Keeping Waste out of our Shipping Department

One large back corner of our studio contains a disorderly collection of cardboard boxes. Some are empty shipping cartons we’ve picked up when shopping the local grocery stores.  We’ll use the boxes for shipping our dog carvings. Other boxes, along with an odd medley of large plastic bags, are filled with Styrofoam peanuts, bubble wrap, air sacs, packing paper & such donated to us from friends & neighbors who don’t like the idea of putting re-usable or, for our area, non-recyclable materials into the local waste stream any more than we do.  We try to use it all.  Held in our storage area long enough, eventually all will be sent on to hopefully be recycled again at the receiving end.

It’s feast or famine it seems for matching the quantity of materials to our need for them.  However, when a oversupply arrives we always manage to find room for the excess somewhere.  Often our access passageway to the shipping corner is reduced to less than a body width, yet the inconvenience is negligible compared to the sense of doing our part to do right when it comes to reducing waste.

Today, when packing an order of Great Pyrenees & Bernese Mountain Dog carvings instead of rolling off new paper to wrap the dogs in, I delved into a 5 ft tall clear plastic bag to retrieve thin lengths of foam sheets as wrap.   Double satisfaction arrived when a used cardboard box of the right dimensions was found in the jumbled mess of potential shipping cartons.  By a little bit we’ve reduced the back corner clutter, saved a little bit of green & saved someone’s waste from going to the landfill.  Nice.  


Where else does our shipping conserve resources?  Well, all our orders are printed on the back side of letters, statements, & any other old office paper.  Unfortunately, going paperless is not yet an option for our business at this point of time.  So we settle for re-purposing whatever suitable paper comes into our household & business.  

Additionally, almost all of our correspondence with customers & potential customers is conducted online further saving the use of paper for mailing invoices, statements, etc.  Receiving checks in the mail is all but a thing of the past, with most payments handled electronically in one fashion or other.

Back to boxes.  If we don’t happen to have a box of the right dimension for a particular shipment, we’ve become rather proficient at re-making a box into the configuration we need.  It has given us much appreciation for the art of carton design, of which there are endless methods of constructing a box.  Call us creative or call us cheap; it’s your call.  We’re glad to re-purpose a box is all!