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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Upcycling & Packaging

Living frugally doesn't mean cutting budgets until it hurts or living without the cool things in life. It means using what you have to its fullest capacity. 

At our home we compost most of our food wastes, send our cans out to the recycle centers which pay money for aluminum and shred paper to help our compost reduce itself.

I feel upcycling is the most environmentally friendly way to keep our planet clean for the other items that don't lend themselves easily to recycling.  Besides, while recycling is nice, the amount of energy that goes into transporting and changing it from one product to another is fairly high. It is better than using new materials most certainly, but I love to put re-using before recycling whenever possible.

In my Etsy store I sell magnets. I like to package them up nicely, with a piece of chipboard in the small bag to help keep it's shape so the magnets don't puddle at the bottom of the bag, as well as protecting the items.

I am very conscious of quality in all my work. I spend a great deal of time researching my products and materials. So when I ship it out I would like the packaging to also reflect that. I also am mindful of the environment. I try to limit all my waste products.

Buying new chipboard inserts would definitely be one way to go. But when I think of all the chipboard I throw away every week in the form of cereal boxes I feel that there must be something I can do with it.
My solution is to cut the cereal box, which has never touched the inside of a trash can, and make them my chipboards.  

I hate the idea of advertising my brand of cereal. After cutting them I very slowly and quite carefully peel off the paper. It sounds easy, but I've found it is an art to get a clean pull. When done correctly it is as smooth and untouched as a new piece of chipboard. It does have some inconsistencies due to part of the cardboard being pulled. This side I use for the back. You can tell it isn't pristine, but I can't imagine anyone would be disgusted by it since most people just throw the packing out.

Back and front of my bumblebee magnets.

In this way I have given my cereal box two uses (cereal holder and packaging).