If you need inspiration for how to reuse your Ground Up jars, check out how our team creatively recycles theirs! If you want to reuse your own Ground Up jars and remove the label, check out our recipe for Goo-Gone here.
At Ground Up, we're committed to integrating sustainable alternatives and eliminating unnecessary waste. Over the past 5 years, we have grown quickly and are constantly adapting our processes to take better care of the planet.
Being sustainable is one more way we're spreading good!
Reuse Your Ground Up Jars
Julie makes and stores homemade jams in her Ground Up jars.
Erika loves to using her jars to store dog treats.
Sofi uses her jar to store homemade tea.
Sarah loves to use her GU jars as a vase for displaying dried and fresh flowers.
Kestrel uses her jar as handy pen holder.
Sustainable Practices at Ground Up
Our amazing Fulfillment Supervisor, Tiffany, has introduced a variety of incredible sustainable initiatives at Ground Up.
A little over a year ago, Tiffany came back to work for Ground Up and noticed that we were using packing peanuts, bubble wrap, and plastic tape for our online orders. We were also encountering a lot of jar breakage (3-4 orders per month -- Eeek!). A group of Ground Up team members began planning how to solve this issue and cut down on waste. Through their hard work, Ground Up's custom packaging was born!
With this new packaging, we have drastically cut down jar breakage (only 1 report every few months), the amount of wasted product, eliminated single-use plastics from packaging, and reduced our carbon footprint from not needing to re-ship so many packages.
We also have a variety of recycling programs we use at our warehouse. We recycle paper, cardboard, glass, and various metals through the city of Portland's recycling program.
For materials that don't qualify for the city's recycling program, we use a company called Ridwell instead! They are an amazing company that picks up directly at residential homes and workspaces in Portland and Seattle. Ridwell recycles styrofoam, soft plastics, lightbulbs and batteries (just to name a few!) and they have drastically cut down our waste at the warehouse.
We also recycle our broken pallets through a wonderful man that comes and picks them up directly at our warehouse to bring to the recycling center.
In 2021, Tiffany noticed how easy it was to recycle wooden pallets, but wanted to find a way to help others reuse the pallets that were still in good shape, but we no longer had any use for. She was inspired by how many people were creating homes out of multiple pallets in the city and wanted to make pallets more accessible for houseless people to obtain.
She has been working tirelessly on creating a new pallet program that will help distribute the pallets to houseless people and to the new C3PO camps in Portland.
She is in communication with Street Roots and the City of Portland and we hope to have this program off the ground by the end of 2021.
Tiff's Letter to the Portland Community:
I have been brainstorming, and would love to get a wooden pallet project going for the city. There are a lot of people suffering from houselessness, and they can't all get into shelters. Being houseless once myself, I understand how difficult it can be to stay warm when you're sleeping on the ground or in a tent. My idea is to make it easier, and legal, for anyone experiencing houselessness to have access to a wooden pallet. A wooden pallet can be used inside a tent, or on its own, to keep a sleeping bag off the ground, thereby keeping houseless folks protected from the cold wet ground.
I want to create a web link, where anyone can request a wooden pallet, and a volunteer would take it to their location. So many people will just go onto private property to get a wooden pallet, and I am hoping a program like this will mitigate this issue. I want to also set it up so a volunteer can retrieve the wooden pallet once the houseless individual leaves their spot. I'm hoping to coordinate this project with Central City Concern, because I believe they would be a great help. I want to set up the web link as a pickup request too. I was thinking as the CCC street cleaning team sees abandoned wooden pallets, they could request a pick up on the link. I know the city would be grateful if there was a way to clean up all of the abandoned wooden pallets.
I know that there is still a lot of logistics planning, but I really believe that something like this will benefit both the city and the houseless community in Portland.
It's the Small Things:
A few other things we have introduced over the past year are:
- Custom paper-based tape that's easily recycled with our cardboard boxes
- We cut down on our printer usage and transitioned from using a laser-jet printer for our labels to a Rollo thermal printer. Not only does the Rollo printer not require ink (it's heat-based), but they also donate to charity with every purchase!
- To reduce our carbon footprint, we now offer free local pick-up at our warehouse and at the Farmers Market! If you live in Portland, simply select the pick-up option at check out.
Inspired by our commitment to sustainability, we partnered with Baggu to create a Ground Up reusable bag!
In honor of Earth Day and reducing waste, any customers that bring our Baggu to the Farmers Market* will receive 20% off their market purchase for the month of May and 10% off at every market after.
*To find out when we will be at the market next, visit our events page for more details!
Are you a huge Ground Up fan? Well you're in luck, you now you can purchase our nut butters in 4 lb bulk pails!
Our bulk pails are a wonderful addition to our sustainable product line. They are perfect for refilling your empty jars at home or for use straight from the pail. Plus they're reusable!
How Our Community is Reusing Jars
If you're a huge GU fan, the Butterbassador Program is a great way to get more involved by sharing our mission and product with your community, while earning commission and free nut butters along the way. Learn more here!
Below are some ways that our Butterbassadors reuse their Ground Up jars!
Butterbassador Gabby uses her jar to keep herbs fresh.
Gabby also uses her jars to store bulk dry goods!
Butterbassador Charlotte uses her jar as a vase.
Jacquelyn uses her jars to grow romaine lettuce!
Tessa reuses her jar as a cup to enjoy homemade smoothies + juices.
Many of our customers, like Mel, use their jars to make overnight oats for an on-the-go breakfast.