A student at Latymer Upper School in Hammersmith is supporting sustainable living one box at a time.
At 16, Lysander Bickham is running a successful ethical business out of his bedroom.
He is the powerhouse behind Leo’s (Loving Earth’s Oceans) Box, a sustainable alternative for the modern consumer.
Such is his commitment to saving the Earth, he is juggling his A-Levels with operating a cottage industry which delivers quality, environmentally friendly products.
Lysander said: “I want to make sure that I have tried my hardest to save the planet. We can’t live without the planet but the planet can live without us.”
He embarked on his mission just over a year ago.
The business model is clear: to sell boxes full of goods which reduce plastic consumption, reduce carbon emissions, and increase biodiversity.
There is a range of about 30 different products which change every month to suit what customers might need.
It is a mix of bath, skincare and cleaning products, such as toothpaste, fabric conditioner, and a coconut drink which is billed as being good for your skin.
The boxes are tailor-made for the customer, based on the preferences they select on their way to the virtual checkout.
Lysander said: “They tell me what they’re after and we try and pick the best products for them.
“The idea is to make your home as sustainable as possible while making it easy and affordable to live that way.
“Living in a sustainable way is about improving and trying to be your best.”
Some of the profit from each box is reinvested in the company, with the rest going towards donations to charities Plastic Oceans and One Tree Planted.
Leo’s Box cites the fact that 8.3 billion tons of plastic has been thrown away as a driving force behind its ethos, and there is no plastic in any of the products they deliver.
Lysander also criticised modern attitudes to spending.
He added: “We’re so focused on using the next big thing.
“There needs to be a slowing down of the world, a greater appreciation for stuff. To use less but for longer.”
Lysander worked in shops for three years to raise the money to set up his own eco-alternative.
The day to day running of Leo’s Box involves keeping in touch with suppliers about logistical matters, as well as how they can work together to reduce their impact on the natural world.
But it is a one-man operation and all of the boxes are packed in his bedroom.
Lysander said: “The key to this business is to make the experience of saving the planet as personal as your experience on this planet.”
In the meantime, like any other A-Level student, Lysander is contending with “essay upon essay” as he champions a better world.
You can check out the shop here.