environmental & community affairs
Environment: Refrain / Reduce / Reuse / Recycle
We have taken the final steps to being off-the-grid with solar energy. The office, warehouse, in-house lab and studio now function free of municipal electricity, gas, water and sewage!
Offsetting Carbon Emissions
With the help of ASEC and NativeEnergy, we have been offsetting our carbon emissions since 2007. Initially, we had two objectives: 1) to become carbon neutral with all future product introductions, and 2) to pick up the tab for the carbon clean up, i.e. to not increase wholesale and retail pricing as a result of the added expense. During the assessment process, however, the decision was made to become carbon neutral on a companywide basis. This includes the reversal of carbon emissions as a result of manufacturing, transportation (including employee commuting to/from the office), freight, and energy consumption from day-to-day operations.
Paperless Office InitiativeReceipts, invoices and free passes to shows are emailed to customers which reduce the need for copy paper, manila patient folders, printing and mailing. Integrated e-files are being set up to replace the paper filing system. When paper must be used, we buy only 100% recycled copy paper.
Recycled Packaging Materials
We reuse clean packaging materials for shipping, and shredded "junk" mail has replaced biodegradable corn starch packing peanuts -- recycling is good, but reusing before recycling is even better. Despite volume of daily shipments, we have not had to purchase new packing peanuts since 2004!
Recycle Your Old Eyeglasses
We are offering our customers (within 30 days of purchase), postage paid envelopes that can be used to return old, unneeded eyeglasses. We are involved in charity work that gets these glasses to developing countries for reuse. This is a win-win situation -- the effort reduces landfill waste and gives someone in need the gift of sight. Unfortunately, less than 1/10 of 1% of all glasses sold each year get donated and reused. You may also be able to donate old eyeglasses at your local opticianry and/or library. Did you know that many U.S. cities with recycling programs accept metal and plastic eyeglasses (frames and lenses) in the recycling receptacles? If you have damaged glasses that cannot be reused, check with your local waste management company to see if it's ok to recycle these items.
What's good for the optometry school is good for those in need
Deadstock frames we acquire from large purchases that don't fit into our product mix are donated to a California-based optometry school rather than disposed of in landfill. Students use these frames to practice grinding and installing prescription lenses, and redonate the completed eyeglasses to those in need. The school reduces their overhead as well as consumption of new manufactured frames, the less fortunate receive corrective glasses, and we sleep better knowing less is going into landfill -- another win-win idea!
Community, Charity & Volunteerism
When you purchase from us, you purchase more than just glasses
We've been members of Lions International since 2006-- a charitable organization that helps people around the world with visual impairments. That means we contribute a portion of our proceeds, and volunteer hundreds of hours each year with various non-profit organizations to help build, clean, haul, cook -- whatever it takes to get the job done!
Let us know if you have any thoughts or ideas to share. Thank you for your support.