We all shop online at some point, I know that I do when I can’t find a sustainable product on my local store shelves or at a second-hand shop. Online shopping can be difficult when you are trying to be environmentally conscious, especially since they tend to wrap packages in a ridiculous amount of plastic and cardboard. I am going to share a few tips and tricks that I have learned over the past months to minimize your shipping waste….
- When given the option, purchase things in your own country vs. overseas…this will minimize your overall carbon footprint, since the product will not have to travel as far to get to you.
- Check the option to ship all your items at once…if you are buying multiple items it is better to have them ship all at once to reduce waste, and you won’t have to deal with twice the amount of packaging.
- In the “comments for shipping” box.. specifically tell the company how you want the product shipped. I usually state “Please package in eco-friendly materials, preferably without plastic, thanks!”. If you don’t include the “without plastic”‘ part they will usually take the statement and use a recyclable plastic bag to package it. I recently purchased soap and shampoo from Chagrin Valley, and they were really amazing with their shipping. They packaged the soap in paper bags individually, then placed them in a cardboard shipping box with potato-starch packaging peanuts (which are completely compostable!) So the entire package was recyclable and biodegradable 🙂
- Don’t be afraid to contact a company…If a specific brand that I like does not use recyclable packaging, I will usually find their contact form and email them about it, especially if I do not know if it is recyclable ot not. The companies are usually excited to hear from their consumers about their product. If they tell me the pckaging is not recyclable at all I will tell them that I love their product but unfortunately will not continue to purchase it since I do not agree with their packaging methods. The companies usually send my email to their packaging team, to let them know that customers are not satisfied with the product packaging.