I'm thrilled to have been awarded Plastic Free Champion status - and how appropriate during Plastic Free July!
Surfers Against Sewage created the awards for businesses that remove the use of avoidable single use plastic, and drive the change that's needed to stem the tide of plastic at source: quite simply, if we don't use it, we remove the need for it to be made.
Being an eco conscious business is at the heart of everything I do at College Green.
I make soaps and bath soaks using only natural ingredients and pure essential oils. Candles are made using environmentally friendly soy wax and cotton and paper wicks. Even the water I use in soaps is collected by hand from a natural spring! And of course, everything is proudly palm oil free.
Packaging is all plastic free: soaps are available package free or wrapped in beautiful uncoated paper using vegetable oil-based inks that's designed and manufactured in England by Cambridge Imprint.
Bath soaks are packed in recycled glass jars with metal lids, and candle containers are made from recyclable tin (later updated to amber glass jars).
Soap dishes are made from either sustainable wood, which are sourced from an ethical supplier, or glass that's made by hand in Cornwall.
When you receive an order by post the packing material, and often the box will be recycled from those our ingredients arrive in (giving a second life to the small amount of plastic I receive) and I'm heartened to have seen many businesses swap plastic to natural alternatives during the last few years.
And most recently I introduced a range of environmentally sustainable and reusable gift wrapping made from vintage scarves. It's based on the ancient Japanese art of furoshiki, and needs no tape to secure it.
But my plastic free quest doesn't stop there; I'm always searching for more eco friendly ways of doing business and living a more modest, meaningful and greener life.
I'll be sharing recipes for making eco friendly cleaning and beauty products soon - follow on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter - and sign up for a new monthly newsletter at the bottom of the page here.
Many thanks to Chloe Turner, the co-ordinator of Stroud District Action on Plastic for inviting College Green to apply for the award, then chasing the progress which, like many things, was delayed by more than a year due to the pandemic.