Remember the days of smokestacks spewing out emissions into the air, smog covering our large cities, and untreated wastewater flowing into our waterways? We’ve come a long way since those days, especially with federal and state regulations in place.

But can companies do more to reduce waste in our landfills and reduce their ecological footprint? Yes, many are switching to environmentally friendly packaging, but there’s more to using cardboard boxes and setting out recycle containers.

Going green makes sense, not just for the environment, but as a marketing tool as well. Companies can lead the march to environmentally friendly by setting an example themselves. Going green will also save money for the company.

So how does a company adopt environmentally friendly packaging? First, by using eco-friendly packaging materials. Manufacturers design green packaging to be less bulky, and make it using recycled, biodegradable, or compostable materials. They also use environmentally friendlier methods that help conserve natural resources and keep millions of tons of methane and carbon dioxide out of the air.

Packaging materials make up the majority of the trash that ends up in landfills. With e-commerce quickly becoming the most popular shopping method, consumers have more packages coming to their homes. When using environmentally friendly containers and boxes for shipping, companies make it easier for their customers to get rid of the packaging. Amazon and Hello Fresh are two examples of using eco-friendly packaging. All of the materials are recyclable.

Environmentally friendly packaging supplies are less bulky and don’t weigh much, thus making shipping less costly and affordable for the company and customers.

By moving to environmentally friendly packaging, companies can rebrand themselves as being eco-friendly and impart a sense of taking care of the environment, a fact that appeals to most consumers. Would a customer shop from an environmentally friendly company that goes out of its way to protect our natural resources, or from a company that does not care about the environment? Most customers seek out companies doing their part in saving the environment.

With all the options now available to companies, there’s no reason not to go green. As a business owner or chief executive officer, it is important to take steps to reduce the impact on the environment. Switching to eco-friendly packaging materials is an easy and cost-effective way to lower a company’s carbon footprint. Doing so also enables you to expand your customer base by showing that you are committed to environmental responsibility. By making the switch, companies will save not only Mother Earth, but also save themselves money on supplies and shipping fees.

Essay by: Nicholas Nassar
University of South Alabama

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