Being an online company, we like to not only promote shopping deals, but also the eco-friendly benefits of online shopping. For example, using online coupons, rather than printable or cut-outs to save paper or cutting down on emissions and fuel use by not driving to the store.
However, there is one issue with online shopping; the packaging your purchases are delivered in. Even small products sometimes come in boxes several sizes too big, stuffed with paper and other packing materials. Many stores have started doing their part to cut back on waste and use more sustainable and eco-friendly packaging.
Amazon has made an effort since 2007 to significantly reduce the amount of packaging used for shipments to buyers by using the correct size box as well as shipping most products in corrugated containers made of 43% recovered fiber that are 100% recyclable. They have also set up an Packaging Feedback program, where you can share your thoughts and ideas about their efforts after you've received a package.
Target.com has also made an effort to produce more sustainable packaging. Much like Amazon and Walmart, Target also has made an effort to replace PVC clamshell packaging on on their media items, to a more eco-friendly modified paperboard design. They're also making an effort to ship most private label products in corrugated packaging is to contain 90% post-consumer recycled content.
In 2007, Crate & Barrel traded in their white bleached board boxes for post-consumer recyclable material construction. Even before making that transition, they also discontinued the use of petroleum-based packing peanuts and foam packing material. They now use biodegradable Geämi paper or air pads, which are 2% recycled plastic and 98% air.
As some retailers are still in the beginning stages of making the eco-friendly transition, you may still end up with quite a bit of packaging. The best way to deal with this would be to look into recycling as much of it as you can, rather than just tossing it in the trash.
Since it is Earth day, do your part by shopping online and some online retailers will give back to the Earth on your behalf: