Reduce , Reuse, Recycle. Why your gift is in an old tattered box.

Recycled packaging

Hey it’s me again.

Today I thought I’d talk about some of my practices here at Northern Smuggler. 
as you’ve guessed all my work is ocean inspired. And I’m very content when submerged 35metres down. Being a visitor to such a magical place is a real privilege and I like to do 
my part to help preserve it and all its magic.

In today’s society it’s hard to go along without any knowledge of things like global warming, sustainability and the the carbon foot print we all leave behind. But it’s also unavoidable unless you live completely off grid. So we all do our little bit and I wanted to share with you how I try and do mine at Northern Smuggler 

The silver I use in my jewellery is recycled silver. The silver comes from recycled giftware, electronic and medical industries. Does it mean it’s a little more expensive? A tad, yes but it’s good feeling to know I’ve repurposed something and think of the stories it could tell.

Now the resin work is a little trickier. Firstly glitter any glitter I use is eco friendly. It’s water soluble not in 30/40 years but straight away so there is no micro plastic being added to the ocean. After all plastic is plastic And that’s what resin is and that’s the medium so that bit can’t be helped but I am hopefully creating pieces of art that will be treasured forever and not sent to the landfill. However I still try so here’s where I’m at. When mixing colours I have reusable silicone pots. So nothing is wasted I have little standby keyring moulds ready and waiting (because you can never have to many keyrings). I reuse large yoghurt pots for mixing colours too. They can be used over and over which is really handy. But Here’s where I collect my pirate mum brownie points…. Ice Lolly’s (or Lolly Ice if you’re one of those people who say it weird?) my freezer is full of Ice Lolly’s. Those little sticks get used for everything, stirring, as palette knifes, to level stuff out, all sorts. The mini crew know the more I have the better. So the conversation normally goes…..

“Mum can I have some sweets?”


“Mum can I have an ice lolly? I’ll put the stick in the sink after!”

 “Yes go on then”

We’re all happy, morale is restored! 

My packaging also gets the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle treatment. Your product inside will still get wrapped with the upmost care I promise. But if your box is looking a bit tattered, like it’s been through the post twice, or there’s previous tape still on it, or you can even see another company name scrawled across the box. Its because it’s been repurposed. If you have packing peanuts, I didn’t buy them I just reused them from a package I was sent. If Your bubble wrap edges look a little dog eared, it’s because something else was wrapped in it previously. Okay it’s not always pretty but you didn’t by packaging you bought the gift inside and I promise it’s still been made and wrapped with love. And maybe just maybe you have something you need to send and you can Reduce, Reuse and Recycle it yourself and then we’ve done a little bit together. 

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5 thoughts on “Reduce , Reuse, Recycle. Why your gift is in an old tattered box.

  1. A very thought provoking blog. I noticed that you use recycled silver I have often wondered exactly what it was now I know. Like you I try to do as much as I can reusing packaging, bubble wrap etc. but there is always more and you have made me wonder about the yarn I use and how it is packaged. I mainly use yarn made from natural fibres in my work ie.cotton and wool, I shall now look for recycled yarns and also how companies send to me.
    Thank you.

    1. Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed reading it. Yes the recycled silver costs a little more because of the process to extract and refine it again. But just think of the places it’s been and the things that it’s seen.

  2. Love this blog, it expresses exactly where I’m coming from with my recycled ‘tatty’ packaging but you’ve put it far better than I ever could!

    I find that supermarkets in particular are a rich supply of packaging and boxes (actually not tatty at all) and they are only to glad to be relieved of it.

    To improve the look of packaging with a lot of printing branding on the outside, I will often turn cardboard boxes inside out and re-tape the joins. To get some personal branding on my packaging, I print small sticky labels with my logo on to go on the outside near the address.

    Many thanks for a great article
    Sally x

    1. Sally that’s such a fabulous idea I never even thought of turning boxes inside out!

  3. Great blog – I always reuse packaging, I cover old jiffy bags with brown paper too so it looks ‘new’!

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