It’s coming up on one year since I opened the Tiny Yellow Bungalow zero waste online shop. What better time than now to talk about the struggles and triumphs of operating an eco-friendly, zero waste online shop! After a year’s experience, I’m excited to answer those burning questions of how can you strive for a zero waste lifestyle and own an online shop? Is online shopping environmentally conscious? What are some ways you make your small business zero waste and eco-friendly?
The Foundation of the TYB Eco Shop
I started the Tiny Yellow Bungalow blog last year, because I was interested in learning about sustainability. The online shop was opened several months later, because I wanted to make sustainability accessible to others! I’ve spent a lot of time learning and sifting through reviews of sustainable products. I wanted other people to be able to skip this step and simply find the things they need for an eco conscious and zero waste lifestyle in one place.
In my opinion, the easier it is to access these products, the more likely people will be willing to lead a more environmentally conscious and zero waste lifestyle. I wanted people to be able to order high quality, sustainable products without the over packaging and unwanted plastic. It’s always frustrating to order something online to have it come with heaps of plastic. Opening a zero waste eco shop, I thought, was the perfect alternative for people who want nice eco-friendly products but don’t want to have to explain to Amazon every purchase that they don’t need the unnecessary packaging!
Eco Friendly, Online Shopping
Is shopping online even eco-friendly at all? Well, the answer to this question really varies upon the situation. Obviously, shopping secondhand is the most sustainable shopping choice you can make. There’s already a lot of “stuff” available at thrift and secondhand stores that can be reused. It isn’t necessary to have a bamboo utensil cutlery wrap to be zero waste. You can just as easily wrap some conventional metal cutlery from your own kitchen in a cloth napkin for zero waste meals on the go.
However, some people don’t live in close proximity to a thrift shop and might have a hard time finding some essentials secondhand. Furthermore, there are quite a few sustainable products that you really can’t buy secondhand like bamboo toothbrushes and palm oil free soaps and shampoo bars.
This is where Tiny Yellow Bungalow shines! 🙂 It is quite possibly more environmentally conscious to purchase these goods online than driving to a store in your town to find these goods. If you can bike, walk, or take public transportation to a local store to find these products, go for it. Unfortunately though, many of us do not live in large cities with stores that carry these types of eco products.
People living in rural or suburban areas deserve quality sustainable products too!! It honestly is not environmentally conscious or efficient time wise to drive your car to pick up a bamboo toothbrush. Online shopping is the preferable choice in this situation. On the other hand, if you shop online and choose rush delivery or return your items, your carbon footprint increases.
I bring up the topic of eco friendly online shopping just to clarify that there is no right and perfect answer. Just do the best that you can!
Support Small Businesses
I’ve found that small online businesses are always understanding and more accommodating than big business when it comes to my zero waste shipping requests. Etsy is filled with small businesses that will happily send your package with minimal packaging, you just have to ask. Simply leave a note to the seller that you’d like your package plastic free.
Tiny Yellow Bungalow Eco Shipping Practices
I’ve shipped a lot of packages full of eco goodies for you guys over the last year, but if you haven’t shopped with us yet, here is what you can always expect when shopping in our little eco shop!
- Minimal Packaging: Tiny Yellow Bungalow packages are less than glamorous. There’s no yellow confetti or fun stickers in the box, just the lovely products you ordered and recyclable/compostable packing materials to keep your goodies safe!
- No Plastic: We use reused bits of paper to secure your products instead of bubble wrap or air mailers.
- Reused Packaging: We always send out packages in reused cardboard boxes (unless we run out, this happens sometimes!..) or brown paper mailers. Most of our shipping boxes are used that we’ve collected from friends, family, neighborhood recycling bins, and Walmart, believe it or not. We
- Please Reuse: We ask that our customers please reuse, recycle, or compost any packaging we send your way!!
Thanks so much for supporting the Tiny Yellow Bungalow eco shop this year! Stay tuned over the next few weeks. We will be celebrating our shop’s anniversary with some super special deals in the shop 🙂