Starwest’s Environmental Practices

Facilities Overview

The last several years have been very exciting for us due to our expansion. We moved into a new facility, located in Sacramento, CA, which was repurposed both as our operations headquarters and as our raw material storage and processing facility for our herbs, spices, and many other product lines. Our new location is now home to all of our staff, including our sales, customer service, and shipping departments, along with our manufacturing and production areas. With our move, we also consolidated two of our warehouses into one, thus minimizing transportation costs and emissions. This additional space has also allowed us to operate more efficiently and safely, in addition to improving upon our environmental practices and waste management program.

Environmental Practices

At Starwest, we are aware that all of the decisions we make on a daily basis have an impact on our environment, and we want to ensure that our impact is a positive one. We do this by ensuring that our daily operations are in a manner consistent with the best environmental practices. We believe in the preservation of our planet, and for a healthier, cleaner world for generations to come.

Renewable Energy

Our energy objective is to offset much of our electricity needs by efficiently using power made from renewable resources. We support our local utility's Greenergy® program, which allows us to purchase power from renewable sources like wind, water, sun, and biomass. The goal of the Greenergy® program is to build new, cleaner energy resources, and to reduce the need to build additional high-polluting power plants, thus creating a cleaner environment.

We are committed to reducing our energy consumption levels, and we have replaced much of our lighting with new low energy units. Many of our areas have motion sensor lights and/or are on timers, and as we continue to upgrade specific areas within our warehouse and offices, ideas and procedures for energy savings will be a major focus for us in 2015.

Recycling and Waste

Our objective with our new waste management program has been to maximize our recycling efforts and efficiently use our materials, including minimizing our waste. We have been recycling much of our waste for years, and in 2013 we implemented a new, very comprehensive recycling and waste management plan, and began to thoroughly measure and track what we recycle and send to the landfill. Training of employees on both waste reduction and our recycling procedures continues to be a strong component of our program’s efforts, as we seek to simplify and streamline the recycling in our facility.

Paper

The major factor in our reduction of paper use has been in moving to an annual wholesale catalog from a biannual wholesale catalog in 2008. With printing only one catalog annually, we have reduced our paper usage by approximately 15,147 lbs. (6,870 kg) of paper each year. The paper we use in our catalog is FSC Certified (Forest Stewardship Council) and recycled (30% recycled and 10% post-consumer waste). FSC certification ensures that products come from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social, and economic benefits.

Packaging and Packaging Materials

Our objective at Starwest is to efficiently use packaging materials (whenever possible) made from renewable materials, that are recyclable and biodegradable. We recycle all cardboard, paper, glass, and recyclable plastic in our facility. We have clearly marked containers in work areas for all RECYCLABLE materials including:

  • All copy and printing paper, including all of our product and shipping labels
  • Cardboard Boxes (all are recyclable, reusable, biodegradable, and compostable)
  • Interior packaging materials including packing paper and bubble wrap
  • Aluminum
  • Wood scraps
  • Plastic
  • Glass

Drums

We do reuse our drums several times, and when done with them, we cut the metal ring off the top and recycle the drum cardboard material.

Wood pallets

We do reuse them in-house, but they are not recyclable. When we’re done with them, we sell them to a company to be reused.

Printer cartridges

Many of the printer ink cartridges we use are recyclable, and all are recycled. We also have several green printers that use solid ink blocks instead of cartridges, which generate less waste.

Electronics

If working, they are often donated to various schools or to our employees and their families. If they are not working, then we work with the e-waste recyclers to ensure proper disposal and/or reuse.

Compost

Our green clippings are taken from our facility and recycled to create compost. Composting requires very little work and resources, and has a positive impact on the environment, including reducing our waste stream.


Sustainability At Starwest

Starwest is committed to selling high quality natural products while preserving the environment. We are committed to a more sustainable planet, and we conduct our business in a way that allows us to maintain our standard of environmental dedication, with commitments to sustainable and organic farming and caring for the environment. Strongly committed to the organic industry and having worked for the advancement of sustainable organic agriculture since 1980, we are proud to offer an increasingly large selection of certified organic botanicals, herbs, spices, teas, liquid herbal extracts, essential oils, and more.

Sustainable Organic Farming

Certified organic products are grown and harvested without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers, and offer a more sustainable option for feeding ourselves and our communities. Organic farms can even support higher levels of wildlife, and improve entire ecosystems and ground water. Sustainable organic farming practices can produce crops without depleting our earth’s resources or polluting the environment. It has many environmental, health, and social benefits, and continue to have a significant impact on the quality and availability of water and soil quality.

Certified Organic Processor

We are continually developing and maintaining long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships with suppliers and growers who are committed to sustainable and organic farming practices. All of our certified organic products are grown and harvested in accordance with the USDA National Organic Program. Our products and manufacturing facility are both Certified Organic by Quality Assurance International (QAI).

Certified Organic Product Sales

We are committed to increasing the amount of certified organic products we offer each year, and many of our new products are launched as organic whenever possible. The overall growth of our 2014 organic product sales has risen by over 50% in the last four years.

Ethically Wildcrafted and Harvested Plants

We make every effort to source and select ingredients from natural renewable sources and are dedicated to the conservation of plants and the preservation of their natural habitat. We support sustainable wild collection practices to protect species from becoming endangered. We are a member of United Plant Savers, a non-profit organization that helps spread the word on endangered and at risk plant species. Their mission is to protect native medicinal plants and their native habitat while ensuring an abundant renewable supply for years to come.

Fair Trade

We continue to offer a large selection of Fair Trade Teas certified by Fair Trade USA, an independent nonprofit organization that monitors and certifies Fair Trade products in the U.S. Fair Trade raises income and living standards for tea farmers overseas, while helping to protect the environment by investing in their farms and communities. For consumers, Fair Trade offers a powerful way to reduce poverty through their everyday shopping.

The Fair Trade Certified™ logo you will see on our product labels guarantees you are receiving a superior quality product, farmers and workers received a fair price for their product, and eco-friendly practices were used in crop production.

Memberships

American Botanical Council (ABC)

An independent, non-profit organization providing education using science-based and traditional information to promote the responsible use of herbal medicine, and the safe and effective use of herbs and medicinal plants. Since 1988, ABC has been educating consumers, healthcare professionals, researchers, educators, industry, and the media worldwide. Their publications are extensively peer-reviewed, and include a vast selection of periodicals, books, safety reviews, continuing education materials, and more.

Herb Research Foundation (HRF)

HRF is a non-profit research and educational organization focusing on herbs and medicinal plants, and their safe and effective use for natural healing and optimum. For over 30 years they’ve been educating and providing information, including solid science and informed opinions about herbs and all aspects of botanicals to the public, scientists, professionals, and businesses.
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