Summary


At Thistle, our mission is to make it easy for everyone to get and stay healthy while improving the sustainability of our food system. 

Our co-founders, Ash Cheriyan and Shiri Avnery, started Thistle with a passion to improve health and wellness for people and the planet through food. Shiri has a PhD in Environmental Science and Policy, with an emphasis on the intersection of climate change, air pollution, and food. Ash and Shiri were driven by the fact that two of the greatest challenges of our generation -- our growing health crisis and current climate emergency -- pointed to a common solution of eating more plants and eating less meat.

Finding food that you like, that is good for you, and that is sustainable to produce can seem like a challenge, but with Thistle, our goal is to make it easy for you to feel fulfilled.

What You Eat Impacts the Planet

Eating plant-based foods is the single most impactful way to reduce your overall environmental footprint. Your environmental footprint is how you impact the world. We all end up using natural resources and producing waste, but how you go about combatting your environmental footprint can be critical in supporting the planet. From climate change to natural resource depletion to pollution to habitat loss and species extinction, abstaining from meat and dairy cut global dietary greenhouse gas emissions in half (and almost 75% in the US and other heavy meat eating countries), air and water pollution by ~50%, and freshwater withdrawals by 20%.

Perhaps even more stark is the impact of reducing demand for animal agriculture on land use. The loss of natural habitat due to agriculture is the main driver of the current mass extinction of wildlife: we have lost nearly 70% of all wildlife populations in the last 50 years (and in some regions, closer to 95%) due to severely degrading about three quarters of land on earth. 

If all people worldwide were to stop eating animal products, the area of land used for global agriculture could be reduced by ~75%! This would lead to an even more significant (and additional) decline in greenhouse gas emissions, as land no longer required for food production could remove ~8.1 billion metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere each year as natural vegetation reestablishes and soil carbon re-accumulates. For context, this represents ~25% of annual global energy related CO2 emissions that could be sequestered. 

Soil carbon is the “solid” carbon that is found in soil around the world. When carbon that lives in the soil is exposed to air due to erosion, it becomes CO2. Animal agriculture is linked to 55% of land erosion, so as you can see, it’s a vicious chain that keeps on giving, and definitely not in a good way. 

The world’s cultivated soils have lost between 50-70% of their carbon, which has found its way into our air, but with land restoration, carbon might make its way back into the soil. Different regenerative agricultural practices can help to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere, and more and more scientists are realizing the importance of finding ways to get carbon back into the soil as a renewable energy resource.

We know that going completely plant-based may be hard for many, but the good news is you don’t have to go completely vegan to make an impact: reducing the amount of animal products you consume, avoiding the worst offenders as much as possible (beef, lamb, and dairy), and choosing responsibly sourced options when you do eat animal products makes a huge difference for our planet. 

First and foremost, your health is our main priority, and we want you to be receiving the proper nutrients that you need to function as a healthy human being. 

We support your journey no matter what. We offer sustainably sourced meat options for flexitarian meals that are still 90% plant-based. Our meat options include a 3 ounce portion of poultry, pork, seafood and eggs, instead of the typical 6+ ounce portion Americans generally eat, and never beef or lamb, which have a disproportionately negative impact on the environment. If you aren’t ready to make the full commitment to a plant-based diet, using our different meal options can help you make baby steps in the right direction. Since 2013, we’ve helped tens of thousands of customers reduce their meat consumption for the benefit of the planet. 

Not only do we try to cut back on our meat consumption, but we are 100% dairy-free. Avoiding dairy can help cut down on your carbon footprint. We use house-made nut milks, coconut creams, nut cheeses, and seed butters instead to achieve the same level of creaminess (and deliciousness). The healthy fats that these dairy-free alternatives have can help you store energy, balance your hormones, and transport vitamins into your body. 

Thistle is proud to offer dairy alternatives to provide healthy and delicious meals without further adding to greenhouse emissions. 

