As I am constantly searching for new ways to reuse and recycle in both my life and my business, I know there are probably many of you in pursuit of the same thing. So, this week I have compiled a list of ideas for how to make your business a little greener through reusing and recycling. While this is by no means an exhaustive list, hopefully it will help spark the creative recycler in you.
1. Cereal boxes are one of my favorite things to reuse in my business. My fiancé, Ryan, is a big cereal eater, so we accumulate a lot of boxes in the recycling bin! I cut them up and use them in packaging Etsy orders. I also use the Silk soymilk 2-packs boxes. What cardboard do you have around your house that could be turned into packaging? You can also visit your local recycling center to search for usable cardboard to turn into packaging. Or, why not start a box in your neighborhood to collect cereal boxes and other stiff cardboard packaging? Ask your neighbors for help!
Photo from Bitter Mittens at flickr
2. There is a great idea (and tutorial) for recycling boxes and packaging on Lizette Greco’s flickr site.
3. When I lived in Boulder, CO there was an incredible place called Resource 2000 where you could get used building materials and other useful things. These types of places exist all over the country, and with a little Internet searching you can find one in your area. If you are lucky enough to live in the San Francisco Bay area, there is a place called Scrap, which stands for Scroungers’ Center for Reused Art Parts, and I have heard amazing things about it.
Photo from Materials Exchange Center for Community Arts
A similar place exists in Eugene, OR called Materials Exchange Center for Community Arts, as well as one in Durham, NC called The Scrap Exchange, as well as many others across the country. Scrap has a good list on their website, so find out what’s in your area.
4. Frame shops usually have an excess of mat board that they will likely to let you have for free if you go pick it up.
Photo from The Scrap Exchange at flickr
5. Many big-box home stores and other stores that sell paint often sell mis-tinted paint at very low prices, which means you are saving it from being thrown out. Some cities also have paint exchange programs where people can take leftover cans of paint for others to use. Chicago has one such program and so does Ashland, WI.
Hopefully these ideas will help get you in the mood to search out other ways for reusing and recycling in your business and personal life!
GREEN CHALLENGE: Gather up cereal boxes and use them to start packaging your orders! Post photos to the Indie is the New Green flickr group and share your creative reuse of materials.
Jessica is an artist from Atlanta, Georgia who is endlessly creating. Her work includes paintings, drawings, illustrations, and paper goods and is vibrant, colorful, and charming. Her work can be found on her site, in her Etsy shop and in the Indie Fixx Shop. You can also read more about Jessica and her work on her blog.