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Celebrating Earth Day Plastic Free

Reducing plastic waste for the health of people and planet

April is like a holiday around here at Shepherd’s Dream. The days are growing longer, the grass greens up and the leaves are budding out on the trees, daffodils and tulips are blooming everywhere, and baby lambs are frolicking in open pastures. And one of our favorite days is coming up later this month—Earth Day.

This year, the official Earth Day theme is Planet vs. Plastics, and the organization behind Earth Day is voicing their commitment “to end plastics for the sake of human and planetary health, demanding a 60% reduction in the production of ALL plastics by 2040.” 

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When it comes to the discussion of plastics, it’s admittedly a tough one. They are ubiquitous, and without a serious commitment, they are nearly impossible to avoid, appearing everywhere from the grocery aisles to our personal care products to home cleaning supplies to furniture to clothing and beyond. Unfortunately, this also means they are making their way to our waterways, floating in the oceans, clogging landfills, and, as recent research shows, even in our bodies as microplastics. If ever there was a candidate for a unified action by humanity, it may be the abolishment of plastic. 

Here at Shepherd’s Dream, we are aware of the impact of plastics and excited to heed Earth Day’s call. Read on to learn more!

The Shepherd’s Dream Difference—For People and Planet

Every one of our handmade products are made from the Earth and can be safely returned to the Earth. Our products are entirely plastic free—each stitch, every zipper, down to the product tags. 

Our intent is to create the healthiest, highest quality, most sustainable bedding possible. We source pure all-natural EcoWool®, soft organic cotton, and sustainably-sourced latex for our products. Each of these materials are thoughtfully and ethically raised, grown, and produced. 

What about the plastics, synthetic fabrics, harmful chemicals, dyes, VOCs, and flame retardants found in standard mattresses and bed products? We simply don’t need them to create safe, healthy, and luxuriously comfortable bedding. Mother Nature truly is the best designer and inspiration.

Why is this important? Considering we spend a third of our lives in our bedrooms, it’s a very important space. Those with chemical sensitivities and allergies especially stand to benefit from going all-natural, as well as babies and children whose growing bodies need the best start possible. Not to mention that anytime we hear about the Pacific Garbage Patch or the sea birds and turtles dying from swallowing plastics, we’re grateful that our products aren’t contributing to this problem. (Did you know our products are compostable?!)

When we align with Mother Nature, a funny thing happens…we feel healthier, we’re able to relax better, and our overall wellness improves. Who knew that better sleep could also help our planet?!

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Our Plastic-Free Zero Waste Ewe-nitiative®

As part of our ongoing efforts, we dreamed up our Zero Waste Ewe-nitiative to find a way to reuse production scraps of our fabrics and materials. The Zero Waste Ewe-nitiative challenges us even more to make and sell products that satisfy the “reduce,” “reuse,” and “recycle” principles of Zero Waste. Products must meet one of two guidelines to be a ZWE product:

  1. Made from production scraps that would otherwise go to the landfill.
  2. Designed to be a sustainable, enduring substitute for a product commonly either made to be disposable and/or from plastic.

Far from being leftovers, these products are outstanding on their own as well:

  • Wool Felted Soaps— Handmade, all-natural soap ingeniously wrapped in EcoWool® for a gentle built-in exfoliating scrubber. 
  • Paper(less) Towels— Reusable rectangles of organic cotton flannel replace disposable paper towels, reduce your household waste, and save your budget. 
  • Reusable Face Wipes— Uber soft organic cotton flannel feels luxurious on your skin and holds up to multiple washings.
  • Wool Sponges— Say what?! That’s right. A perfect replacement for those plastic sponges that get gross and then clog landfills for a really long time. These compost!
  • Wool Dryer Balls— It’s time to ditch the toxic petroleum-based dryer sheets. These wool dryer balls soften and ease static on clothes naturally.
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The Plastic Dilemma

Given the dangers of plastic both to our health and to the planet’s ecosystems, we are committed to keeping plastic out of our products as much as possible. It does, however, solve some problems for us with regards to shipping. 

With our all-natural materials and focus on human health, it’s incredibly important to keep our products clean and free from contamination. Many of our customers are people who experience allergies and sensitivities, so it’s crucial that their product remain as pure and clean as possible. Products can take on scents or moisture from the environment or during shipping, and plastic provides a secure barrier that is hard to duplicate. 

Even so, we’re setting a goal to cut our plastic packaging usage in half by 2025. We’re also looking at reducing or eliminating plastic packaging for both local and online customers. Be sure to keep an eye at checkout for options related to plastic packaging for your orders!

Luckily, the packaging industry is leaning strongly toward increased sustainability, so we’re hopeful for smart solutions.

Dreaming of a Plastic-Free World

April is Earth Month, and we’ll be sharing more plastic-free tips and awareness all month long. In the meantime, if you need a pick-me-up amidst the dire and dreary plastic news, check out the organization The Ocean Cleanup. They’re out there doing the work to clean up the ocean and prevent plastic from reaching it via rivers and coastlines. It’s definitely a bright spot in the environmental newsfeed.

Also check out past Counting Sheep blog posts about this and similar topics:

Thanks for stopping by! We hope you’ve found some inspiration for your own plastic-free journey. Give us a follow on Instagram for more eco-friendly lifestyle tips and news. Until next time, sweet dreams!

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