Building a More Sustainable Future

It’s important to us here at Thistle that we are doing everything we can to support a more sustainable future. We’re committed to the world more sustainable by practising a variety of other measures, besides reducing your consumption of meat:

  • Powered by 100% Renewable Energy: As of July 2020, we partnered with East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) to ensure that all of Thistle’s meals are made and packed in kitchens that run on 100% non-polluting renewable energy from wind and solar! We want to avoid putting greenhouse emissions into the air, and by working with EBCE, we have done this for the last year successfully, and will do it for many years to come. 
  • Carbon Neutral Deliveries: Thistle offsets emissions from delivering meals to our customers by purchasing verifiable carbon offsets. By purchasing these carbon offsets, Thistle supports projects that help to preserve forests and reduce pollution. 
  • Thoughtful Sourcing: Thistle uses organic ingredients where possible and where it matters (e.g. from the Dirty Dozen list and beyond) from certified farmers — but more importantly, our menus are designed specifically to take advantage of local and seasonal harvests in states along the West Coast, like California, Oregon, and Washington. This helps to minimize food miles and enables us to provide delicious in-season produce that is at its peak. We are proud to work with mission-aligned farmers and food crafters who employ sustainable, regenerative, transparent practices to their farming techniques.
  • Community partnerships: We donate meals to a variety of organizations that feed those in need. In 2020 alone, we donated more than 25,000 meals to several organizations. In Northern California: Berkeley Food Pantry, East Oakland Collective, Vacaville Fire Department (during the Lightning Fire of 2020), and Replate. And in Southern California: Food Finders and LA Community Fridge. We’ve also partnered with Project Open Hand, which provides nutritious meals to vulnerable communities in San Francisco and Oakland.
  • Minimized Food Waste: Thistle produces half the average food waste of a normal restaurant, and less than 15% the waste of the average consumer buying groceries and cooking at home. In 2020, we cut our food waste in half and repurposed over 20,000 pounds of leftover ingredients into our weekly soup production. With ingredients that we can’t use for soup, we minimize food that goes to waste by composting it or donating to Replate, a nonprofit organization that brings those ingredients to communities in need. Eating with Thistle means you’ll reduce your own food waste, too: by ordering only what you need from Thistle, you can reduce your food waste by up to 85%! We also make sure to donate the by-product from our juices and meals to local farmers for them to compost.

Our Packaging Now: Reuse and Recycle

What is inside our package to you is just as important as what it comes delivered in. Packaging remains our #1 most urgent sustainability challenge — and we have been trying to address it for quite some time. We are currently working to offset our packaging emissions by providing a more sustainable product overall. 

Our meal container packaging is currently: 

  • 100% recyclable: No need to worry whether or not you can recycle everything in the delivery, because with our containers, everything is recyclable! Give it a rinse and confidently toss it into the recycling bin knowing that it will end up in the right place. 
  • Made with 65% less energy than normal PET: Our PET (polyethylene terephthalate), or polyester, is a very strong and lightweight plastic that is rapidly becoming the most commonly used plastic, and it is 100% recyclable. 
  • Made from 15% post-consumer recycled plastic: We also make sure to use post-consumer recycled plastic, which is made up of material that consumers recycle every day like cardboard, paper, and plastic. This ensures that recycled plastics get a second life, which helps to reduce our carbon footprint.
  • Made using 15% solar energy: Using the sun has never felt so good. 15% of Thistle’s packaging is made using solar energy, which limits the emission of greenhouse gases. 

Additionally, we ask Thistlers to return our cooler bags and ice packs by leaving them out before their next delivery has arrived so that we can take them back, wash them, and reuse them. 

We are constantly trying to create better, more sustainable packaging for our community, and we are always excited to share the new work that we are doing.

