As a small business owner I’ll post from time to time what I’m doing to make my business as “just” and sustainable as possible. As a fair trade business it probably seems like that’s built right in but that’s not necessarily true. I have found I have to be conscious in every way beyond the products I sell that my business is being fair to all involved and has as little impact on the planet as possible.
Today’s tip involves my use of packaging materials. As an online retailer I obviously do a lot of shipping, which requires materials such as bubble wrap, packing paper, boxes, tape, etc. I am proud to say that in my one year as an online retailer (yes it’s one year this month!!!) I have never purchased any packaging materials. Everything I use to wrap Bambootique products for shipping (apart from the boxes and the packing tape) has been used bubble wrap, newspaper, packing paper, or those plastic air-pockets.
Last year I put an email out to my family and friends telling them of my need for packing materials. Within a few weeks I had amassed such a pile of bubble wrap I actually had to turn some away for lack of storage space! Since then a few loyal friends and family members have fed me a steady supply of packing materials when my stock gets low. Because of their forethought I have not only saved my business a fair amount of money but I can proudly say we have introduced no new plastic or paper packaging materials into the system and we have kept many pounds of this stuff out of landfills.
While we’re on this note, if you are one of my “suppliers” (or would like to be), I am getting low on the plastic air-pockets. I could also use more bubble wrap as well, so long as it is clean. I hate plastic peanuts since they make such a mess but if you need to get rid of some please, please DO NOT put them in the garbage. Most shipping stores (such as UPS stores) will take them from you and reuse them.
Thanks to all of you who are helping me make my business more sustainable. Now if I could only figure out a way to resuse packing tape….