It all started with packing a school lunch. For mompreneurs Lynn Julian and Chance Claxton, the growth of their respective families made them realize just how much they wasted plastic bags, drink cartons, and single-use containers on a daily basis. These items would eventually make it to a landfill and the cycle of waste would continue — unless they took action to make an environmentally conscious change. The two decided to start B Corporation U-Konserve in 2008 and used those school lunches as inspiration for creating a waste-free lunch kit. Then and now, their goal is to provide reusable solutions that will help change consumer behavior and benefit the planet. Read on to find out more about Lynn and Chance and their Scottsdale, AZ-based B Corp.
The mission behind U-Konserve: “In the beginning, our mission was to reduce as much lunch time trash in school systems around the world as possible by creating waste free reusable lunch kits. This mission has expanded far beyond the lunch table and to all other types of waste reduction. We now strive to reduce as much trash as possible from landfills to oceans around the globe by offering a wide array of reusable items. ”
How our first retreat made us feel embraced by the B Corp community: “Becoming a B Corporation was a very proud accomplishment for us! It reminded us of our global responsibility and why we started this business. We especially became aware of the impact of B Corps when we attended our first retreat. We love being a part of such an important and well executed mission and are honored to be a part of a group which includes such amazing individuals and corporations.”
On triumphing over trash: “Our biggest success story has been reducing trash for sure. Knowing how many thousands of containers, bottles, straws and food kozies we have sold is a clear indicator that more and more people are listening and aware of the fact that the smallest of change can make the hugest impact! ”
How U-Konserve walks the walk to “B The Change” in the world: “We send the message out each day whether it is from statistics and information on our website or our Instagram educating people about the importance of reuse but also, we all participate and ‘walk the walk’ and remind each other regularly about ways to make a difference even beyond using our products. A lot of this is instigated through our many partnerships with other organizations and other brands.”
If you want to become a B Corp… “At least go through the process! It is a huge lesson and exercise in how important it is to think globally while owning/running/working for a business! It is like getting your MBA in sustainability going through the audit process.”
B Corps are one hot, hot, hot entity! “The future is BRIGHT! What an amazing vision to think that the movement will only continue to grow and inspire businesses and people around the globe to do the right thing…. for people and of course ultimately for the planet.”
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About Lynn Julian and Chance Claxton, Co-Founders, U-Konserve
Lynn Julian began her career with an institutional financial advisor, later became a manager for a large mutual fund company, then accepted another challenge when a new company emerged. In her role as Senior Vice President, she grew the financial services organization to over 100 branches nationwide, and recruited and managed over 500 brokers and advisors. While raising her children, Lynn became increasingly aware of the tons of lunch trash that was being added to landfills every year. In 2008 she partnered with her co-founder to address this pressing issue, and their new venture was born.
Chance Claxton was an original team member for the launch and positioning of the contemporary retail furniture company Design Within Reach. Prior to that she co-launched Pentimento, an architectural series of ceramics, and has been a merchandising and marketing consultant for start-up companies. After the birth of her daughter in 2003, she became increasingly concerned about the environment, so she partnered with her good friend to create a product line that would educate families about the importance of reuse, and reduce the staggering amount of trash that was headed to our landfills.