Improving Our Packaging: More reusable and next-generation compostable

Many of you have asked why we haven’t made a switch to compostable packaging. The reality is that many of the commercially available solutions on the market today, at least those that work for our purposes, are not necessarily better for the environment. In some cases, they could be worse, when you consider the full lifecycle of the product: how materials will be manufactured, transported, and disposed of by the customers. Some considerations include the following (and a good summary can be found here):

  • Compostable materials can be more resource intensive than plastics to produce, leading to greater contributions to global warming, pollution, and resource scarcity, especially when not sourced sustainably. Unfortunately, suppliers are often not transparent with their supply chains and sourcing practices, making it harder to trust that we would be working towards our goal of creating a more sustainable world. 
  • This type of packaging is currently only compostable under very specific conditions, which are in resource intensive industrial facilities — it’s not your backyard compost heap — that not only require a ton of energy to break down materials, but are only accessible by a small percentage of Americans. If people don’t have access to commercial composting, the packaging ends up in recycling, which ends up polluting the recycling stream (because they are not actually recyclable), or it ends up in landfill or a marine environment where it has many of the same problems as traditional plastic (at least the bioplastic types of compostable containers that best worked for our purposes). In order to be sustainable and as equitable as we can, we have to make choices that are based on the reality of the environments we are in. If not all of our consumers can use compostable packaging and discard it properly, then we aren’t actually thinking about our consumers. 
  • Most of the more environmentally attractive paper or molded fiber-based compostable packaging doesn’t work for our needs. Thistle meals are packaged and delivered or shipped to customers, which requires packaging to be more durable, leak-proof, and spill-proof than most compostable solutions out there offer. We found in testing that these packages led to a tremendous amount of wasted food due to issues in transport, as well as to reductions in shelf life for the customer. This not only leads to a poor customer experience, but also a higher environmental footprint due to greater food waste. Using packaging that would be sustainable during the delivery process is the opposite of our mission, and so we found better ways to work around it. 
  • The molded fiber containers that had greatest success in our testing were unfortunately found to contain forever PFAS chemicals that are linked to cancer and other health impacts, and can contaminate food and the environment. When it comes to what matters the most to us, it’s your health, and that what you are consuming from us will do good rather than harm. 

The point here isn’t that plastic is a good solution, of course — it is absolutely not! The  point is that currently available compostable materials are not necessarily a panacea (despite marketing claims). This is a complicated issue without a simple, single answer that often involves environmental tradeoffs, and that it’s important to dig into the details of source materials, manufacturing, and end-of-life to make the right decision. 

Learning How To Upcycle

We are continuing to learn about new ways that we can create more sustainable packaging, testing out new products and seeing how they hold up in our delivery process. 

It’s important to the Thistle family that we are constantly working towards new sustainability goals. 

While we work toward reusable packaging, there are ways that you, as a consumer, can help to limit waste all while adding some practical additions to your home. 

Upcycling is when you take a product and find a way to use it again in an inventive and unique way. So often do we find ourselves throwing things out that could be reused in so many different ways. 

Here are some ways that you could repurpose some of the items that come delivered to you by Thistle:

  • Soup and Salad Jars: While this plastic jar is 100% recyclable, it’s also a great size and shape to repurpose it for different short plants and a variety of succulents. As long as you drill holes into the bottom for proper drainage, you can avoid buying plant pots when you use our jars. You have the ability to make the jar your own, adding paint or stickers or designs, so take advantage of your creativity! If you aren’t a plant person but you are an organizer, our jars are a great way to store different dry foods in a chic and eco-conscious way. They are easy to stack on top of one another because they are similar in size, and they can be sealed tightly with the twist-on cap. Your pantry will look satisfyingly tidy after using our jars for storage!
  • Snack Plates: Small plates once filled with our delicious snacks are also recyclable, but you might find use for them in your craft room instead of your kitchen. These small containers have separate sections that are perfect for a makeshift paint palette. They allow for just the right amount of paint and you can wash these out and reuse them multiple times.
  • Breakfast Containers: When you receive muffins or oatmeal from Thistle, it comes in a container that is the perfect size for snacking. Once you’ve eaten our delicious muffin or have made our oatmeal, you can rinse out the packaging and reuse it to pack other snacks for the rest of your day. These containers are a great size for trail mix on-the-go, dried fruits, or maybe even a little yogurt parfait! You can also use these small containers as the water cup while you paint to rinse your brushes. The opportunities are endless!

