In order to be truly conscious consumers, we must look at the company behind the products, its operational management and what it stands for

Although no consumer product can be manufactured and distributed without affecting the environment, there are ways companies can offset their carbon emissions and make a positive impact that extends beyond the product they are selling and into the communities where they do business.

Meal kit provider HelloFresh is an example of a company that is making significant efforts towards protecting the planet. HelloFresh is committed to offsetting 100 percent of its direct carbon emissions by investing in green initiatives with its partner Planetly, as well as investing in several carbon-offsetting projects across the globe from large-scale renewable energy plants in Mongolia to farm-waste methane capture in the Netherlands and Turkey. HelloFresh's efforts have earned it the title of the first global carbon-neutral meal kit company.

HelloFresh is now extending its environmentally responsible efforts further by committing to reduce ocean-bound plastic pollution by 1.6 million pounds over the next three years. It aims to do so in partnership with Plastic Bank in a new program that will set up three plastic collection centres in Indonesia, removing and repurposing ocean-bound plastics while providing credits to community members. The credits will incentivize members to collect plastic waste in exchange for necessities such as food, clean water and school tuition to over 560 local low-income families.

Aiming to recover 750,000 kg of materials over the next three years, this waste will then be recycled and reintegrated back into the plastic value chain as Social Plastic, which is converted into items like bottles, clothing and household products.

“At HelloFresh, we recognize our responsibility to the planet and to our community,” says HelloFresh Canada CEO and founder, Ian Brooks. “We’re excited to step up our activity against ocean-bound plastic and positively impact the lives of those living in communities most affected by this critical issue. We’re doubling down on our existing sustainability commitments so our customers can be confident that HelloFresh is the right choice for you and for the planet.”

The transactional nature of the program is secured on the blockchain platform, which will track every step of the journey and create a credit history for financial opportunities in the future.