Friday, September 12, 2008
*Rather than using the plastic baggies that have a sticky flap, as often as possible I use zip-lock bags. I keep more than one size on hand at all times, and always try to use the smallest one possible for the order it contains. That way I can use as little plastic as possible, and my customers can find ways to re-use them!
*When I receive orders in plastic bags, I store them away and re-use them whenever I can.
*I rarely need to use packing peanuts, but when I do need them, I NEVER buy new ones! I save the ones I receive from the orders I place and just use those. In the rare cases in the past when I have needed to buy them, I went to a fantastic local store--Carton Services--which sells secondhand shipping supplies. I can buy a 6 foot tall bag of them for around $20! Which saves me money and keeps them out of the landfill.
*I used to print out every single transaction receipt. I felt bad about using so much paper (although I do buy recycled printer paper), but I thought it was easier to track and ship my orders, and double-check Etsy vs. PayPal addresses. Then I did a test-run without printing. I found it just as easy to keep track of everything and it stopped me from getting a cramp in my back from being hunched over my orders on the floor for hours on end (now I have to get up and down on a regular basis--yay for my back!). To keep track of packages and correct addresses, I now write my customer's names and the 1st line of their address and zip code to double check agains PayPal when I go to ship. Now I hardly ever have to buy printer paper, and I have saved myself so much filing space! I just print out a CSV file of all of my Etsy transactions at the end of the month--3 or 4 pages versus 2-300!
*My washi sample packs are one of my most popular items. One of the best things about these is that I can save great washi scraps from otherwise hitting the landfills. After I cut all of the best, most usable scraps up for the packs, I donate the rest to SCRAP--an awesome local non-profit that re-sells used craft supplies. I also have a box set aside to bring to them whenever I gather enough un-needed supplies that I can't re-sell. I LOVE that place!
I know there are other things that I do, but they are not coming to mind at the moment :) I always try to keep Mother Nature in mind, though, in business and in the rest of my life. If you have any great tips, ideas, or suggestions for greening your business, post them here!