Friday, November 7, 2008

eco frindly Friday

I have been thinking all week about what to share with everyone for eco friendly Friday.
Lets talk about packing and shipping. With the holidays approaching many people will be shipping gifts. This will lead to a large consumption of boxes, packing material, and wrapping paper. Most of which will end up in our landfill, and that is a valuable resource that we are wasting.
Always look for a good sturdy used box. You can find them just about anywhere. By giving the box another life you are not consuming something that is brand new, and you have kept one more item out of the landfill.
Packing materials can be expensive. So get creative. You can reuse old plastic bags, maybe buy a dish towel and use that as packing material. The towel will also double as a gift. If you are send a gift to a small child why not buy a package of diaper and use that as packing material. My mom did that for me when we lived in Hawaii and I thought it was the best gift ever.
If you order stuff through out the year save all the peanuts and packing paper to reuse at a later date. If you start to get to much then you can always off them on craiglist, or on freecycle. There are always people looking looking for packing material.
Lets not forget that packing peanuts will never break down. If you have them please reuse them and do not purchase them.
Once Christmas is over break down your old boxes and save them to be used again or offer them up to someone who might be moving.
Wrapping paper can get expensive, and I know that children love tearing into the paper, but think outside the box. If you have paper bags at home you can use them to wrap gifts in or make your own gift bag out of them. My dad use to use the comics to wrap gifts. We always knew which gifts were from my dad! By using what you have on hand you will save money on wrapping paper, and you will reused something.
If you are Christmas card type of person, why not pass out as many cards as you can. It might only be a tiny bit of savings but every little bit counts. Sending e cards is also a good way to go because then you will have consumed nothing. Nothing is good!
Here are some more ideas I found on line. As always please let me know of any other ways that you can recycle boxes and packing materials.
Use for gift wrapping ties, scarves and gloves. (Shelley)
Square candy boxes can be used for wrapping gifts, storing art supplies or carrying cross-stitch work. (Shelley)
Save love letters in heart-shaped boxes. (Shelley)
Fill with homemade candy. (Rae)
Make into a Valentine's Day card for next year.
Cut a heart-shaped box so that you have a flat heart. Save and let the kids use it as a template.
Make a Valentine's Day decoration for next year.
Make a Picture Frame.
Cut and use for index cards.
Use a smaller box for storing paperclips, rubber bands, etc.
Use as a decorative change holder for your dresser.
Boxes--Cardboard (those which reams of paper come in)
Use as individual recycling boxes for bedrooms. This will help keep garbage from accumulating on desks and dressers (or in my case the floor).
Use for under-the-bed storage by cutting it to make it shorter.
Make it into a bed for a small pet by cutting an entrance and lining it with a blanket.

Cut into puzzle pieces and let the kids put them together. When the novelty wears off, recycle and grab a new box.
Cut and tape them into the size of folders. Make manilla-type folders or add some extra tape and make pockets.
Cut into any size index cards. Use for flash cards, recipe cards, etc.
Use as gift boxes.
Use as an in-tray on your desk at home for mail, papers to be dealt with, etc.
Use pieces for bookmarks. Write down any ideas that pop into your head while reading.
Make into paper dolls for the kids.
Use for grocery lists. When you place it in the front of the shopping cart, it won't blow away like paper will. (Richard)
Cut a big portion out of a corner of the box and use it as a magazine holder. (Jeffrey and Diane)
Use as a template for making a gift bag. Wrap paper around it as you would a package, leaving the top open. Remove box and punch holes at the top of the two sides for the string handles. Leave the box in if you would like a stronger bag. (Mijesa)

Boxes--Food (Cake, Jell-o, Pudding, etc.)
Open the boxes carefully to remove the contents. Then tape the open side shut, and give them to your kids as cheap building blocks. (Jon's Grandma)
Give boxes to pet mice, gerbils or birds for play. (Lori)

Use to hold odds and ends -- just label. (Dennis)
Use to store small children's toys. (Dennis)
Make into a dollhouse. (Henning)
Use to store recipes.
Tape the lids to the boxes, paint them bright colors, and give them to the kids for building blocks. (Ms. Myriah)
Cut off the tops and use for the storage of small things.
Cut into any size index cards. Use for flash cards, recipe cards, etc.
Cut off the top and use as a gift-wrapping box for t-shirts or other small items.
Cut off the top and store cassette tapes (for those of you who still use these) in them.
Cut the side off of a flowered box, fold in half, and make your own Mother's Day card.
Use to store recipe cards.
Use pieces for bookmarks. Write down any ideas that pop into your head while reading.
Use for storing plastic bags. Place in different rooms of the house for easy access. (Gail)
Give to gerbils, hamsters, etc. as a chew toy. They will shred it and use it for bedding. (G. Rabenold)
Turn into a doll house. CONTACT US: World Environmental Organization • 2020 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, #2001 • Washington, DC 20006 • Phone: 1-800-800-2SUN


a corgi said...

those are all wonderful ideas Kelli!!! thanks for them

I like what we did when we lived far away from family; instead of gifts that had to be mailed in boxes, we sent gift cards :)

I actually did what you suggested with wrapping things in cloth when we moved; I wrapped our computer things in blankets and towels; it was a win-win situation; got the towels packed the same time as the computers :)

thanks for all the sites too!!! looking forward to checking them out

enjoy the weekend :)


Linda's World said...

I agree with Betty, gift cards are the way to go unless you're actually going to be seeing the people your giving the gift to. I do alot of selling on eBay, so am used to being innovative when it comes to packing. I even save the big plastic wrapper on the Costco t-p and paper towel packages for packing fragile items. I hope the buyers aren't offended when they open their packages. LOL Linda in Washington state

Tightening the Corset Again said...

The ironic thing is that things that are eco-friendly are often economical... and things that you have learned in your efforts to protect our environment - I have been doing my whole life to protect my budget!

I definitely used the "wrap breakables in towels" tip when moving here!

Hope you have a green weekend!

Indigo said...

Great recommends! Before I stopped working for the printing company I worked for, they started introducing a new kind of peanut for packing. It was made out of a substance that would literally melt away if it was introduced to water. It was a novel idea and kept the peanuts out of the landfills and was eco friendly. (Hugs)Indigo

Melissa said...

I hope feel u better soon

Lori said...

These are really good tips! I do a lot of packaging and mailing of books, and I try to use old boxes, and get creative with packing materials.

Martha said...

Excellent tips! I'll be looking for these here every Friday! :-)

LIZ said...

What wonderful ideas...luckily I dont have too many gifts to send!! Sorry I have been MIA and havent been commenting much...I hope all is going well and Im trying to catch up!!!

Take care, Liz

Heli gunner Tom said...

Nice Blog post!

I am always looking to read good blogs of real people.

I may celebrate tomorrow that I am alive and relatively able and blessed.
I am a disabled Vietnam Veteran: 68-70, and also a retired Chrysler worker--happily married in WI. I have been to TX -- very HOT!!
Hope to see you comment at my blog/ Journal.

Tom S

About Me

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I am a stay at home mom. I am also married to a veteran and he is the love of my life. I keep it real here and I hold nothing back. My life is a roller coaster ride, so strap on your seatbelt.... here we go!