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The arrival of spring is a unique time of year in which we are constantly reminded of the power of hope. Easter and Passover, as religious holidays, and of course, Earth Day—founded 50 years ago today as a celebration of the natural beauty that surrounds us unwaveringly each year after year, marking the end of each winter after winter. It is unfortunate that as the environment’s annual day of recognition is upon us once again, the COVID-19 pandemic has limited our ability to appreciate it in the same way we usually do—by spending time outdoors. Ironically, in our absence, signs of the Earth’s healing are evident in small ways around the globe. Cities normally blanketed in smog are now crystal-clear. Cities once bustling with humans are now seeing the return of wildlife. 

Image of smog in Milan before and after quarantine

Italian Alps above Milan | Image from news.sky.com

Despite this seemingly-cruel irony, an alternate view to our current reality is that in being forced to adapt to these difficult situations, we may emerge on the other side better equipped to deal with the necessary changes needed in order to save our species. Collectively, we have the power to make real change. The hope is real.

In practice, hope for the future of our environment is making small but deliberate changes to our routines in order to make a large-scale impact collectively. These changes can be as simple as installing LED light bulbs or taking shorter showers. They can also be making conscious decisions to support brands and products that take the initiative to minimize their environmental footprint as much as possible.

There are a plethora of unique challenges facing cannabis businesses in their attempts to become more sustainable; balancing government regulations such as two-step packaging laws and recycling restrictions with typical sustainable solutions such as minimizing excessive packaging. The more you can support businesses such as these, the more commonplace these solutions will become, making environmentally-friendly cannabis more widespread and accessible across all types of products and price ranges. Below are several cannabis companies leading the way in creating sustainable solutions in the face of these challenges.

Hand of a person holding up an Ocean Cannabis Co. preroll1. Ocean Cannabis Co.

Mary and Patrick Ersig, self-proclaimed serial entrepreneurs and passionate philanthropists, founded Ocean Cannabis Co. as a way to bring their philanthropic backgrounds to the California cannabis industry. With high-quality, high-testing vapes and prerolls, what truly sets them apart from a sustainability standpoint is their packaging, which is made from 100% recycled, reclaimed ocean plastic. Remarkably, each Ocean Cannabis product purchased removes the equivalent of 15 straws or one water bottle’s worth of plastic from the ocean. Mary and Patrick’s goal is to remove a total of 10 tons of plastic this year, and in honor of Earth Day 2020, all Ocean Cannabis Co. products will be 25% off today only at Torrey Holistics. Help them reach their goal now!

 
All of the packaging that goes into Kikoko's honey straws is compostable
2. Kikoko

Also leading the way in innovative cannabis packaging is Kikoko, which utilizes compostable materials in everything from their CBD & THC honey straws to their tea pouches. When disposed of in a county-issued compost bin, a single honey straw wrapper will begin to degrade in six months and decompose entirely within two years! For non-compostable items such as their tea tins, Kikoko designs them to be recycled or upcycled, meaning you can use them as containers for things such as jewelry or keys instead of throwing them away. Finally, all of the ingredients used in Kikoko’s teas, honey shots, and mints are sourced from organic, non-GMO whole-plant herbs, teas, and flowers. The cannabis they use is grown outdoors using organic or biodynamic farming methods.

Man holding a jar of Flow Kana's sustainably-grown cannabis flower3. Flow Kana

Comprising a network of farms that specialize in sustainable, sungrown cannabis, Flow Kana describes itself as the first brand to “embrace and represent California’s Emerald Triangle and its family-run, small-batch, independent farm ecosystem.” Their central credo is to inspire consumers to know where their cannabis is coming from, including the way it is grown and the people who grow it. In addition, many of the farms cultivating Flow Kana’s signature strains are Sun+Earth Certified, proving their commitment to cannabis that is grown holistically, responsibly, and regeneratively for the well-being of all people, farmers, and the planet.


Care By Design's full line of CBD and THC vape cartridges
4. Care By Design

One issue commonly faced by cannabis manufacturers is minimizing waste while remaining compliant with child-resistant packaging laws. Care By Design found a simple way to combat this dilemma: they discovered a way to make their CBD-rich vape cartridges inherently child resistant, eliminating the need for extra plastic. To underscore the importance of cutting down plastic use in the cannabis industry, the Care By Design team calculated that if you stacked a year’s worth of child-resistant cartridge packaging, you would end up with a pile that is 916,666 feet tall—over 30 times higher than Mount Everest!


From one “tree” hugger to another, have a wonderful Earth Day!

 

 

 

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