Next time you need to post a parcel, stop and think before rushing out and buying a year's supply of bubble wrap and paper. Do you have anything that you could re-use for a frugal and green packaging solution?
Think of typical packaging materials. Boxes, brown paper, bubble wrap, bags? You can get free alternatives for all of these to save some serious money. The only thing you need to buy is parcel tape!
Boxes – NEVER BUY BOXES! You can pick up free boxes absolutely everywhere! Supermarkets are a top choice, local food halls, even restaurants will give you boxes if you approach them during the quiet period. Top tip: Fast food outlets like McDonald's have a huge variety of different sized boxes. If they don't have a size you want, cut them to fit and secure with parcel tape.
Brown paper – Use paper that you would otherwise throw away. Keep paper bags around the same thickness as brown paper, from shops like Primark, your local greengrocer and gift shops. Another option is used printer paper. If you no longer need those directions to York or the joke you printed to show your friend, tape a few sheets together and wrap the parcel with these.
Bubble wrap – Bubble wrap can be very expensive. It can be as much as £4 a roll in the Post Office (although my village Post Office sells the same roll for £1.95, so it pays to shop around!). Why not use free alternatives? Plastic supermarket bags are terrible for the environment, so why not get one much use out of them before sending them to landfill. Scrunch them into a ball and package up your item. Newspaper balls also work well, but make sure that the ink cannot damage your items.
Clothes packaging – Most people tend to package clothes in those thick plastic bags from the post office, but you can easily make your own from a thick bin liner with a few criss-crosses of parcel tape to prevent rips. Alternatively, wrap it in a bag to waterproof it then send it in a box.
If you often post parcels, make sure you keep any packaging that comes your way. Jiffy bags are incredibly handy for sending small objects (just stick your own label over the original address), even envelopes can be re-used several times!
What other environmentally-friendly packaging solutions do you use? I see it as a bit of a challenge every time I wrap something!!