Using Green Practices to Create Amazing Products from Scrap
Learn about good green practices from world-class manufacturer Naturescast
Who knew that from a heap of agro-forest debris composed of fallen leaves, shrubs, and twigs, one could create stylish fashion accessories and world-class furniture designs?
The husband and wife tandem behind Naturescast, Pete and Cathy Delantar, certainly knew. In 2002, during one of the many Clean and Green Community activities sponsored by Nature’s Legacy, the Delantars together with their associates gathered these debris and worked with research and development cosultants to come up with a workable and sustainable products. Naturescast Inc. is a manufacturer and distributor of sustainable and versatile products with operations based in Compostela, Cebu.
Naturescast’s furniture line is composed of tastefully designed chairs, stools, and tables, while its fashion accessories run the gamut of bracelets, necklaces, and bags all hand-crafted from natural scrap materials. Naturescast pieces such as wall art and home décor are known to have graced the homes of Hollywood celebrities in the United States, where Naturescast also operates.
“We (me and my wife) work, function and think like a team,” says Pete. “We share ideas, argue, compliment and reinforce each other by drawing energy from our partnership as we go about managing our day to day challenges. We consult each other before making a family or business decision. As the old saying goes, ‘It takes two to tango.’”
Of course, not everything has been smooth. One challenge that the Delantars had to go through was when their rattan furniture venture went bankrupt. “Every entrepreneur will go through many challenges in life. One of it may be getting bankrupt. It really does not matter how many times one falls; it is how fast one recovers from that fall that matters. Resiliency is one thing that we all should have,” shares Pete.
Staying true to its commitment to sustainable development by protecting the environment, Naturescast employs the following “green” practices:
1. It reduces its energy consumption through compressed work week systems as well as the use of biofuels and the installation of infrastructure with reduced cooling requirements.
2. It also has a rainwater collection system to help sustain its daily water requirement of 1,000 gallons.
3. It is part of the company’s standard operations to practice waste segregation. Empty steel barrels are also re-used in building the company’s infrastructure.
4. Its sources manpower, supplies and raw materials within a 50-mile radius. Regular employees are provided housing benefits near the factory so they can walk to work. In the housing facility there is a communal garden which promotes self-sufficiency and social sustainability.
“Filipinos have been eco-conscious in many ways. Filipinos recycle a lot, from empty boxes to clothes, tires and extra length materials without even thinking that it’s a very good green practice,” says Pete. “I think that we should share more green living practices to spread awareness. We Filipinos are ready to live green and it’s just a matter of instilling a new mind set (and probably start this with young kids, or in the schools) and seriously sustain it.”