Online shopping has become the way to shop these days. And with the holidays fast approaching, lots of us will be placing even more online orders! There is nothing like the convenience of being able to click online, find what you want, and receive it within days of ordering.
Unfortunately, with the plethora of packages comes the aftermath of all those deliveries – the shipping materials. Not just the boxes, but also the packing peanuts, bubble wrap, padded envelopes, paper wrap, plastic air pillows, etc. What do we do with all those boxes and other packaging materials? Even if we save a few for future shipments we may make, most of us break down the majority of our shipping boxes and place the boxes and other shipping materials in our recycling and trash buckets. But what if there was a way you could get rid of those boxes in an environmentally-friendly way while also supporting your local businesses?
Instead of tossing packaging materials in your recycling bin or (where not recyclable) your trash can, consider donating the materials to your local shop owners. For most independent businesses (and particularly, for small business owners), purchasing these materials can become quite costly. Donating boxes and other shipping materials that are clean and in good condition can really help local shop owners reduce their costs – and potentially pass the savings back along to their customers or reinvest the savings into their business for more customer offerings.
Contact the stores in your community or the stores where you shop. Ask them if they accept donations of packaging materials including boxes, bubble wrap, packing peanuts and padded envelopes. You may be surprised (and hopefully delighted!) to find that some shop owners will welcome the donations and are happy to reuse the materials for packaging and shipments from their stores – and at the same time you will be helping the environment by reducing single use plastic and other waste. If you are unable to find a local store to accept your clean packaging materials, you alternatively can donate the items via social networking sites such as Facebook Marketplace and NextDoor to others who are in personal need of materials for shipments, moving homes, and the like. Or, if all else fails, check with your local shipping company to ask if they will accept and reuse packaging donations.
Please be sure to remove all personal information before donating (such as your name and address).