I believe that more companies (if not all) should adopt the use of environmentally friendly packaging for its products because it is much better for the environment and a step towards improving the environmental impact that companies leave behind. Many natural disasters and everyday littering has led to massive amounts of garbage ending up in the ocean, which in turn pollutes the water and impacts sea life. Due to global warming, these natural disasters are occurring more frequently and on a larger scale. Oceans are not the only source of water that can be polluted, rivers and lakes may become polluted as well. Some of these rivers and lakes serve as sources of drinking water for people and most serve as sources of water for animals. This polluted water can make both humans and animals sick. Displaced litter also has the potential to pollute the soil, which in turn can affect the plants we rely on to help provide us with clean air. When companies use environmentally friendly packaging, that packaging is less likely to cause pollution and make animals sick. This packaging is healthier for the planet and all the creatures who call Earth home.
Environmentally friendly packaging tends to biodegrade faster than regular packaging, so it will take up less room in landfills. Overtime, Earth-friendly packaging will have the potential to reduce the size of landfills, since the question of where to put garbage has become an increasingly larger problem over the years. Also, since environmentally friendly packaging biodegrades faster, any packaging that does not make it to the landfill will be less concerning than if plastic packaging was displaced. Due to environmentally friendly materials being recyclable, this packaging can be recycled and reused to make more environmentally friendly packaging. This will help alleviate the need to harvest more materials to make packaging and will help with the effort of recycling and reusing.
Another concern with garbage not making it to the landfills is that animals may mistake that trash as food and attempt to eat it. In addition, animals may mistakenly take pieces of garbage to build their homes, rather than using natural materials like they should. By companies using environmentally friendly packaging, it will be safer for the animals if they make the mistake of eating it since it will be easier for them to digest and will not contain any chemicals that could poison them. Going green is not just about protecting the Earth itself, it is also about protecting the inhabitants of Earth. So by making packaging better for the planet, companies are making the world safer for animals and helping them live longer lives.
As more companies adopt the use of environmentally friendly packaging, it may inspire even more companies to follow suit. As with most trends, once someone starts doing something, more people will start to do it as well. So why can’t going green be a new trend among businesses? There is also the possibility that consumers will become more aware of their environmental impact as they see companies becoming aware of theirs. When consumers take notice of companies that they purchase from making changes to their environmental footprint, consumers may be inspired to take action themselves, whether it be changing their own environmental footprint and/or requesting that other companies to also change theirs. As both companies and individuals learn about their environmental impact, they will be more encouraged to change their habits and encourage others to do so. Knowing how we can help our planet is very important because Earth is our home and we need to help it. Earth cannot heal itself without us changing our ways.
It may be easy for companies to think “Oh, we are just one company, changing our environmental impact won’t do anything”. However, this train of thought is incorrect. Even if one small company worked towards improving their environmental impact, that is one more group of people trying to make a difference in the world and trying to help the planet. If everyone made one small change to help the environment, it would make a huge impact. Even if a change started with one small group of people or even just one person, that change has the potential to spread to more people and make it occur on an even larger scale. One small step that companies could do to improve their environmental impact is by adopting environmentally friendly packaging. Another idea to help companies reduce their environmental impact could be to work towards not using any packaging on certain products since there are many products that do not need packaging. Having no packaging would allow companies and consumers to save money and less waste created. By using less plastic and more environmentally friendly materials, companies will be able to help aid the effort in repairing our planet. It may seem hard to change our ways, but it is not. Since one small change can be so impactful, making that small change cannot be an overly difficult task to take on. Many companies may see using environmentally friendly packaging as costly and therefore not worth doing, but in reality, the investment in protecting our planet is worth it.
Essay by: Samantha Vermeulen
Western Washington University