As Dot & Lil starts to grow, we are looking for ways to minimize our carbon footprint when we undertake tasks like shipping our products. Currently, I reuse boxes and packing materials that I get our supplies in whenever I need to ship something out. However, I would like to think that some day soon demand will whittle away my supply of these materials, leaving me with a need for a green solution that allows me to get products to my customers safely and quickly.
So I have been looking into the "green" shipping supplies that exist. First on my list was the corn-based biodegradable packing peanuts that I have been hearing about. You can check them out at They break down when exposed to air or water and are perfect for shipping almost any material. Sounds great, right? Well, I'm not so sure actually.
I have been reading about the environmental impact of corn crops and I have to say it's making me think long and hard about whether choosing corn based rather than plastic or petroleum based products is really a green choice. Corn uses more fertilizer than almost any other crop, meaning more emissions from it. Corn takes a huge amount of water to grow and then a further huge amount of water to process into ethanol or other products. Also, increased demand for corn is pushing farmers to clear more land and cut down more trees--and who can blame them when it seems corn production is one of the best ways for them to make their living these days?
All this to say that I am concerned and looking for new options. If anyone has heard of shipping materials that have less of an impact than styrofoam or corn packing peanuts, please drop me a line and let me know! I'd be thrilled to look into it.