The following is a comprehensive list of communities supported by the sourcing facilities that I personally work with. It reflects their integrity, concern and character.
These companies are determined to support the following communities through financial contributions, in-kind donations, and volunteer hours, which is a core part of their company culture; working directly with local and national nonprofit organizations through charitable giving, event sponsorships, matching gifts, conservation work, and plant-related projects. They support over 50 environmental & wildlife conservation organizations annually.
Our sourcing companies are aware that all of the decisions made on a daily basis have an impact on our environment, and want to ensure that their impact is a positive one. This is done by ensuring that daily operations are in a manner consistent with the best environmental practices. We all believe in the preservation of our planet, and for a healthier, cleaner world for generations to come. With their recent expansions and moves, they were able to consolidate several warehouses into one, thus minimizing transportation costs and emissions. This additional space has also allowed more efficient and safe operation, in addition to improving upon environmental practices and waste management programs.
Their energy objective is to offset much of their electricity needs by efficiently using power made from renewable resources. They support their local utility’s Greenergy® program, which allows them 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.
They are committed to reducing energy consumption levels, and have replaced much of their lighting with new low energy units, including motion sensor lights and lights on timers, and continuing to upgrade specific areas within their warehouse and offices, ideas and procedures for energy savings will be a major focus in the future.
Recycling and Waste
The objective with waste management has been to maximize recycling efforts and effectively use materials, including minimizing waste and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. They have been recycling much of their waste for years, and in 2013 implemented a new, very comprehensive recycling and waste management plan, and began to thoroughly measure and track what was recycled and sent to landfills.
In the last few years a substantial amount of progress has been made with an increase in recycling efforts and reducing waste. Recycling has increased from 30% to 50% in the last several years, and over half of the waste is recycled now. Efforts to try and identify ways to increase recycling and decrease waste each year will continue.
Difficult to Recycle Goods
Programs are used that recycle products previously known to be “hard-to-recycle”, and are turned into raw materials that are used to create useful, eco-responsible products and durable goods.
A major effort has been instituted to reduce the amount of paper used. In fact, one of the facilities has been able to reduce paper usage by approximately 15,147 lbs. (6,870 kg) of paper each year. The paper used 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. The ink used contains a high concentration of mixed vegetable oils (is not a petroleum solvent based ink), and makes the print process even more environmentally friendly and sustainable.
Many of the shipping materials used are made from renewable materials that are recyclable and biodegradable. All cardboard, paper, glass, and plastic is recycled. Clearly marked containers in work areas for all RECYCLABLE materials are used including:
- All copy and printing paper, including product and shipping labels
- Cardboard Boxes (all are recyclable, reusable, biodegradable, and compostable)
- Interior packaging materials including packing paper and bubble wrap
- Wood scraps
- Wood pallets
- Printer cartridges
Green clippings are taken and recycled to create compost. Composting requires very little work and resources, and has a positive impact on the environment, including reducing waste stream.
A Passion for Sustainability
The companies we source from are committed to selling premium quality natural products while preserving the environment and making a more sustainable planet. Their passion for health and well-being also extends to the health of the planet we all share. Business is conducted in a way that allows a standard of environmental dedication, with commitments to sustainable and organic farming and caring for the environment. They are strongly committed to the organic industry and have worked for the advancement of sustainable organic agriculture for decades, long before it was a popular idea, and an entire decade before the USDA National Organic Program was even established.
Sustainable Organic Farming
SomaHealth and our partners support sustainable organic farming practices. It helps the consumer by ensuring clean, natural, chemical-free products, and it helps preserve the land where the plants are grown or found.
What are the Benefits of Sustainable Organic Farming?
- Organic farms can support higher levels of wildlife, and improve entire ecosystems and ground water.
- The addition and reuse of organic matter even helps the soil retain nutrients, rather than leaching.
- Certified organic products are grown and harvested without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers that can contaminate the soil, and offer a more sustainable option for feeding ourselves and our communities.
- It has many environmental, health, and social benefits, and continues 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. Products and primary manufacturing facilities are both Certified Organic by Quality Assurance International (QAI).
Kosher Certified Facility
Two of our primary suppliers are made in Certified Kosher facilities, certified by “Kosher Certification Service” located in Los Angeles, CA. Most of our botanicals, herbs, and spices are kosher.
