Low Waste Online Shopping
My first step is reflecting on whether or not you really need to purchase new. There are so many second-hand options available for almost anything you may need. I have listed a few of my favourite second-hand websites below. These items are usually shipped in minimal packaging or reused packaging such as newspaper!
If I haven't found what I'm looking for after searching through all my second-hand options, I sit on the idea for a little while and see if I still want it in a week. This has saved my wallet a number of times.
Finally, if purchasing new, I visit the websites shipping policy and info page and see if it meets my sustainability standards; Is the box/mailer filled with excess paper or plastic? Do they offer instructions on how to properly dispose of the package once it has fulfilled its purpose?
Depop | Apparel
Thread Up | Apparel
The Real Real | Apparel
Poshmark | Apparel & Home Furnishing
Thrift Books | Books and Movies
Apartment Therapy | Home Furnishing
Jayson Home | Vintage Home Furnishing
Revival | Vintage Rugs
Etsy | Everything and Anything
Facebook Market Place | Everything and Anything
Once you have audited your online shops, you can begin your research! Home goods were much easier to come across with a simple "zero-waste packaging" search. Clothing, on the other hand, took a little bit more digging.
Good On You makes it super simple to audit known brands in the fashion industry. You are able to search based on the garment you are looking for, or by brand name. Their rating system is incredibly helpful and is based on how the company impacts our planet, people and animals. Check out their full rating guide here!
I also found it very helpful to search for compostable or recyclable mailer companies such as No Issue and scroll through their followers and tags on Instagram. We use No Issue our selves as well as, recyclable cardboard boxes and cellulose fill for breakable items.
Image Source | No Issue
Did you know that you can request for minimal packaging through Amazon? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1 (877) 586-3230 to request they exclude any extra packaging such as; bubble wrap, packing peanuts or my fav, box within a box.
You can also schedule your deliveries to arrive on the same day which will also help save from over packaging!
I've also tried to add a minimal packaging note to my delivery instructions on other websites but have had no luck yet *sigh*. Hopefully, this will be made a standard option soon!
Reuse as much of your packaging as you can! I'm currently moving and have reused my boxes over and over again. I also pack up my donations rather than using plastic bags and drop them off at my local thrift store. You can also collect some of your boxes over time and build a house or castle with the kids!
Image Source | A Beautiful Mess
Lastly, properly disposing of the remaining packaging is super important! This is now my third time mentioning the iRecycle app but it is such a game-changer! This app will help you properly dispose of anything and everything. If you are not able to recycle it at home, it will find a local plant that can.
I hope this weeks post has inspired you to reflect on your online sustainability.