A little while ago, I did a poll on Instagram asking if people actually want their cards to arrive in a plastic cello wrap and to say the results were surprising was an understatement. Over 90% of the people who took part in the poll thought they were wasteful and unnecessary. I just thought it was something I was supposed to do, after all, this is how they are wrapped in shops. Several interesting conversations came off of the back of that poll and it was probably up there with one of the most interacted with. And to all the people who linked me up with eco alternatives, thank you! I really appreciate it.
It's only in the past year or so that I've really begun to notice how wasteful packaging really is. Amazon is absolutely terrible with their boxes, but at least you can recycle those! Everything these days seems to come wrapped in plastic when it really doesn't need to be. Veg at the supermarket is a prime example, I can understand meat, because let's face it, I don't want that all over my hands either, but shrink wrapping broccoli... why?! I think the image that has stuck with me the most recently, is the one with a turtle swimming around with a plastic fork sticking out of his nose. That really is heart breaking and should never have happened.
So, why do I want to go green(er)? And yes I'm spelling it like that because it's going to be long road and isn't something I can do over night, but I'm making little steps in the right direction. I want to reduce the amount of waste I create because I don't like the idea that I'm contributing to the problem of animals eating our plastics thinking it's food. It's not funny and it's not nice.
So what am I doing about it?
This week, I am going to run out of my standard cello sleeves for single cards, and whilst this actually terrifies me because I hate change, it's the right thing to do. I've spent the last week, 're-training' my hands to fold my dispatch notes in the opposite direction so that I can send the cards without any plastic inside of the paper dispatch note. Now, I need to say here that some of my cards will not be 100% cello free. I need to wrap my scratch cards so that the scratch off element is protected and so that I can label them so they customer knows what is under the panel. So, thanks to poll, I've sourced some bio degradable cellos. These come in at over double the cost of regular ones but what I save in not using them on all the other cards, it's justifiable. For anyone in the UK wanting in on these, they're from Eco Craft (and no, it's not an affiliate link, it's to help you swop too!)
The next thing to change was my printer. Not only was it wasteful on ink, it was wasteful on my bank account. It cost just under £100 for a full set of inks and I got through them in no time. I hated how many cartridges I took to the recycling centre because I have no idea if they really recycle them or not. So when my printer gave up the ghost recently (why do they always die on your when you're busy?), I switched to an Eco Tank where I can manually refill the ink tanks and the ink goes so much further! Now, this hasn't been without problems so far (more print quality than ink), but I'm going to persevere and see it through because in the long run, it's better for me and the environment. Here's to hoping this one will last longer than 6 months!
The other problem I have with packaging is bubble wrap. I manage to recycle all of the cardboard by either reusing it or taking it to the recycling centre. However, bubble wrap is a nightmare and it really, really annoys me when I have to put it in the bin. I don't know why this didn't occur to me before, but my Dad is an antique dealer and buy's this stuff on giant rolls! So, I'm going to be saving every piece of bubble wrap I am sent and either reuse it when I can or it's going to be reused by him for wrapping his antiques for fairs or to send in the post. This is probably one of the things I am actually the most happy about! Finally those nightmare bubbles are going to be used more than once!
I'm by no means finished though. I might have got through my standard C6 cellos but I still have my multi-pack ones to get through, and I've got loads of A4 left which are used for prints and wrapping paper. I also need to find an affordable alternative to jiffy bags too. But it's all progress in the right direction and that's all that matters right?