"Biodegradable" and "compostable" packaging should mean the same thing. Legally, unfortunately, they do not . Biodegradable products can break down over an unspecified amount of time, even 1000 years! Compostable packaging typically has a life of a few months to a year before breaking down naturally.
In an ideal world, we could all have local economies that support each other through trade and bartering. Every person would make or grow or trade something to contribute to the overall well being of the local community. There are many small towns just like this all over the world. Sourcing your goods from your neighbor is always safer, healthier, and less damaging to the planet.
Even if you do business locally, you will have times where you need some kind of packaging for your goods. Do it the right way and use compostable packaging.
We live in a time where humans are accustom to online retail and have acquired certain taste in furniture, food, clothing, etc. that we expect be shipped directly to us. As a result, the world has become polluted and littered. Sadly, demand for crops grown around the world has caused the very nations that export them to be unable to afford the staples of their heritage. This is why I believe we should all do our best to grow as much of our own food and eat as locally as possible, our own backyard food forest, if possible.
Having specific taste in something is a perfectly normal and healthy thing for the eccentric individual. While we should all desire less material goods, we should also appreciate the value of what we do obtain. It is okay to have something shipped to you if it is simply done less often, and in a more eco-friendly way.
You just can't spend the time or money traveling to collect for yourself, not to mention the environmental impact of a solo traveler. It makes more sense to have shipping companies. If we were truly an advanced society, we ought to be able to do this sustainably. More effort should be made in making the transport of goods worldwide worry-free and without a path of destruction in the wake.
While this is complicated problem that will take some time to sort out, I do hold a vision of e-commerce in the future that is sustainable. While free energy powered vehicles on an internationally commercial level may be in the far off in the distance, compostable packaging is a solution that can be implemented today.
Sadly, we live in a day in age where plastic is much cheaper than compostable packaging. With more stores being committed to using sustainable and biodegradable packaging, the cost will eventually come down. With documentaries and independent news outlets bringing light to the world wide plastic problem, this change is invaluable for our own survival.
Be a part of the change and commit to compostable packaging
for any business you do as a homestead!
Reasons to switch to biodegradable packaging
1. Any kind of shipping material that does not degrade is sitting in a landfill, a river, a lake, an ocean, somewhere. Not all plastic is recyclable, not all bio-degradable packaging is compostable. Even if it is recyclable, science has shown that invisible plastic particles are now in most of our water. This is outrageous and must be implemented on moral grounds alone.
2. Biodegradable packaging is great for a garden! You can compost it or use it as a sort of weed barrier to create easier access through walkways in the vegetable patch.
3. You can replace nearly any packaging with some kind of material that is natural or completely derived from things like bamboo, hemp, mushrooms, banana leaves etc.
If there is a product, there is usually an alternative! Tape, bags, insulation, padding, boxes wrapping, and so on.
As a permaculturist I am dedicated to seeking alternatives to modern destructive ways of the world. As a homesteader, I believe we similarly share that responsibility to protect the natural environment. Switching to compostable packaging for all your business needs will benefit your farm, your conscience, and your planet.