How to make your shipping process more eco-friendly

Making your shipping process more eco-friendly is just as important as shipping your parcels fast and in a safe way. Here are a few ways of making your shipping process more eco-friendly, with more adequate packaging, reusable/recyclable packaging and with less co2 emissions.

The size of your packaging

Be sure that the box that you’re shipping in is exactly the correct size! Why is this important? Well, if you put a small product in a large shipping box, this is what happens.

If less packages fit into a truck/container -> then less packages are being transported to their destination with the same fuel usage -> more fuel is used in order to ship all of your products.

But if you were to choose the correct size packaging, meaning that the outer box is exactly the same size as the product itself, then more parcels would fit in the same truck/shipping container, and more packages would be delivered with the same amount of fuel used. Makes sense, right?

Reusable and/or recyclable packaging

It’s easy to use and reuse cardboard boxes for shipping. But they can also lose their structural integrity quickly if creased or dented. To keep your products from getting damaged and returned, make sure the boxes you ship with are in good shape. Also, be sure to encourage your customers to recycle the box when they’re done with it. If you’re mostly shipping documents, try reusable envelopes that your customers can use for shipping back to you.

An affordable and sustainable option is an UPS Reusable Express Envelope which is made with 100% recycled fiber. This means that you can use it, reuse it, and then recycle it.

Try to use packing materials over and over again

Unlike boxes, packing materials can be used again and again for your shipments, making them very eco-friendly. This means that if you’re shipping lightweight items, choose reusable materials like packing peanuts, bubble wrap, and plastic air pillows.

If you ever have more foam packing peanuts than you need, you can contact any courier company that’s near to you. Many locations will collect clean foam peanuts for reuse. You can also switch to biodegradable packing peanuts made of corn starch or wheat that easily dissolve when no longer needed.

Get rid of all plastic packaging

Plastic is extremely toxic for our planet. Even though it’s a great packaging material, and it’s very cheap to buy/manufacture, in the long run, it will do a lot more harm to our planet. There are always eco-friendly/bio-degradable plastic bags that you can use. Even though these might be a tad more expensive, we’d always recommend using them over the regular plastic bags/packages.

Try using soy ink

Seriously! Soy ink is much, much more eco-friendly than using any other types of ink.

Did you know that ink is typically made from petroleum? Using petroleum-based ink on an otherwise fully recyclable box renders that box unrecyclable.

A smart alternative is soy ink. Soy ink is biodegradable and requires less ink to achieve the same amount of print outs because soy ink results in a more intense color. The best part? Because less soy ink is required, soy ink is actually cheaper than traditional ink.

While a typical shipping cardboard box doesn’t contain a lot of wording/images/etc., using soy ink could still benefit you, as a seller, and the planet as a whole.

Consolidating orders

Consolidating orders is another great way to promote sustainable shipping and fulfillment.

The rapid growth of 1-day and even same-day shipping and delivery has made it easy for customers to place one-off orders whenever they want. This makes their online shopping experience more convenient. But it takes a massive toll on the environment due to this lack of delivery efficiency.

Try to prompt your customers to buy several products at a time by having a product count or cost minimum for free shipping. At the very least, always try to send out multiple orders to the same customer at once. Preferably, you should be sending goods out in a single package, even if they were placed separately.

Consolidating customer orders can not only reduce the number of delivery vehicles on the road and subsequently lower emissions, but also save your company money!

Market Your Slowest Shipping Option as the Greenest

Likewise, another good idea is to mark the slowest shipping option on your online store as the most environmentally-friendly one. Doing so is a simple but effective way to identify it for eco-conscious customers. It gives them an incentive to lessen their environmental impact in exchange for a longer delivery time.

Conclusion

Try to do your part in protecting the environment by “greening” your shipping strategy, adopting eco-friendly packaging, and giving the gift of a truly sustainable future!

It’s better for everyone, especially for our planet!