Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Green Packaging

So we start off a new year and a new decade with good intentions. Perhaps one of those is to consider ways to green up our daily living practices. As I've looked more closely this past year at where our food comes from, ways that I use and waste energy, etc., I"ve also thought about my art and its impact on the environment.

Take the simple process of getting a pin to a customer. What are my options for packaging? Factors that might go into my choices would be where my materials will come from - how far away? Are they made from recycled products? Can they be recycled themselves? What is a fair trade off for aesthetics and practicality vs greenest option and cost?

So far I use hang tags that are printed locally, using non-recycled card stock. I couldn't find a good card stock that had recycled content without buying much larger quantities than I'd ever use.

I do use cardboard gift boxes made from recycled paper. But they are sent from California - and perhaps somewhere else before that. A lot of fuel goes into delivering them to me!

Then I mail them out to customers. I'd been using bubble mailers till I read about other solutions on Etsy threads. Since then I've been looking for the old fashioned padded mailers that are recyclable, but in the meantime have been wrapping the box in bubble wrap and putting it in a regular mailer. This way, at least, the bubble wrap can be reused if someone cares to - and the mailer can be recycled. Recently I did find the padded mailers I'd been looking for at Target's. They're made by 3M so now the task is to try to find a wholesaler to buy them from so the cost will be a little more reasonable.

I write this not having the answers, but hoping to get a fruitful dialogue going, so that we can all move ahead in our businesses, knowing that we're doing what we can to live carefully.

1 comment:

Beyond the Picket Fence said...

I found these at u-line http://www.uline.com/BL_1503/Self-Seal-Padded-Mailers but i can't tell if they are recyclable or not. I usually get caremail mailers at staples, but they are about $1/envelope!