If you run an e-commerce business, you end up doing a lot of shipping. All that packaging material needs to be environmentally friendly. This way, even if some of the customers are not going to recycle the shipping containers and fill, it will not harm the earth as much when it ends up in a landfill somewhere. It is not enough to use boxes and envelopes made with recycled products. Here are a few other ways to get your products to your customers in a green way.
If you need to add packing peanuts in the box to protect your products, make sure to use starch-based peanuts that will decompose easily. There are also green wraps available that are similar to a bubble wrap for protection. If all else fails, find some recycled paper, crumple it up, and stuff it into the empty spaces in the box.
While it might save you money to order a large supply of one size box, unless all your products are the same size, and unless you will ship everything individually, having only one size can mean a lot of waste. Not only will it mean more of the box material will be tossed out, but more of any fill material will need to be used too. If you have only been ordering bigger boxes so you have room for more than one product, you will save money in a couple of ways by ordering multiple sizes of mailing containers.
Contact your shipping-supplies supplier and see if you can get some type of discount even if ordering different-sized boxes. The worst that can happen is that you are told "no."
Labels and Tape
Don't forget to look for green tape and labels to close and address the boxes. Look for items that are made from recycled materials or that will easily disintegrate, such as wood cellulose. Don't forget to buy soy ink or go with thermal printing to keep the chemicals in regular ink from seeping into the ground.
It may take a while to build up a stock of green shipping materials, and it may even cost you more than you normally spend. However, once you get started and can let potential customers know how environmentally conscious you are, you may see an increase in business. You, the customers, and the environment will win.
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