Although the retail store will never completely disappear, more and more business is being transacted online with each and every passing year. The writing is truly on the wall. If you want to compete in today’s marketplace you must have a strong e-commerce store that can complete transactions, fill orders and deliver products securely, consistently and on time. The technology is there to support even the smallest businesses in these efforts, but what happens to Mother Nature? A business can have customers that ordering from anywhere, be it across town or the other side of the world, and all of that packaging and shipping leaves a sizable carbon footprint. People are striving to buy locally because it is the most environmentally sustainable. But you can’t expect to grow a business based solely on who lives in the neighborhood. So here are a few green order fulfillment options an eco friendly business can use to balance things out.
One of the most environmentally damaging products used in order fulfillment is the packing peanut. Those styrofoam squiggles may look cute, but they aren’t biodegradable. That means the toxic chemicals in that styrofoam will sit in our landfills for hundreds of years, potentially poisoning animals and the water supply. There’s really no reason to keep using them, as soy provides us with a fantastic alternative. Basically any foam packing product you could desire now comes in a soy-based form. It’s a completely renewable resource that biodegrades quickly and safely. It may be a touch more expensive, but you’re buying a brighter future for our children with that investment. And there’s no denying the value in that.
When your shipping needs don’t have a fancy presentation requirement and just need to get from point A to point B in one piece, consider recycling used paper products. Instead of buying bubble wrap or packing foam, simply shred up your used magazines and newspaper and packing that in around your products. Don’t worry, you don’t have to sit there and do that work by hand. Get yourself a simple shredder, and break down a bunch of product when you or an employee have some down time. And this doesn’t mean you have to start buying every newspaper that comes out in order to have enough raw materials. Go speak to the local businesses, especially any newsstands around. Whatever newspapers aren’t sold at the end of the day are usually just tied up and put out on the curb. The owners probably won’t have an issue with you grabbing these up and putting them to work for your requirements.
Finally, keep in mind that there are ways to cut the environmental impact of your order fulfillment that have nothing to do with the packing materials. The more frequently you ship, the larger the carbon footprint. So consider using a service that consolidates your requirements into larger shipments. Some companies help small businesses greenify their efforts by bringing all of that fulfillment under one roof. Instead of hundreds or thousands of small shipments they make dozens of larger ones from a central location, which actually lessens the environmental impact. Check out a shipwire review to hear how e-commerce order fulfillment services can work for a small business. You’ll find the best answer to this problem may be to take the work out of your hands and leave it to the professionals.