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Sustainable Shipping Practices for Your At-Home Business An environmentally friendly shipping process can save you time and help attract new customers.

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One topic that's been of growing importance among online shoppers is protecting the environment. Increasingly, customers say they want to buy from sustainable brands.

This trend will only continue as younger generations put an added emphasis on greener products and logistics. Among Gen Z participants in a recent study, 85 percent between the ages of 18 and 23 felt that brands should aim to do good in the world.

Though it may seem like your products don't cause much of an impact when it comes to global emissions, you can be smarter about how you get them from point A to point B. Here are a few ways home-based business owners can be more sustainable when it comes to shipping products.

Be conscious of your packaging.

Even small operations can choose to be more thoughtful about the type of packaging used to ship products. Your at-home business can decrease waste by being mindful of the materials you send along with your merchandise.

For smaller items, use recycled and reusable envelopes, so customers don't have to waste more packaging for returns. Larger items often require more packaging but choosing to use more environmentally friendly materials can still make a difference.

Selecting biodegradable or recycled papers and cardboards, avoiding plastics and bubble wrap, and minimizing the amount of packaging you use overall can decrease your effect on the environment.

These small changes show that your brand is focused on sustainability and attentive to the details when it comes to serving environmentally minded customers.

Try alternatives to speedy shipping.

Half of consumers in another recent survey said they would be willing to try more sustainable delivery methods, including slower shipping or in-store pickups.

Some clients may need your products right away, but for others slower shipping can mean saving emissions. Eliminating the need to fast-track delivery means more energy efficient means of transportation for your packages.

While having customers come to you may not be feasible for your home business, you can set up a time and place for local customers to meet and pick up their orders.

Try offering these options to customers to show that you care—their response might surprise you.

Choose shipping partners that prioritize efficiency.

You may need to get your shipments out to customers quickly but partnering with shipping solutions companies that are committed to sustainability can still decrease your carbon footprint.

Use carriers that have converted to electric-powered delivery vans, for example, or those that choose to use bicycle couriers to get packages to their final destination. Even shipping partners that have committed to low-emissions vehicles can lessen the negative effects.

Shipping solutions partners like Pitney Bowes can also help increase your efficiency and decrease your environmental impact. With a tool like SendPro Online, features such as address verification can minimize the number of unnecessary returns and the need to re-package and resend products. And thanks to a free 10-lb scale to weigh packages, printing labels at home, and scheduling package pickups, SendPro Online customers help save the environment by eliminating unnecessary trips to the post office and other carrier retail stores.

This means less waste and fewer miles to get your package into the right hands.

Click here to learn more about how SendPro Online can help your home-based business shipping practices.