In an effort to combat climate change, more and more businesses are looking to go green these days. That’s great! What does it mean for your ecommerce shop, though? In so many cases, what you sell comes in packaging, is made, to some degree, from plastic and will go to landfill once the buyer is done with it. With the big green push, going eco-friendly is a great way to make your ecommerce shop stand out online, too!
The standard in packaging, ever since online shopping took off a decade ago, has been bubble-wrap. Thankfully, things are changing, with more and more recycled, recyclable packaging being employed by sellers around the world. If you’re a small business, you can even recycle your own materials and use them as packaging! Sustainable packaging materials include:
- Old newspaper
- Corrugated cardboard
- Paper tape
- Biodegradable packing peanuts
One unfortunate, yet unavoidable, side-effect of selling online is that goods will occasionally need to be returned. Either the fit isn’t right, the product’s damaged, isn’t what the customer expected or, for some other reason, it has to go back. In that case, so many companies throw their unwanted products into the trash! Isn’t there more you can do with them, though? Commit to re-using or recycling returned goods elsewhere, either in a charitable way or by reusing them in your own business.
- If you sell skincare products, for example, many charities accept new or lightly-used skincare and beauty products. Let someone else enjoy them, instead of throwing them in the bin!
- Do you sell jewellery? If you forge it yourself, surely the metal can be reused in another product?
- Do you make clothing? Maybe the fabric can be used for a different project?
Whatever you do, there’s always a way to reuse what comes back. Get creative and see that carbon footprint shrink!
Small Item? Small Packaging
When running a small business, it’s vital that your goods get to your customer in one piece. The temptation can then be to go massively overboard on the packaging, to ensure no damage befalls the product in transit. Smart move, from a business standpoint, but that approach does have an impact on the environment. The thing to do is to run a few test deliveries on your smaller products and see what level of packaging you can get away with. There’s a balance there somewhere!
Saving on packaging and reducing your delivery costs is something you can manage through our system as well - take a look right here for some tips on how to do so.
Selling books or documents? Consider digital downloads instead of physical media. Our ecommerce system makes it really easy to sell a digital download, with the link to the document coming through in an email as soon as the customer clicks “buy”. It’s simpler, saves on packaging and gets your product in the customers’ hands all the quicker.
Saving the planet starts with individuals making small changes. Those small changes, all together, make a big difference!
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