M.LaHart & Co. is committed to sustaining and supporting the environment, it’s an important part in everything we do. We are based in Litchfield, Connecticut, a bucolic town surrounded by farms on rolling hills. Our office borders a 4,000 acre nature preserve that includes forests, fields and wetlands. The largest natural lake in the state of Connecticut is less than a mile down the road. With all this natural beauty around us, how could we not feel a responsibility to protect it?
When we consider our environmental footprint, we look not only at what we’re doing here at home but also at how we impact the world through our vendors, catalogs and the packages that we send to customers across the country. As an environmentally concerned operation, M.LaHart is committed to recycling and waste reduction.
Here’s what we’re doing to reduce our environmental footprint:
- Implemented an extensive in-house recycling program of cardboard, paper, cans, and plastics. Today, only 3% of our solid waste ends up in a landfill. We succeeded in reducing our non-recyclable materials to only 30% of our total solid waste stream. Of that non-recyclable waste, only 10% ends up in landfills - the rest is used for energy creation.
- Switched from fluorescent to LED lighting to reduce energy consumption and lower our carbon footprint.
- Continuously work with our manufacturers to ensure that they are monitoring their waste streams and using sustainably sourced materials in our products whenever possible.
- In the last two years we’ve reduced the number of catalogs sent to customers by 40%, replacing many of them with digital offerings. This not only reduces paper waste, but also reduces the carbon output by eliminating the energy needed to physically ship these materials.
- We manage the production process of our printing very carefully. Our printer is local, avoiding extensive shipping and transport.
- The paper for our catalogs is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) ensuring that the paper comes from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits.
- Soy-based inks are used with an impressive Bio Renewable Content (BRC) Index of 70.
- In 2017 we rolled out digital catalogs across all schools and greatly expanded our use of digital marketing.
- Switched from bubble wrap and non-recyclable packing materials to biodegradable or recyclable products whenever possible. Approximately 95% of our packing materials and gift boxes are now either biodegradable or curbside recyclable.
- M.LaHart only uses use curbside recyclable shipping cartons that are manufactured using recycled paper content.
As a part of our endeavor, we are active participants in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) WasteWise Program. WasteWise is a voluntary, EPA program that allows organizations to put into practice waste reduction systems. We are one of the approximately 1,900 partners of WasteWise nationwide, who consist of large corporations, small and medium-sized businesses, schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, state and local governments, tribes, and other institutions. Through waste reduction methods, we work towards waste prevention, recycling, and buying and manufacturing recycled content products.
For more information, or to find out about becoming a voluntary member of the EPA WasteWise Program, visit their website at https://www.epa.gov/smm/wastewise