Whether you’re a small company with less than 50 employees or a large company with a workforce of thousands, it’s never too early or too late to adopt green practices. When you do, you can expect to reap the benefits almost immediately. What’s better is, even the smallest tweaks can yield big results for the environment—and your bottom line!
If you want to get on the path to going green, a great place to start is with your company’s packaging practices, and we can help. Our “5 Point Checklist” will help you get in (and stay in) the green packaging game, while protecting your employees and your profits.
5 Point Checklist to Achieve Green Packaging
Biodegradable materials break down quickly and efficiently with very little impact on the environment. Plus, recyclable packaging and materials can be repurposed or recycled through literally thousands of recycling centers across the country.
Choose Efficient Designs
Lose the excess packaging. Less packaging reduces the amount of resources needed for manufacturing. It reduces trash output, which makes it more eco-friendly, and it allows more items to be shipped at once. This helps reduce the carbon footprints left by shipping products.
Choose Non-Toxic Packaging
There’s nothing worse than chemical-laden packaging. If inhaled, ingested, or absorbed into the skin, toxic chemicals can cause everything from coughing and wheezing to death. Not only are these chemicals poisonous to humans, they are poisonous to plants, animals, and the environment. They can cause the greenhouse effect, climate change, ozone depletion, and the build-up of toxic algae in rivers. Acid rain is another effect toxic chemicals have on the environment. Acid rain poisons fish and hinders the ability of soil to support plant life.
100% recyclable material such as “post-consumer” paper or corrugated cardboard are a great alternative to virgin materials. Plastics can be derived from post-consumer sources as well as recycled through literally thousands of recycling centers across the country. And don’t forget—lots of packaging can be repurposed at home. Check out 21 Things to do with a Cardboard Box.
Choose Sustainable Practicing Companies
Green packaging is produced in an environmentally conscious way when the company uses energy efficiently and the facility has low pollution emissions. For example, some factories harness green energy sources, such as wind power, to drive their plant’s production.
Other sustainable practices utilized by companies such as Valley Box include using engineered wood that is manufactured specifically for industrial use (this preserves forests), designing reusable packaging, recycling all wood scrap and metal which reduces the amount of waste entering landfills, and choosing refurbishing over dumping. This brings us to….
One More Way to Achieve Green Packaging
You won’t have to look hard to find a use for old or used packaging materials or containers. Valley Box’s Alicia Guillette mentions that one of the company’s eco-friendly options is their customized wood crate refurbishing program, which entails refurbishing reusable wood containers. By restoring what you already have, you can minimize waste and even save money.
According to Guillette, “refurbishing entails inspecting containers in disrepair and replacing broken panels, hardware and internal components…the entire container is repainted and delivered back to the customer to function like new.” She goes on to say that “if repairing is less than 50% of the cost of a new container, Valley Box will refurbish it."