Now we all know the reducing, reusing, and recycling items is great for the environment but it can also be great for your wallet. As a home business owner, I have been working on ways to be more sustainable and use all the resources I have available to me. I did write a post a while ago about some of my less waste home business goals for this coming year. I have been doing good but now I want to do more and spread the awareness about what you all can do at your own home business.
There may be some Affiliate Links in this post, which means get a small percentage of each sale. This doesn’t affect your price at all.
Here are some of my ideas:
First of all, reuse all your shipping materials that you get when ordering online or get all the store. There is a lot of packaging and padding in store bought items such as furniture or even shoes. I have a closet full of stuff but I have been collecting it for years. At this point, the only thing I buy is Shipping tape, which I will be switching soon. I am looking to get paper tape once I am out of the shipping tape I have now. Another important tip is you can ship in ANY box (with the barcodes scribbled over) through the USPS. Yes I use snack boxes, food boxes, and old envelopes that have been used, those are the best for small items.
List of Item to Reuse:
Furniture wrapping (yes I have a ton of bubble wrap my couch was in, 6 years ago)
Big plastic bubbles
Now with all those thing you can see how you can save some money, downside is you have to have a place to storage this stuff but it worth it. As a small business owner we all know the price of boxes and bubble wrap is crazy. Honestly NO ONE has noticed I have shipped their stuff in reused boxes and bubble wrap. I have been selling on Ebay since 2006 and Analina Rag Dolls since 2013. This year I am going to focus more on get most of my shipping materials to be recyclable. There is only one thing I can not avoid that is the plastic bag my dolls are in. I have a fear that they will get damaged without it such as getting wet. Since they are one of kind items, I can not replace any of them if they get damaged. Any ideas about that, I was thinking biodegradable bags but again if they get wet it will melt on the doll. But I am thinking of leaving a note in the box about how to recycle all the shipping material including reusing the trash bag for trash.
I was also using plastic shopping bags for padding in my shipping envelopes, for two reasons. First to reduce my waste, I am sure they are trashed once the customer gets it. I can only hope all the stress about reusing single use shopping bag will help lessen the likely hood of it going straight to the trash. Second, they are light and don’t add harder any weight to the package, but projects things like happy meals toys. But with that said, I have not gotten a single use shopping bag in 2 months now. I have made several reusable shopping bag to cut that waste out of my life. I love these bags and take them right now my purse so I never forget them. Link to buy the pattern for yourself is here.
Next make your own sales tags, I am new at this one. I would have never thought of making my own with a hole puncher. I got a hole puncher for Christmas and a stamp to make my own. I have a pretty good collection of tags all from piece of light cardboard that I usually would have recycled. For those piece of thicker Cardboard I just punch a hole in it and use it like that. I also use twine to tie them, so that can be composted or thrown out to the birds (once cut in smaller pieces). I have a couple stamps to make the plain cardboard prettier. Once I am out of those I will be uses old holiday cards and other light weight boxes to make more tags. Here is a link to the tag maker I have, I really want a bigger one too but I haven’t seen one yet.
Lastly make your own business cards with a stamp. I am in the market to get a stamp with my logo and business info on it, so I can make my own cards from scrap paper or cardboard. I have seen this on Pinterest in several places, some small scraps and some bigger. One pin I saw had all kinds of scrap paper, it was cool but I am not sure it will work for all businesses. But cutting out cereal boxes or old cards like the sales tag, such work good. This will not only save paper but ink too. I was printing my own business cards at home to save but I think a stamp will save even more once I buy one. They can be a little pricey but I don’t want a self inking one so I can use it forever. I love these ones but I need decide what I want to say on my business card because it can not be changed. I do have several printed one left but this will be my next big expense.
Here is my Pinterest board to help keep track of new ideas. Not just for business but for going to work in an office or even at home use.