Trying to be a green eco small business


One of my business values is Responsibility, and a fundamental aspect of that for me is towards looking after our planet.  And I’m not the only one either - quite rightly customers are considering more the eco-ness of the small businesses they use.  But the labels get confusing, especially when trying to relate them to those that much larger companies use.  Scale plays a large part in how viable being ‘green’ can be - some things are much easier for larger businesses and some things much harder - so how can they possibly equate to each other? 

The answer is, frankly, they don’t and I’m not going to try and tell you otherwise.  What I am going to do, however, is stick to my own lane and tell you why I consider myself an eco-conscious business and what, to me, that actually means?

A corner of the Spring Forward wrapping paper which has a small printed section including a recycled logo and the words 100% recycled made from recycled material.


First up everything is made in the UK so the miles travelled to me are minimal.  All my notebooks*, notepads and wrapping paper is printed on recycled card and paper by a fantastic business based in the small town where I grew up, and where my parents still live. A Local Printer’s whole business is based on print-to-order eco-conscious services and they’re really experienced in it too. 

My personalised art prints are printed by a different small creative business so local to me it’s in walking distance.  And my foiled prints are from another small business in Yorkshire who do small runs for small businesses like me so we’re not producing crazy excess. (FYI recycling foil products could be another blog post in itself as it’s a minefield I’m still working through but I will update things once I know more for definite).

My mugs and coasters are printed by a small creative business, A Rusty Hare, which is run by my step-cousin and are delivered via family get-together.  All my textiles are printed in Staffordshire by a company who ensures their base fabric is responsibly sourced and that their inks contain no harmful chemicals that could be released through use or washing.  Both of these businesses also only print only what’s ordered too, meaning minimal redundant or remnant fabric or other materials.

With a few different product lines there’s a lot to juggle, and cost is undoubtedly a factor,  but it’s not the only one.  It’s true that my choice of suppliers doesn’t give me as big a margin as others could, but it matters to me that my products are made in the UK by trustworthy professionals that share and fulfil my values.  And I believe that, for now,  I’ve found the best options. 


I do use some ‘fresh’ bits of packaging but I also reuse lots that I’ve received.  (Anyone else have a packaging stash post pandemic-lockdown-online-sprees?!).  Whether it’s paper or plastic, any padding around products you receive have come to me around something else.  I honestly don’t think I’ve used a new bit of padding in nearly 2 years! I don’t tend to use tissue paper as it can be tricky to recycle - did you know that? Certainly my local recycling won’t take tissue paper as it’s considered ‘low quality’ and they can’t do much with it, but if I do use it it’s because I’ve received it and someone else deserves to enjoy the pretty wrapping.  And I use paper tape (that’s low tack and recyclable) instead of plastic too. 

What I will say about packaging is that in researching things I looked in more detail than ever before at my local recycling scheme’s do’s and don’ts and some things genuinely surprised me so I would definitely encourage you to look at your own local recycling guidelines too. 

side view of two rows of white cardboard mug packaging boxes.  side view of a pile of folded textiles.  The bottom half is teal green from the Holchester designs Prettier than Plastic tote bags.  The top half is Butterfly House teatowels.  Side view of two piles of cardboard packaging boxes stacked up, and taped with brown tape, ready for posting.


I work from home so there’s zero commuting, I use local post offices that I regularly pass for shipping so I don’t need to take unique journeys to get your parcels over to you, my home energy provider is also a green business and when working with VA clients, especially for print, I focus on the best way of achieving their requirements in the best way available.  I’m not going to go in to lots more detail but in essence I’m trying my best to practice greener thinking in all elements of my business, and at home. 

In essence what this post is trying to get across is that it matters greatly to me that I’m doing my bit in a way that’s most viable for this small business right now.  It doesn't mean I can’t do more - I know for a fact I can - but it’s a constant work in progress that I’m committed to. 

Thank you so much for reading and if you do have any questions about any of my products, services, or business values just let me know - I’m always happy to chat things through!

Edit Note (October 2023):  When I originally wrote this post this statement was true.  Since then my range of products has changed a bit - I no longer do textiles or art prints (personalised or foiled) and I have changed the manufacturers of some paper products.  They do, however, all remain UK based and still use recycled or FSC certified paper and card stocks.

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