Impact is the very DNA of our business model. The “Sanikind mini” is a 1oz refillable sanitizer sprayer made from ocean-bound plastic. We work with an amazing organization in Haiti and Mexico who collect this plastic from the oceans and waterways and turn it into pellets for our use. Our refill bottles are made from aluminium, which is one of the most recyclable resources for packaging. Our goal is that you don’t have to buy another virgin plastic sanitizer bottle ever again and, to date, we’ve removed and prevented the equivalent of 1.5 million plastic bottles from the ocean or landfills. We’re proud to be 1% For The Planet members, meaning 1% of our gross sales go toward environmental organizations; we offset carbon produced by shipping and this year we donated over 500 minis and 100 gallons of sanitizer to non-profits.

“To date, we’ve removed and prevented the equivalent of 1.5 million plastic bottles from the ocean or landfills.”

Setting up a company in the early days of a global pandemic had its challenges! We dealt with a lot of shipping delays and inflated prices. On top of that, sanitizer is categorized as dangerous goods because it’s so flammable, so it can’t go via plane. The implications of this on a business, when you’re trying to move as fast as possible, are huge and forced us to make tough decisions.

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My ethos on impact is through the perspective of an environmentalist first and business second. Of course, we need to pay the bills, but I don’t want to pay the bills at the expense of the environment. Responsible businesses are not a marketing scheme, but rather a way of business that drives every decision—and that’s what we’ve aimed to do throughout our existence, and to improve when we’ve missed the mark. There’s some interesting science around how we only have so much empathy to give and when we’re inundated, we must turn that switch off to protect our nervous system. For that reason, I think people were too overwhelmed to care about the environment and sustainability took a back seat at the start of the pandemic. But at the same time, I think peaceful activism turned a corner and became more accepted by Millennials and Gen Z, and much more widely available on social media. I also think society began to appreciate our national parks and outdoor spaces more while simultaneously connecting the dots between nature and our mental and physical health. I hope this translates into more protection of our wildlands.

“Responsible businesses are not a marketing scheme, but rather a way of business that drives every decision.”

The technology for capturing and storing carbon is incredible. The race to make it work economically is on and the resources (policy, funding, stakeholder buy-in, etc.) are there as well. We’ve seen tech giants like Stripe and Shopify step in to lead by example and try to make the carbon market work and many are following in their footsteps. There is still a lot of work to do, a lot of education needed to have consumers understand the implications of their lifestyle, and offsetting carbon does not mitigate your impact, but I remain optimistic. We need to address our capitalistic, patriarchal, and colonized mindset, which encourages us to go to school to memorize—not think for ourselves; jobs that tie us to time rather than ideas; an economy whose metric for success, the GDP, is measuring consumption rather than quality of life and basic needs being met. We’re currently in the midst of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. When is our existence alone going to be enough?

Connection is the solution. Connection to our bodies, to others—whether family members or complete strangers, to the nature around us and ecosystems at large. Then you can shift your context from over-consumption—buying too much, eating too much, staring at your phone too much—to taking care of your body and respecting the limits of our planet.

Want to make an impact on a global scale?

Martica says think locally first—you know your local audience’s issues or challenges, so you’re better set up to create impactful solutions for them.