Packaging is a subject I have put a lot of thought into for Somewhat Green. I believe it’s so important to reduce packaging as much as possible before we even think of recycling. This planet needs less plastic, less paper, and just less stuff.
I don’t know about you, but I get so annoyed when I buy something I can’t open because its vacuum packed, or where there is so much wasted packaging. Don’t get me started on supermarkets…
The Somewhat Green Approach to Packaging
When buying gifts for Christmas or birthdays, I like the idea of wrapping presents in anything you have around the house, or in a t-shirt so that it can be part of the present.
We can’t follow this approach exactly at Somewhat Green, but it is our inspiration for the way we do packaging.
In this photo, I wrapped these four presents in the following materials:
- A jute placemat from Trade Me (top right)
- A muslin cloth from Gwamma (bottom right )
- Some white material from my house (bottom left )
- 100 percent recyclable craft paper and jute string from Trade Me (top right)
You can search under products on Somewhat Green to find some of the items above including the jute placemat, muslin cloth, and jute string.
The first step to making Somewhat Green better for the environment is to reduce the packaging we use. It’s difficult because it’s important we do what we can to ensure products don’t break. Therefore, there is a fine line between over-packaging and under-packaging.
What We Do
When I receive an order, I first try to find the right size of box or brown paper bag from the used materials I save from supplier deliveries.
I have found it is easy to get overwhelmed by paper and cardboard when you start to seriously save and reduce paper/cardboard waste. It’s amazing how quickly it accumulates.
Our Packaging Options
I have paper courier bags made from recycled paper. You can pop these into your recycling bin or re-use them, easy as.
Sometimes cardboard can get wet which can ruin the products inside. So, I also use recyclable plastic bags where necessary.
I also use compostable bags. If you receive a product packaged in one of these bags, you simply rip off the label and put them in your garden or compost bin. They take, at most, 180 days to decompose.
It’s important to remember, however, that if compostable bags go into the landfill, they are unlikely to decompose. Also, they are not recyclable. So, please only request these bags if you plan to put them in your garden or compost bin. If not, choose our recyclable packaging.
Another packaging material I use is eco-wrap. This is kraft paper that is cut into a honeycomb structure with a tissue leaf underneath. I use this sparingly, but it is recyclable.
Reducing Delivery Costs and Going Green
Somewhat Green uses the services of NZ company GoSweetSpot. When I put an address and the size and weight of the parcel in GoSweetSpot’s app, it shows me the cheapest delivery method.
If I get orders before 1pm, maybe I can send your parcel the same day and, depending on where you live, you could receive it the next day. Please make a request when placing your order if you require the delivery urgently.
In my opinion, the best option for Somewhat Green is to use as little packaging as possible and for you to reuse the packaging I send you, or recycle it. The best choice is compostable courier bags that you can put in your compost bin or in the garden, Just remember to take the label off and don’t put them in your recyclable bin.
As always, I am open to questions about packaging or any ideas or suggestions you have. If there are better options out there, I would l love to know. Also, please tell me if there are any problems with the packaging you receive your products in. I hope you found this blog informative.
Take care, Tracey .