Updated: April 1 2023
Sustainability is a core pillar of Remedy’s company ethos. This value extends to all aspects of our business, from packaging, to curating, to client health education. We are passionate about not only 1) empowering folks with the knowledge to make informed, sustainable choices towards their health, but 2) reducing our environmental impact for the health of our one and only planet.
Over the last few years, we have continued to commit to our sustainability practices and are continually looking for new ways to improve upon them. In this blogpost, we outline the key foundational points of our sustainability principles, and some specific examples of how we have stood by them over the past year!
Eco-friendly packaging materials
It goes without saying that waste is a HUGE problem in the US. Unlike glass or metal which can be recycled indefinitely, or even paper which can be recycled up to 7 times, plastic can only be recycled once or twice before ending up in a landfill for good (1). What’s more, it can take a plastic bottle from anywhere between 70-450 years to degrade (2).
At Remedy, we use biodegradable prescription vials which completely break down into organic matter within 3 years. We are the ONLY pharmacy in San Diego offering green vials, so if a commitment to sustainability is something you value, show it by thepharmacy you choose! We also opt for recyclable/compostable kraft paper filling when shipping out products as opposed to styrofoam.
At the beginning of 2022, we launched an in-house, curated custom herbal tea service. Compared to typical petroleum-based plastic bags, our teas are packaged in 100% compostable, bio-based, and non-GMO kraft stand-up pouches. The labels we use are matte paper– not lined with plastic film– making them 100% compostable as well. We make all of our teas in-house at Remedy in small batches, prioritizing our local community.
While we do offer online shopping and delivery options, we have partnered with Cloverly to offset all carbon emissions from each delivery. Their software specializes in calculating carbon emissions from deliveries and purchases renewable energy credits that fund initiatives– like carbon-sequestering– in real time! This is very important to us– we hope that when you shop at Remedy online, you can be assured that we take our carbon-footprint lowering seriously!
On that note, we aim to bring in local products whenever possible so as to reduce shipping emissions. This is particularly true of heavier products, which are innately less eco-friendly to ship because they require more fuel, especially if shipped by air (3).
We continually source our candles (some of our heaviest items) locally, our favorite maker being 1502 Candle Co based in San Diego! They also offer local pick-up for wholesalers which is a fantastic option for cutting down . Other products we source locally are California Honey Co., David’s Toothpaste, and Aremes Fermentis.
Curating brands based on similar values
We always vet our suppliers based on their commitments to environmental sustainability. Specifically, we look for:
- Organic ingredients, free of pesticides and harmful chemicals
- Packaging with recycled and/or recyclable materials
- Sustainably sourced botanicals harvested through regional wild-crafting techniques or confirmed sustainable farming practices
Another brand we brought in last year (which we love so much that we will continue to stock regularly!) is Rowsie Vain– locally based in Ojai California, they grow and process many of their ingredients themselves. Their products are beautifully packaged in glass, which is ideal for recycling or reusing!
We've begun to sell more snack items for folks coming in and out of the pharmacy, and for these single-use items, we felt it was important to source from brands who think of the 'end of life' of their packaging. Sun and Swell's trail mix, energy bites, and dried fruit products come in 100% compostable packaging (they even have a mail-back program where they will compost your wrappers for you!). Another brand we love is Faves by Climate Candy, a company whose mission is to solve the issue of energy waste from unharvested produce. They work with local farms to procure imperfect produce that would otherwise go to waste, and give them new life as candy (that actually tastes super good).
Culturally conscious products
This is a continual work in progress, but we happily welcome any and all suggestions for bringing in products that are not only environmentally sustainable, but socio-culturally conscious as well. Over the last year we worked to bring in white-sage alternatives for smoke cleansing and burning. There is a lot that goes unsaid in popular wellness regarding the history of native plants, their unethical over-harvesting, and the specific roles these plants play within indigenous spirituality-- we would like to be advocates for such awareness and look forward to growing in this regard!
We know that sustainability is a marathon, not a sprint. The only way for sustainability to really take hold is to commit to small, consistent actions over time. These consistent choices become habits, which may eventually influence other stakeholders to prioritize our planet’s future. Whether you are one person, a small business, a third party, or a large corporation, sustainability is our responsibility!