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Monday, December 26, 2011

Recycled Packaging

Rainbow assortment of sheets - made of plantable handmade paper embedded with perennial and annual wildflower seeds
Handmade, Recycled Paper by PulpArt
Recycling, being green, and generally doing your part to better the Earth as we know it is all over the media, all over every bit of marketing you see nowadays, and most certainly on everyone's minds.
Sometimes, it can be pretty obnoxious (but really, that's just me griping about overly intrusive marketing of commercial products -- I'll spare you that rant for another day).

I think the fact that "upcycling" and reusing old products for something new is suddenly trendy is hilarious. Don't get me wrong, I think that it's great! I truly am thrilled that the rest of the world has caught on.

The reason why I think it's funny, is because it's something that I've been doing for a long time. I'm not that old, but from the moment I learned about recycling in school in second grade, I've been quite adamant about it. Also, coming from a decidedly poor, country family, re-using things for a new purpose was just part of life. It's what we did, and what we continue to do.

Part of it stems from necessity. If you lack resources, you have to use everything you already have. "Necessity is the mother of invention," isn't just a saying. It's a fact of life! I also do not say this with any negativity. It's not a complaint. Just a statement of fact. It tickles me pink when I can find a new use for something old that might've ended up in the trash otherwise.

Sometimes having less forces you to be a little more creative.  :)

That all having been said, this brings me to my point: the vast majority of all the packaging I use to ship my items from my shop are recycled. 

The packing paper that's stuffed inside the mailers and USPS boxes and is wrapped around your items to protect them? That's from orders from my bead wholesaler. The paper usually arrives crumpled and stuffed in the bottom of my boxes.

The plastic bags that are wrapped around the items after I've wrapped them in paper just-in-case there's moisture leaking in somewhere? Also from my wholesaler. When I order more than one of a certain product, they tend to arrive stuffed inside those open mouthed plastic bags in addition to their individual plastic baggies.

The boxes I receive my products in are already made from recycled materials, and are great for storage. They've also ended up quite handing in packing things since my mother and I will be moving into a much more economical living space in March.

I'm always trying to think of clever ways to re-use things. I've decided most recently to try my hand at making recycled paper beads out of my old catalogs from Fire Mountain Gems that I have lying around. I'll keep you all posted on the results! 

What ways do you re-use old items? Do you have any cool projects you have done or would like to try out? Feel free to leave me a comment! I'd love to test out a tutorial or project idea


Much love!







3 comments:

  1. Recycling is BIG in Germany, and somewhat of a matter of course. EVERY house (most people here live in apartments) has its own containers for paper/cardboard, potentially recyclable waste (which all the stores and sellers packaging their goods are required to pay for) and then, residual waste. In every block, there's containers for green, white and brown glass within walking distance. Retail here (I work for pretty much the biggest chain of groceries in Germany) actually Does. Get. Money. for the cardboard they turn in for recycling. Recycled tissue paper is available in EVERY grocery, there's a lot of recycled paper in stationary available here too.

    Then, again, the system kinda gets back on you, actually PREVENTING recycling, especially for online sellers. Like, you have to license and pay the according fees for every packaging material you toss out to send out your goods. OR! You are required to offer a way to have them returned and go into recycling. Which (and this is nuts) actually PREVENTS online sellers from re-using envelopes, cardboard boxes and the like, as they'd have to poke the original company/person to bring this packaging into circulation for their certification that they already paid the according fees and stuff. Uh. Yeah. I think you get the idea. Once again, Germany is sort of overdoing it with its rules and regulations, causing the original intend to backfire. Like, law-forcing a refundable deposit for disposable beverage cans and bottles in hopes that would cause the industry to use reusable packaging/bottles. Yeah. Right. Industry went for what was the cheapest option of course. As a result of every store being required to accept the TYPE of packaging used for their beverages (as, in, those selling beverages in plastic bottles and cans would be required to not only accept their own plastic bottles and cans, but EVERY store's plastic bottles and cans!) cans went pretty much extinct for quite a while (I do so miss seeing the ones flattened under cars tires on the roads - lots of fun and I would have loved to own a camera back then for collecting images), glass bottles were quickly discarded from the line up (which, working in retail, I'm ridiculously happy about, as they're heavy as hell) and only plastic bottles remained. This, I think, was not the effect politicians had in mind when they came up with this.

    On a positive note, streets and roadsides are a lot cleaner than they used to be as, for everyone person who can afford to toss their returnable bottle/can aside, there's at least four persons in need of every cent to pick it up, not caring about the dirt and grime.

    *pings lurve @ Reyna* From what I get, recycling is still much underrated in the US. If you want to (and that goes for everyone else reading this), you can interview me/quote whatever from this post on how recycling works/is enforced in other countries. I can get you pics of the containers and everything. OuO <3

    xoxo
    Sandra

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