Upcycling is an amazing way to get more use out of a product that still has good bones. 

We know we already have some pretty good packaging, but we know that it can be better. 

While recycling and composting are essential in helping our environment and are currently some of the best ways to be eco-conscious, the real challenge is making our products reusable. We want to be able to pick them up from you after you’ve used them, give them a good cleaning, and then safely send them out to another Thistler. 

We are still working towards this goal, so in the meantime, finding new ways to repurpose our packaging is an extremely easy way for you to support our environment. 

Not to mention, it’s pretty fun. 

Now the good news! Packaging innovation continues to progress: we are extremely excited about the next generation of compostable containers we’ve begun to test. These are not yet widely available on the market but we’re pursuing potential partnerships with a couple of companies that offer containers composed of materials that either do actually degrade in your backyard (and don’t require tons of energy and special facilities to break down), or are both industrially compostable and recyclable in case compost isn’t available in your city, all while not leaving behind nasty chemicals. 

Better yet is the potential for reusable containers, since reusable packaging is preferable to any single use option. While the pandemic unfortunately caused some delays in this project last year, we were still able to conduct tests with our partner, robotics startup Dishcraft, to pilot fully washable and reusable packaging in 2020. We gained valuable insight and now we’re ready for a larger scale test with about 500 customers right around Earth Day 2021 -- so when this reusable packaging arrives at your door, be sure to tell us what you think!

As your partner in health and wellness, we hope you will continue to support us and our efforts to create a more beautiful, sustainable world for generations to come. Have a sustainability idea for us? Drop us a line at hello@thistle.co.

Added Sources:

Animal Agriculture's Impact on Climate Change | Climate Nexus 

Get meals delivered to your door
We believe eating delicious is crucial to a healthy diet. Each week, our team of chefs design a new menu for what's in season, fresh and flavorful.
TRY THISTLE
Posted 
Apr 7, 2021
 in 
Thistle News
 category.
Summary


At Thistle, our mission is to make it easy for everyone to get and stay healthy while improving the sustainability of our food system. 

Our co-founders, Ash Cheriyan and Shiri Avnery, started Thistle with a passion to improve health and wellness for people and the planet through food. Shiri has a PhD in Environmental Science and Policy, with an emphasis on the intersection of climate change, air pollution, and food. Ash and Shiri were driven by the fact that two of the greatest challenges of our generation -- our growing health crisis and current climate emergency -- pointed to a common solution of eating more plants and eating less meat.

Finding food that you like, that is good for you, and that is sustainable to produce can seem like a challenge, but with Thistle, our goal is to make it easy for you to feel fulfilled.

What You Eat Impacts the Planet

Eating plant-based foods is the single most impactful way to reduce your overall environmental footprint. Your environmental footprint is how you impact the world. We all end up using natural resources and producing waste, but how you go about combatting your environmental footprint can be critical in supporting the planet. From climate change to natural resource depletion to pollution to habitat loss and species extinction, abstaining from meat and dairy cut global dietary greenhouse gas emissions in half (and almost 75% in the US and other heavy meat eating countries), air and water pollution by ~50%, and freshwater withdrawals by 20%.

Perhaps even more stark is the impact of reducing demand for animal agriculture on land use. The loss of natural habitat due to agriculture is the main driver of the current mass extinction of wildlife: we have lost nearly 70% of all wildlife populations in the last 50 years (and in some regions, closer to 95%) due to severely degrading about three quarters of land on earth. 

If all people worldwide were to stop eating animal products, the area of land used for global agriculture could be reduced by ~75%! This would lead to an even more significant (and additional) decline in greenhouse gas emissions, as land no longer required for food production could remove ~8.1 billion metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere each year as natural vegetation reestablishes and soil carbon re-accumulates. For context, this represents ~25% of annual global energy related CO2 emissions that could be sequestered. 

