Whether we’re driving to work, cooking dinner, or binging your favorite television show, everything we do has an impact on the environment. The question then becomes, are we impacting it positively or negatively? Nearly every business requires at least some form of mailing strategy, so why not make sure to do your part to partake in eco-friendly shipping practices? Here are some tips and tricks on how to get started!
It’s essential to be mindful of how you travel to cut down your carbon footprint. The same theory applies to determine the best eco-friendly shipping option for your business. Believe it or not, shipping via water is far more environmentally friendly than using a plane or a truck.
If you are looking to cut down on your overall carbon footprint, choosing to ship your items by ship — no pun intended — is your best choice. However, unless you’re sending things across the ocean, the option of using a boat may not matter. In that case, start with how you can choose wholesale mailers that fit into the eco-friendly mailer category.
Eco-Friendly Mailer Supplies
After you figure out your overarching shipping method, the next step to think about when exploring eco-friendly shipping is your eco-friendly mailer options. There are a variety of eco-friendly mailer options available on the market today, including poly mailer envelopes that are biodegradable, paper, and recyclable.
If you are mailing something that doesn’t need an excessive amount of protection, such as general documents, small toys, or items that won’t be damaged by moisture, paper wholesale mailers are an excellent option for eco-friendly shipping. However, some companies require wholesale mailers that will hold up to heavier items without tearing, ripping, or puncturing. There are a variety of eco-friendly mailer envelopes available that utilize 100% recycled plastic, which is an excellent option for companies that want to invest in an eco-friendly mailer but who also need additional protection.
In addition to poly mailer envelopes, there are a variety of other eco-friendly shipping supplies on the market today:
- Biodegradable packing peanuts: Styrofoam packing peanuts are a thing of the past. The use of EPS, also known as expanded polystyrene foam, is a standard filler for large packages. However, many cities across the world are phasing out the use of EPS in favor of biodegradable air peanuts. Instead of harming the environment and wildlife due to their lack of decomposition like EPS, the biodegradable options disappear quickly and are also less expensive.
- Corrugated cardboard: Although popping bubble wrap is excellent for relieving stress, the material itself isn’t exactly an eco-friendly shipping material. One alternative is corrugated cardboard. Recycled cardboard is cut in a specific pattern to provide cushioning and prevent shocks in the same way that bubble wrap does.
- Mushroom packaging: Who would’ve thought that mushrooms would qualify as an eco-friendly shipping material? However, mushroom packaging is compostable, easy to use, and effective, especially for wholesale mailers.
What is a Poly Mailer?
For those of you who may be unfamiliar with poly mailer envelopes, they are commonly used wholesale mailers that accommodate a variety of soft items. A poly mailer protects items from dirt, debris, moisture, and damage from rips and punctures. Although many come from plastic, there are several eco-friendly mailer options available for customers to choose from.
Many eco-friendly poly mailer envelopes have a dual purpose. In situations where companies decide to utilize plastic or recycled plastic to ship their products, several poly mailer options exist not only to send but to complete a return. Many wholesale mailers have two closure strips: one to secure the poly mailer for shipment to a customer and a second for the customer to use in case they need to reclose the poly mailer to make a return. This second closure prevents the customer from having to purchase an additional poly mailer if they need to make a return.
How to Recycle a Poly Mailer
If you’re unsure whether or not your eco-friendly shipping mailer is recyclable or not, the best place to start is by checking for a recycling label. Many eco-friendly mailer envelopes feature a recycling logo that tells the user if and how they can recycle the poly mailer. If your wholesale mailer has a logo, ensure that your local municipality accepts the type of plastic that the poly mailer uses. Plastics typically feature a number within the recycling logo that informs the customer of its recycling status. If you’re unsure how to decode the number, try:
- Calling your local trash and recycling company. They will be able to tell you if they recycle the number of plastic you have.
- Check out www.how2recycle.info for a search function that will tell you where you can recycle your eco-friendly mailer. Many grocery stores have special recycling bins for wholesale mailers and poly mailer envelopes.
When in doubt, throw it out. Unfortunately, many cities and towns go through their recycling by hand. If you’re unable to determine whether or not your poly mailer classifies as an eco-friendly mailer, you should attempt to reuse the mailer or throw it in the trash.
Eco-Friendly Mailer Education
Last but not least, the best way to ensure customers recycle their poly mailer envelopes is to provide education about how, where, and why eco-friendly shipping is essential. When utilizing e-commerce sites, use email reminders and social media posts to encourage customers to help your business engage in eco-friendly shipping practices. Companies can also include small cards within their wholesale mailers or add a statement to the return receipt urging customers to practice eco-friendly shipping practices.
The importance of being environmentally friendly in all areas of our life is becoming more prevalent than ever. When we all work together, reducing the amount of energy that we consume can have a significant impact on the world and everyone who lives in it. Shop4Mailers offers a variety of wholesale mailers, labels, and more to address all of your shipping needs. Check out our blog for more earth-friendly topics, including an in-depth look at the eco-friendly nature of poly mailers!