"If it can't be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled or composted, then it should be restricted, redesigned or removed from production." – Peter Seeger
The above quote offers what we think to be the ultimate consideration for any business. If it doesn't follow this rule of thumb, then it probably shouldn't exist. At this point on our planet, there really is no excuse for businesses to not operate as responsibly as possible. While it isn't always easier, it has become imperative.
If it sounds cliche to say that every day is earth day, then we at Nucifera will be cliche. In our opinion, looking at everything we do through the lens of sustainability is the only way to do business. This should include product, packaging, production, and the business itself – something that many brands rarely prioritize in the conversation of sustainability. It should not only be about how we think about our business, it should be how we think about our lives.
We live in a business environment obsessed with growth. We promote the idea that growth can be endless, and that sustainability is merely another way to get there. Start yourself a sustainable business and you're on your way to exponential growth. This is the narrative that so many of us consume. With all the greenwashing going on, we think it's becoming increasingly evident that the word "sustainable" is becoming purely subjective. With social media, infinite advertising opportunities, and many other ways to get a business out there, we often ask ourselves – how is any of this sustainable?
Why aren't we questioning what the term "growth" actually means? Why aren't we asking where all this growth is going get us? To quote: "Even if infinite growth were possible, would infinite growth be meaningful?"
Of course, we believe in starting and growing a business – but how lofty should your goals be? Are your business goals simple? To sustain you, and your family and maybe a handful of others? Or are they much bigger? And at what price?
Resources are simply not infinite. Business ventures really shouldn't have to dominate markets in order to be sustainable for their founders, investors and the people working for them. Why can't business objectives look like more each business having a smaller slice of the same pie vs one having the whole pie?
We engage in this behavior on a personal level too. With technology has come this endless amount of potential. People are tethered to screens now more than ever. Every platform has become a personal promotion channel. Whether it's about growing your business or growing your social media following – there's an opportunity and a means. We essentially never turn off. All for the sake of growth.
Part of the connectivity is fun, and exciting. We have access to community like we've never had before, and the communication and idea sharing can be very positive. But we must remind ourselves that balance is also an important aspect of sustainability from a personal health standpoint. Personal goals are great to have, but they also must be balanced with consideration for the simple things in life that bring you joy. In other words, they should be a part of life – but not all of it.
Lastly, what about consumers? What is their responsibility toward sustainability?
For us, this all points to the importance of thinking about what sustainability really means – for the planet and for ourselves. Filling our cabinets and overspending on products that are labeled "sustainable" is not the solution.
Consumers must be self-actualized and proactive in what sustainability truly means. No matter how you look at it, some form of voluntary simplicity must come into play – whether it's through your spending habits, reduced accumulation of "things", eating a diet lower on the food chain, mindfully recycling, composting, or examining the true environmental impact of your behaviors.
Mother Earth needs healthy, happy people, who are being responsible with their resources and decisions. When we are able to rise above the growth cycle, we hopefully have the capacity to give back in more meaningful ways. The keeping up with Joneses mentality doesn't leave much room for true innovation – nor is it a means to a sustainable future – on any level. It's simply a trap.
Through the platform of our business, we feel that we have the responsibility to promote the truth that less is more. We create products that are truly sustainable and packaged in the most conscious way possible. We are not perfect, but the culture we are trying to create is one that can sustain the test of time – and that serves as a meaningful foundation for conversation beyond selling product.
Mother Earth is the one thing all of humanity has in common. It is our home, and we need to take care of it. There is no Planet B!
Photo Credit: Nirzar Pangarkar