April is Earth month, and a great time to consider eco friendly packaging!
People worldwide celebrate Earth month and our wonderful planet in the weeks leading up to Earth Day on April 22nd. In light of this, we wanted to put together some tips to help you make your shipping more eco-friendly! Read on to learn about some helpful switches you can make to reduce the environmental impact of your shipping.
- Reuse materials you already have! This option is free and the most impactful in terms of caring for our Earth. If you have a box from a past order you received or leftover packing materials, use them for your shipment! The box will need to be in good condition. Pack it with the items you’re sending and reuse the old supplies like filler or bubble wrap to give those single-use items a second use and delays the consumption of new materials. Pass this idea onto the package recipient to extend the life of the packaging even longer. When they are too worn for use, discard or recycle them appropriately.
- Switch to compostable mailers. Typical poly mailers are made from plastic which is harmful to the Earth in its creation, but it also takes thousands of years to break down and often floats out of landfills and into the homes and habitats of animals. You can get compostable poly mailers that break down into the soil at local stores or on Amazon – pick the color, brand, and price point that’s right for you!
- Switch to paper, corrugated, or recycled bubble wrap. Although fun to pop, Bubble wrap is also made of thin plastic, which harms the environment during its creation process. It can also contribute to litter if it blows off a garbage collection truck or out of a landfill, which causes a lot of the litter we see on our streets. Your home garbage collector cannot recycle plastic bubble wrap, but if you bring it to a site that collects plastic shopping bags like your local Target store or Goodwill, it can be recycled there. You can also try paper packing wrap as a cushion for your items as a recyclable option. Old newspapers work great, or you can purchase paper wrap from a local store or online.
- Use biodegradable packing peanuts. When you are packing something fragile, packing peanuts can be beneficial in providing a nice cushion while your package makes its way to its final destination. Ordinary packing peanuts are made from a material called polystyrene, a.k.a styrofoam. They take a very long time to decompose and are harmful if ingested by animals. Biodegradable packing peanuts are made from natural materials such as wheat and corn starch, so they are nontoxic and break down in compost piles or just plain water! Check them out on Amazon, where you can even find them shaped like little trees!
Try these tips out next time your ship to save your wallet by reusing and the planet by utilizing some more eco-friendly swaps. The most important thing to remember when trying to do everyday things in a greener way is that every effort, no matter how big or small, is essential.
Do your best, and your best is enough. Taking care of our planet takes a lot of people doing a little bit better every day. Happy Earth Month!