When it comes to shipping internationally, we rarely think of how much of a negative impact it may have on our planet. Unfortunately, it surely does. Package shipping impacts the wellness of our environment, as the number of gas emissions due to complex and long transportation processes in shipping is enormous. Plus, we use a lot of plastic to ship packages, which also has an impact on climate change.
However, there are many ethical package shipping practices you can apply when shipping internationally. And you can easily do it by yourself. Here we have outlined the TOP 4 tips on how to make your package shipping habits more eco-friendly.
Use recycled or recyclable materials
The majority of packaging materials are made from plastic and we are very used to them. Bubble wrap, foam wrap, packaging tape – all these materials are perfect to ensure the protection of the goods inside during the long transportation process. But if they’re made from plastic, it’s a no-go if you wish to ship in a sustainable manner, unless it’s made from recycled plastic.
However, there is a bunch of sustainable alternatives that can be used instead of plastic packaging materials. Below are listed the main ones, but you can definitely be creative here:
- Cardboard. You probably use cardboard boxes when you ship internationally, but have you ever tried using cardboard as an internal packaging material? You should!
- Kraft- paper. It is also a plastic-free material to use for internal packaging.
- Recyclable tape. The tape made from recycled paper is now easily accessible at all packaging materials stores.
- Old newspaper is another great alternative for internal packaging.
Reuse packaging materials
The word reuse equals sustainability in our minds for many years now. And that is truly a key to more sustainable package shipping. If you’re used to sending packages, you probably receive a lot of them as well. Therefore, when you get a package, don’t toss packaging materials. Instead, keep them for later.
Most packaging materials can be easily reused multiple times, especially when it comes to internal packaging. Foam wrap, kraft paper, or packing peanuts can serve for dozens of shipments. This way you’ll serve nature by minimizing the negative impact of manufacturing packaging materials and plastic usage. Plus, not buying packaging materials each time you need to send a shipment will save you money.
You can minimize the resources used for package transportation by sending goods in bulk and consolidating packages. Shipping more than one item in a package or making a single package out of several is both a financially and environmentally smart decision. Planning ahead is all it takes to consolidate your shipments.
Reduce parcel size
Make sure to use the correct sizing of a box with as little free space as possible. The smaller the parcel, the less negative impact it has on the environment. The more optimal each package size is, the more parcels will fit on a plane or container ship. Reducing parcel size will make package shipping overseas much more efficient and it might even reduce shipping costs.
However, this method is not ideal for each situation. For example, if you’re shipping from the US to Romania, or shipping to Poland from the USA, you probably do it rarely and make your packages overfilled with goods to your friends and relatives. If that’s the case, it will be difficult to reduce packaging size. But if you’re sending only one item, make sure to use the correct size of a package with less empty space.
Refuse fast deliveries
If you’re used to 2 or 3 days deliveries overseas, be aware that this method is extremely harmful to our nature as for climate change. It requires a much faster transportation process. Therefore, if you do not need to deliver the package in a few days, then don’t. It’s wasteful on both your wallet and our nature. So, consider if express shipping is a necessity.
The bottom line
Green shipping methods do not end with this list. However, these are the first steps to take if you want to ship packages more environmentally friendly. Most of these will not only make your shipping habits greener, but they will save you money as well.