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Recycled Packaging

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

I have been trying hard to find ways to reduce waste and recycle where I can. Because I frequently make purchases online and send things out to others, I’ve been thinking about packaging. I’ve always saved boxes, but for the past several months, I’ve also started saving envelopes and packing materials. When I send out a book for BookMooch, I have been packing them in reused envelopes. I’ve thought about trying to recycle packing materials for my Etsy orders as well, but I certainly don’t want to look cheap. It’s nice that I may save a bit on envelopes if I can reuse some, but it’s more important to me that I’m not letting them go to waste when they are still perfectly functional.

My solution to this dilemma: a fancy new rubber stamp! A stamp seemed like a good idea for a recycling message, because it’s inherently reusable. I poked around online for a stamp I could use to mark packaging as clearly recycled and wasn’t able to find much. I did find two (only two!) Etsy sellers with recycling rubber stamps, but they weren’t exactly what I was looking for. Sweetpaperie has a lovely recycled packaging stamp, as does Terbearco. Finally, I came across the Roughstock Blog, which had a free recycled packaging image that seemed to be designed just for me. A bit wordier than the other two stamps, I think the Roughstock message most clearly communicated that I was recycling for the sake of recycling and why I was doing that. The image read:

reduce. reuse. recycle.

This packaging has been reused
or made from recycled materials
to ease up on our environment.
Please consider using it again!

Perfect. Except, it wasn’t a stamp. Just an image that I could make into a stamp. My mom, ever the problem-solver, sent me a link for, where I could get a custom stamp made with my image for a great price. They made the image into a stamp and it arrived in my mailbox in just a week! And I promptly ran out, got myself a green ink pad (don’t recycling messages look better in green?) and stamped up some recycled envelopes I’d packed some books in.

Do you use recycled packing? If you do, do you mark it in some way? How have the recipients of your reused packages responded?

27 thoughts on “Recycled Packaging

  1. I have reused boxes that I receive from supplies and I have tons of popcorn that I need to off load. I have so many bags full of popcorn that I am literally running out of space. LOL I also just got rid of all my plastic bags and went with cloth recycled tote bags. 🙂

  2. I think that is really cool. I know that when you send me my giveaway prize I would be thrilled to see it come in recycled materials.

  3. i haven’t used anything like this, but i think it’s a great idea!

  4. This is great! I use recycled materials when I ship….I have it listed in my Profile section where I also have my shipping info, but this is much better.

  5. This is fabulous! I have a little piece of paper that I drop in my packages (especially the ones that I’m compelled to use packing peanuts, for which I always apologize). This is nicer and more to the point.

  6. (Hope this isn’t a double-post!)

    This looks great! It’s really good to see that people are getting good use out of it. And thanks for taking that photo – would you mind if I republished it on my blog so people can see what it looks like in action?


  7. Love the stamp and even more that you’re all using recycled packaging!

  8. What a great idea with that stamp! I reuse boxes, but I just cover stuff up and hope it doesn’t look too tacky… Do you mind if I too, post this blog entry on my blog? I think I will consider putting some sort of message on my re-used packages! Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. What a good idea! I’ll have to think about this…

  10. I’m so glad to hear that everyone likes this idea!

    Mandi and Jess, yes, feel free to share this with your blog readers. Spread the recycling love. 🙂

  11. I recycle as much as possible, but it’s usually things people can’t tell are recycled…packing bubbles, decorative bags, tissue paper in good shape. I think you’ve gone one step further, and that’s great! If I could find a way to do that, yet still protect and nicely display my jewelry, I’d be all over it.

  12. What a great idea! I re-use nearly every piece of packaging I get. If it’s particularly obvious, I’ll write something like “recycling rocks!” Your idea is way classier.

  13. I use a rubber stamp for my return address so I won’t have to use labels 🙂

  14. perfect timing for this post! I’m pondering about recycled packaging, thanks:)

  15. I’ve been reusing padded envelopes as it’s quite silly to throw them away when it’s a perfectly good, just used, envelope. I find myself with a TON of scrapbooking and other clever paper scraps. I stick those on the front to cover up any scuffs or old addresses. I then print the new addresses on white paper and paste over the decorative paper. I not only get to use old envelopes, but also use up some scrap paper. I think my packages look good and I’ve always received positive feed back.

    I’m all for used.

  16. What a great stamp! Good for you!

  17. Thanks for finding our little site – we’re always happy to see what kind of neat projects people are using our stamps on!

    Keep On Stampin’


  18. Wow! what a great idea! I think I will get one too. I’ve always wanted to reuse my enveloppes. Thanks for the great tip!

  19. Thanks for the link to the free image–I think that having a stamp made is a great idea. I also re-use whenever I can–considering a lot if my items are made from upcycled and repurposed materials, it certainly fits. I also have been making my own gift boxes out of cereal and granola bar boxes. There’s a lot you can do!

  20. I reuse boxes, newspaper and paper chocolate wrappers. Whenever I give out seedlings to friends, instead of seedling bags, I use newspaper “baglets”. They can plant it as is. The newspaper serves as fertilizer. Chocolate wrappers (clean ones without the smears of craving) I use as stationery. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Great article. Good tips. Thanks!

  21. thanks for the mention on your blog!
    Roughstock’s design is awesome, and since we do custom orders, we have even had a few folks order that stamp from us!
    With mention of the word “recycle” in message to seller during checkout, if you want to order Roughstock’s design, I will also include a free recycle stamp with your order~!

  22. wow, what a great thing. i want such a stamp, too. what did you pay for it?

  23. Thank you for the info! I have been looking for a stamp for my packages (custom or not). I will check out Etsy sellers.

    1. Glad I could help! I hope you find the perfect stamp, and good for you for using recycled packaging! 🙂

  24. I enjoy this site, it is worth me coming back

  25. I think rubber stamps are a fantastic idea to help recycle envelopes and boxes. Go for it! I also found a great place to get personalized rubber stamps. Thanks!

  26. thanks for helping folks reuse/recycle!

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