Great question. Though there are a million and one ways to cut the cake and measure for ‘sustainability,’ the overall picture is the only one to look at – and it’s the hardest to measure.

Carbon calculations and lifecycle assessments can definitely help give a good indication of good or bad. However, they can also be terribly misleading and leave us asking a lot of questions. Especially in today’s world where we are more aware than ever of the impact of our littering culture, would knowing a product has a ‘good’ carbon calculation help us to know if it’s relative harmfulness to our oceans than another? From where do you start measuring and where do you end? Take one of our bagasse clamshell containers: some firms start measuring environmental impact at the planting of the sugar cane, others start at the manufacturing process. You can imagine, this leads to very different carbon calculation results, neither of these are wrong, but are either right? And how do you compare what’s not like for like? What’s worse: the amount of water used to grow the almonds for almond milk or the amount of methane produced by dairy cows? Can we ever really know?

We say learn as much as you can, keep asking good questions, remain critical when you see carbon numbers, and rely on your gut to make a decision about which environmental cause is most important to you. Oh, and another tip: don’t just focus on doing less bad, the more good you can contribute, the better off we all are!