As a business, or even on a personal level, we’re all doing our best to take more steps towards sustainable living. These steps include everything from restricting the amount of printing allowed in the workplace, to ensuring that as much waste is recycled as possible. We all understand that even just the small changes we make in our daily lives can soon add up!
If you’re anything like us, then you’ll always be interested in learning new ways to help us live a more sustainable life both at home and in the workplace.
As a business owner, no doubt you’ll have spent at least a little bit of time considering ways in which your business can make greener choices – but have you thought about the packaging supplies you use? Whether you’re a medium sized e-commerce business, or an Etsy or eBay seller just starting out, you can make a difference. No matter how many parcels your business sends out each week, there’s room to start making your packaging line more sustainable.
From implementing small changes such as using different products or suppliers, and even trying new systems, it doesn’t have to be hard work to make your business greener. Let’s take a look at some of the easy steps you can take below:
- Pack orders in cardboard boxes or recycled shipping bags
Using cardboard boxes is often thought of as the most sustainable packaging option you can use. However, it’s worth taking into consideration that using boxes for packaging does mean you’ll also need to use parcel tape. Cardboard boxes can also take up a lot more space during transit – meaning less parcels can be transported at once, and therefore more journeys and more gas is used to transport these. Therefore, we’d recommend considering mailing bags made from recycled plastics.
- However, we know it’s impossible to give up the boxes for good, so to achieve a balance, we’d suggest using cardboard boxes for larger objects or for objects which can be more easily damaged, and then using mailing bags for smaller, less fragile items. This is arguably the most sustainable way to tackle your packaging.
- Alternative tapes
Unfortunately, if you are going to be using cardboard boxes as part of your packing strategy, then you’re also going to need to use parcel tape to secure your boxes. Traditional parcel tapes can unfortunately complicate the recycling process, and if tape is not properly removed from a cardboard box, it can often end up not being recycled at all! Luckily, there are some innovations on the market aimed at tackling this exact issue. You can now even purchase eco parcel tape, such as Kraft Paper tape, which not only is recyclable, but it’s natural toned color means it’ll blend in with your cardboard boxes, and make for a much more professional looking packaged item.
- Be organized
It might sound simple – so hear us out! If you can be organized when it comes to purchasing packaging supplies, you can save a surprising amount of money – and shave a fair bit off your carbon footprint. For example, if you only need to order supplies twice a year, as opposed to once every month, the amount of carbon used to deliver your order is going to be a great deal less. Buying in bulk can even work out more affordable too in the long run, with a lot of websites offering discounts for purchases made in bulk.
As we’ve explored so far, choosing more sustainable options can often be beneficial for your business too! Not only can you save money, and therefore increase your bottom line, but your sustainable choices can also see you attracting more customers.
Buyers nowadays are very savvy when it comes to sustainability, and how ‘green’ a shopping experience is has become a growing influential factor as to whether someone will shop with a brand or not. So, if you do decide to make these more sustainable choices, then we encourage you to shout about it from the rooftops! Here are just a few ways you can promote your sustainable choices:
- Talk about it on social media
If your business has a following, then this is a great way to let your customers – existing and potential – know about the choices you’re making. Bring them on the journey with you! You’ll be surprised at how supportive and pleased they’ll be to hear about the changes you’re making. This sort of information can really increase customer loyalty too.
- Include a segment in your next newsletter or email campaign
Or if you’re really passionate about it, why not dedicate a whole email campaign letting your customers know the sustainable changes you’ll be making? We guarantee they’ll be pleased to hear about it and learn more.
- Dedicate a section of your website
While it’s quite common now to see a sustainability pledge on a lot of big brands websites, small businesses often don’t! But seeing as this can be such a big deciding factor now, as to whether a customer will shop with you or not, we’d highly recommend including information on your sustainable choices on your website. Whether or not you decide to dedicate a whole page to it is up to you, but we’d certainly mention it somewhere!
We hope we’ve helped inspire you to start considering the positive and simple steps you can take to make your packing line, and overall business, more sustainable. We’re confident that you’ll quickly see the positive impact it can have. Good luck on your journey to a greener business!