Last week was environmental week. Earth day was April 22, 2010. We sell many homeopathy, natural and organic products so keeping the earth in good shape is important to us. I am going to list 10 simple things that our eccomerce company does to keep us green. I believe other eccomerce companies and people could also use these tips because it save us money and preserves the planet.
1) Using shredded paper for packing materials.
This method has been very environmentally friendly as well as wallet friendly. We still use some packing peanuts but many orders use shredded scrap paper as packing material. This paper was getting thrown away before being used as packing material. We can even shred small scraps of paper that are cut from our labels. When the shredder was originally purchased, the idea that it would pay for itself was never thought of.
2) Use Water Filters Instead Of Buying Bottled Water
Buying bottled water is expensive and not environmentally friendly. In fact, bottled water is not held to as a high standard as regular drinking water. The bottled water did taste better than tap water so our company purchased the bottled water. However, recently a water filter was purchased for our company. Taking plain tap water through the filter, made for great tasting water. There was no need to spend all the money of the bottled water when the water filter makes the tap water into great tasting water.
3) Reuse Packing Boxes That Are In Good Condition
Our company was accumulating boxes like crazy since we order so many products. It was getting to the point where we had no where to keep the boxes. We were planning to trash them. However, most of these boxes were in great conditions. We have used these boxes to pack our packages. If the box is in very poor condition, we have to throw away. However, the majority of boxes are in good enough condition to use.
4) Receive electronic statements for bills instead of regular mail.
This has been environmentally friendly. It also helps use keep track of important documents. Many documents would get lost in the regular mail or somewhere in our office. The electronic statements are easy to keep track of. It also makes for easier bill payment as well.
5) Print postage online instead of buying stamps or labels.
We print all of our postage online including usps mail, ups and fedex. This not only saves time but money as well. USPS gives us a discount on electronic postage. UPS and Fedex also give similar discounts as well. You also do not need to stay in line to drop off your packages. This is also environmentally friendly as well. In the past, we would print our packing slips. We would afterwords go add postage to our packages. We no longer purchase a large amount of stamps which in turn saves the environment.
6) Buying remanufacturer laser cartridges
We have been purchasing remanufactured laser cartridges. This saves us money and saves a cartridge from a land fill. The cost is significantly less than a regular cartridge. We have not seen any drop off in print quality with the cartridges. We recycle our old cartridges so they can be remanfactured to someone else.
7) Buying recycled content paper for printing.
We have been using high recycled content paper for our printing. There have been no quality drop with this type of paper. These papers are readily available. Many consumers are moving to this type of paper because it costs less and no print quality difference.
8) Storing important documents in digital storage
We had a large file cabinet full of important documents. Documents would turn up missing. The main reason is someone was using the document and did not put it back after they were done. We moved many of our documents to electronic storage. The best part is that multiple people can access the documents. We scan documents that we can not get electronically. People can go to electronic storage to access what ever they need. We have a file cabinet now that does not hold any relevant information. We can reuse this space in the office.
9) Use a fan to stay cool this summer.
This can be done in the house or in the office. You can change the temperature to 80F or 27C. Small fans can be purchased if do not have the space to put a big fan. Changing the AC from 75 to 80 saves significant amount of money and electricity. The less we consume, the better it is for the environment.
10) Pay bills online.
Most bank accounts include free online bill pay. This also saves stamps and can help you accurately keep track of your expenses. You can chart your expenses which will make paying taxes a very easy task.