Eco-friendly shipping for small businesses

Reduce your environmental impact while cutting costs

The average consumer is becoming more concerned about the environmental impact of their consumption habits. Small businesses could benefit from looking into different ways to reduce the environmental impact of shipping their products to customers. Sustainable business practices are not only necessary for a more livable world, but can also be very cost-effective.

One way to practice sustainable shipping is by using recycled and repurposed materials to package and ship products. 

Many small businesses receive products in boxes and then break down and dispose of those boxes. It is both cost-effective and sustainable to keep these boxes and reuse them to ship out orders. There is no new waste created using this shipping method, and there is no need to buy boxes. Using recycled boxes benefits the business and the environment.

Another method to reduce waste and shipping costs is to send out products in their original packaging. 

Instead of unpacking the product and repackaging it to send it out to customers, you can recycle on behalf of the supplier and use the original packaging. This is also a time-saving practice because it reduces the need to unpackage products after their arrival. 

This method eliminates the need for small businesses to buy packaging materials for shipping. It  also reduces an important amount of waste.

The packaging of the product itself can also be made more sustainable by eliminating unnecessary plastic packaging. 

Nestlé Canada joined the Canada Plastics Pact (CPP) on January 27, 2021. The CPP is a Canadian initiative.  It rethinks the way that plastic is designed, used and reused and is implementing more sustainable plastic usage by 2025.

Many businesses are working to reduce the plastic included in their packaging and shipping methods. Companies like Glossier even allow the customer to choose a lower-waste option for their order. The option has less plastic filler within the packaging.The product is also shipped with the lowest amount of packaging possible to keep it safe. 

There is also an important  move towards biodegradable or compostable packaging. 

Friendly Mailer is a supplier dedicated to making 100 per cent biodegradable, eco-friendly mailers that are just as durable and tough as traditional mailers. Friendly Mailer is based in Caledonia, Ont., but ships its mailers to businesses worldwide. 

 Regardless of your business, there are many small ways to reduce the environmental impact of your shipping and packaging practices. Whatever the right eco-friendly method for your business may be, more customers are looking for businesses that are environmentally-aware and conscious of their impact.

Eco-friendly shipping for small businesses
Dru Gary
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Dru Gary (she/they) is a journalist for Business Hub. She is a queer BIPOC poet and writer and a recent graduate from OCADU with a BFA in Creative Writing. She loves words and the act of stringing them together to create arrangements that are both beautiful and meaningful. They find inspiration in the intangible and attempt to create images out of abstract thought to understand and ground themselves. She ultimately seeks truth and healing through her practice.

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