About Environmental Issues
Packaging and recycling
All aspects of our business have the ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ mantra applied to them. We recycle packaging, compost organic waste and are trying to find an alternative to our polyboxes - if you know of one, let us know. We also reuse a lot of supplier packaging so you may find your box has D J Miles or Burt's crisps written on them. Bear in mind, packaging is a resource not a waste and we reuse to keep our environmental impact to an absolute minimum.
Where we deliver within Devon, we collect and reuse all our packaging but if you have courier delivery and want to find a use for your polybox you could punch holes in the bottom and use as seedling trays, grind your box up to use as soil conditioner to improve drainage and aeration, use as a cool box for picnics, or for chilling wine or beer at a party, line your box with a blanket and use as a cat or small dog bed or even ask your local primary school or youth club if they would like them for use in art and crafts.
For our own driver deliveries, please keep everything that is reusable - shred, egg boxes, box, poly box, ice etc! We'll even take your own paper shred and reuse to help reduce the problem of landfill in our county.
We order in all fresh food to order - we carry no fresh stock so we throw nothing away. We only pick up what is ordered; it's as fresh as it can be and there is no waste.
All this means well over 95% of the waste we produce as a company is eventually recycled. The amount of rubbish we actually throw away is far less than an average 3 person household. We continue to look for ways to reduce it further.
Moving food around is a major source of the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions that fuel climate change. The food chain is estimated to contribute around one quarter of the UK’s total emissions of CO2 and the amount of food miles is increasing - 50% increase in the past 15 years. (Egerton 1998)
There is also a detrimental effect on our health of buying food that has high food miles attached. Clearly, a UK or local vegetable pulled from the ground and consumed within a couple of days contains a far higher nutritional content than one that has been picked long before ripeness and kept in transit for weeks. Much organic food sold within supermarkets (can be as high as 80%) is not even British and the rest often travels around the UK for packaging before reaching the shelves of the Supermarkets.
We believe we were the first company in the South West to share with you food miles from producer or processer to us for most of our food. We have also indicated where a product has been grown or processed within Devon or within 30 mile radius with our "l" for local symbol. We have banned air freighted produce and take off fruit and vegetables when out of season.
Carbon offset business
The food industry is responsible for a significant proportion of carbon emissions in the UK. We have to eat but we are proud that we have one of the lowest carbon footprints of any business in the UK. We minimise and offset emissions, in consultation with Envision Environmental consultancy and Pure, our offsetting partner, so you have peace of mind that your food print is probably the lowest you will ever have anywhere in the UK - unless you're able to grow mostly for yourself! :)
Of course as Green Business of the Year, 2007, we have been independently assessed and awarded this accolade in recognition of our practices.
Buying locally, regionally and simply makes sense. Cut food miles, taste the difference, buy from The Local Food Company.