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Sat July 19 2008 17:20:32

Green Tips for Ecommerce Packaging

By: Ina Steiner

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Jan Ferrigan tackles the issue of environmentally friendly packaging in the July 20th issue of AuctionBytes-Update. We want to hear from online sellers about what they do to "reduce, reuse, recycle" when packaging and fulfilling products.

And if you do "package green," do you let your customers know so they can feel good about it too?

Update: Here's a link to Jan's article.




Comments (13) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Green Tips for Ecommerce Packaging   Green Tips for Ecommerce Packaging

by: Mark

Sat Jul 19 19:00:53 2008

I even recycle stamps from old stamp collections. The unused ones of course :) (Although I wouldn't mind recycling the stamped ones as well).

Green Tips for Ecommerce Packaging   Green Tips for Ecommerce Packaging

by: Karl

Sat Jul 19 20:10:08 2008

With the exception of Priority Mail boxes, which are brand new (and free), any box I use for UPS is recycled. I get used boxes from  work, which would be discarded anyway. Most of the boxes in a variety of sizes are in very good condition. I also get packing peanuts from work too, from those same boxes that come in to us - those would be dumped  in the trash as contents are removed. For media mail I use the #6 padded envelopes, which are themselves 100% recycled when I buy them.

Green Tips for Ecommerce Packaging   Green Tips for Ecommerce Packaging

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Sun Jul 20 03:13:23 2008

We use all of the slick advertising that comes in every day in the mail and the newspapers as stuffing. There is no ink stains that you get from newspaper print and there is a tremendous amount available every day.

Bill

Green Tips for Ecommerce Packaging   Green Tips for Ecommerce Packaging

by: EbayRataliates

Sun Jul 20 03:47:21 2008

I use biodegradeable packing peanuts made from vegetable oil. You can get them at Office Depot, but they've gone up 40% in just the last six months and now cost $27.00 per large bag.

I also use newspapers as packing material and often use shredded documents as packing material. I send nothing that can't be re used or recycled.

My west coast customers love it!

Green Tips for Ecommerce Packaging   Green Tips for Ecommerce Packaging

by: Pam

Sun Jul 20 09:04:46 2008

I reuse the packing materials & boxes that are received at my ''day job'' that would have been thrown out.  I also use the free USPS boxes.  Then I've printed out a page full of a 2-line script that I cut up & put in each shipment telling my customers that the packing materials they see here are recycled & reused.  I also encourage them to do the same.

Green Tips for Ecommerce Packaging   Green Tips for Ecommerce Packaging

by: bigsandyb

Sun Jul 20 10:48:37 2008

Zip lock bags and other plastic shopping bags, with no holes,  I blow up by mouth, and used as light weight packaging. What about turning used usps tyvek shipping envelopes inside out? Furniture stores often have large sheets of thin foam padding that came wrapping couches, etc. I scavenge in dumpsters..........

Green Tips for Ecommerce Packaging   Green Tips for Ecommerce Packaging

by: ecoflorence

Sun Jul 20 11:33:55 2008

In addition to reusing boxes we bought a heavy duty strip cut shredders and shred magazines and every piece of junk mail received. We asked friends, co-workers and neighbors to save all their junk mail, magazines and non-identifying papers for us. We shred these for box fill. Also the HD models shred quickly so it does not take long to get a large barrel full of shred for the days shipping needs.

One tip on shredding that we learned from experience, don't use a cross cut or confetti shredder if you plan to use it as filler. It takes a lot more of it to fill the empty space which adds a significant amount of weight to the box which cost you or the buyer more money. It also isn't nearly as cushy.

Buy a heavy duty shredder, the others won't take as much paper in on feed which takes much longer to shred the massive amounts of paper you will receive from everyone and the standard shredders won't last as long either when used in a business setting.

One last thing, if you have access to a local thrift store that receives a lot of clothing donations ask if you can have those pieces that are not suitable for resale. They are usually more than willing to let you have them as it saves them disposal fees. These make great padding for breakables and adds an extra layer of protection to the item being shipped.

Happy shredding ;)

Green Tips for Ecommerce Packaging   Green Tips for Ecommerce Packaging

by: Cynthia

Sun Jul 20 12:13:22 2008

I agree! I go right from my mailbox to the shredder every day. I store it in giant recycled plastic bags. I've asked a lot of companies to stop sending me that stuff and they just send more! Now I don't care, it saves me money on packing materials. I don't know whay everyone doesn't do that. Hey, why don't we sell bags of this shredded junk mail on eBay?

Green Tips for Ecommerce Packaging   Green Tips for Ecommerce Packaging

by: Gail

Sun Jul 20 14:48:40 2008

We use plastic grocery bags as filler in boxes. They scrunch up around items and fill in very well and weigh much less than newspapers (which we don't subscribe to anyhow). To make sure our outgoing pakages are at least 3/4" thick so that we can use delivery confirmation, we use the rest of the paper that the postage was printed on and fold it into a small square and insert it in the envelope. We also use leftover bits of paper for our notes to ourselves and have been working our way through some fun colored printer paper that was given to us several years ago.

Green Tips for Ecommerce Packaging   Green Tips for Ecommerce Packaging

by: The Graduate

Mon Jul 21 01:36:16 2008

I reuse plastic bags and fill them with all the hot gas that I get from eBay executives.

Green Tips for Ecommerce Packaging   Green Tips for Ecommerce Packaging

by: AC_in_mich

Mon Jul 21 10:27:10 2008

Like bigsandyb, we have a deal worked out with a local furniture store.  They have LOTS of styrofoam, corners, bubble padding, etc and larger and unusual size boxes!  For example, we found out that a bicycle fits PERFECTLY in a mattress box!

Green Tips for Ecommerce Packaging   Green Tips for Ecommerce Packaging

by: Shop and Give Back

Tue Jul 22 10:28:58 2008

Many offices throw out perfectly good boxes which you can find in any dumpster near office buildings. Of course getting there shortly after they are dicarded ensures you don't have to sift thru a dumpster; they are often on the top of the pile. Before lunch time is best, since many offices get morning deliveries, and you want to get there before people discard there food leftovers from lunch.

Green Tips for Ecommerce Packaging   Green Tips for Ecommerce Packaging

by: BidFinders

Wed Jul 23 07:36:37 2008

Like many others, we shred junk mail and use that as fill.  We also use recycled boxes for UPS shipments.  Additionally, all shipping labels are printed on the back of already used paper my spouse brings home from work - why not use both sides of the paper?



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