There was a discussion recently in Board Game Trading and Chat UK on Facebook about environmentally friendly stores and packaging that got us thinking…
We always ensure that our parcels are well-packed and that your games reach you in pristine condition. We only receive reports of damage very rarely, on average we’d estimate well less than once per month. But to achieve that you don’t need to use bubble-wrap and other plastic products.
We’re not particularly clued up, nor do we have specialist knowledge, about being green but we do what we can to minimise our environmental impact. We had assumed that was standard and what all responsible stores did so we haven’t really made a point of shouting about it. But apparently we should because it’s not as standard as we thought…
The bulk of the boxes we buy in are generally made from 60-90% recycled cardboard and we reuse boxes we receive from stock deliveries where possible.
We’ve always used Speedman Paper for the bulk of our void-fill – it’s 100% recycled paper that you scrunch up around the outside of the parcel to provide cushioning and support for the contents of the parcel. We also cut up old boxes that are sizes we can’t reuse and make corner reinforcements from them.
Occasionally we do use packing peanuts, but the ones we buy in are always the white, ‘wotsit’ looking ones that are made primarily from maize-starch, are 100% biodegradable and compostable and dissolve in water.
Very occasionally, our neighbour donates packing materials that may not be recyclable. Where this is the case we include a note in your parcel explaining that we reuse this. That’s because reusing is good, it’s getting more use from something that already exists before it ends up in landfill.
So, at time of writing the only plastics in our parcels are the tape for sealing the box and the document wallet on the outside…
However, we’re not ones to settle, we always strive to improve. Today we have a delivery arriving containing Kraft Paper Tape that we’re going to trial – it’s 100% recyclable! We are also going to change our dispatch process so that we don’t need to put the plastic document wallet on the outside of the box, instead, packing slips will go inside the box. We are also replacing the ‘handle with care’ stickers (which feel like they have some kind of plastic in them) with a strip of printed ‘fragile’ kraft paper tape.
(some may say the packing slip is surplus and not needed, however, we believe that if something were to happen to the parcel or it’s delivery label, the packing slip will still enable it to be identified and delivered/returned.)
So, that’s our parcels covered, what about the rest of the business?
Our electricity supplier provides 100% of their energy from Renewable Sources. As soon as we were able once we opened our High Street shop we replaced the lighting in store. We switched the standard, awful fluorescent light fittings with low energy LED panels. Aside from the environmental benefits, our energy bill also dropped significantly. (And the bright, cool-white LED lights are awesome to play under – they make it easy to see everything on the table clearly!)
We have separate bins for recycling and, despite Kelly owning a car, we mostly travel to work by train – except for when we need to move bulky items and need the car.
Our inkjet printer is quite a few years old now, but still running well (mostly) and we use refilled/refillable cartridges. We only use it for packing slips and shipping manifests. We don’t really use paper for anything else. Everything else we do (taking notes, etc) is all managed digitally using our website and google docs.
For those of out out there that know better than we do – what else can we do to improve? We can’t claim we’re perfect and we can’t claim we will definitely be able to do more… But we certainly can claim that we will continue to do our best to minimise our environmental impact while also providing you with a great service 🙂