If there’s one thing that CBD companies have in common, it’s their deep-seated desire to help their customers. Why else would you get into such a niche (but growing) industry? So, if you are in the CBD industry, you already care about providing the cleanest, perhaps most organic products you can, and that desire to do what is best for the human body likely bleeds into a desire to do what is best for the earth as well.
However, building sustainable business practices that protect the health of the earth isn’t always easy, especially when you are working in an industry that relies heavily on the gifts mother nature gives us. When you sell a product like CBD and seek to run an eco-friendly company, not only do you need to worry about how to keep your packaging and shipping practices sustainable, but you need to make sure your farmer’s growing practices protect the environment as well.
If the idea of creating a sustainable CBD business has your head spinning, never fear. There are a few simple things you can do as a business owner to ensure that your product doesn’t unintentionally disparage the environment from the time the hemp seeds are planted to the time your customer uses the last bit of their product and disposes of the packaging. Keep reading for some fresh ideas to keep sustainability at the forefront of your mind throughout your CBD production process.
Sustainable Farming Practices
One of the best parts of working in the CBD industry is the sustainable attributes of the hemp plant. Hemp farmers don’t have to do much to ensure their practices are sustainable because the plant takes care of a lot of the headache for them.
For example, hemp uses 50% less water than cotton, making it a much more eco-friendly crop. And, not only does hemp produce lifestyle products like CBD oil, but it can also be used to make things like paper and clothing much more sustainably. So, by increasing the demand for hemp in general by running your own CBD company, you are allowing farmers to make the switch to a crop that will lead to more sustainable consumption in the future.
Not only does the hemp plant cause less damage to the earth, but it also actually improves the soil it grows in, in many cases removing toxins from the soil. Because of its hardy profile, hemp can be grown in almost any environment, whether it is in the deserts of the western United States or the more rain-drenched eastern seaboard. This is because hemp plants grow long, deep roots which actually help stabilize the soil around them, preventing erosion and retaining nutrients. Additionally, hemp is already naturally resistant to most pests, allowing farmers to avoid using harmful pesticides and chemicals in their fields.
Sustainable Extraction Practices
If you are familiar with CBD extraction methods, you know that there are many ways to harness the power of the hemp plant and bottle it up for your customers’ consumption. You can use CO2, solvents, or even olive oil to extract CBD from the plant before putting it into your products.
When you hear the term “CO2” in conjunction with sustainability conversations, it’s usually considered a bad word. After all, we are often talking about reducing CO2 emissions or our carbon footprint when it comes to building a greener society. However, while it may not seem like it from the name, CO2 extraction is actually the most environmentally-friendly option.
This is because the CO2 extraction process produces the safest, purest CBD without leaving behind any toxic residues, like the solvent method might. Plus, it doesn’t tap into our limited olive oil supply. The only drawback to using the CO2 method is that it requires specific equipment and expertise. This investment is completely worth it, though, if you’re looking to create a sustainable CBD product.
Sustainable Distribution Practices
Once you’ve extracted your CBD, you’re ready to put it into products. Whether you’re focusing on tinctures, gummies, topical products, or all of the above, there is a lot you can do on the distribution side of the CBD business to ensure your practices are sustainable.
First, think about your packaging. In what ways can you reduce the amount of material that is not recyclable or reusable? Can you put your tinctures and gummies in glass containers, or offer a send-back program for your packaging that incentivizes customers to participate with a small discount? If you sell CBD bath bombs, can you wrap them in recycled paper rather than shrink-wrapped plastic?
If your company owns a storefront, think about the ways you can make your brick-and-mortar practices eco-friendly as well. Perhaps you can pin some QR codes with a link to your product offerings rather than printing menus and brochures. Again, you could also incentivize your customers to bring back the containers once they finish the products so that you can wash and reuse them.
If you find yourself filling and shipping a lot of orders, there are ways to keep that part of your business sustainable as well. You’ve likely been hearing a lot of news lately about big companies like Amazon and Apple going carbon neutral in their shipping policies, and you can get in on this practice as well. Shipping something “carbon neutral” means that while sending it on a truck somewhere might add to your carbon footprint, you (or the company you ship through) is doing something to offset those carbon emissions, like planting trees. UPS currently offers a carbon neutral shipping service, or you can team up with an app like Shop by Arrive to allow your customers to choose carbon neutral options.
Sustainability Is Key
Climate change issues are not just simply going to go away on their own—as business owners, we must consciously make an effort if we want to affect real change. Luckily, there is a lot you can do in this day and age to reduce your—and your CBD company’s—carbon footprint. Taking even one of these steps can really make a difference.
If you are in the market for CBD for personal use, you can also think about choosing a sustainably-minded company to purchase your products from. One such company is Joy Organics. All of their products are premium grade, broad spectrum, and tested by third party labs, so you can trust that you are getting the best of the best. Plus, you’ll be supporting the hemp industry, which just might be a major answer to our global climate crisis.