When it comes to packaging anything for my customers, I always remember the three R’s: repurpose, reuse, and recycle. Granted I grew up with “reduce” instead of “repurpose”, but after having been on my own for the past three and half years, the first one has become very important to fall back on. Since I have such a small income, I have to be careful not to waste anything which includes food, materials, and time.
Before I throw something away, I ask myself two questions: can I use this for another purpose and is it recyclable? This is important with the small budget I have when selling my items on ebay.com. Unfortunately, I cannot afford to go to the store every time I need packing materials so I have to utilize whatever is available around my house. This has caused me to become creative when I ship something, especially since I sell fragile items on a regular basis. First, I only receive two newspapers each week: the Sunday edition that I subscribe to for the coupons and the Tuesday edition of the periodical from the city in which I live in that is thrown automatically to everyone. After both are read, I store them in my “shipping center” which I keep fully stocked and organized. When using these printed pages, each is balled up and placed around the sides and top of the box.
Next, whenever I happen to receive something in the mail that I purchased, I reuse as much of the packing materials as possible. This includes the box itself, packing peanuts, “pillow packs”, and bubble wrap. Of course, I remove all the shipping information from the outside of the box and mark through any writing for the USPS. There have even been times that as soon as I receive an item, I’ll take it out, leave the materials in the box, and put something else in it within a few minutes. That way, hardly any time is wasted.
Finally, I’ve had to create some of my own cushioning. For example, if you have some sandwich bags around the house, simply open it up slightly, blow some air into it until it becomes full, zip it shut, and there you have your own “pillow pack.” They can also be filled with as much or little air you need to form around any shaped item you’re mailing.