Eco-friendly packaging – go for it
Do you want to ship something, but are wondering how to use eco-friendly materials during packaging? No matter the size or type of the load, you can always find many options for zero-waste packaging. Many of these solutions are not only eco-friendly but also cheaper. Lots of eco-friendly materials and products can be found around your home. Don’t hesitate to give them a new, green purpose!
When you want to ship household appliances or electronics, the best solution is to use the packaging supplied by the producers of the equipment. The original packaging has its size adjusted to the specific device, so you don’t have to use more fillers or extra material to protect the load. If you don’t have the original packaging, use a cardboard box found in your home or at a local grocery shop. Stores usually have many unneeded cardboard boxes – you can use one of them.
If you want to send small packages or documents, don’t choose envelopes padded with bubble wrap. Envelopes with extra layers made from little pieces of cardboard are an eco-friendly and effective alternative. They’ll give you peace of mind that your fragile or valuable package will be safe. You can use old envelopes. (Just bear in mind that any previous text or addresses should be blurred. The courier must see only current address information to avoid any misunderstandings.) The same tip applies to old shoe boxes – these may also be used for transportation.
You should cover the package containing your load with brown craft wrapping paper. This is the most ecological wrapping material offered on the market. During wrapping, don’t use ribbons or plastic strings – choose natural string made from linen or organic cotton. On the market you can even find eco-friendly packaging tape. This is produced from 100% recycled paper and is resistant to low temperatures or humidity.
Do you keep old newspapers? Or maybe your family members do? Even though we live in a digital era, it is still possible to find wastepaper all around you, including in your home. Use this when you want to ship something. Fill empty spaces in the box with paper balls – these protect the load from any bumps on the road. Wastepaper is a more ecological alternative compared to fillers made from plastic. It is also a cheaper option than air pillows.
Paper is a more ecological solution simply because it is easily recyclable. What is more, it is a very practical and versatile eco product because it can be used to wrap any object – you cannot say the same thing about air pillows. What is more, paper bags can be used to store screws, handles or other components, for example when you transport parts of furniture separately. So, you can truly dispense with disposable plastic bags.
You can also use woodchips or small pieces of cardboard as package fillers. However, there are still more materials perfect for this job, such as shredded paper and old medicine or flour packages. Even rolls of toilet paper could be used as well. As you can see, there are countless possibilities. Many of them are within easy reach.
If you cannot use wastepaper, however, use fillers made from polyethylene film, because these are 100% recyclable. Popular air pillows are made from this material. Also, feel free to use ecological fillers made from 100% recycled expanded polystyrene (EPS) or loose foam chips made from 100% GM-free starch, which are completely biodegradable and fully compostable.
Old fabrics may be another zero-waste option. Old and unwanted clothes will gain new life through your efforts. For example, during a bike removal, you can easily secure a saddle or a handlebar with fabric. In addition, any textile would work perfectly for securing fragile items such as china, vases or mirrors.
Give up bubble wrap or plastic film unless you are sure that it is recyclable. However, if you receive a package filled with unecological materials, do not throw the plastic fillers away. They won’t break down quickly, so you can at least use them one more time… Try to eliminate polystyrene. Fragile elements such as TV corners can be secured with cardboard or thick fabric.
How to reduce the environmental impact of transportation
Transportation is an industry that bears much of the responsibility for air pollution. However, this doesn’t mean that we cannot make it more green. The way we package our loads, and the types of transport providers we choose, all matter. You have the option to hire a transport company that will ship your package more cheaply, as an extra load. You just need to find a transport provider who is going in the same direction. This will help you to save money, reduce the number of miles travelled, and cut carbon dioxide emissions. How do you do this? Use the transport marketplace Clicktrans and find a transport provider who is already driving the same route. Shipping may be more ‘eco’ than you think.