Eco-Friendly Packaging Ideas for Etsy Sellers
If you have a brand that embraces sustainability, then you might be trying to come up with some eco-friendly packaging ideas for your products.
You have probably thought about your package design, tags, and labels look. You have probably put much consideration into shipping supplies and inserts like business cards, coupon cards, or post cards. And if you want your brand to provide an exceptional unboxing experience, you’ve probably thought about those things over and over again.
Your unique hand-crafted product deserves beautiful packaging that doesn’t harm the Earth. ️
Sustainability is definitely a value of mine and I try whenever feasible to be as green as possible. I’m no where close to perfect (have you ever been down the #zerowaste rabbit-hole on instagram? wow, inspiring!) but I do try. I personally have a soft spot for our oceans and sea animals.
So this post is all about packaging and shipping materials that are eco-friendly, sustainable, and/or compostable.
Note: I’ve used affiliate links in this post. Using my links to make a purchase helps support the tips, tutorials, and content I create and doesn’t cost you anything. Learn more
Eco-Friendly Ideas for Packaging, Labels, & Tags
Custom Branded Tissue Paper
You can have tissue paper custom printed with your brand color palette and artwork or covered with a repeating pattern of your logos! Custom tissue paper creates a really special unboxing experience for your customer and is one way to make your product feel even more luxurious.
Recently I was presented with an opportunity to collaborate with noissue, a company that provides eco-friendly packaging and shipping supplies! How cool is that?
As part of our collab, noissue provided me with a small run of custom printed tissue paper so that I could share my experience with you. I created 2 videos for you!
Video 1: How to design custom printed tissue paper
Watch as I lay out the design for the tissue and give some graphic design pointers like the difference between CMYK vs RGB colorspace and how to create bleeds and why you should have vector logo designs
Video 2: Unboxing and Review of the tissue paper and compostable mailers
watch as I open up my shipments and show you exactly what to expect when you order custom tissue paper!
What better way to close your branded tissue paper? A custom sticker! Or maybe you slap a sticker on the outside of the box. Or you could include stickers as a little freebie in your package.
noissue also offers custom stickers (circle or rectangle) with minimum orders as low as 250 stickers.
Here is a beautiful example of some custom printed tissue paper and custom stickers in use!
Seed Paper for Labels or Hang Tags
Have you ever considered using plantable paper for your labels or hang tags? You can use paper with seeds embedded in it so that your customers can grow beautiful wild flowers instead of trashing or recycling tags, labels, and paper inserts.
You can buy Seed-Embedded paper or tags on Amazon:
One of my previous website clients, Nyx & Gray has a beautiful example of using seed paper. These organic muslin swaddle blankets are wrapped in a plantable seed paper label.
Alternatives to Plastic
Oftentimes what typically comes in plastic can be re-imagined and repackaged into a more sustainable container like paperboard or fabric.
Check out this handmade deodorant that comes in a 100% biodegradable paperboard push up tube
I found these biodegradable cardboard tube containers on Amazon. The 3 oz size would be good for deodorant, solid lotion, blush, etc. The smaller 1/3 oz. size would be great for lip balm or lip stick!
Eco-Friendly Shipping Ideas
There’s no way around it, you need to protect your products and put them inside some type of packaging for shipment. But you can choose better shipping materials! Here are a few ideas
These mailers are made of plants (like corn) and completely break down in about 6 months! Your average poly mailers are made from polyethylene film which, in comparison, takes decades.
Green Bubble Wrap or Honeycomb Packing Paper
If you have fragile items to ship, you need to protect them and bubble wrap is a popular and effective protection. Now you can find bubble wrap that is made from at least 35% recycled materials or even compostable options.
Another option is honeycomb packaging paper.
Biodegradable or Recycled Filler
Once you get your product in the box, you need to pack the box with filler. Consider using biodegradable packing peanuts or air pillows made from recycled plastic. Another option would be to use paper.
Many shipping material suppliers offer greener alternatives to their primary line of products. Look for shipping boxes made with wood fiber sourced sustainably from responsibly managed forests.
Custom Packing Tape
After your product is all wrapped up and put in a box, you need to tape that box shut. You can now source custom printed packing tape!
More Eco-Friendly Tips & Features to Look For
- Soy Ink
- Non-Plastic materials
- Corn plastic / Bioplastic
- Packaging made from Mushroom or Seaweed
- Certifications of Sustainable Forestry (like FSC)
- Recycled Paper
- Fabric and/or Reusable packaging
- Suppliers that plant trees
- Suppliers that donate to environmental charities or participate in 1% for the planet
There are so many ways that you can make your packaging and shipping just a little more eco-friendly. I know it can be really ovewhelming. Just choose 1 small thing at a time to improve.
I once saw a quote that really stuck with me:
Have you found ways to be more Earth-conscious in your product manufacturing or packaging? Join the free FB group and start a thread about it! Free Facebook Group: The Creative Biz Clubhouse
Thanks for posting this awesome article! Very helpful as I’m trying to make the switch 🙂
You’re welcome! So glad you found it helpful. Come back and update us to show off your eco-friendly wins!!