We try very hard to reduce our impact on the environment. We try not to eat food out of boxes (aside from the chemicals and junk in it) we don't have to throw out a box! (Larry's a pretty good cook, too!). We compost our food scraps, or feed them to the chickens (or the chickens raid the compost bins!). We feed our dogs some of the extra meat bits that we don't eat, like hearts and livers and bones. That's the reduce part, I guess.
We also reuse egg cartons, and we hope our customers don't mind that our eggs come in clean, but reused containers. Most of our customers bring us egg cartons, and many non-customers bring us their egg cartons. I keep an eye on them for sturdiness and cleanliness, and when they aren't fit for use, we recycle them, or use them for fire starters in our fireplace in winter. It's another nice way to reduce our impact on the environment and keep the cost of our eggs down (egg cartons are not cheap!).
There's another re-usable product that no one does ever bring back to us. These last a lot longer than an egg carton, and if they get damaged, are also recyclable. Jars from our canned products! These, too, are not cheap, though I do seek them out in thrift shops to reuse, instead of buying new. But I'd love it if customers brought them back to me. So we are offering to give back $0.25 per pint jar, and $0.50 per quart jar that anyone brings back, with a purchase. I am hoping this encourages folks to bring us jars back. I know to buy them new, they cost much more than that, but I can often find them at thrift stores and garage sales. I do, however, use them up faster than I buy them. It also upsets me to think that when I sell a canned item, that the jar ends up in a recycling bin - when it's perfectly good to use again! Empty jars make me think of creative ways to fill them, so I'd love for those (and the metal rings) to come back to me to be filled up with yumminess again! Think about it!