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How to have more sustainable packaging: The basics

We've come a long way with more eco-friendly options in our businesses, with so much new innovation, it can be easy to get mixed up with all of the different options. I've spent the better part of a decade researching everything there is to know about sustainability, but I still learn something new every day!

After traveling throughout the world, working in environmental activism, and learning from some insanely knowledgeable people, sustainability was the only thing that really made sense to me. One thing I learned is- there is always a better, more sustainable alternative to what we are doing. With this knowledge, I love to help brands ease into the eco-friendly side of business.

With that being said, here are some simple packaging basics if you are interested in creating more sustainable alternatives in your business.

The Container

Depending on what your product is there are a variety of packaging options that you can put it in/ship it in that are plastic free.

For example, if you need a container you can opt for a biodegradable container, a tin, or glass.

The container you choose is often dependent on the aesthetic you are going for with your brand or the size that you need. Glass containers will weigh more but will look way better and therefore carry a higher purchase price.

Biodegradable is definitely the most environmentally friendly option, but at this point with where packaging has come, it doesn’t necessarily have as many options that have a luxurious look to them.

One of our favorite local sunscreen brands, Little Hands Hawaii, uses biodegradable packaging and has multiple sizes, such as these which can fit in your pocket and come tinted or un-tinted!

Evocative designs specialize in biodegradable containers made from mushrooms! How cool is that?

For those of you in Hawai'i- check out Sustainable Islands Products

Not in Hawai'i? You probably have a similar sustainable packaging distributor in your area!

Mode of Transportation

Once you figure out what to put your product in, the next step is how to get it to your customers, given the fact that most businesses these days sell the majority of their product direct to consumer from their website, Instagram, and Facebook shopping sources.

The good thing is there are many options- from biodegradable envelopes to biodegradable plant-based plastics that dissolve in water. There are options out there and the amount of options are growing continuously with innovation towards a green economy. You can also seek out methods to offset your carbon footprint and we plan to make this process easier for you by linking with some sources that will do this and providing the tools straight through our website in the future!

Elevate Packaging has you covered on this end. Not only do they have compostable shipping pouches, but they have stickers and labels! They also have a section where you can contact them about specific products.


Speaking of labels, did you know that there are tons of companies that offer label options?

Some questions to think about:

Will they stick to the jar and make it impossible to recycle it or reuse it as another type of item? Are the jars that you choose able to be re-used by customers for other purposes? Are your labels plastic-based? Is there another way to do a label? Are the dyes used derived from toxic materials? Can you use a waterless dye or dye from natural materials like plants and foods?

Purelabel is a company that has compostable, sugarcane based labels. They are also the only company to have compostable adhesive to keep the labels in place. Talk about innovation!


How about tags? Did you know there are paper companies that make handmade paper tags that are laid with different seeds so that you can plant the paper when you are finished and flowers or herbs will grow? Why not have your tags on your clothing be made from that and attached with hemp twine?

GreenerPrinter has various options for recyclable and sustainable tags for products! If you’re looking for a compostable garment tag company, Weavabel creates custom made tags and labels!

In conclusion

Innovation has come so far within the last few decades. People are pushing what is possible because there is a demand for it and the technology exists. As more people wake up to the reality of the distress our planet is in, the more the demand rises for eco-friendly products for lifestyle and business.

It’s simply about finding the right resources, which is why we are here to help.

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