Eco Audit of Packaging




I've spent some time this month reviewing the impact my business has on the environment and to assess what changes I can make/ alternatives I can use. I've always had an awareness of the importance of having a light footprint but I felt it was to time to do a proper investigation as there are definitely things I can improve.

Most of my products are meant to be kept after the event. The card I use is recycled and also many of the envelopes. The gift boxes I offer are recycled card and come with a paper raffia and tag, keepsakes come in a tin, cuff links in tin or card box and any linen/ organza bags I include with mirrors etc. are intended to be retained and used with the product. There are some areas I need to look at in relation to products (particularly stickers) but at the moment I'm concentrating on the 'single use' stuff - i.e. packaging.

There are 2 main areas I've been assessing - one is the materials etc. used and the other is whether I can reduce the amount of packaging I use.

I already use paper/ card envelopes and boxes and use paper for filling box space (as opposed to bubble wrap or similar). I also reuse any packaging I receive where possible so I am happy with the outer packaging I use.

The main areas I need to work is any additional inner packaging. I could just put my products straight into the envelope but this troubles me as I want the products to arrive in pristine condition. The majority of my cards are a textured white (recycled) paper and this picks up marks quite easily. If there are a number of loose cards in one envelope the magnets/ badges can mark the surface if they rub against it. My stickers are on sheets and again need to be in good condition over time as they may not be all used immediately. It isn't a good idea to leave mirrors loose in an envelope and again the back of the mirrors/ bottle openers can mark my off white boxes so needs separating in transit.  At the moment I use cellophane packets for all of my products and this is something I definitely need to find an alternative for.

For the stickers I am moving to bio degradeable bags which will still protect but are compostable after finished with (so a definite improvement). For the cards, keepsakes etc. I am going to trial glassine bags. These will protect during transit and because they are translucent can be used to store longer term - if not needed immediately (and contents are easily identified without having to keep opening and closing the bag). It has the added benefit of replacing a cellophane & paper bag so a big reduction in amount of packaging.

I still have quite a lot of cellophane bags in stock so this change won't happen straight away but there is one thing I do intend to do immediately. Sealing the cellophane (or glassine) bags needs a tape of  some sort and I will be removing my occasional sellotape use with immediate effect and replace with paper tape/ stickers. I am also going to use a paper packaging tape for sealing postal boxes moving forward.

Romantic Gestures

(heart) u love tokens available on etsy
Nearly Valentine's Day - where romantic gestures are much appreciated (they are of course nice any time of the year). You don't have to spend a fortune - it is, after all, the thought that counts - so I've rounded up a few of my products that will fit the bill, all under £10 (apart from the cufflinks & stickers) including UK P&P. You can find the products below (and more) in my shops on ETSY & NOTHS so do pop over and have a look.

The traditional offering is of course a valentine card. Maybe a card that's a little bit different?  - with magnets (or badges) that can be kept after the event. Whether it's spelling out love or telling someone you love them:

Available in blues or reds

or something a bit more personal - with names, dates or a special message:

Card with 6cm magnet (and a love & kisses sticker)

Card with 3.8cm magnet

Maybe little love tokens in a cute tin as a small present or card alternative:

mix and match magnet tokens from noths only

A present that's useful too - a mirror or bottle opener with a personalised message:



If you want to spend a little bit more - cuff links or wine glass charms make a statement:



And last, but not least - seal your gifts and cards with a love & kisses sticker (or maybe a personalised option?). Great for Valentine - but also can be used to add a special touch to envelopes and gift wrap all year round:



Stocking Fillers, Secret Santa and little extras under £10

With Christmas fast approaching it's a perfect time for buying thoughtful presents that don't cost a fortune. Whether it's an office Secret Santa, a stocking filler or a little extra present for someone special I have lots of options for under £10 (and a few more for budgets that can stretch a bit further). Examples of prices below include P&P - so no surprises at checkout and some come with a gift box so no need to spend extra on wrapping.
Browse my ETSY & NOTHS shops for my full range - but below are a few suggestions.
a range of bottle openers from £5.25 on NOTHS
A Bottle opener with a magnet (so always handy on the fridge) is a great gift that can be personalised to make it extra special and it's useful too!
mirrors from £4.50 on ETSY & with gift boxes from £7 on NOTHS
Or how about a little make-up mirror? - a perfect handbag size for checking everything is looking perfect at parties over Christmas and the New Year.
Bottle openers take care of the beer drinkers but for those whose preferred tipple comes in a larger bottle - a personalised wine glass charm is a good choice. Also available are sets of wine glass charms for the Christmas dinner table to make it extra special (re-use every year or guests can take theirs home with them at the end of the day as a permanent memento).
Individual fully personalised wine glass charms in tin £8.50 on NOTHS
Initial wine glass charm in tin £5 on ETSY 
Can't decide between a mirror or wine charm? Then the Secret Santa Gift Set is a good choice - a mirror and wineglass charm in an organza bag along with a 'Merry Christmas, Happy New Year' badge on a tag. Available in red/green/ bronze or blue/purple/silver.
Secret Santa Gift Set £10 available on ETSY & NOTHS



Going naked?

   

In January I'm intending to do a proper 'studio-sweepings eco-audit' to see where I can make changes to my products, packaging etc. in order to be less wasteful and more mindful of the impact my business is having on the environment. I think I do a pretty good job already - but there are a few areas I know already I can make some improvements. One of those is cellophane bags. I currently package all my badge & magnet cards in cellophane which I know is not great - but it feels quite scary to send them out without any protection in case they don't arrive in perfect condition. I'm also aware people often buy in advance and need to be confident they can store them and they will still look like new when they are needed. I have been researching bio-degradable options as an alternative but then came across this site - Naked Cards which goes one step further. Nothing at all - just the envelope (and maybe a folded invoice or paper bag as extra protection). I don't have to make any decisions immediately as I still have a fair bit of stock to use up - but I think I may well trial this in 2019.