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When selling online, the shipping of products can create some waste. If you have a brand that embraces sustainability, you may be looking for a sustainable way to package and ship your orders. This article will outline some of the eco-friendly, sustainable, and/or compostable shipping methods:
1. Recycle boxes from your online orders
In today’s market, more companies are moving to online stores and utilizing the online markets that exist. Many of the companies are using recycled boxes and while others are using new boxes for each sale. If you receive your order in a new box, when possible, cover up any logos and reuse it to ship your items. Or break it down (eg. shred the box) to use as packing material to protect your product.
2. Recycle newspaper
If you live in an area that still gets the newspaper on your doorstep or driveway everyday, you can use it to pack your product. Newspaper can be shredded or wrapped around your items for a perfect, and sustainable, protective packaging.
3. Recycle the packing materials from your online orders
If you have ever ordered from Amazon or Uline you may notice that they use a lot of air-pillows or packing peanuts. Rather than adding them to a landfill after one use, many times they can be used as part of your packaging. Many of the protective packaging used by large companies are already made of recycled or biodegradable products and they are a very effective way to protect your product in transit.
4. Mushroom packaging
An eco-friendly packaging alternative that can be used to support smaller items is a product made from mushrooms, which can be found at mushroompackaging.com. They use agricultural waste to form their packing inserts which are 100% biodegradable. They are made from hemp hurds and mycelium, and once added to soil it will compost within 45 days.
5. Waste/Cut-offs from your product
Do you use 100% of your materials when creating your product? If not get creative and use it for packaging instead of tossing it away. For example, if you have cloth cutoff from clothing you make, it can be used to protect your items in transit. The cloth is perfect for protecting items from falling or potential damage
6. Ship in an appropriate sized box or bag
Even if any of these options don’t work for you or your product, make sure to ship it in an appropriate sized box or bag. Using a box that is larger than necessary will create excess waste that will end up in landfills. In addition, large boxes tend to cost more than smaller sized boxes. By using a smaller box you can save money and reduce waste.
We know everyone has different needs and abilities to move towards eco-friendly packaging, but remember that even small changes can have a large impact. And by changing one little thing or continuing to be mindful you will make a difference.