Sustainability in Shipping Perishables


For over 25 years, Wild Idea Buffalo Company has been shipping orders across the U.S. to bring our 100% grass-fed and finished, field harvested buffalo to your doorstep. Since the closure of our retail location in July, our focus on shipping has sharpened. From visual appearance to box durability, we found several areas for improvement that we are excited to share with you. 

Shipping perishable products like buffalo meat is no easy feat. In addition to normal shipping concerns, like protecting against damage during transit and tracking down one parcel amid the 58 million shipped every day, perishables shipping requires consideration of a host of other details, including dry ice, transit times, weather patterns, product temperature, and more. One of the most important aspects of perishables shipping, especially with a frozen product, is temperature. Keeping a frozen product frozen can be surprisingly challenging. 

In most sectors of the perishables industry, the obvious solution to insulate a frozen product would be to fill a box with as much styrofoam as possible, pack in dry ice, and ship the box overnight. It should be noted, however, that styrofoam can take up to 500 years to decompose in a landfill and transit can produce 21.50 pounds of carbon per gallon with 5 gallons of fuel being produced per mile. As one would expect, this is not the most environmentally-conscious method of shipping.

In everything Wild Idea does, we consider our mission first and foremost. To regenerate the Great Plains and remain good stewards of our land, it is important that we consider our environmental footprint. If we were to ship in accordance with common industry practice, this footprint would be absolutely gigantic. 

If you have received an order from Wild Idea after our harvest pause, you may have noticed some changes between what showed up on your door and what you previously received. Rest assured, the buffalo inside is still the same delicious, 100% grass-fed, humanely raised and harvested meat you’ve been receiving from us for years, and the same family that has owned this company for 27 years is still out on the prairies of South Dakota, stewarding the Cheyenne River Ranch and ensuring you can continue to order your favorite products. The changes, however, are pretty cool. 

First, you may notice that you’ve received a branded box. Featuring our iconic buffalo head logo, our favorite fast-facts, and a handy “PERISHABLE MEAT” label, this box proclaims our mission and brags about the internal contents to anyone who comes across it. On the inner flaps, you’ll find a handy flowchart to help you unpack your order and properly dispose of your shipping materials. The intentional design of this box has allowed us to reduce the number of paper inserts required with each shipment. Even better, the box itself is 100% curbside recyclable. 

The biggest (and arguably most exciting change) is the foam liner inside of the box. Over the years, we have partnered with several different companies to test a variety of alternative insulation materials. We’ve used corn-based foam, recycled paper, shredded cardboard, you name it and we’ve probably tried it at least once. After extensive research and testing, however, we’re happy to announce that we have partnered with Atlantic Packaging to use a Time Magazine Best Invention of 2023, Cruz Cool, as our insulation in all of our retail packages. 

Cruz Cool is made by Cruz Foam, a company founded in 2017 by a group of surfers looking to remove single-use plastics from the mainstream supply chain. All Cruz Foam products are made from BPI and TUV-certified ingredients, 70% of which come from upcycled food waste. The product is also-FDA certified. In industrial conditions, Cruz Foam biodegrades in only 103 days and can be a useful compost amendment. You can learn more about the full impact of this product on their website

Cruz Cool has shown stellar performance in several independent tests we performed. Whether a box full of meat was left in a hot car in Colorado for three days, shipped to Texas in the middle of a heat wave using four day transit, or forgotten on a porch in the rain in South Dakota, the product was still in prime condition on the inside. While we know there are certain factors we cannot account for, we are highly confident in the abilities of this insulation and can’t wait for you to see it for yourself. 

As we enter into the warmer months of the year, especially for our friends in the southern part of the country, we will do everything we can to keep transit to a maximum of three days to ensure that your product arrives in the best condition possible. For some parts of the country this may look like a 2-day air shipment. For others, we may be able to reach you via ground shipment within that time window. As always, you have the option to choose whatever method of shipping is right for you and the state you call home.

Custom designed box for Wild Idea Buffalo shipments

Honoring the buffalo is essential to the way we do business. From raising our herd on open prairie to ensuring they never see the inside of a slaughterhouse, we do everything within our power to make sure the animal is respected in life and given dignity in death. Every time meat arrives at your door thawed or spoiled, that is a buffalo harvested for a product that cannot be used. We are highly conscious of waste reduction and hope that our new shipping materials further reinforce our commitment to our mission while allowing us to reduce the amount of meat that must be discarded due to suboptimal shipping conditions. 

Thank you for your sustainable great taste and for helping us regenerate the Great Plains, one bite at a time! 


  • Posted on by H. P Jorgensen
    Thanks for your continued commitment to guarding the earth. I have not bought a piece of beef since we first bought your products. We get some humanely raised and individually slaughtered pork and chicken from farmers who are our friends (in NE Iowa) and then a lot of fish. Advantage of living where we do. Buffalo for the Broken Heart got us started. Our best to you all
  • Posted on by Carl Gerald
    You are a committed company and in love with nature.
  • Posted on by Sonia
    Thank you for this detailed update! I just saw the picture you sent of the box with that handsome Buffalo face. I appreciate all the “Green” environmental considerations you listed. I look forward to this new box!

    Slso to my today’s order. I suppose it ships out next Monday?

    Wellness wishes to all!
    Sonia Dorte 15,2024
    At 11:06 am est

  • Posted on by JAR

    LOVE IT!!!

  • Posted on by Kurt
    This is a great addition to your product handling. I am so glad to have discovered WIld Idea several yaers back and proad to be a regular customer. Love your products and your company mission.

    Please keep this going… Great job Wild Idea.

Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing
You have successfully subscribed!
This email has been registered