Monthly Archives: September 2010

Introductions are in Order

Corky and "The Mona Lisa"

So…I guess introductions are in order.  As our Director of Corporate Sustainability, I’m also our chief blogger here at TheNaturalStore.com.  That means when I’m not blogging, I’m tasked with the interesting job of trying to make our business run as sustainably as possible, from developing our recycling efforts to commute trip reduction programs.

Going green — as they say these days — isn’t anything new to me. I’ve been sort of impassioned (some might say obsessed) about living a more natural lifestyle since the second grade, and when you’re as old as I am, well let’s just say — I’ve been doing this sustainability thing; studying it, making a career out of it, raising my kids with it, for quite a while.

Still, it’s a daunting job, for sure, and one that I would never even attempt to do  – if it wasn’t for the whole team around here, and the incredible energy and smarts they share. We have a Sustainability Task Force as well as our Green Merchandising Team: all kinds of talented, dedicated folks who you’ll be hearing from down the road.

So welcome again! Let’s get started. Together we’ll plow through; answer some questions, raise more and hopefully have some fun – or at least discover a neat new product, or great deal, while we are at it.

What We’re All About

It’s Called Sustainability
Some of us shop natural for personal health reasons, others to help the environment by using fewer chemicals. We don’t think it’s a choice of one or the other, “green” or “natural” but both – and more. When you think about the interconnectedness that our choices have on our personal lives, our society, our economy, and the planet — it’s called “sustainability”. It’s that funny new term that sounds more complicated than it needs to. I like the official definition, created by the U.N’.s World Commission on Environment and Development in 1987:

“Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

TheNaturalStore.com’s sustainability vision is three-fold. Our highest priority is offering our customers the largest and best selection of natural and environmentally friendly products online.

Reducing Our Footprint
Secondly, here at the office, we’re focused on reducing our overall footprint, and doing so in a manner that is authentic and transparent. Since we started our Going Green Initiative just two years ago we have had some tremendous successes, and no doubt we’ll be going into various programs in more detail here. (Meanwhile, if you can’t wait to know more, read our Green@Work tab, for more about what we’ve been up to.)

Sharing Information and Resources
A huge priority for us is educating our shoppers. We love sharing the information and resources we come across in our research with you. It’s sort of a passion. I love it when a shopper or employee asks, “What makes this green”? It’s not that I necessarily have the answers – but I get a kick out of pointing folks in the right direction, or helping them learn the questions to ask for themselves. Because really it’s for each of us to ask ourselves what’s sustainable for the kind of home, community, and planet we want to sustain. What does your version of future needs even look like? Yours may not be the same as mine, and that’s where it can get sort of interesting, so let’s learn more together.

Partnering with  Brands that Support Sustainability
Over the years we’ve developed long-lasting partnerships with brands we consider to be the real leaders in sustainability. These are companies, like Seventh Generation, Burt’s, Clif, Method, and SunMar, that are helping develop product and ingredient standards and transparency, or product life cycle guidelines that help us all. We’ve learned much from them over the years, and look forward to sharing that knowledge with you.

But buying more isn’t always the answer . We’ll share household tips that may even cut back on purchases, spending and hopefully natural resources (my clothes are hanging on the line here as I write). No, that doesn’t mean I have my laundry draping all over the office, although I sort of like that image. I work from home—my small farm – two days a week. Lots of us at the office telecommute, which is another way we actively cut our impact on the environment, reduce traffic, and equalize the work/life balance we are all after—or so I hope!

We call it “Livin’ the Green”

Welcome to livin’ the green — our new blog! Happy to have you with us as we get started. We’re taking steps towards greener, more natural – healthier living, and I’m guessing, just by being here, you’ve made some similar decisions. Sharing information is what this blog is all about. We want to provide guidance around product labeling and ingredients, as well as share standards and guidelines that can help you make the best sustainable shopping decisions. Clearly, there is no one formula, or one-way to “be green”. But sharing information and committing to learning more is a great place to start!

Livin' the Green

Just Livin' The Green!

We call it “livin’ the green” because it isn’t that we are all trying to do? Live our own dream. And if you are shopping at TheNaturalStore.com I figure your dream most likely includes a natural, greenish hue, or at least a green tinge around the edges. Hopefully we all care about keeping ourselves and this planet in the best shape we can…whatever that looks like –  for each of us.

Picking one photo for our masthead has proven to be just about impossible. What one single image conveys green and natural living? Is it the food we eat? The kids we raise? The bikes we ride? The mountains we climb? The garden we grow? For me – I try to integrate sustainability into just about everything I do. Not to say I always  make the greenest choices. No way. But I do try to be conscious of the impact my choices make. Hence the array of photos, from rural to urban and the suburbs in between; from working and commuting, to farming and taking tropical adventures; we all have choices to make. Which really is why we are doing this. It’s sort of like we can’t help it.

For the last couple of years, here at the office, we’ve been sharing cool bits of info about the green and natural world in emails to the whole company. Folks here seem to have liked getting sustainability tips and new product ideas, or learn just how important it is to turn off their monitors – to save energy over the weekend. So we got the idea to go further with it; turn it into a blog and share it with our loyal customers. Hopefully, that’s you!