Posts tagged "stationery"

How can I reduce the amount of packaging I receive in the post?

The other day, Mrs Green of My Zero Waste mentioned how happy she was to receive something in the post wrapped in newspaper rather than a bubblewrap lined envelope or plastic bag.

We buy a lot of stuff online – secondhand stuff from eBay, homemade things from Etsy/Folksy, computer bits, craft supplies, clothes for us and the bajillion small people exploding from the loins of our friends etc etc – and as a result, always have a large amount of packaging lying around our office. A lot of online shops have made improvements over the last few years – crinkled brown paper or air bags instead of polystyrene packaging nuggets, and I’ve received stuff from eBay in all sorts of reused cardboard boxes – but the pile still grows. I reuse it where I can (see below for related reuses) but I’d rather reduce the amount of stuff I receive in the first place if possible.

The most obvious answer to the question is “stop ordering so much stuff online and support your local shops instead”, which is fair enough for some things but other things are harder to come by in real life.

Has anyone ever asked an online shop to reduce the amount of packaging they use? Has anyone sent it back for them to deal with? I’d love to hear your experiences.

If you sell stuff online, what do you do to keep packaging minimum? Got any suggestions for others in the same position?

Post packaging reuses

How can I make a 2010 diary/calendar recycling old stuff?

calendarHi! Apologies for the sporadic posts of late – I’ve been having so much needed time off from everything – it’s been fab.

Anyway, 2010 starts on Friday and I’m not quite ready for it. Not only because 2010 sounds like the distant future of sci-fi films but because I don’t have a new desk diary yet. I started looking for one a couple of weeks ago then got distracted by something shiny, as I often do, and now my forward planning is taking place on a piece of scrap paper.

So how can I make a 2010 diary reusing, recycling or upcycling stuff instead? Looking around the usual sites, a lot of the homemade diaries are just commercial diaries recovered with a vintage/scrap fabrics but what about using scrap paper? Perhaps printing a week-to-view layout onto old paper bags – like Crafting A Green World’s brown paper bag recipe cards?

I suspect it’ll be easier to make a month-to-view calendar by hand since there only needs to be 12 panels instead of 52 pages. Any suggestions?

What about making reusable calendars to avoid repeating the making process each year? I thought about using a blackboard but it is quite handy to be able to see when we did something, say, two months ago. Ideas?

How can I reuse or recycle broken scissors?

scissors(Hi! Sorry for the lack of posts recently, I’ve been ill and have mostly been slumped on the sofa in a heap. Feeling a bit more human now so without further ado…)

We’ve had an email from Lesley and Julia, explaining:

We have a pair of scissors at work. There’s nothing wrong with the blades, but the rubbishy plastic handle has broken off. Any ideas?

I remember a pair of all metal scissors breaking at the hinge when I was in my teens, and I kept the blades to use instead of a craft knife — but the individual blades were nowhere near sharp enough or thin enough to do that well.

So any other suggestions?

How can I reuse or recycle spent lottery scratchcards?

scratchcardRighty, we’re back in Blighty now and if I have to leave the house today, it’ll be a disappointment. We arrived back home about 10:30pm last night after an elaborate performance of airport security theatre, and boy, were the cats glad to see us again. It’s freezing cold here today but I don’t mind because I’ve got three furry hot water bottles attached to me :)

Anyway, this recycling thing. As well as noticing the great procedures in place for recycling glass bottles in Madrid, we also noticed a great love for lotteries in the city – every official office had a queue 90 miles long outside it (at all times of the day, every day) and there were lots of street vendors selling scratchcards too. Of course, because I’m a recycling nerd, I started to wonder what the options are with recycling scratchcards.

Once all the scratchy stuff has been scratched off and hopes dashed again, they’re just normal cardboard – right? So they can be recycled with other card – right?

If they’ve still got a lot of the scratchy stuff on them, can they be recycled? It’s typically latex based apparently.

Any fun reuses for them? Anyone doing any crafts with them? Gift tags perhaps?

How can I reuse or recycle old plastic pockets?

plastic-pocketsDo they have a name? Those plastic pocket things used in ring binders or lever arch files, for paper you don’t want to or can’t hole punch? If there is a name, I don’t know it, which makes it might hard to find a photo of them ;) UPDATE: Jack sent over a photo for me to use – thanks Jack!

Anyway, they’re great for reusing for their original purpose time and time again until you overfill them one time and the hole reinforcement strip tears/pulls out and from then on, it constantly, annoyingly, falls out of the folder every time you lift it up.

What can be done with the rest of the plastic then? It’s usually smooth, flat and clear – there must be some practical and crafty reuses for something like that.

They’re usually made from polypropylene apparently (plastic code number 5) which can be recycled but isn’t collected as standard in all places. So how can they be reused instead?