Our Progress and Mission in Sustainability
BY TERRASEED / January 12, 2022
At Terraseed, sustainability and integrity are our core values, so in the name of transparency, we’re here to inform our customers of our entire process. This includes everything we’ve achieved, as well as everything that still needs work.
We firmly believe in taking action, rather than simply hoping for better, so we’re sharing our efforts in implementing the most sustainable options available in an effort to help save the planet and create a healthier future for everyone.
Terraseed’s mission is to empower people to live sustainably and ethically. This means opting for plant-based, minimum impact products, whenever possible. However, finding plant-based products with minimal environmental impact can be (and often is) very hard to find. From this challenge came our first major goal: to become an all-in-one solution for environmentally-friendly vegans.
Although our journey is far from over. It’s our mission to keep pursuing more sustainable alternatives for a healthier, compromise-free future our children deserve.
Small Pills - Big Mission
We’re proud of what we‘ve accomplished so far, largely because we were told our goal was ‘impossible’. We sought partners and options that would let us determine the source for our product's raw material ingredients, and we continue to focus our efforts on optimal sustainability. Still, there are many more steps to take. We’re currently restrained by the system and the suppliers in place, since the world hasn’t veered towards more sustainable practices as a whole yet. Meanwhile, this is what we have achieved so far...
Sustainability is in our Formula
Vitamin D can be obtained from sunlight. Most supplements source Vitamin D from lanolin (sheep’s wool), since it’s a well-known source of Vitamin D3. For this reason, we set out to find a better Vitamin D3 source that wouldn’t force us to compromise on sustainability. We found our answer -- lichen! In fact, reindeer lichen (also found on mountainsides, rocks and trees!) is a natural source of Vitamin D3, which presents little-to-no negative effects on our environment.
Omega-3 is typically sourced from fish oil, as it has both DHA and EPA. However, it’s a highly inefficient source when you consider that it takes roughly 100 anchovies to make a single bottle of Omega-3. Unfortunately, a large portion of Omega-3 comes from a critical layer of the ocean biosphere: pelagic fish. When these fish are overharvested, the natural food chain is affected (pelagic fish transfer the energy from the phytoplankton to larger predators). As you can see, sourcing Omega-3 from fish oils has a potentially devastating impact on marine life as a whole.
That’s why we found an alternative: algae.
Algae is an excellent plant-based source of the same quality Omega-3. We harvest algae oil indoors in Kingstree, South Carolina without impacting on marine life in the process.
We extract some of our Vitamin C from Organic Amla, while the rest is made through a synthetic (harm-free) process. Our Vitamin C comes from India and is then processed by Applied Food Sciences, Inc. in Austin, Texas.
Iodine is found naturally in some foods and is also added to “iodized” salt. You can get your recommended amount of Iodine from fish (such as cod and tuna), seaweed, shrimp and several species of shellfish. However, we found a sustainable vegan source of Iodine: Atlantic kelp; a type of seaweed that’s extracted and grown indoors in Woodward, Oklahoma. Atlantic kelp grows abundantly, year-round.
While our source is grown indoors, it can also be sustainably wildcrafted on a local level during high tides while the kelp is floating and free of debris. This way, the harvester can easily cut the kelp and leave the holdfast (root) in place, thus enabling natural regrowth!
Magnesium, at least the one we use, is not particularly easy to obtain, but is worth the trouble! We insisted on using Sucrosomial® Magnesium, made by an Italian company, which is formulated to be more bioavailable than conventional magnesium.
Cheap B12 supplements tend to use Cyanocobalamin, which is a synthetic form of Vitamin B12, which your body then has to convert into Methylcobalamin, an active form of Vitamin B12. We use Methylcobalamin, which is found naturally and doesn’t require any further conversion to become available for use. Although this conversion can easily be carried out, we also made sure to include a super-high dose of B12 in our formula. Since the body will only absorb the amount it needs, we wanted to make sure that whatever your requirements are, they are met.
We’ve aimed to ensure that every item used in the making, packing and shipping of our product would be plastic free, since day one.
We were (and are) determined to avoid plastic. After researching the packaging issue to establish potential alternatives, we found that 1.8 Billion plastic supplement bottles are sold each year, most of which are Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) or HDPE.
1.8 billion plastic supplement bottles are sold each year.
Finding alternatives to plastic packaging was incredibly challenging, but we found a way to minimize the damage.
Since our journey began, we’ve worked together with several companies who helped us reach the desired outcome.
Elevate Packing provided us with our shrink-wrap seal (made from plant material and certified compostable, even though it does look like plastic), our shipping label and our hermetic lid-seal.
Then, after searching for more sustainable options, we found EcoEnclose, who enabled us to ship our products by using algae ink instead of oil-based ink on mailers!
MicroPak supplied us with a natural bentonite clay desiccant to absorb moisture inside our pill container. The clay is packaged in a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) paper packet, rather than plastic-based packets.
Finally, Botanical Paperworks allowed us to send messages to our customers in seed paper, which sprouts flowers when planted.
All of these collective efforts led to the plastic-free and biodegradable packaging that we’ve aimed to create. This allowed our whole process to be sustainable, not just the final result.
We’re still learning as we go and are fully aware of the long road ahead to improve our sustainability efforts. It’s our mission to revolutionize the supplement industry and bring sustainability to this wasteful industry.