A Brief Guide to Going eco-friendly with Your Shipped Items
When you’re sending goods and gifts on their way, how often does sustainability factor into your process? It’s no good sending off an eco-friendly toothbrush, or bamboo wastepaper basket if it’s wrapped in plastic and ribbons.
We’re getting better with our everyday sustainability, from recycling bottles to driving hybrid cars. Some of us have even begun to explore the wonders of solar panel electricity for our homes. However, every year, millions of non-sustainable parcels are sent across the UK or out into the wider world. Doing your part to green-up the shipping process will make a huge impact toward the UK’s overall environmental efforts. Not only is this good for the world around us, but it could do wonders for your wallet as well.
Here are a few tips to help you save money, and the planet, with your packaging habits:
1. Be a little MORE conservative with your wrapping
An obvious one to start with, but using less material(s) in your packaging reduces your environmental impact. Adequate protection is certainly vital; but a snug, well-fitted box will actually keep your item secure. Being held firmly in place will reduce your item’s ability to get bashed around inside the box during transit. A tight layer of bubble wrap or polystyrene (preferably of an eco-friendly variety) to accompany a suitably-sized box will ensure your parcel reaches its new home in good condition.
Being slightly-less-enthusiastic with your tape use can help too. Using only what you need, as opposed to triple wrapping the entire circumference of your package, is cheaper and greener. Pairing this with re-usable plastic wallets for any delivery notes, rather than taping printouts to the side of your box, can also prevent problems with scanning labels in transit.
2. Recycle the recyclables
Hopefully, you already recycle when it comes to food and drink containers. The same rules can easily apply to packages. The first step to doing so would be to ensure that you discard any recyclable boxes or wrapping that you receive in the correct recycling bin. However, you can go a step further and store any boxes they receive for future use. If the sender has taken as much care with their packing as you surely will, then the boxes you find on your doorstep should be in fine condition. Pass on the careful treatment, and that box will be able to circle the globe before it needs to be retired.
This counts too for any bubble wrap or other protective packaging materials that you find in the box as well. They ought to be in fine condition, and so can definitely be reused for your next piece of outgoing mail. Slide all of these materials somewhere out of the way, and that cupboard-under-the-stairs could save you a small fortune each time Christmas or birthdays roll around.
3. Let it shine
Boxes can do far more than just be boxes, of course; just ask a toddler with an over-active imagination. Cardboard, brown wrap, scraps of tape, all of these items can be repurposed. Whether it be a child’s school project or your own arts-and-crafts, there are endless options available; from cutting out gift tags, or lining drawers with wrapping paper, to just fixing a wobbly chair leg with a folded piece of card. Be sure to give your faithful supplies a chance to try their proverbial hands at something a little different.
Make use of these simple suggestions, and you can rest easy, safe in the knowledge that you’re both a part of the global solution, and just really rather good at sending out well-packaged gifts.