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The Good Intent Manifesto

Hi there! Lindsay and Alex here. We have been having a ton of fun creating content and providing resources to help support your low waste lifestyle, whether you’re just getting your feet wet in the world of sustainable living or you’re already neck deep in compost and DIY deodorant. We hope you’ve learned something useful and maybe even started applying a tip or two to your life.

More recently we’ve been in the process of selecting some amazing products and vendors to launch our online store later this year, which is also super fun.

Why is this super fun for us, you ask? Well, it has everything to do with why we decided to start Good Intent in the first place, and we thought it’s about time we tell you.

A Little Bit of Backstory

On Lindsay

In her childhood of midnight meteor showers and campfire tea made from the berries growing behind the tent, the mantra “do no harm” was a pretty prominent part of Lindsay’s edification. Like, to the extent that she and her sisters weren’t allowed to talk too loud on hiking trips so as not to disturb the animals (still not sure that’s really a thing). When she wrapped her head around the idea that single-use plastics take 500+ years to biodegrade, and that future generations would be burdened with the responsibility of dealing with her own (sometimes frivolous) trash, she thought “now this is something worth thinking twice about.”

On Alex

As surely many can relate, Alex has indulged herself in considering quite a variety of potential career paths that would fulfill her desire to positively influence the lives of others -- journalist, screenwriter, yoga teacher, florist, drama teacher, youth program director -- which eventually, somehow, led to her earning an MBA and studying Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship. She was tired of feeling like she had to wait until the next election to make a difference and realized there was a wealth of potential to create change via something we do every day -- spend money! She was inspired by social enterprises that use business as a force for good and became determined to start her own.

When we realized there was room to promote low waste living in our communities, it seemed like a gap that we were meant to fill.

Why We Started Good Intent

We believe in the power of voting with your dollar.

Often we associate business with being to blame for a lot of the problems both big and small that we face as a society -- pollution, waste, unethical labor practices, social inequality, corruption, you name it. And while there’s clearly truth to that, we as consumers ultimately have the power to decide which of those businesses thrive or fail. Every time we buy something from one of those companies doing business carelessly, we are giving them our seal of approval. Every time we choose a business that aligns with our values, we are funding a better world.

We’ve already seen this pay off in recent years. Just a few years ago, organic produce was much more expensive and difficult to find. So were non-toxic beauty products. And electric cars. Our purchases, along with our feedback and activism, have made it clear what we care about and what we’re willing to spend our money on.

But it’s still not quite as easy as it could be yet. Getting everything you need for your home with minimal waste can be time-consuming and cumbersome.

We want to make reducing waste easier, more inclusive, and more accessible.

We know that it can be overwhelming for most of us to consider changing so many of our habits, even if we really want to. So many of us care about climate change and are eager to make a difference, but don’t really know where to start or what kinds of changes will be the most meaningful.

Or maybe the whole “minimalist” aesthetic just isn’t your style. Or you don’t trust that low waste alternatives will be as effective as your tried and true conventional options. Living a less wasteful life shouldn’t feel like a fad, and it shouldn’t be more complicated. It should be simple and timeless because it is literally how humans have lived for 99.9% of our existence (plastic only became widely used starting in the 1960s).

We want to help take all of our collective good intent, and turn it into actions that change our world for the better.

If we really want to move the needle and reverse the effects of climate change, it will take a lot more of us taking active steps, even if they’re baby ones. We want to be right there showing you how, leading the way, celebrating your wins, and sharing your frustrations.

Our Priorities & Values

  • Plastic-Free Packaging -- The story of why plastic is bad for the environment, for us as individuals, and for every other living thing on this planet is a long one involving the harmful effects of fracking, pollution resulting from the manufacturing process, the toxic chemicals we interact with when we use it, and its immensely wasteful, ineffective, and ultimately destructive disposal. Can you tell we’re fired up about this? For more details, check out our blog post on “7 Reasons to (Seriously) Consider A Low Waste Lifestyle.”

We want to provide you with all the things you need to live a life with as little plastic as possible.

How We Prioritize Packaging:

  1. No Packaging -- Nothing to throw away.
  2. Recycled Paper/Cardboard -- No raw materials required, recyclable and biodegradable.
  3. Recycled Aluminum -- No raw materials used, infinitely recyclable (and valuable to recyclers), and uses less carbon emissions than glass to ship to you.
  4. Recycled Glass -- No raw materials used, infinitely recyclable, easy to reuse.
  5. Bamboo -- Sustainable material because it grows really quickly, is self-regenerating, and requires little to no additional resources. Also produces more oxygen and absorbs more carbon dioxide than other trees.
  6. Recycled Plastic -- Uses no raw materials, promotes plastic recycling industry, but is limited in recyclability.
  7. Virgin Aluminum -- Still requires some raw material extraction, but aluminum is infinitely recyclable and valuable to recyclers. Also easy to reuse.
  8. Virgin Glass -- Infinitely recyclable and easy to reuse. 
  9. FSC Certified Paper/Cardboard -- Responsibly farmed trees, recyclable and biodegradable.
  10. Bio-based Plastic -- Uses less harmful raw ingredients than plastic, but can’t be recycled and can only be composted with high heat industrial facilities. Contaminates recycling if mixed in.
  11. Virgin plastic -- we’d really only consider this for small elements like bottle caps or spray nozzles for containers we’d hope you’d reuse.

See our post on "A Packaging Hierarchy: For When Zero’s Not an Option" for more info on this topic.

  • Locally Manufactured -- Our goal is to source at least 75% of our products from the West Coast and 90% from the USA to minimize carbon emissions, reduce reliance on fossil fuels, and support our local economies.
  • Clean, Non-toxic Ingredients -- We want you to be able to use all of the products we carry without having to worry whether any of the ingredients are safe for you or not. We strive to use organic, botanically based, and effective products with no harmful or unsustainable ingredients like petrolatum, paraffin, parabens, phthalates, BHA, BHT, silicones, EDTA, formaldehyde, or talc. Any palm oil found in the products we carry must be sustainably sourced and RSPO or GreenPalm certified.
  • Transparency -- We want you to know everything there is to know about the products you’re buying, including the ingredients and vendors, so you can be sure you’re making a purchase that fits your needs and values.
  • Low Waste Above All Else -- Our goal is to avoid selling you something you don’t need at the expense of our environment. We believe doing the right thing is good business.
  • Positivity for All -- Eco-guilt is real and easy to feel. We are not asking for perfection. We know how difficult it is in our modern world to make sure every single thing we’re doing is the most ethical or sustainable option. We struggle with it too! We are all about encouraging and supporting you whether you remembered to ask for no straw or not because guilt is not sustainable!

We hope you’ll follow along and join us in our efforts to reduce waste whether you’re doing it to save the planet, minimize harmful chemicals in your home, alleviate harm to wildlife, save money, simplify your life, or just to try something new. Feel free to share your concerns, frustrations, questions, as well as all those seemingly small but impactful times you got it right! We can’t wait to see all that can be done with your good intent.

 

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