Editor’s note: The Environmental Policy and Planning Commission (EPPC) is an ASUCD commission responsible for researching environmental issues affecting the campus and its surrounding area, and providing recommendations for improvement.
Love the convenience of shipping but feel guilty about the environmental impacts? Don’t know what to do with the packaging that comes with mom’s care package or the clothes you ordered online? Never fear, EPPC is here with some tips on becoming a “green” mailer!
The best thing to do with packaging products you receive is to reuse them for other mailing purposes. Bubble mailers or boxes are often in good enough condition to reuse — just peel off the labels and reseal with packaging tape. If you cannot remove prior writing on the package, tape a piece of paper with the new address over the writing. Flexible plastic packages can also be turned inside out to be used again. If you cannot find a use for packing peanuts, boxes or bubble wrap you receive, bring them to the UPS Store on 2nd Street or Pak Mail on E. Covell Blvd for recycling.
When sending mail, use recycled materials. Save old newspapers and tissue paper to crumple up and use in place of packing peanuts. Brown bags from grocery stores can be turned inside out and used as brown wrapping/packing paper. You can even make your own envelopes out of any fun patterned scrap paper you come across.
If ordering something online, opt out of overnight shipping, as ground delivery uses less fuel. In general, shipping produces quite a bit of transportation-related emissions, so try to buy local as much as possible.
It is also a good habit to consider other environmental impacts when purchasing a product, whether online or in-store. Was the product produced sustainably? Is it something that can be recycled after use? There are many options for greener shipping that can reduce your carbon footprint and help the environment, so do your part and start making smart shipping choices!