If you operate a small business, you know how challenging going sustainable can be- especially when it comes to your packaging. One thing this pandemic has reinforced is our need to think about the environment; whether it is our carbon footprint, the food we consume and being more intentional about recycling.
As a small e-commerce business owner choosing sustainable and environmentally friendly packaging is a big hurdle. Traditional packing options such as plastic and bubble wrap are cheaper and popular however choosing to use eco-friendly shipping materials can lead to new sales and help you gain loyal customers.
Here are a few tips on how you can be a little kinder to our planet as a small business:
Say goodbye to plastic
… and hello to cardboard or paper packaging. This is a great sustainable alternative, I opt for postal boxes as they are available in different sizes, keep the product safe and sound throughout the shipping process and can be reused or easily flattened and tossed in the recycling bin. When it comes to finding the right supplier, price is an obvious factor to consider as well as certain materials that are feasible for your business.
Provide the customer with a keepsake
Be creative in making the packaging reusable- perhaps the shipping box can be used as a home decorative item or you could encourage customers to return their bottles for a reduced-price refill. For example the Back-to-MAC program, upon returning six empty M∙A∙C makeup containers to a participating M∙A∙C counter, consumers can choose a standard M∙A∙C lipstick as a thank you. This is a great incentive that creates loyal customers.
Educate your customers
Amplify your positive impact on the environment and show your customers that packaging does not have to wasted. Use social media to engage with your customers showing them how to reuse or recycle your packaging. Print it on your packaging, drop them an email after each transaction or use newsletters to create some brand building and storytelling.
Less is more
Do you ever get annoyed when you receive an order in the post and it is small item that is wrapped around in a huge plastic sack, inside a box with a plastic bag as the outer packaging. Instead they could have used minimal recyclable packaging. Tiny items can be wrapped with kraft paper and sent out in an envelope.
Like with all things, find a balance and do your research between using 100% recycled material and the best option for your budget and overall brand communication. With the world fighting the war on climate change, the way we approach packaging is set to rapidly change and grow even further. Set yourself apart from the competition and do something great for the planet, there is no time like the present to make the switch.
This is a sponsored review and may contain affiliate links. All views remain mine.