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Vital Green

Environmental Stewardship Program

Welcome to Vital Green! Our pioneering program does 4 good things:

  1. Fights global warming by offsetting the impacts of shipping.
    Click for details.
  2. Employs innovative SeaSaver™ boxes for most of our shipments. Click for details.
  3. Enables recycling of foam shipping cubes via our innovative FREE CubeCycle™ program. Click for details.
  4. Promotes sustainable foods and business practices, and supports organizations dedicated to sustainability. Click for details.

The story behind Vital Green™Randy Hartnell

Since our first day in business — long before earning certification as a "B Corp" — we've sold only sustainably harvested seafood, donated a portion of our profits to planet-protecting programs, and tried to go "green" in other ways. Read on to learn more, or see the summary below.

Randy Hartnell Signature
Randy Hartnell,
Founder/President and former Alaska fisherman

Keeping our "carbon footprint" as small as possible

A rigorous, independent life-cycle assessment of the carbon footprints associated with wild-harvested and farmed fish produced encouraging news.

Studies from Swedish and Canadian universities found that frozen, air-shipped seafood like ours entails fewer carbon emissions, compared with farmed salmon or non-frozen wild fish. (See "Frozen Wild Fish Found Greener than Farmed Salmon or Fresh Wild Fish".)

In 2010, we started using 3-Day Ground for many West Coast shipments, maintaining quality by simply adding a bit more dry ice to shipments.

Then, in 2012, we started trucking goods from our Washington base to a Virginia facility, from where we ground-ship orders to most East Coast addresses. Because trucking burns much less carbon per pound versus air shipments, this initiative cut our carbon emissions quite substantially.

And the global warming effects of your shipment will be offset by our support for a carbon-sequestration project.

Offsetting our carbon emissions by reducing methane emissions
Working through NativeEnergy, Inc., we’re supporting the Southern Ute Natural Methane Capture and Use project.  San Juan Basin

Tribal lands lie within the San Juan Basin in southwestern Colorado, which is rich in fossil fuel resources that have been a source of coal, uranium, and natural gas for many decades. (The tribe does not mine any coal on its lands)

In certain areas, coal seams emerge from the surface of the ground, allowing methane — a potent greenhouse gas — to seep into the atmosphere.

A group of 28 wells is used to capture some of this seeping methane before escapes to the atmosphere. The methane is then compressed and piped into the natural gas distribution grid.

This means that the captured methane gets burned either for heat or power generation, which cuts a portion of the greenhouse gas pollution from coal outcroppings on tribal land.

This project will initially capture and destroy 23,000 metric tons of seeping methane annually — an amount that will eventually grow to 60,000 metric tons.

Past methane emissions reductions have been verified to the Verified Carbon Standard t5(VCS), as will present and future reductions.

Jet-related warming effects are also being offset
Our contribution takes into account the added warming effects of jet emissions at high altitudes … an effect called "radiative forcing".

Jet cargo and passenger planes cruise at high altitudes, where carbon emissions exert greater positive radiative forcing effect than would the same emissions at ground level.

We choose to cover the estimated additional warming associated with Vital Choice air shipments ... a choice that doubles the cost of our annual carbon-offset contribution.

About our carbon-offset provider

NativeEnergy, Inc. is a for-profit company partly owned by the non-profit Intertribal Council on Utility Policy (COUP), an organization of Native American tribes.

NativeEnergy uses a unique "help build" model that enables carbon-offset clients like Vital Choice to help finance the construction of new renewable energy projects that need additional upfront funding.

By purchasing a share of a project's long-term offsets, we can help overcome market barriers that discourage the development of high-quality renewable energy projects, and thereby help reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions.

To learn more about global warming and see links to independent information, visit NativeEnergy.

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About our SeaSaver™ packaging

SeaSaver Packaging

Our SeaSaver™ shipping boxes are 100% recyclable

  • Recyclable Cardboard Outer Box: Made with 53% postconsumer waste, our corrugated cardboard boxes are widely recyclable by curbside and drop-off recycling programs. While most recyclable materials end up in the landfill and don’t get reused, 93% of corrugated cardboard is recycled and can be re-pulped into new paper products up to seven times. This makes cardboard the most reusable consumer-based material in the world!
  • Recyclable Padded Insert: Made from 100% post-industrial, pre-consumer cardboard fibers and wrapped in heavy-duty Kraft paper, our insulated insert is widely recyclable alongside other paper and cardboard materials.


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About EPS Foam Coolers and CubeCycle

To ensure your frozen seafood remains adequately chilled throughout its journey from our warehouse to your doorstep, some orders require more thermal protection than our SeaSavers can provide.

To mitigate longer transit times in hotter climates, we occasionally ship perishable orders in expanded polystyrene (EPS) “foam” coolers and provide resources for recycling.

Although the availability of EPS recycling programs varies by community and can be limited, the EPS industry uses approximately 50 percent of post-consumer material in the manufacture of new EPS packaging, which reduces the need for raw materialsand energy consumption and diverts material from landfills.

Click here to find an EPS recycling location near you. If a location is not available in your area, we offer free mail-in recycling through our CubeCycle™ program.


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Our green partnership with Vital Choice customers

To make shopping as "green" as possible, retailers and shoppers need to partner up. Here's what we do, and what you can do:

Our Part – what Vital Choice does to maximize sustainability

Vital Choice earned certification as a "B Corp" in August of 2014, partly in recognition of our green policies and practices:

  • We source ONLY sustainably harvested seafood species, and natural and organically grown farmed products.
  • We process our seafood near the source. (Some seafood is shipped thousands of miles for processing in distant countries.)
  • We offset the global warming effects of our shipments to customers by funding projects that either reduce carbon and methane emissions, or convert methane into renewable energy.
  • We use innovative recyclable/biodegradable SeaSaver boxes for most of our shipments.
  • Wherever possible, we adopt post-consumer paper and non-toxic, vegetable-based inks for packaging and printed materials.
  • Most of us work in home-based offices, eliminating commute-associated carbon emissions.
  • We donate thousands of dollars annually to environmental organizations such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Marine Stewardship Council, the Raincoast Research Foundation, the National Resources Defense Council, and others working to protect our planet.

Your Part – suggested steps to support sustainability

  • Reduce the number of shipments you receive by placing fewer, larger orders instead of more small orders. This typically lowers your cost per pound … try combining your orders with those of friends and other family members!
  • Compost the biodegradable pads inside our SeaSaver packages, and recycle the cardboard boxes. Reuse any EPS shipping cubes you may receive as storage boxes, coolers, building toys (over age 6), and planters. Or use our CubeCycle program (described above) to ship your cube to the nearest recycling center, FREE. (You can also find an EPS recycling center by clicking here.)

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