possible, we source your gifts from our fulfilment centre nearest to your shipping address. Such is to ensure that they could take the shortest route from one point to another. It's not only economical as it enables to give you better prices, greater value for your money and faster delivery, but it means there's less carbon emissions too.
What's not a problem doesn't have to be solved. If something can still be used, we choose to do so instead of throwing it to the bin and have it piled too high up in garbage dumps or polluting our seas and waters. Thus, some if not all of our items will go to you still in their original manufacturing packaging.
If materials cannot be reused, they may still be tweaked to serve another purpose. For instance, if we cannot reuse a packaging box for the same items, we use it for storing or sending a different set of items.
Reducing, reusing and recycling are not entirely new concepts. They are classroom ideas that should get stuck into everyone's psyche. Yet it's easier to forget the basics or to be swayed by other competing priorities at times. We are choosing to revisit these classic ecological principles as we strive to find newer, viable, and workable ways to more sustainable practices. Yes, we're starting off with our workplace - solar panels, limiting the use electricity and other materials, and the like. We're going out of the box, too, in ways like the following:
We've partnered with Offset in ensuring that every gift delivery from our store to you is carbon neutral.
In addition to a growing array of other products, we are also continuously sourcing for ethical as well as eco-friendly products to offer you.
More recently, we have also partnered with EcoCart to ensure that every product you purchase is fully carbon neutral - from its production to delivery at your doorstep.
Our research has also made us stumble to a new breed of items we didn't think existed. Instead of the traditional water-wasting and resource-intensive printing methods, the heat press technique proved to be earth-friendlier and not only economical. Our use of continuous ink eco printers meant less cartridges and wastage in addition to more vivid, longer-lasting yet more affordable prints. We've found eco bubble wraps, unique Kraft paper products, eco mailers, the world's first biodegradable packaging tape, among other innovative materials too. We're excited to find out other new ideas and inventions out there throughout our journey.
OUR BHAG FOR THE FUTURE
A small business starts like what it's called - tiny. This doesn't stop us from aiming higher.
Our Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal (or BHAG for the terminology conscious) is to become formally certified carbon-neutral in 5 to 10 years.
Some would say that is not good enough. Some would say it's too ambitious. Either way, we are keen to taking minute yet determined strides to do our part in making our world a better place one gift at a time.
Yes. We have taken a big leap when we achieved full carbon-neutrality for all our products and services via EcoCart.
However, admittedly, we are still not half way or even a quarter of the way in achieving our ultimate final goal. We are choosing not to be daunted and to keep on moving forward.
STORE WITH A HEART AND THE UNITED NATIONS (UN) SUSTAINABILITY GOALS
Image credit: Copyright to the above infographics belong to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals website.
SDG1: NO POVERTY - Through its Affiliate Program, the store provides easily-accessible income-generating opportunities for everyone; supports individuals and institutions in funding their needs, requirements, and causes via the same programs; and, contributes to various community projects to address social
SDG2: ZERO HUNGER - Through its partnership with Pledge, the store helped provide more than 8000 meals in 18 months alone.
SDG3: GOOD HEALTH AND WELL-BEING - Through partnerships with individuals and organisations with sustainable policies and practices, the store helps reduce " deaths, and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination."
SDG4: QUALITY EDUCATION - The store partners with the following, among others, in making books and reference materials more accessible and affordable that help achieve better worldwide literacy rates: The Chrysalis BREW Project, Books for Humanity, Words of the Earth, and Words of Hope and Optimism.
SDG5: GENDER EQUALITY - As a woman-led organisation, the store upholds and ensures equal opportunities are made available to everyone from all walks of life. For example, its Affiliate Program involves tasks that can be done anytime and anywhere and is accessible to all including those with home
duties or other encumbrances.
SDG6: CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION - Through partnerships with individuals and organisations with sustainable policies and practices and by providing carbon-neutral products and services and adopting sustainable policies and practices, the store helps in water quality improvement.
SDG7: AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY - Through EcoCart and its supported project for solar-powered ovens for African refugees, the store also helps in providing alternate sources of energy. Through partnerships with individuals and organisations like an energy company inclined to adopt more sustainable policies and practices, the store helps in furthering initiatives towards enhanced energy efficiency.
SDG8: DECENT WORK AND ECONOMIC GROWTH - Trough its Affiliate Program, the store provides easily-accessible alternative income-generating opportunities for everyone.
SDG9: INDUSTRY, INNOVATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE - The store leverages partnerships with product and service providers to adopt apps and technological innovations in carrying out its sustainable and socially-conscious initiatives.
SDG10: REDUCED INEQUALITIES - Through Pledge, the store helps meals to the less fortunate. For example, it helped provide more than 8000 meals in 18 months alone. This helped achieve equity and access.
SDG11: SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES - By providing alternative income-generating opportunities; helping curb poverty; and, adopting sustainable products, services, policies, and practices, the store contributes to the achievement of the UN's goal of developing the ideal cities and communities of the future.
SDG12: RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION - To reduce wastage, the store implements the traditional "Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle" strategy. It also utilises print-on-demand for its physical products to avoid wastage.
SDG13: CLIMATE ACTION, SDG14: LIFE BELOW WATER, and SDG15: LIFE ON LAND - Through its commitment towards sustainable policies and practices in its little yet well-meant ways, the store actively participates in the global drive towards a humanity that protects our lands, seas, air, and ecosystems.
SDG16: PEACE, JUSTICE AND STRONG INSTITUTIONS - The store encourages communication between and among its internal and external stakeholders. For example, with its Affiliate Program's easily-accessible and real-time information platform, the store achieves transparency. Through the effective utilisation of various communication channels, the store collaborates with its partners on mutually-beneficial goals
SDG17: PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE GOALS - The store provides easily-accessible income-generating opportunities through its Affiliate Program for everyone, including but not limited to individuals and organisations In developing countries.
We've got a range of earth-friendly gifts to warm your or your gift recipient's heart too.
Further, buy these products and use the code EARTH on checkout to get your 10% discount and we will also make a donation to help feed the hungry through Pledge (previously known as Pledgeling Foundation).
Make a difference today. Shop now and make someone smile too.
Thank you for joining us in paying it forward. Let's continue what we have started.