A study released by Yale University in November 2020 found that Americans are becoming increasingly concerned about climate change. Of the people surveyed:
- Seven in 10 adults said they were “very” or “extremely” certain that global warming was happening
- Two out of 3 Americans said they were at least “somewhat worried” about global warming
- Nearly half (46%) said they’ve already personally experienced some impacts
Regardless of how you feel about global warming, one thing’s for certain: it’s on the minds of your customers. And that means you have an opportunity to position your brand for success. By taking steps to make your shipments more sustainable and eco-friendly, you can set yourself apart from the competition.
Admittedly, it can be hard knowing where to start. That’s why we’ve listed a handful of recommendations below.
1) Cut back on unnecessary packaging. Do the boxes you ship contain extra materials beyond the product itself? If you’re shipping something delicate, it’s important to protect the item, but you don’t need to overdo it. For example, try cutting back on packing peanuts and bubble wrap. You might even be able to replace these materials with recycled newspaper or coupon booklets that come in the mail. If that’s not an option, print your business’s website on the box. This small step encourages customers to visit your online store. Plus, you can cut back on brochures, coupons or other printed materials you might include in the packaging.
2) Tell your customers how to dispose of the packaging. Every city and state has different rules about what can be recycled and what can’t. There’s no way to track all of these regulations, but you can educate your clients on how to dispose of the trash properly. For example, you could print “please recycle” on the interior of the shipping box. If you use bubble wrap or other types of plastic packaging, print “please dispose of in the trash” on the exterior. It might seem like common sense, but providing some basic instructions increases the likelihood your customers will comply.
3) Invest in recycled materials. Instead of buying virgin cardboard or other brand-new shipping products, stock up on recycled materials. Businesses like The Better Packaging Co and RyPax offer sustainable solutions that minimize your carbon footprint. What’s more, many of these items are compostable. If your clients are gardeners or farmers, they might even be able to break down used or damaged packaging in their compost piles and use it for future harvests.
These are just a few of the ways you can make your shipments more sustainable. If you have any other tips or suggestions, don’t hesitate to share them.