The Blog

Subscription Services – How Sustainable are they?

Subscription Services – How Sustainable are they?

By Nicole Blythe


Taking a look into the world of sustainable subscriptions to see if they’re worth the convenience.

Subscription services can make shopping for everyday products easier than ever, especially for those who live a sustainable lifestyle and have to be particular about what they’re purchasing. This can take a significant amount of time and many of us are looking for more accessible and convenient ways to shop.

However, with subscription boxes there’s the realisation that shipping and packaging can become a problem. Having packages delivered to your door every month can be useful but just because the contents are good for the environment, doesn’t mean that you’ve made a good contribution to the natural world.

how sustainable is subscription box

While it’s difficult to know how much of the subscription services contribute to the production of greenhouse gases, we do know that the UK government has estimated 27% of greenhouse gases are due to transport.

Something that needs to be kept in mind is that products bought from a shop are likely to have been transported there as well unless bought from the source directly. Most of us are unable to go straight to a farm to purchase their produce or straight to the tailor to purchase their clothes – there will be some form of transport involved. As a result, we should only keep track of the transport policies of these subscription services to make sure they’re sustainable and encourage changes to transport from the government instead.

Companies like Etsy and Daye have policies in place when delivering their subscriptions in order to reduce their carbon footprints.

how eco friendly are products on Etsy?

Etsy uses carbon offset delivery and packaging to do so, meaning for every delivery and project that contributes to carbon emissions they will contribute or participate in a project that helps reduce these emissions to the same degree. They have an 100% carbon offset delivery policy while also being conscious of their social and economic contributions as well.

Daye has a very similar policy and process as well. In the first stages of delivery, they will try to put supplies going to the same area in the same vehicle in order reduce their carbon dioxide emissions (and to save some money as well). They will then also participate in carbon offsetting in order to be carbon neutral.  Their packaging is all sustainable and is not just biodegradable but also biodegradable in normal landfill conditions.

biodegredable packaging

Sustainable services can be great resources for sustainable lifestyles as long as you take into consideration the shipping and packaging policies of the service. Making sure these things are in line with your beliefs can make sustainable living a breeze.