There were a few things we agreed to when we started ChowBaby. Making business decisions as moms, first and foremost, was a biggie. That means an unwavering commitment to building an environmentally friendly business. Because what's the point of building a successful business that depletes the world our children (and our children’s children) need to sustain them?
Some stuff was easy, especially given Michelle's background and deep involvement in environmental issues. Keep it electronic, print on both sides of the paper, tele-commute whenever possible, use the most local ingredients available, support organic agriculture. In a lot of ways, just using our mom intuition and research skills was enough to guide us through. The biggest challenge was packaging. Let's be honest. Part of what ChowBaby offers is convenient homemade quality when you can't make it all yourself. And the best environmental choices aren't always the most convenient.
With passionate conviction that we had something meaningful to offer families, we charged ahead doing tons of research and speaking to tons of people who could help us make the most environmentally friendly packaging decisions possible. We looked into everything from aluminum to sugarcane pulp to glass to bio resins. Sadly, none of these options—and we promise we've exhausted them all—could withstand the stresses of production. Especially not the blast freezer temps that are key to locking in nutrition and flavor.
We ended up with a box printed with soy ink on paper made with post-consumer recycled fiber that is recyclable and biodegradable. (Yes, you can throw it in your compost or put it out with your other paper recycling.) Our reusable, resealable cups are made of #2 HDPE (high density polyethylene), and our snap on lids are made of #4 LDPE (low density polyethylene), both of which are widely considered safe plastics that are phthalate- and BPA-free. (Both are also on the Healthy Child Health World list of recyclable and "least toxic" plastics: read more about it here.)
Not only are we proud of where we landed, we also learned tons and engaged partners—a recycling expert, packaging consultant, manufacturers of bio resins, and other green alternative packaging materials—who continue to work with us to ensure that we can switch to greener packaging as soon as there is a choice that can withstand our production and shipping process.
So when it's available, you'll get it through us. It's a promise
to you and to our kids.