If you’re looking for a bug spray that won't kill the planet while repelling bugs, Badger Anti-Bug Shake & Spray is a very good option. Badger uses essential oils instead of harmful synthetic chemicals, DEET, or petroleum products to repel bugs for up to 4 hours. I have used Badger before and was pleasantly surprised by how good it smells, especially compared to other bug sprays out there. A 4 fl oz spray bottle costs $12.99 which is on the more expensive side of bug sprays, but is very standard for more environmentally friendly products. Badger is a small family owned company and manufactures in the same location that they grow their ingredients, along with having many other ethically and environmentally responsible actions. Because of these qualities, and the effectiveness of the product, Badger Anti-Bug Shake & Spray scores a 2.75/3 planets.
Badger Anti-Bug Shake & Spray is made of organic soybean oil, organic castor oil, organic citronella oil, organic cedar oil, organic lemongrass oil, organic rosemary oil, organic geranium oil, organic peppermint oil, water, and organic wintergreen oil. These ingredients help repel bugs by masking the carbon dioxide and lactic acid produced by our bodies that insects search for. All of these ingredients are USDA Certified Organic. These ingredients are grown sustainably at the Badger farm in Gilsum, New Hampshire, along with other local farms nearby. The bottle Badger Anti-Bug Shake & Spray comes in is made of Aluminum with a plastic sprayer lid. Aluminum is a very easy to recycle material, and most Aluminum can products are roughly made of 70% recycled Aluminum. The plastic used by Bager is BPA free and Phthalate-free. The only reason this product did not score higher in this section is because of its use of plastic, but otherwise I was very pleased to see that all of the ingredients are being responsibly sourced and have very low environmental impacts.
Badger is very transparent about how they make their products, including a how it’s made video for each, as well as a video tour of their manufacturing facility included on their website. After watching the tour video, you can really tell Badger is a healthy place of employment, with many safety measures as well as a good working environment of many bright colors, skylights for natural lighting, and many office plants. They even have tour opportunities open to the public to see how the Badger facility functions in person. Badger grows, manufactures, and ships products out of their facility in Gilsum, New Hampshire, meaning they have very little fossil fuel emissions from transportation, as everything is done in the same location. Anything they do not produce themselves is sourced locally, supporting small businesses and reducing emissions. Badgers buildings meet LEED Silver specifications, indicating sustainable and responsible building practices. The facility is located on an abandoned sand mine, meaning the farming Badger is practicing helps to revitalize the land and bring plant life as well as animals back to the region. They also are implementing regenerative farming techniques such as cover cropping, not tilling, and composting to actually help sequester carbon in the soil. On their website they include an extremely transparent and easy to navigate ingredient glossary, and include detailed explanations of the extraction methods they use to obtain every ingredient. Badger does not test their products on animals, unlike other bug spray brands such as OFF!. In the manufacturing of their products, Badger reduces water use by using organic olive oil and grain alcohol for cleaning instead of water. They then reuse this olive oil to produce their citronella candles, helping to make even their cleaning practices more circular. When Badger does use water, they use a simple natural cleaning solvent that is not harmful to the environment so water can be reused and returned to the earth. Badger is in the process of implementing solar panels in the hopes of shifting to all solar energy. They started this process in 2020 and currently have 1,445-panels, which offset their energy use. The only thing that would make Badger score higher in this section would be if they were a bit more transparent about their own carbon emissions, as I would like to know what percent of their energy is coming from solar now, and what percent is still non-green energy. In terms of the working conditions at Badger, their employees reap the benefits from working at a small company, including paid family and medical leave, fair minimum wage, and paid free locally sourced orgainc lunches everyday. The scraps from these lunches are used to compost their farm during the summer, and used as pig feed in the winter at local farms. Badger employees also receive many extra wellness benefits, such as yoga classes 4-5 times a week before/after work. It is clear that while producing its products, Badger really does care about the planet as well as the people that are impacted by their company.
The W.S. Badger Company, Inc. is a family owned company that started in 1996, and makes Badger skin care products. They are a small team of just over 90 people and are committed to healing the planet, community, economy, as well as respecting all people. On Badger's website they mention that some orders may arrive a few days late given they are a small team and are committed to a healthy and flexible work schedule for their employees. Badger says they believe in a healthy work and life balance, providing many destressing opportunities for their employees such as an employee art gallery, on-site yoga classes, and many other wellness benefits. They allow for parents to bring young children under six months old to work to ensure parents can be there for their child's more important stage of development. This is an important step for gender equality, as even though it helps all parents, it allows for female empowerment when returning to work after maternity. Badger is very transparent about everything they do, with pages on pages of information about how they produce on their website. Badger even includes full impact reports for their products on their website, in addition to the other transparent measures they take in manufacturing mentioned above. Badger has won awards for their practices, becoming a certified B corporation in 2001 and winning multiple different B corp awards since then. They scored a 147.4/200 overall in 2019, with a 69.1 in the environmental section, a 27.8 in the workers section, and a 24.4 in the community section. Within their community, Badger donates to multiple local charities such as a food kitchen, a school, and a center for children with disabilities. Badger states that they use the UN Sustainable Development Goals as a guide for their development, aiming to have net zero carbon emissions by 2030. Badger believes climate action is the most pressing issue of today's world, and even participated in the global climate strike of 2019, closing their factory doors and stopping production. In addition to this, Badger has signed the climate collaborative pledge to help reverse climate change by focusing on one or more of nine emissions-reducing areas. To achieve their goals of reducing emissions and achieving net zero, they are currently implementing solar panels at their facility. Not only is Badger committed to social and environmental justice within their own community, but they are also political advocates for justice across the United States. The co-CEO of Badger Rebecca Hamilton was invited to testify before the House in January of 2020 in support of Paid Family and Medical Leave. Rebecca Hamilton also spoke before the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity advocating for organic agriculture and eliminating genetic engineering to preserve biodiversity as well as healthy ecosystems. Badger has additionally partnered with Business for a Fair Minimum Wage to fight for fair wagers in the United States by lobbying and testifying at the Senate. With everything that Badger is doing to help protect the planet as well as all of its inhabitants, they really deserve a round of applause.