It is impossible to discuss the eco-friendly nature of the cannabis industry without making a pun about how “green” it is. In the beginning, it was a world of creative packaging, branding, and marketing that emphasized the green nature of the cannabis community. Cannabis brands appreciate recycled materials, composting plant waste, and efficient machines, and so does the typical customer. However, in the haste to comply with ever-changing regulations on business practices, packaging, and labeling, many brands have turned away from their recycled roots to more generic plastic and standard-business solutions.
We know it’s been a logistical roller coaster just to keep your doors open in some states, but as policies settle down into a whole new normal, you can finally take a breath of fresh air and start thinking green again. How can cannabis businesses re-embrace their eco-friendly principles with every business decision? We’ve put some thought and research into a few smart, eco-friendly business practices that your nature-loving customers will adore.
Packaging Made from Recycled Materials
Cannabis packaging needs to be flexible, sealable, and produced quickly. Now that regulations are settled, you can think about making it recyclable (or recycled!), as well. Customers love recycled material packaging because they know that their purchase is helping, or at least not hindering, the environment.
The first layer of packaging is the unmarked sealed bag that most dispensaries use. This can be made of recycled plastic, or an untearable, recycled fiber bag as long as it meets the requirements of opacity and childproofing.
Then there’s individual product packaging. Already, we are seeing an increase in cardboard boxes over plastic jars, and we can go further. Embrace the recycled theme and choose a rougher cardboard, interestingly shaped origami packaging, or plastic that’s still got some detail to it. This ‘watermark’ of recycling is enough to make any eco-friendly customer smile.
Energy-Efficient Growing Strategies
For grow operations, energy efficiency is key. Your carbon footprint is influenced by how much electricity is required to grow each crop. Here are three different ways to increase your energy efficiency in the grow tent:
Sufficient Temp/Humidity Enclosure
- Make sure your growing spaces are sealed so that none of the designated temperature- and humidity-controlled air escapes. This makes the most of your growing conditions and energy use.
Reflective Tent Material
- Reflecting grow lights back onto the plants magnifies the impact of the light itself. Reflective grow tent material can help to enhance your lights without turning up the power.
High-Efficiency Lights & Equipment
- Most grow operations are working with high-efficiency LED lights. With careful research and selection, you can ensure that you are investing in efficient equipment for all operations. Not only is it good for the environment, but it will also save you money in the long run.
Localized Solar Power
A little solar power can go a long way in running your cannabis production lights and equipment.
Depending on your state and building, it may be possible to make use of solar power in your cannabis production operations. Soaking up a little sun and routing it to an internal circuit (not part of the building) is the most approachable by multiple state laws while supplementing your power bill with on-site solar is a little tricker and not as easy to get approved for all states.
Natural-Ingredient Cannabis Products
Do you make your own cannabis edibles or cosmetics? Go green by embracing natural ingredients like cocoa butter and almond oil instead of artificial additives. Advertise that there’s nothing chemical or unnatural in your cannabis products and that some of your ingredients are sourced locally and watch your audience look to the natural product lines. People like ingredient lists they can read and pronounce.
As a bonus, grow a few of your own ingredients. Advertise that the herbs like lemongrass or lavender in your production are grown right on-site, share pictures of your ingredient garden, and your eco-friendly audience will love it.