Soil carbon is the “solid” carbon that is found in soil around the world. When carbon that lives in the soil is exposed to air due to erosion, it becomes CO2. Animal agriculture is linked to 55% of land erosion, so as you can see, it’s a vicious chain that keeps on giving, and definitely not in a good way. 

The world’s cultivated soils have lost between 50-70% of their carbon, which has found its way into our air, but with land restoration, carbon might make its way back into the soil. Different regenerative agricultural practices can help to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere, and more and more scientists are realizing the importance of finding ways to get carbon back into the soil as a renewable energy resource.

We know that going completely plant-based may be hard for many, but the good news is you don’t have to go completely vegan to make an impact: reducing the amount of animal products you consume, avoiding the worst offenders as much as possible (beef, lamb, and dairy), and choosing responsibly sourced options when you do eat animal products makes a huge difference for our planet. 

First and foremost, your health is our main priority, and we want you to be receiving the proper nutrients that you need to function as a healthy human being. 

We support your journey no matter what. We offer sustainably sourced meat options for flexitarian meals that are still 90% plant-based. Our meat options include a 3 ounce portion of poultry, pork, seafood and eggs, instead of the typical 6+ ounce portion Americans generally eat, and never beef or lamb, which have a disproportionately negative impact on the environment. If you aren’t ready to make the full commitment to a plant-based diet, using our different meal options can help you make baby steps in the right direction. Since 2013, we’ve helped tens of thousands of customers reduce their meat consumption for the benefit of the planet. 

Not only do we try to cut back on our meat consumption, but we are 100% dairy-free. Avoiding dairy can help cut down on your carbon footprint. We use house-made nut milks, coconut creams, nut cheeses, and seed butters instead to achieve the same level of creaminess (and deliciousness). The healthy fats that these dairy-free alternatives have can help you store energy, balance your hormones, and transport vitamins into your body. 

Thistle is proud to offer dairy alternatives to provide healthy and delicious meals without further adding to greenhouse emissions. 

Building a More Sustainable Future

It’s important to us here at Thistle that we are doing everything we can to support a more sustainable future. We’re committed to the world more sustainable by practising a variety of other measures, besides reducing your consumption of meat:

  • Powered by 100% Renewable Energy: As of July 2020, we partnered with East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) to ensure that all of Thistle’s meals are made and packed in kitchens that run on 100% non-polluting renewable energy from wind and solar! We want to avoid putting greenhouse emissions into the air, and by working with EBCE, we have done this for the last year successfully, and will do it for many years to come. 
  • Carbon Neutral Deliveries: Thistle offsets emissions from delivering meals to our customers by purchasing verifiable carbon offsets. By purchasing these carbon offsets, Thistle supports projects that help to preserve forests and reduce pollution. 
  • Thoughtful Sourcing: Thistle uses organic ingredients where possible and where it matters (e.g. from the Dirty Dozen list and beyond) from certified farmers — but more importantly, our menus are designed specifically to take advantage of local and seasonal harvests in states along the West Coast, like California, Oregon, and Washington. This helps to minimize food miles and enables us to provide delicious in-season produce that is at its peak. We are proud to work with mission-aligned farmers and food crafters who employ sustainable, regenerative, transparent practices to their farming techniques.
  • Community partnerships: We donate meals to a variety of organizations that feed those in need. In 2020 alone, we donated more than 25,000 meals to several organizations. In Northern California: Berkeley Food Pantry, East Oakland Collective, Vacaville Fire Department (during the Lightning Fire of 2020), and Replate. And in Southern California: Food Finders and LA Community Fridge. We’ve also partnered with Project Open Hand, which provides nutritious meals to vulnerable communities in San Francisco and Oakland.
  • Minimized Food Waste: Thistle produces half the average food waste of a normal restaurant, and less than 15% the waste of the average consumer buying groceries and cooking at home. In 2020, we cut our food waste in half and repurposed over 20,000 pounds of leftover ingredients into our weekly soup production. With ingredients that we can’t use for soup, we minimize food that goes to waste by composting it or donating to Replate, a nonprofit organization that brings those ingredients to communities in need. Eating with Thistle means you’ll reduce your own food waste, too: by ordering only what you need from Thistle, you can reduce your food waste by up to 85%! We also make sure to donate the by-product from our juices and meals to local farmers for them to compost.

