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Green Shipping Tips: How To Send Eco-Friendly Packages

Posted: 04/30/2012 10:14 am

From Earth911's Mary Mazzoni:

Love the convenience of shipping but hate the environmental impact? Don’t fret, eco-conscious consumer. Our experts are here to help. Earth911 sat down with Darby Hoover, senior resource specialist for the Natural Resources Defense Council, to get the low-down on shipping the eco-friendly way.

List and captions courtesy of Earth911.

1. Opt Out Of Overnight
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Ground or air? The age-old question has puzzled sustainable shippers for decades. And the decision to have an item shipped via ground or air mail is still the most important choice consumers make with regard to eco-friendly shipping, Hoover says.

"Ground shipping is going to use less fuel than air," she says. "So, the more you can avoid having things shipped overnight mail (or whatever is going to require air), that's probably a good way to think about it."

While top-name shipping companies, such as UPS and FedEx, are taking steps to reduce the carbon footprint of air shipping, choosing a ground method is usually your best eco bet. Transporting one ton of parcels for one nautical mile produces about 1.39 pounds of CO2 emissions, according to 2010 UPS data. So, if you can wait a few extra days for your package, go for ground instead.

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Filed by Jessica Leader  |