Bicycle Glass: Sustainability Initiatives
Sustainability Initiatives: Today and Beyond
At Bicycle Glass, the environment is first and foremost in a lot of the things that we do. It is one of our top priorities as a company to produce beautiful glasswork while being as kind to the environment as we can. We have a few core projects that have been happening since we became a company, like handcrafting our shades from 100% recycled glass, and some new projects for the future, like installing solar panels. Continue on this page to find out all the ways we are building our sustainable business model.
We handcraft all of our shades from 100% pre- and post-consumer recycled glass. Our glass is sourced from our local recycling facility as cullet, which is shown in the photo above, and given to our Minnesota artisans so they are able to transform it into our timeless shades.
From our largest orders to our sample orders, we do our best to package in recycled, recyclable, or compostable packaging. Our shades are wrapped in Geami Paper, which is a plastic-free alternative to bubble wrap. We also reuse old boxes by turning them into a corrugated cardboard lining to keep our shades safe on their journey to you!
Check out our upstairs office, "Beecycle Glass." We have decided to install two bee hives onto our roof to help pollinate our area! Our next step is to plant some native prairie around the property to make sure our new friends are happy as can bee. Our goal is to encourage pollinators and protect our ecosystem!
Our fixtures are sold with with LED bulbs, which use much less electricity and last longer than standard incandescent bulbs. Not only will you save money on your electric bill, but you'll save the planet while you're at it!
This just in! Bicycle Glass uses their local library's recycled newspaper to help mold hot glass. Using wet newspaper allows the glass to slide on a layer of steam, which helps avoid marks being left on the glass shades from the molding process.
We are enrolled in the Windsource Energy Credits Program through Xcel Energy! This program allows us to offset our electric energy usage with wind energy created by Minnesota-based wind farms.
Our team worked together to help build a designated compost area in our backyard. We will take leftover food from our breakroom, as well as compostable materials from our day to day operations, and use that compost to fuel our future native prairie.
We are planning on investing in planting native prairie grasses and flowers behind our building to help provide our bee friends enough plants to pollinate and interact with as they get settled into their new home. We would use only plants native to Minnesota, so we can help our local ecosystem thrive. We also want to increase habitat to encourage biodiversity in the area!
Water Recycling System
We're working reducing our water consumption in the Cold Shop. We currently use our normal water line to supply water to the grinding wheels that help shape the glass and buff out any rough edges on the top and bottom holes of the shade. Our goal is to create a water cycling system in our building that would allow the water that goes down the drain in the Cold Shop, to be cycled right back into the faucets of the Cold Shop and reused!
Another of our larger investments for the future is putting in Solar panels to help power the office side of our studio, and eventually help power our production as well! We want to use as much renewable energy as possible in our work, so we are able to reduce our overall carbon footprint and maintain a more sustainable business model.