Ethically Wildcrafted and Harvested Plants
Every effort to source and select ingredients from natural renewable sources are made as is dedication to the conservation of plants and the preservation of their natural habitat. Sustainable wild collection practices to protect species from becoming endangered are supported.
United Plant Savers (UPS)
Our primary supplier is 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.
Our passion for organics is woven into every fiber of our operations, and SomaHealth believes this is necessary to realize our dedication to put people, plants, and planet over profit.
For food, family, and future, we encourage you to be passionately organic! Here are the issues that are tackled through organic agriculture on a daily basis and believe can change the world one botanical at a time:
Soil requires a symbiotic relationship with everything around, above, and below it, and when this relationship is harmed through chemical means, everything is altered.
Organic farming methods often involve more labor, but take far less of a toll on the environment through soil building, crop rotation, careful harvesting, assimilation of the local environment, and composting. Conventional, non-organic agricultural methods require large amounts of synthetic chemicals and fertilizers, which are directly sprayed on the crops or injected into the ground. This practice destroys billions of life forms found in a simple handful of soil, stripping the land of the essential building blocks of life.
No matter where you live in this world, you are part of a watershed, and that watershed has a name.
Everything you spray, grow, flush, or discard enters your watershed, contributing to the large percentage of rivers, streams, and lakes that are polluted. We believe that direct action is the most effective way to further protect and enhance our watersheds.
When our friends, families, and neighbors choose conventionally grown products over organic goods, our communities and the lives of the farmers who produce the food we rely on are put in peril.
Through a process known as bioaccumulation, all plants absorb nutrients and matter through root uptake. Conventional non-organic farms use thousands of pounds of synthetic agricultural fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides, which are absorbed by the crops they produce. There is no way to wash away the chemicals that have been absorbed through bioaccumulation.
Organic farming methods do not rely on intensive chemical applications, but rather on composting, natural fertilizers, and green amendments that contribute to healthy plant uptake, which is good for you and good for the planet!
- The EPA estimates that US sales of pesticides in 2000-2001 exceeded $11 billion dollars, thus representing over 2 billion pounds of pesticides being dumped on US farm soil, homes, gardens, schools, golf courses and more. This number is about seven pounds for every man, woman, and child in the entire country.
- There are over 21,000 different pesticides on the US market containing over 875 active compounds. Many of these have been proven to have health implications while the effects of others are still unknown.
- Lawn pesticides and herbicides can cause cancer, infertility, birth defects, developmental disorders, and will double the risk of canine lymphoma in dogs through exposure.
- Since 1945, total U.S. crop losses from insect damage have nearly doubled. During the same time, insecticide use has increased tenfold. Today, 71 known carcinogenic pesticides are sprayed on food crops.
- The EPA estimates that there are approximately 20,000 physician-diagnosed pesticide poisonings each year among agricultural workers. This does not account for those which are unreported.
- Pound for pound, children absorb a higher concentration of pesticides and herbicides than adults.
- According to the US General Accounting Office, only 1 percent of all imported fruits and vegetables are tested by the FDA for illegal pesticide residues.
- The CDC has gone on record as stating, “Pesticides are toxic to life forms by their very design.”
GMO – GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS
Thankfully, most herbs and spices are not in danger of industrial genetic modification, so organic certification is the go-to for insuring that the herbal ingredients are grown without synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, GMO seed stock, or irradiation. Taking this commitment one step further, we also have products verified through the Non-GMO Project!
Conventional farms not using organic methods may use genetically modified seeds that are engineered to be pest-resistant and easily grown in poor soil. Genetic engineering is an experimental practice, so we don’t yet know the full impact of growing these plants, but due to the rise of new “GMO weeds,” more resilient pests, and diseases have been reported. There are other fears that GMO crops can harm non-target species such as insects, birds, bats, and animals that forage from these conventional farms.
As fear continues to mount over the long-term health effects of GMOs, more and more consumers fight for their right to know what’s in their food. Without thorough testing, the safety of genetically modified food is unnervingly questionable. The limited safety tests that are currently in place are often conducted by the very companies that use GMO ingredients. This reason alone illustrates the importance of transparency.
Did you know that Certified Organic means non-GMO? Look for products that are certified through the USDA’s National Organic Program, as well as the Non-GMO Project, to help you avoid GMOs in the products you buy.
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