April and the Bear Blog
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The Green Bear Initiative

We care about our lovely planet and the environment, and we know you do too! That’s why we’re so excited to tell you a little bit about what’s been going on behind the scenes at A+TB. During the past year our business, like so many others, had to shift dramatically in response to the pandemic. With the increased number of online orders and no click and collect service for months meant an increased use in packaging materials – something we were very conscious of.

And so, we’ve made some changes to reduce our environmental footprint (affectionately named our Bear Footprint) to support our environmentally minded customers, the Rathmines community, our lovely isle of Ireland and the planet.

  • Plastics – we’ve replaced our cellophane print wraps with compostable packaging, along with the parcel pouches, tape, our bin bags and much more. Please note that packaging from suppliers may include some plastic packaging which is outside our control currently. However, it is something we do consider when selecting brands and items to stock at A+TB and endeavour to improve on.
  • You’ll start to see more of our cardboard being reused to package your orders and other changes over the next coming weeks.
  • Gift Boxes are filled with sustainably sourced paper and recycled cardboard boxes.
  • Waste – we separate all our rubbish, we reuse bubble-wrap cut-offs to secure packages and reuse packaging material that comes from our suppliers where we can while ensuring safety and quality. Our aim is to have a circular process with our surplus cardboard to use further as filler material.
  • Polystyrene: The dreaded polystyrene! We hate it too. Only our most delicate pieces have polystyrene and this come direct from the supplier to protect your product. Some recycling centers will take polystyrene for free, check your local center at https://www.mywaste.ie/
  • Working with local makers supports Irish businesses (WALL HELLO/ SOMAS/ JESS TOBIN/ PIGEON HOUSE CANDLES) and reduces levels of C02 emissions related to transport. We are conscious about minimising the number of deliveries into store for greater carbon efficiency. We’re also working with our brand partners on reducing non-recyclable materials, with our most recent Somas candle collaboration, we stipulated that we wanted to create packaging that was recyclable. So the candles come in (beautiful) recycled cardboard packaging that you can then recycle.
  • Our shipping – we use DPD who are currently using electric vehicles in Dublin and have a strong plan to have all their deliveries classified as carbon neutral across Europe. We value our shipping partners and see them as an extension of our service to our customers. We will continue to monitor our options with further reducing carbon emissions in relation to our deliveries.

**Ceramics/ Glass require extra protection, so where necessary we may have to use bubble wrap but know we are doing so in a conscientious way to reduce overall plastic use, breakages and transport.

We’ve also created a handy guide on how to recycle our packaging materials (see below).

Last, but not least we’re supporting a fantastic charity, HOMETREE, that plants native trees to tackle the issues of declining biodiversity, supporting communities and people to connect to and learn about Ireland’s nature. Planting trees can be one of the simplest, ecologically sound and beautiful ways of reducing CO2 levels. By supporting this charity we hope to join hundreds of individuals and businesses who are working to preserve and restore the environment for future generations.

We hope that these changes can support you in reducing your waste, encouraging reusing and recycling.

Sara – Eco Ambassador for A+TB

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