Shipping and its Carbon Footprint

At Wellow, we find ways to make personal care products more eco-friendly and sustainable.

One way we achieve this is by reducing the carbon footprint of each product we sell and deliver.

Our goal is to...

  1. create great products like Wellow toothpaste, shampoo and deodorant
  2. deliver them to you on a recurring basis without the need for expedited shipping
  3. reduce our carbon footprint, one order at a time.

During our research, we learned more about how shipping affects the environment. 

Why we encourage eco shipping

An MIT study researched the carbon footprint of online vs physical store shopping. The research revealed important information about the carbon cost of both types of shopping. The carbon cost was lower when an online shopper chose non-expedited shipping.

Regular shipping (eco shipping) has evolved to help reduce the carbon footprint of shipping carriers. Retailers merge orders into as few boxes as possible. Delivery trucks are able to proceed with loads that are closer to capacity. Routes for packages favor efficiency instead of speed of delivery.

Expedited shipping completely changes the logistics of delivery. Retailers rush to ship smaller orders. Delivery trucks carry loads that are nowhere near capacity. Routes for delivery become inefficient and speed of delivery becomes the only priority.

As a result, delivery trucks drive further, more often, and create more traffic. If the process is not fast enough on land, companies often resort to air delivery. This causes extra carbon emissions from delivery trucks and airplanes.

Josué Valázquez-Martinez is the director of the MIT Sustainable Logistics Department. Josué has been testing the "green button" option, which delays a package delivery. The key benefits of this option are a more eco-friendly and energy-efficient shipment. Through testing, he found that the message around shipping consequences shaped consumer behavior. Compare these two messages:

"same-day delivery is equivalent to killing 3,000 trees”

“if you wait three to four days, then it’s equivalent to killing 10 trees, and by the way we are going to plant 15” (Huffpost, 2017)

This research helps us conclude that omitting expedited shipping reduces one’s carbon footprint.

As a result, at Wellow we offer free eco shipping. We understand there are a few moments where you may need your product right away. However, we highly encourage regular shipping in all other cases.

With eco shipping, we follow a normal delivery process to help reduce our carbon footprint. Customers who choose 5-day delivery help decrease carbon emissions. Josué says this could help reduce emissions by about 30% in the last mile of delivery.

More ways to reduce our carbon footprint

Shipping also involves the packaging of products. 

At Wellow, we focus on using recycled materials, such as: 

  • post consumer material
  • recyclable cardboard packaging
  • paper tape
  • recycled kraft fill

We want to ensure that every Wellow package is 100% compostable or recyclable. To do this, we use as minimal excess material as possible in our packaging shipments. We refrain from any use of plastic tape, or plastic bubble wrap.

In Summary

We strive to reduce our carbon footprint with sustainable choices in our shipping behaviors, one product at a time. Shipping patience will pay off for our planet!

We try our best to reduce packaging material to only what is necessary. We also reuse materials that were once loved and recycle them into even better products.

This lets us feel good about being eco-friendly and we can love our planet as much as you do!