Sustainable eCommerce: Eco-Friendly Practices And Products

eCommerce has brought a paradigm shift to how we make purchases, providing the ultimate convenience and access to products across the globe. However, this convenience comes at an environmental cost. Whether it’s excessive use of packaging materials, energy consumption, or transportation emissions, which is harmful to the environment, to say the least.

That’s where sustainable eCommerce comes in, with eco-friendly practices and products to combat carbon and plastic footprints.

In this blog post, we will discuss eco-friendly best practices and products and how it will help in protecting the world we live in.

Eco-Friendly Best Practices For Sustainable eCommerce


1. Update Your Brand Ethos

To reflect your mission for sustainable eCommerce, you need to tell your target audience about core values of your brand. Your brand ethos showcases your company’s values, purpose and all of those qualities that makes your brand stand out from the rest.

As a sustainable eCommerce brand, your brand ethos should demonstrate your unwavering commitment to eco-friendly practices across all your digital platforms. Whether it’s a website or social media, your web content should live and breathe sustainability. You can also use fiber internet service for your business operations, which lowers the carbon footprint.

2. Implement Sustainable Shipping

The demand for fast shipping has skyrocketed in recent years. In fact, in 2021 alone, 21.5 billion parcels were shipped across the United States. The number of products shipped has a significant environmental impact.

The majority of the carbon footprint comes from the last-mile hub, where the vehicle receives the product from the fulfillment center to the home address. This shipment process emits vehicular pollution, which is hazardous for the residential environment.

To reduce such enormous amounts of waste, eCommerce companies can use recycled packaging materials such as cardboard, plastic and glass. As a matter of fact, using recycled plastic generates almost 70% less energy to produce than a new plastic.

Not only that but switching to recycled packaging materials also saves shipping costs. Most countries, such as the UK, Italy, and Spain, impose heavy taxes on plastic materials.

Now, packaging is inevitable for some products. However, it’s a best practice to reduce their weight and size for minimal impact on the environment.

3. Reduce Unnecessary Packaging

Following up on the point above, packaging is one of the biggest concerns for major eCommerce like Amazon to look into. As a matter of fact, Amazon is infamous for excessive packaging, according to First Insight, almost half of the Amazon shoppers agree with this claim.

As an eCommerce business, you need to ensure that eCommerce packaging is reduced as much as possible to lower your carbon footprint. You can also buy boxes of different sizes that can also fit smaller products. This is because large boxes come with a lot of other challenges to protect the product and also take a lot of waste space.

4. Lower Your Return Rates

Now, everyone can make a purchase through eCommerce platforms without ever leaving the comfort of their homes. However, it certainly also makes it easier for those products which negatively impact the environment.

In 2022 alone, retail returns had reached a staggering amount of $817 billion. Returns aren’t only detrimental for eCommerce business’ bottom line but also directly impact the environment due to return packaging and transportation carbon emissions.

To reduce such waste and make eCommerce more sustainable, businesses need to lower their returns as much as possible. The best practice to overcome increasing return rates is to make the product information as accurate as possible. The product should have a detailed description with precise images, making the buying decision much easier for the potential customer.

So, when the customer knows that the information is exactly what they are looking for, they will definitely buy the product and are not likely to return it.

5. Create Recycling Policies

Besides leveraging size boxes and making packaging according to the size of the product being shipped, eCommerce businesses can also use eco-friendly packaging materials to further reduce waste.
US citizens can also participate in recycling and make the world a better place to live.

In fact, 73% of Americans have access to cardboard recycling, while 94% have access to some form of recycling.

So, onboarding customers to join the sustainability bandwagon by recycling cardboard boxes and mailers is a great way to reduce waste.

Another great way eCommerce businesses can reduce waste and ensure eco-friendly practices are implemented is by opting for fiber internet deals. It’s the fastest internet service to date and also champions environmental sustainability, which is a win-win situation for both businesses and the environment.

Key Categories Of Eco-Friendly Products

1. Zero-Waste Products

These types of products use sustainable and reusable and long-lasting materials to combat carbon footprint. Beeswax wraps, stainless steel water bottles and reusable shopping bags are some of its prime examples that contribute to eliminating waste.

2. Sustainable Fashion

Fashion industry is detrimental for the environment, but sustainable fashion is introduced to make the change for the better. Sustainable fashion involves the use of clothing made from organic cotton, Tencel and reusable polyester to eliminate waste while ensuring animal welfare.

3. Eco-Friendly Home Goods

These home goods provide a sustainable alternative to products we use on a daily basis. That includes bamboo toothbrushes, biodegradable bags, and cleaning supplies and energy-efficient home appliances.

Final Thoughts

As there are numerous ways to increase carbon footprint, similarly, there are also tons of ways to reduce it.
As an eCommerce business owner, you need to instill sustainability in your brand ethos and display your passion for eco-friendly practices across all digital channels.

So, by following eco-friendly practices and products, you will be on your way to making a more sustainable world.

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