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Environmentally Mindful Packaging for Small Businesses

Updated: Apr 11, 2020

If you follow me on instagram you've probably heard I launched my herbal blends shop this last month (wooo)! It's been quite a hurdle, but I couldn't be more thankful for the gracious support and well wishes I've received!

As a individual who worked in the environmental sector, building my business any other way BUT being mindfully of minimizing our carbon footprint and supporting small businesses was unfathomable. There are much more resources and innovative techniques available now than previously - making sustainability accessible for businesses of ALL sizes!

Our packaging set up with biodegradable peanuts, GreenWrap, and recycled custom boxes from EcoEnclose

As I went through my process, I wanted to highlight some initiatives and vendors that helped make my reduced carbon footprint possible!

Shipping is always a HUGE hurdle when it comes to being mindful of your carbon impact. I was initially planning to have local NYC pickups and drops off to alleviate this, but in the current circumstances of life during covid-19 safety is priority and I had to turn to solely shipping. Many popular shipping carries are implementing green initiatives in their processes, but nothing could the small business based in Australia providing carbon neutral shipping!

Sendle is the 1st carbon-neutral delivery service and B-Corp! Here's more details on how they manage to achieve this in partnership with South Pole Group by funding environmental and social projects in Australia & abroad.

In addition to their carbon initiatives, I found their shipping rates to bet out all other carries and I was able to have the packages picked up with my regular USPS mail delivery. Check them out for any personal or business shipping!

Now, as a scientist in the conservation realm I'm very aware of the qualms and opinions surrounding carbon neutral tactics, especially in the travel industry. As with everything else in life I wholeheartedly believe that's a personal decision we each have to make on whether you can sleep at night supporting xyz. For where I am right now in life and my business this was a starting point I was 150% comfortable with as I continue pushing myself to strive farther.

Ranpak's Geami GreenWrap has completely changed the game of how we see plastic as a necessary evil in the packaging world. I was REALLY nervous about how to make sure my glass bottles get to my customers without having excessive packaging and costing me an arm and a leg!

I was looking into the more eco-friendly bubble wrap options you often see now, when GreenWrap caught my eye! I watched a ton of tutorial videos showing the effectiveness on protecting glass items and different wrapping techniques.

For mid-large scale businesses you can purchase the 750ft roll dispenser via EcoEnclose or for smaller businesses I purchased the 30ft rolls (here).

Biodegradable Packing Peanuts

After wrapping the bottles in GreenWrap I used some biodegradable peanuts I had on hand as a void filler. These are now more readily available than previously, but there are also other sustainable options like recycling styrofoam at local facilities, kraft paper, or corrugated cardboard bubble to fill voids in your packaging boxes.

As I grow, I'll be looking towards custom inserts for my boxes to avoid the need for any filler.

This place is honestly a one-stop shop for ALL your sustainable packaging needs! I honestly stumbled upon this gold-mine, when looking for how I could purchase GreenWrap and was beyond thrilled. They have everything from custom sized recycled boxes (no minimums -a saving grace for small businesses!), recycled padded mailers, biodegradable packing tape, recycled labels, office supplies, product bags and custom branding options with a ton more products! As if this isn't already unimaginable, I was supremely nervous about box sizes and what the GreenWrap looked like - lucky enough they provide free samples of their items, you just pay shipping!

Their customer support team is so kind and always looking to support you as a business owner (shout out to Jeremy for being super supportive through all my questions!) . If any of this was of interest I'd highly encourage checking out their blog for more detailed alternatives and innovative ideas around sustainable businesses.

I've always known the numerous applications for nature's living gems and algae ink is just the latest innovation! Learn more about the process from their partner Living Ink Technologies.

I'm excited to test out this ink and a custom stamp on some of my shipping boxes as diy branding - stay tuned!


Future Sustainability Goals for Holistic Blyss

As my business grows I'm looking to move into incorporating EcoEnclose's custom printed boxes with their algae ink, inserts for my glass bottles & their recycled product & shipping labels. These labels are especially unique because the sticker liner has historically been challenging to keep sustainable and Ecoenclose had found a way! I'll continue to update you all on my progress & inevitable struggles along the way!

I hope this opens the perspective of how "going green" doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. Technology, innovation and diversity perspectives have opened the doors to make sustainable practices the norm and not a niche. But until then I hope you'll support these awesome vendors and find these ideas helpful for your own personal shipping and business process!

Note: This is purely my own experience and perspective from using these vendors & materials firsthand. I do not receive any commission from these reviews, and express these opinions candidly as a small business owner.

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