Our Shipping Materials and Practices
TO SUM UP OUR PRACTICES, WE LOOK FOR SUSTAINABLE METHODS AND MATERIALS WHENEVER POSSIBLE.
- Using sustainable packaging from responsible suppliers
- Reusing shipping materials from our vendors or own orders
- Using the smallest size packaging we can for your items
- Using biodegradable packing materials, including our paper tape with a plant-based adhesive, tissue wrap, padding and filler
- Using biodegradable glassine, paper bags or plant-based cellophane to protect products, such as postcards, wool and art
- Emailing a packing slip in lieu of sending one with every package (unless there is a reason to send one)
WANT TO FIND OUT MORE?
WHAT SHIPPING SUPPLIES DO WE USE AT ALDER & ALOUETTE?
All of our products are packed and shipped in 100% recyclable or compostable, paper-based materials including compostable paper tape with a biodegradable, plant-based, water-activated adhesive with the exception of:
- drop shipped items may contain materials we do not use
- we reuse plastic shipping fill sent to us; we never purchase plastic fill but will reuse it when it’s shipped to us in merchandise
We also use compostable shipping labels with compostable backings, compostable mailer bags, compostable envelopes and recyclable Kraft paper for cushioning and tissue.
For protection of your product, we may have to enclose them in compostable glassine bags or tie recyclable Kraft or tissue paper wrappings with compostable hemp or jute twine in place of traditional tape.
When we do use transparent tape, we use a compostable corn-based version that also has a plant-based adhesive.
If packing peanuts are used, we use those that are corn starch based and they will dissolve in water.
WHY DID MY PRODUCT ARRIVE WITH PLASTIC?
Some of our vendors send their products in corn-based cellophane as it is stronger than glassine bags or use cornstarch packing peanuts, which are all compostable and we do reuse these as needed.
You may also see a product arrive in protective regular plastic wrap if this is the way the vendor originally sent the product to us; however, no plastic is ever purchased for use by us to wrap products and the smallest boxes or envelopes possible are used to reduce materials.
WHY DID MY PRODUCT SHIP IN A BOX BRANDED WITH A DIFFERENT COMPANY THAN YOURS?
We have a strong belief in and practice of reusing cardboard boxes we receive our merchandise and supplies in from our vendors to avoid extra waste of materials and avoid using virgin resources when it’s not necessary. We believe this makes the boxes twice loved. Please give them some love too if they are still in good shape or flatten and recycle them as needed.
JUST SOME EXTRA ADVICE
The twice loved cardboard boxes also make great grass and weed killers if you choose to create a garden of native plants or pollinator friendly flowers (remember to buy plants and seeds from plants that have never been treated with pesticides or the residue in the nectar can kill or weaken pollinators).
WHAT ABOUT THE STAMP INK AND TAPE?
No need to remove paper tape or worry about stamp ink FROM OUR STAMPS either on your cardboard as we only use compostable paper tape and plant-based inks for our stamps.
If you see plastic tape left behind on your box, it is there from a vendor shipment to us and has been left in place to avoid compromising the strength of the box if removing it will tear up the box. Please remove it if you will not be reusing the box for packing or shipping before you recycle.
WHY DO YOU USE USPS FOR FREE SHIPPING MOST OF THE TIME WHEN THEY TEND TO BE SLOWER THAN UPS?
Whenever possible, we use USPS over UPS for our free shipments. This means no new mail routes or trips are created from us. USPS will bring your product along on their regular routes. This reduces carbon output into the environment. We have also noticed that at times they are quicker than UPS.
Update: UPS now provides carbon neutral options to us.
WHICH SHIPPING OPTION SHOULD I CHOOSE?
Although we offer various shipping speeds and types quicker than free ground shipping with USPS, we highly encourage you to choose green and choose USPS economy ground shipping whenever possible, especially for smaller items!
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP?
Though we do not use plastic and we strive to use vendors that also do not use plastic, some do for various reasons and your actual product may arrive with plastic shells or wraps. We do encourage you to write or email these vendors and ask for better alternatives. Often, these companies do offset their use by doing something that benefits the environment, but what will benefit it most is to stop the stream of plastic forever. These companies tend to listen to customers in volume rather than retailers, so the more people contact them, the better the outcome may be.
Thank you for supporting our small business and helping to make the tiny changes towards a plastic-free world that add up to tremendously large benefits.