“It’s important that The Monterey Company does its part to help the environment.” -Paul Stark, CEO

“It’s one thing for individuals to “go green” by recycling and reusing products, but it’s another thing for a growing business.

The Monterey Company, a leading lapel pin manufacturer based in Southern California, has just started using environmentally safe packing materials.

The “green peanuts” the company uses to pack and repack their custom-made coins, medallions and lapel pins from overseas, are made of organic cornstarch. They look just like the traditional Styrofoam packing peanuts–curly, white and spongy.

But, according to the manufacturer, these “green peanuts” are biodegradable, FDA approved and dissolve in water leaving no toxic waste.

“It was important to me to have these packing materials,” said Andy, the new shipping manager. He intends to order environmentally safe bubble wrap. “Right now, I can order bubble wrap that decomposes too, but they can only give me huge amounts,” he said. “And I don’t have the storage space right now.”

The huge plastic bag containing the 12 cubic feet of green peanuts loom conspicuously behind Andy’s desk. Because business is booming, that amount will go fast, he said.

Paul Stark, president of The Monterey Company, said that the costs of environmentally safe packing materials are more than double the normal costs, but it’s worth it.

One of the salespeople added water to a pile of the “green peanuts” on the ground and they dissolved quickly. “It’s amazing stuff,” she exclaimed. “And to think that it’s made of the same material that I use to thicken my soups and gravies.”

“Going green” with packing materials was a natural next step for Stark at The Monterey Company. He uses all state-of-the-art computer and phone equipment to create a paperless work environment. And for the rare paper that must be used is recycled in a large bin. He uses low-energy heating and cooling equipment, and all low-wattage light bulbs in all three locations.

“It’s important that we all do our part to help the environment,” Stark added. “We want to be a good neighbor and set a good example.”