Since I began selling physical products (safety eyes and noses for amigurumi, stitch markers for crocheters, and Detail Stuffing Tools) in addition to virtual products (PDF patterns and ebooks) I’ve had a new challenge to contend with: packaging. Canada Post has the delightful rule that any packages over 2cm thick cost around 4x as much to ship, so I have to pack carefully to ensure that all my packages are within the 2cm height limit – which can be quite tricky!
I also want to do my part to protect the environment (you’ve probably already guessed this from the subject of most of my designs, but animals and the natural world are really important to me), so I try to follow the ‘environmental 3 Rs’ principle: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
Reduce: I’m continually refining my packaging process to use the least material while still being secure and protecting the contents. I’ve gone from using one sheet of bubble wrap to pack 4 orders, to cutting it in such a way that I can safely package an average of 7 orders using a single sheet of bubble wrap – that’s a big reduction! This little stack will package 12 orders:
Reuse: I do use plastic bubble wrap for packaging because there’s nothing like it for protecting my little goodies as they travel across the world to their destinations, but I don’t feel too bad about that because I advertise locally and collect clean, tape-free bubble wrap from people who’ve just moved house and have bags of it sitting around after unpacking all their ornaments and tableware. (Speaking of which, I’m running low – if anyone around the K-W area has a bunch of bubble wrap going spare, please contact me.) Clever, huh?
Recycle: I use recycled Post-It notes to make the thank you notes I send out with each order.
And this isn’t quite recycling, but it’s a step in the right direction. I went out to replenish my stock of envelopes today, and I made the decision to switch from smart-looking white envelopes to blah-looking kraft coloured envelopes.
I’m hoping that nobody will mind the colour change – it’s just an envelope, after all; you only glance at it for a second before ripping it open and discarding it (into your recycling bin, right??), so how could anyone object?
But the added bonus here is that my new envelopes are FSC certified. Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certification guarantees that the wood used to produce paper products is taken from responsibly managed forests.
Many species of animals and plants (including my favourite, the orangutan) are at great risk from deforestation, so using FSC certified paper products is an easy way to do your part to help protect the environment – just look out for the FSC logo when you’re shopping.
My envelopes are FSC certified as “Mixed Sources”. The wood used to produce FSC certified products with a “Mixed Sources” label comes from FSC certified well-managed forests, controlled sources and/or recycled material.
This means that, while my envelopes may not be fully recycled, at least their productions hasn’t deprived any endangered species of their natural habitat, so you can feel good about ordering your crochet supplies from me!