Our Packaging Now: Reuse and Recycle

What is inside our package to you is just as important as what it comes delivered in. Packaging remains our #1 most urgent sustainability challenge — and we have been trying to address it for quite some time. We are currently working to offset our packaging emissions by providing a more sustainable product overall. 

Our meal container packaging is currently: 

  • 100% recyclable: No need to worry whether or not you can recycle everything in the delivery, because with our containers, everything is recyclable! Give it a rinse and confidently toss it into the recycling bin knowing that it will end up in the right place. 
  • Made with 65% less energy than normal PET: Our PET (polyethylene terephthalate), or polyester, is a very strong and lightweight plastic that is rapidly becoming the most commonly used plastic, and it is 100% recyclable. 
  • Made from 15% post-consumer recycled plastic: We also make sure to use post-consumer recycled plastic, which is made up of material that consumers recycle every day like cardboard, paper, and plastic. This ensures that recycled plastics get a second life, which helps to reduce our carbon footprint.
  • Made using 15% solar energy: Using the sun has never felt so good. 15% of Thistle’s packaging is made using solar energy, which limits the emission of greenhouse gases. 

Additionally, we ask Thistlers to return our cooler bags and ice packs by leaving them out before their next delivery has arrived so that we can take them back, wash them, and reuse them. 

We are constantly trying to create better, more sustainable packaging for our community, and we are always excited to share the new work that we are doing.

Improving Our Packaging: More reusable and next-generation compostable

Many of you have asked why we haven’t made a switch to compostable packaging. The reality is that many of the commercially available solutions on the market today, at least those that work for our purposes, are not necessarily better for the environment. In some cases, they could be worse, when you consider the full lifecycle of the product: how materials will be manufactured, transported, and disposed of by the customers. Some considerations include the following (and a good summary can be found here):

  • Compostable materials can be more resource intensive than plastics to produce, leading to greater contributions to global warming, pollution, and resource scarcity, especially when not sourced sustainably. Unfortunately, suppliers are often not transparent with their supply chains and sourcing practices, making it harder to trust that we would be working towards our goal of creating a more sustainable world. 
  • This type of packaging is currently only compostable under very specific conditions, which are in resource intensive industrial facilities — it’s not your backyard compost heap — that not only require a ton of energy to break down materials, but are only accessible by a small percentage of Americans. If people don’t have access to commercial composting, the packaging ends up in recycling, which ends up polluting the recycling stream (because they are not actually recyclable), or it ends up in landfill or a marine environment where it has many of the same problems as traditional plastic (at least the bioplastic types of compostable containers that best worked for our purposes). In order to be sustainable and as equitable as we can, we have to make choices that are based on the reality of the environments we are in. If not all of our consumers can use compostable packaging and discard it properly, then we aren’t actually thinking about our consumers. 
  • Most of the more environmentally attractive paper or molded fiber-based compostable packaging doesn’t work for our needs. Thistle meals are packaged and delivered or shipped to customers, which requires packaging to be more durable, leak-proof, and spill-proof than most compostable solutions out there offer. We found in testing that these packages led to a tremendous amount of wasted food due to issues in transport, as well as to reductions in shelf life for the customer. This not only leads to a poor customer experience, but also a higher environmental footprint due to greater food waste. Using packaging that would be sustainable during the delivery process is the opposite of our mission, and so we found better ways to work around it. 
  • The molded fiber containers that had greatest success in our testing were unfortunately found to contain forever PFAS chemicals that are linked to cancer and other health impacts, and can contaminate food and the environment. When it comes to what matters the most to us, it’s your health, and that what you are consuming from us will do good rather than harm. 

