It all started with a question: how do we know what really happens to our egg cartons, newspapers, and milk jugs after we put them in the recycling bin? The good news: when Pete and Gerry's Egg cartons are sent to a municipal recycler, they're given a chance to be made into new packaging. But while all of our egg cartons are made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic, not everyone has access to a recycling facility. Our Take Back Program is the solution.
Simply store your empty cartons until you've collected at least ten. The more you collect, the better! Transportation has a carbon footprint too, and shipping back larger batches at a time helps keep that footprint low. Once you have a hefty carton collection, "nest" them in a recycled box, then send an email with your name, mailing address, and the number of cartons you'll be mailing back to [email protected]. We'll send you a prepaid label to attach to your box. Drop your box off at the local post office and go about your day knowing that you've done a good deed for our environment.
Choosing packaging for cargo as precious as organic eggs isn't a task to be taken lightly. That's why we based the decision off research and real data that found our cartons to be more environmentally-friendly than most other options on the basis of carbon footprint, human health, ecosystem quality, and resource depletion measures across their entire life cycle.
Rather than create new waste, our cartons use what's already headed for the landfill. They're made from 100% post-consumer recycled material that comes from the most common plastics around: water bottles and soda bottles. By diverting these materials out of the waste stream, we're also keeping plastics out of our oceans.
Healthy soil doesn't just make a difference in crop yield and quality: it also plays a key role in keeping nearby lands safe and water bodies unpolluted. Organic farmers like ours use materials such as manure and compost in place of synthetic fertilizers. Chicken manure adds essential nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, while compost introduces micronutrients like iron, zinc, and manganese to soil. These organic fertilizers increase soil's ability to retain moisture rather than leach material into rivers, lakes, and streams, keeping the earth healthy and thriving.
The use of synthetic pesticides is forbidden on organic farms like ours, which means harsh chemicals that can harm the ecosystem are never sprayed in the pastures (or on the crops grown for our hens' feed, for that matter). Instead, our partner farmers and organic grain farmers employ mechanical tools and natural methods to help control pests. These include insect traps, careful crop selection, and biological controls such as predator insects and beneficial microorganisms.
On our small family farms, regional ecosystems play an important role in keeping both the land and our hens healthy. Our organic farmers never spray their pastures with synthetic or damaging pesticides, but what does this mean when it comes to the farm's ecosystem? Free range hens act as a natural pest control, foraging for unwanted grubs, ticks, beetles, and squash bugs. In turn, these high-protein snacks give the hens a boost of nutrients that make a big difference in the quality of our eggs.
GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are prohibited in organic farming. Due to their strong tolerance of pesticides, GMOs have normalized farming with toxic chemicals, which have been shown to end up in our food. What does this mean for our eggs? Every single crop used to grow our chicken feed is free from residual pesticides, and in turn, our eggs are also free from them.
Currently, about 90% of eggs consumed in the U.S. come from hens who live their entire lives on factory farms in cramped cages. These giant egg factories are not environmentally sustainable, and have pushed most family scale producers out of business through consolidation. Deplorable conditions and tight quarters are a breeding ground for disease and viruses that can quickly spread and wipe out an entire flock. Partnering with small family farms all over the country has the opposite effect: it means supporting small agricultural communities that raise flocks that are healthy, cared for, and have space to roam on farms that actually look like farms—not factories.
Hens raised on dirty, cramped factory farms are fed antibiotics to help control the continuous outbreak of diseases. Our hens are Certified Humane Free Range and well cared for, so they rarely get sick, which eliminates the need for preventive antibiotics. Keeping these substances out of our eggs is better for the people eating them, and for a world trying to keep antibiotic resistance under control. Our hens also do not receive hormones of any kind.
In 2013, we became the first egg company in the world to achieve Certified B Corporation status based on our commitment to the environment, our workers, our farmers, and our communities. Every day, we strive to raise the bar in the egg industry, choosing to follow responsible business practices that benefit both people and the planet. In their commitment to humane practices and organic egg farming, our partner farmers and their families are caretakers of the land and advocates for future generations of farmers.
Environmentally-conscious decisions are also made in our packing facilities, where each and every egg is gently cleaned and nestled into earth-friendly cartons before beginning its journey to your local grocery store. By making decisions that account for the environmental impact of our daily operations, we have committed ourselves to using business as a force for good.
Learn more about our third-party certifier's rigorous and transparent standards for animal welfare and how they're upheld on our small family farms.
Get to know the hardworking farmers and their families who passionately raise our USDA Certified Organic, Certified Humane Free Range hens.