Last week I emailed Terry at Travertine Spa and complained about his new packaging for the Shea Butter. The product itself was actually improved and my favorite hand cream is even better now, but the new packaging is larger than the old, and doesn’t appear to be recyclable. Terry wrote back that he knew I was going to have a problem with the packaging, but that small companies like his do not have a lot of choice when it comes to packaging. The volume is too low to create custom packaging and the stuff that is available is unfortunately very un-green. I suggested doing a glass container with an interior shape (where the Shea Butter will be) that fits a tea candle. Glass means easy recyclability and the tea-light shape means that some people can actually use the container once it is empty of Shea-butter-goodness. Terry complained that glass would increase the weight and make shipping more expensive.
My second idea was for Travertine Spa to collaborate with Nambe and Santa Fe Candle Company to create a package that contains a Nambe design filled with Travertine Spa Shea Butter and, on the side, a beeswax tea-light from the Santa Fe Candle Company. I would like to see a nice bowl that has an interior shaped for a tea-light-candle, with a top, a lid that seals in the Shea-Butter and, later when the Shea-Butter is used up, extinguishes the candle and protects the candle when traveling. I would design the exterior of the bowl to contain one criss-crossing line that would serve to hold a string in place that would be used to tie the lid to the bowl. The string could even be a rubberband that slides into the criss-crossing lines to hold bowl and lid together, in which case the lines might not be a criss-cross, but a parallel. A bit like the Furoshiki in Japan… to tie up and protect the content. What a great gift this would make!!
I think packaging is a fundamental problem that we need to work out.