The point here isn’t that plastic is a good solution, of course — it is absolutely not! The  point is that currently available compostable materials are not necessarily a panacea (despite marketing claims). This is a complicated issue without a simple, single answer that often involves environmental tradeoffs, and that it’s important to dig into the details of source materials, manufacturing, and end-of-life to make the right decision. 

Learning How To Upcycle

We are continuing to learn about new ways that we can create more sustainable packaging, testing out new products and seeing how they hold up in our delivery process. 

It’s important to the Thistle family that we are constantly working towards new sustainability goals. 

While we work toward reusable packaging, there are ways that you, as a consumer, can help to limit waste all while adding some practical additions to your home. 

Upcycling is when you take a product and find a way to use it again in an inventive and unique way. So often do we find ourselves throwing things out that could be reused in so many different ways. 

Here are some ways that you could repurpose some of the items that come delivered to you by Thistle:

  • Soup and Salad Jars: While this plastic jar is 100% recyclable, it’s also a great size and shape to repurpose it for different short plants and a variety of succulents. As long as you drill holes into the bottom for proper drainage, you can avoid buying plant pots when you use our jars. You have the ability to make the jar your own, adding paint or stickers or designs, so take advantage of your creativity! If you aren’t a plant person but you are an organizer, our jars are a great way to store different dry foods in a chic and eco-conscious way. They are easy to stack on top of one another because they are similar in size, and they can be sealed tightly with the twist-on cap. Your pantry will look satisfyingly tidy after using our jars for storage!
  • Snack Plates: Small plates once filled with our delicious snacks are also recyclable, but you might find use for them in your craft room instead of your kitchen. These small containers have separate sections that are perfect for a makeshift paint palette. They allow for just the right amount of paint and you can wash these out and reuse them multiple times.
  • Breakfast Containers: When you receive muffins or oatmeal from Thistle, it comes in a container that is the perfect size for snacking. Once you’ve eaten our delicious muffin or have made our oatmeal, you can rinse out the packaging and reuse it to pack other snacks for the rest of your day. These containers are a great size for trail mix on-the-go, dried fruits, or maybe even a little yogurt parfait! You can also use these small containers as the water cup while you paint to rinse your brushes. The opportunities are endless!

Upcycling is an amazing way to get more use out of a product that still has good bones. 

We know we already have some pretty good packaging, but we know that it can be better. 

While recycling and composting are essential in helping our environment and are currently some of the best ways to be eco-conscious, the real challenge is making our products reusable. We want to be able to pick them up from you after you’ve used them, give them a good cleaning, and then safely send them out to another Thistler. 

We are still working towards this goal, so in the meantime, finding new ways to repurpose our packaging is an extremely easy way for you to support our environment. 

Not to mention, it’s pretty fun. 

Now the good news! Packaging innovation continues to progress: we are extremely excited about the next generation of compostable containers we’ve begun to test. These are not yet widely available on the market but we’re pursuing potential partnerships with a couple of companies that offer containers composed of materials that either do actually degrade in your backyard (and don’t require tons of energy and special facilities to break down), or are both industrially compostable and recyclable in case compost isn’t available in your city, all while not leaving behind nasty chemicals. 

Better yet is the potential for reusable containers, since reusable packaging is preferable to any single use option. While the pandemic unfortunately caused some delays in this project last year, we were still able to conduct tests with our partner, robotics startup Dishcraft, to pilot fully washable and reusable packaging in 2020. We gained valuable insight and now we’re ready for a larger scale test with about 500 customers right around Earth Day 2021 -- so when this reusable packaging arrives at your door, be sure to tell us what you think!

As your partner in health and wellness, we hope you will continue to support us and our efforts to create a more beautiful, sustainable world for generations to come. Have a sustainability idea for us? Drop us a line at hello@thistle.co.

Added Sources:

Animal Agriculture's Impact on Climate Change | Climate Nexus 

Get meals delivered to your door
We believe eating delicious is crucial to a healthy diet. Each week, our team of chefs design a new menu for what's in season, fresh and flavorful.
TRY THISTLE
Posted 
Apr 7, 2021
 in 
Thistle News
 category.