Science

Ritual and Sustainability: Let's Do Better for the Planet

3 min read

Essential Takeaways

  • While we already have some sustainability practices in place, we know there's room for improvement.
  • Our goal is to eliminate virgin plastic from our mailer and bottle entirely, and only use 100% recycled paper instead.
  • Our capsule and many of our key nutrients are sourced and manufactured with the planet in mind. For example, by using vegan algal oil instead of fish oil, we save 750 anchovies and herrings per bottle.

While Ritual is committed to creating a product that’s as earth-conscious as possible, we recognize that we have a lot of work to do. Our plastic packaging, for example, is currently a part of the problem. And that’s why we want to be as transparent as possible about the moves we’re making to be more sustainable—things like working toward a mailer made of 100% recycled paper and eliminating virgin plastic from our bottles. After all, we love our planet, and we know our customers do too.

Here's What We're Already Doing

Our packaging. If you don’t love going through so much cardboard each month, we hear you. We recently updated our Essential For Women box with the planet in mind: It’s now SFI-certified, which means that the paper used to make it comes from sustainable forests. It’s also composed of 39% recycled materials—and on that note, you should definitely recycle it. (We’re aiming to launch the same packaging for our Essential Prenatal sometime this summer.)

Our capsule. You probably already know that our innovative delayed-release capsule is vegan-friendly. To get more specific, it’s made from cellulose, which is a plant fiber sourced from tree bark—a much more sustainable option than gelatin, which is the main ingredient in many capsules on the market. (As a refresher, gelatin is made from beef hides, snouts, bones, and other animal parts.)

Another fun fact? Your body processes those capsules like other dietary fiber, which is completely biodegradable in waste centers.

Our ingredients. It’s our brand mission to use ideal forms of nutrients your body needs—even if it means crossing the globe to do so. But those sky-high standards also apply to how those ingredients are sourced.

earth-day-ritual-pills

But let’s get specific, shall we? Take our omega-3, for example: We could have gone the popular route by using fish oil, but we decided to do vegans and the planet a solid by sourcing ours from fermented microalgae. As a result, we save 750 anchovies and herrings per bottle—in turn, doing our part to ensure that we’re not disrupting the delicate ecosystem of our oceans. Another wrinkle to consider is that fish oil production requires the removal of environmental contaminants—which is good for you, but not necessarily great for the planet, since those contaminants then need to be discarded again. But the microalgae we use isn’t exposed to that kind of contamination, which means extracting our oil is a must gentler process.

Our omega-3 algal oil is a great example of sourcing an ingredient in a sustainable way, but that’s also not always an option. While it’s easy to assume that “natural is always better,” that’s really not true when we’re talking about mother earth’s precious resources. It’s kind of like how our collective obsession with avocado toast is doing a number on the world’s water supply—we like what these natural resources do for our bodies (and our Instagram feeds), but the planet can’t necessarily keep up. When necessary, our solution is to create a synthetic version of those nutrients in a lab—that way you get the benefits they have to offer, with less of a burden on the environment.

Room For Improvement

While we’re proud of the steps we’ve taken, we know that we still have lots of work to do, and we definitely want to keep you in the loop as we look to the future. Here’s how we’re shifting our environmental priorities in the months ahead:

We’re hard at work developing a bottle made from 100% consumer-recycled plastic. It’s time to say no to virgin plastic, and we’re not stopping there: We are also working on a biodegradable, biological plastic made by microbial fermentation, which means that we’ll be able to bypass any use of petroleum products and waste streams that would otherwise go to landfills.

We’re rethinking the packaging that goes into our monthly mailers. Our new sustainably-made box is just the first step, as we brainstorm new ways to deliver your vitamins in a way that’s safe for product quality and the environment. The ultimate goal is to have a mailer that is made from 100% recycled content and uses no virgin plastic.

Education, education, education. We’re big believers that knowledge is power, which is why we’re constantly making the effort to learn more about our environmental impact—as a brand, and as individual citizens of this beautiful planet. And we want to pay it forward to our customers, whether it’s offering tips on reusing your vitamin bottles or dropping knowledge on the small steps you can take to live a more sustainable life on a daily basis.

Big and small, we can all make an impact. So let’s rally together and do a little better.

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