For many small businesses, finding ways to be eco-friendly and more sustainable has definitely become more of a priority over recent years. Not only do we want to make sure we’re being considerate to our environment, but we realise it has become even more important to our customers too, who are becoming increasingly conscious of the environmental footprint of the products they purchase. However, it can be hard for small businesses to find solutions that can be financially viable when working on such a small scale, so in honour of Global Recycling Day, I thought I’d share some tips on some of the steps I’ve taken so far in trying to make Crofts Crafts more eco-friendly!
As a card maker who traditionally used cello bags to package my cards before posting out, I was super happy when I came across the Naked Cards campaign, which encourages online card sellers to “ditch the plastic cellos in favour of either ‘naked’ or paper packaging”. It may sound daunting at first as you worry about your products getting damaged in the post, but think about it – how often does that happen when you send a card yourself just in an envelope in the post? So it should really be fine packaged up without a cello on the way to its new home?! Naked Cards has a great list of benefits and FAQ’s you can check out for more info. The fabulous Emily at Skull and Cross Buns has also created a stamp that you can use on the back of your cards or packaging to help explain why your card has arrived naked!
I try to use materials that are either recycled or recyclable, both in my cards and in my packaging. Hands up, it isn’t always possible to make a completely eco card but I try to do what I can! I use recycled and recyclable card stock for the cards, and many of my embellishments are either made from card that can also be recycled, or some could even be taken off and reused for other crafting projects! My packaging is an area I’ve really worked hard on to try and make more environmentally friendly and I’ve found an array of small packaging companies that offer some great products for
- Eco-Craft for their selection of recycled and recyclable envelope mailers, labels, paper packing tape, natural and biodegradable twine and tissue paper that is 100% recycled, acid free, recyclable, biodegradable & compostable….phew!
- Kite, Tiny Box Company and Lil Packaging also all offer eco-friendly
packaging alternatives worth checking out.
- Washi tape is also a great addition to packaging – it’s made out of natural fibres like hemp and bamboo, so is a highly renewable resource, biodegradable and can be recycled – and let’s face it, it looks really pretty!
I also try to reduce waste wherever I can. My box of card scraps is ever growing, I encourage people to keep hold of their cards as some of them are ideal for framing and I’ve recently started making confetti bags with stamped out card that isn’t needed (and I found some great glassine bags for packaging these!). There is still more I hope to do and it’s an ongoing learning curve. Naked cards at craft fairs and for stockists where items get continually handled are still one I need to figure out – just having display cards out and using plastic free card clasps, are all options to consider.
It can take a while to figure things out, but I think it’s just about trying to do what you can and finding the best products and materials that work for you and your business – every little bit really does make a difference. I’d love to hear any other tips and ideas you might have so please do comment below!