Cost-Effective and Eco-Friendly Packing and Gifting Supplies

by on October 11th, 2010
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Being an eco-advocate, it have found much fun and creative stimulation by figuring out a secondary life for items, while not collecting and cluttering up my house. There is a fine line between waste and hording, and I have set out to maximize the efficiency, effectiveness, and the low cost operations model for my small business, Dragonlilyarts and The Undoing Reliance Project. My business is made up of three parts, secret shopping/product testing, free-lance writing, and shipping merchandise and art out of my home. This article will focus primarily on low cost eco-friendly shipping options.

Take one: boxes and padded envelopes.

Due to the influx of shipments in and out of the place I work, (yes, I work a 40+ hour job as well as the above) I am able to save and reuse packaging supplies. For people whom are not in a situation I am, make friends with the mail room where you work, or your shipping and receiving. Most of the time they are willing to pull out and hold shipping supplies for you to grab at the end of the day on the products that they had received throughout the course of the day.

Take two: stuffing.

You will need a paper shredder or a kid with scissors and a ton of patience. If you are going to invest the money up front in a paper shredder, get a good one. It doesn’t have to be the highest in price, it just had to be heavy duty, and have a place to put a garbage bag in the underside of it to collect your shreddings. I shred everything, from advertisements and catalogs (take apart before shredding) I get in the mail, to old bills, to the cardboard toilet paper roll, prepackaged food boxes (like pasta or taco shells), to old crinkly tissue paper. This colorful array of shreds work fantastic for both stuffing shipments to also gift bags.

Take three: cards.

This example I have used before , but I find it to be a good one. Many times I find at estate sales, cards that were given to the person who died. A creative way to recycle or up-cycle these paper products, and to keep the spirit of another’s memory alive, why not make it a tradition to see how many names can get on the card. All you do is add an “and” followed by your name to the last people who wrote in it, and it can get a laugh from the recipient while helping the environment.

During a time of financial crunching and environmental concerns, why not do your part to reuse as much as you are able. This allows for you to keep a little extra money in your pocket, show off your creativity, and put a smile on Mother Nature’s face.


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