Environmental consciousness isn’t solely a matter of buying the right things. It isn’t a matter of selling the right things, either. It’s a holistic discipline that touches every aspect of our lives. The work is ongoing. It’s never finished, and it never will be finished. That’s the way it ought to be.
Here at Foria, we believe that treading lightly upon the earth – with sustainable practices & dedicated environmental stewardship – is a crucial responsibility.
The modern era involves serious challenges that will reverberate for generations, and the choices we make, as creators, consumers & advocates, matter. Sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin… but often, committing to that beginning is the most important thing in the world — the crack that lets the light into the darkness.
No Single Factor Will Save The Planet... But Hemp Might Come Close
Hemp has been used for centuries to create all kinds of useful things for humanity, with minimal negative environmental impact. It’s one of nature’s most remarkable inventions.
Not only does Hemp produce potent therapeutic compounds like CBD in its flowers & leaves, its seeds are one of the Earth’s most perfect foods. Its hardy fibers can be used in everything from clothing to energy-efficient hemp-crete construction.
It isn’t only a convenient (and pleasant) consumable; hemp grows fast, requires few or no pesticides and actually cleans up polluted soil — all while removing climate-warming carbon from the atmosphere.
Considering the problems with cotton (which requires intensive pesticides) or wood pulp for paper (which can decimate wild forests & uses toxic chemicals during processing) hemp is a potentially world-saving alternative.
The “Green Rush” – New Opportunities For Change
Hemp’s reputation as a panacea for environmental concerns may be well-founded, but as with many things, there’s a right way to approach hemp cultivation & use, and any number of wrong ways.
As pioneers in the latest incarnation of a very old industry, Foria understands that establishing best practices is critical to the development of a burgeoning commercial market. Lay a solid foundation early, and consumers & the earth will enjoy the benefits for years to come.
The USDA doesn’t certify organic hemp or cannabis yet, but the day they do, our farms will be first in line.
In the cannabis market, our farming partners include small, artisanal growers’ collectives that use the highest standards of sustainability, and our preferred hemp source is an organic Oregon farm using traditional practices to enhance & protect local soil, air, and water.
Hemp & cannabis grown indoors under lights consume massive amounts of energy, leading to a huge carbon footprint – so our farms’ crops are exclusively sun-grown.
Drip irrigation & local rainfall are used to minimize waste, while the soil is enriched with organic matter from cover cropping. Importantly no plastic ground-cover is used (a common practice in the industry), keeping non-biodegradable particulate matter out of the environment.
Soil & water are further preserved with no-till / low-till farming methods, ensuring a rich source of organic nutrients — and careful application of organic fertilizers ensures that anything returning to the water table is actually cleaner.
The final harvest is lab-tested to make sure it’s free of pesticides, heavy metals, microbes, and other contaminants.
Incidentally, based on the percentage of organic ingredients, ALL of our products would qualify for the USDA Organic label – but our GMP-certified production & bottling partner needs to get their facility certified first. We’re aiming to add the USDA Organic label within the next year.
So you’ve got some pristine hemp – now what?
When our squeaky-clean broad-spectrum hemp extract gets to us, our work has just begun. Since our products go some very intimate places, we knew from the beginning that we had to be fanatical about purity. We use the most pristine, sustainably-grown & carefully-processed ingredients available today — either organic-certified or grown to organic standards.
The hemp is the “juice” – and the main selling point for many in the Foria community – but we take our carrier oils just as seriously. Our suppositories (Basics, Explore & Relief) use organic-certified cocoa butter, and our Pleasure & Awaken lubes and Basics CBD Tonic are made with MCT oil pressed exclusively from sustainably-grown young coconuts. (MCT oil is hugely popular among the biohacker crowd, but too much of it is made from palm oil, which is an environmental & political disaster by every possible metric.)
When it comes to packaging — unfortunately a fact of life in the industry, at least until someone figures out how to make it easy & cost-effective for consumers to return containers for refilling — we’re always looking to improve.
We use soy ink on all our boxes & package inserts, and post-consumer recycled stock whenever possible.
We choose glass bottles to reduce plastic waste, and (with the help of sustainability consultants who cut their teeth at Patagonia) we’re currently undergoing a top-to-bottom audit to learn even more ways we can improve moving forward.
Environmental responsibility is always a work in progress — balancing people, planet, and profits — but we’ve been pushing the envelope within our industry since 2012, and we intend to keep setting the best possible example.
No Time Like The Present
In this age of total media saturation, we’re constantly confronted with news of environmental devastation and the unintended consequences of our industrial consumer civilization: the Great Pacific Garbage Patch; orangutans killed in Borneo as their habitat is clear-cut to make way for a monoculture of oil palms; glaciers dying; permafrost melting; sea animals with pounds of plastic in their bellies; and on and on. It can be hard to know how to respond — especially when individual consumers are blamed for their choices.
The fact is that enlightened personal consumption choices alone aren’t sufficient to effect large-scale change. We The People need to work together to change the system itself, so the market that serves our needs also respects the environment that supports all of our existence – and a single enlightened company can’t survive when it’s competing against others that only care about their bottom line.
Organic, regenerative farming shouldn’t just be a luxury industry, and reusable packaging shouldn’t just be a thing for hipsters. We’ve got our eyes on this evolving situation, and you can count on us to advocate & lead the way wherever possible.
We’re all a part of this massive, unfathomably complex living-system we call Earth — every one of us, from elephants to octopuses to fruit flies to human beings. We’re interconnected & interrelated, and that’s more than enough reason to be aware of where we expend our resources, what we put into our bodies, and which organizations we support with our time & our dollars. Perfection isn’t possible, but when we do our best to act as responsibly as we can and be role models — as individuals and as conscientious companies — the effects ripple outward, throughout our communities both local & global.