I was searching through the Etsy forums today and came across a thread called, "Don't spend a penny on packaging." I sifted through the recycling ideas and came across a bunch of good ones that could either make your recycled packaging look good, as well as things you can do to make your customers comfortable with (and not put off by) your recycled packaging.
Here are some of the things you can do:
- Save and reuse shipping boxes
- Use paper grocery bags to wrap your boxes
- Use egg cartons as box fillers (not recommended for international shipping - items from plant and animal products may be destroyed)
- Reuse bubble wrap and peanuts that come with packages you or your place of work receive
- Reuse tissue paper from gifts and shopping
- Use shredded newspaper and magazines for box filler (not recommended for fragile items unless used with other forms of protection)
- Reuse pieces of cardboard as stiffners (great for sending cards and photographs)
Things to consider when packaging with recycled materials:
- Make sure the items you are recycling are in good condition.
-Make sure the items you are recycling can withstand being tossed around in the post office without arriving dented and with damaged goods.
- Explain to customers how you package your goods in your shop policies section, as well as your shop announcement. It is also good to send a little note with your items explaining your recycling habits.
- Packaging that contained products that may be an allergen to some folks should be avoided, e.g. eggs, nuts.
- When reusing packaging from orders you have received you might want to check for odors.
- Exercise caution when using shoeboxes as shipping boxes- most of them are not rated for shipping and can be easily crushed/destroyed during shipping...The same goes for gift boxes from a store.
- Make sure your wrapping still looks professional, not like you've been digging through the trash for packaging materials.
-Shredded newspaper and magazines tend to bleed so they should be used with caution.
All in all, I think it is great to recycle items. You don't want your customer to think you are cheap. Re-use clean boxes only. Do not reuse packaging from food items. It can attract bugs even if you don't think it smells. Some noses are more sensitive than others. Reuse tissue paper that looks as if it is untouched. If you are reusing cardboard to place photos in between, cut them nicely and write recycled on the outer parts. I write "Recycled: Please reuse" on everything recycled. Use your best judgement as to what should and should not be recycled and vamp up your package with other niceties, e.g. promotional items, recycled ribbons or fabric. Remember, even if you do not reuse a piece of cardboard for packaging, it can still be recycled in other ways.
Please share your thoughts on recycled packaging with us in the comments section.