Cheese Sustainability

How we send out great cheese and manage our environmental impact

By Rhiannon Davis

Sep 15, 2021

How we send out great cheese and manage our environmental impact

How we send out great cheese and manage our environmental impact

Whilst we are official cheese heads here at Geek HQ, coming in a close second is our drive to minimise our environmental impact. We have big plans to grow and grow which ultimately means more and more boxes heading out across the land - from the outset, we’ve worked tirelessly to ensure that this packaging is sustainably sourced, easily recyclable, reusable and biodegradable. Get it right now and we’ll be able to stay in control of our footprint in the future.

Rather than keep this knowledge to ourselves, we wanted to share some of these credentials. We make no apology for getting Geeky...it’s in our nature!

Using biodegradable wool to naturally insulate cheese

It’s funny. Say wool and you naturally think of jumpers. Maybe blankets. Or woolly sheep. Using wool to keep things cool doesn’t naturally spring to mind. Our partners at Woolcool are genuinely changing the face of the insulation industry by using 100% pure wool for temperature control. Be it for food or pharmaceuticals, wool insulation has a bunch of benefits:

  • Wool is available in abundance as a by-product of rearing sheep. The wool that’s best for insulation (the more coarse varieties) is actually considered waste as it’s too coarse for clothing or fabrics. These varieties account for 75% of the wool produced in Britain. So wool that would be waste is keeping your cheese chilled!
  • Wool is the natural alternative to man made (energy hungry) insulation such as polystyrene or polyethylene. It’s sustainable, biodegradable and can be reused in a tonne of different ways from stopping outdoor taps from freezing to protecting plants from frost or stuffing cushions.
  • Wool is one clever cookie, even earning the title: Nature’s Smart Fibre. Why so? Get ready for a science lesson: Wool fibres have an incredibly effective hygroscopic ability to absorb moisture (they can hold 35% of their own weight in moisture!) without becoming damp - this reduces humidity and helps maintain stable temperatures (either cool or hot). It doesn’t stop there. Their overlapping cell structure traps air and prevents its movement giving insulative values comparable to that of still air. All this means wool actually outperforms something like polystyrene when it comes to temperature control meaning we can use less ice packs.
  • Wool has been proven to absorb smells! Now whilst we’re quite happy to have whiff of even the pongiest Bigod, it’s not to everyone’s liking...so this is a nice side benefit!

Other uses for wool liners:

  • Stop outdoor taps freezing
  • Protect fruit trees and plants from frost
  • Draught excluders
  • Loft insulation
  • Pipe lagging
  • Garden kneeling pad
  • Feeding roses
  • Compost
  • Hanging baskets
  • Pet baskets
  • Cushion stuffing
  • Keep picnics cool
  • Keep takeaways warm
  • Donate to animal shelters

Send back your wool liners free of charge so they can be reused

If you’re cushioned out and your pipes are all protected, we’ve also teamed up with Woolcool to offer customers the chance to take part in their Circular Economy Scheme. Rather than recycle, it’s an opportunity for your wool to be reused. Follow the steps below and your liners will make it back to Woolcool where they are inspected, cleaned and processed to ensure they are food and pharma safe. Ready for reuse!

  1. Collect together a minimum of six wool liners (you’ll get two in each delivery from us so after only 3 deliveries, you'll be good to go)
  2. Repack the liners in to the Cheese Geek box you received
  3. Apply the Collect+ shipping label you received in your delivery
  4. Drop the box off at one of 7000 Collect+ pick up locations

For more info from the horse’s (or sheep’s) mouth, check out www.woolcool.com/pioneers/

What are we doing right now?

From the big picture stuff like our carbon footprint and that of the wider dairy industry, right down to the little things like the stuff your cheese gets wrapped in and the coffee we drink here at HQ (...a lot!), here’s a peek into the big and little ways we are getting greener!

The big stuff!

We’re currently undergoing a major carbon audit, analyzing every part of our business to find out exactly what impact we are having on the planet.

We are working with our suppliers and amazing cheesemakers to minimise packing and transportational materials in addition to sourcing recyclable, compostable or reusable alternatives. Going forward, the number one thing we look for in a new partnership with a supplier is the same enthusiasm for sustainability as us!!

We have recently teamed up with Too Good To Go, to crack down on our food wastage. We’re now providing the lucky locals near our HQ with magic bags of any cheese we can’t use for dispatch. WIN WIN!

We’re working towards B-Corp accreditation. B-Corp means weighing profit against things that truly matter like workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. It’s really important to us that we are part of this global community using business as a force for good!

We want our website to be completely transparent so you can see every part of our supply chain. We’re currently laying out environmental policy and setting targets for the future so watch this space!

The small stuff!

We’ve switched up our coffee supply to Grind. We get through a lot of coffee here at HQ! Thanks to Grind all our pods are now fully compostable. In addition, all our milk comes from milk and more in glass bottles to limit our plastic consumption.

At HQ we use Naked Sprout toilet paper. It’s made from undyed bamboo and every box gives a child in Kenya safe water at school for a year.

We’ve just installed a filter in our washing machine which collects microplastics that otherwise would end up in our oceans.

We’re currently sampling compostable wrap for your cheese and aim to make every part of your cheesebox biodegradable or reusable!

Share This