In this Essentially Natural Blog special edition, we want to talk about ways to recycle the packaging that comes with all your lovely parcels! This is an important issue to us, and we encourage you to recycle and repurpose where you can to minimise waste.
You’ve just received your EN parcel and it is thoughtfully wrapped and padded with paper, but you see that a couple of items have come in plastic packaging. What to do?
We are not a zero-waste shop but we do try our utmost to lessen our (and therefore your) footprint by using paper based padding in parcels, paper tape to seal boxes rather than plastic sticky tape, glass packaging rather than plastic for most liquid products, and recycling as much as we can in our office.
One of the greatest environmental problems today is single use plastics. Unfortunately some of our products do come in plastic packaging but luckily there are many ways to prevent waste and reuse the plastics! We’ve come up with a couple of recycling and repurposing ideas for all of our packaging that can benefit your life while decreasing your waste:
Paper: it is biodegradable, recyclable and I’ve even re-purposed it by using it to package another parcel I was sending. Shred it up and give it to the hamster, add it to your compost heap, use it as fire starter material, you name it. Recycling and reusing paper is a no-brainer, please don’t just make it an unnecessary addition it to the landfills!
+10 points for recycling or reusing the paper.
Plastic buckets: some of your DIY ingredients may come in plastic buckets; drop these off at a plastic recycling depot, or repurpose them! The buckets are actually pretty handy things, and my favourite way to reuse them is by poking holes in the base and using them to plant small plants in. Yes, they make great plant pots!
They are also useful in the kitchen to store dry ingredients in (take them to a zero-waste shop and use them as your refilling containers). Buckets can store bits and bobs, small children’s toys and sewing supplies. Tidy up the garage and store nails, screws and bolts in them. The list is really endless.
If you’re a DIY-er like me, make large amounts of cream, gel and laundry detergent and use the buckets as storage containers.
Turn a bucket into a bird feeder by drilling some holes through the sides and filling it with seed. Place on your garden stand and let the birds enjoy while making less of a mess. Or use it on the ground as a mess-less chicken feeder.
+8 points for repurposing the buckets.
Plastic containers and jars: much like the buckets, the plastic containers can also be used to store things in. If you don’t need a large bucket container, use these smaller containers instead.
Use a container as a pet feed scoop, grow seedlings in them, mix and store paint in them or use them to hold pens and pencils. You can decorate them by covering them with coloured paper or painting a design on.
+8 points for repurposing the containers.
Clear plastic package bags: these Good For The Ground Bags are used for items such as citric acid, ascorbic acid, baking soda, xanthan gum and various other ‘loose’ products that it would simply be impractical to package any other way. They are fully biodegradable and compostable!
+7 points for biodegradability!
Glass bottles and jars: glass is one substance that is so easily recycled and repurposed. I don’t think I’ve thrown away any of the glass bottles that I’ve received from EN over the past months. I wash them out and reuse them for the endless amount of things I make, and you can do the same!
Make up aromatherapy and massage oil blends, bottle and label them and you have some lovely gifts sorted.
Accessorize bottles by adding a different cap, such as a spray cap or a pump cap. This way you can keep the bottles for different purposes - making a room spray for instance. We sell loose spritzer (fits sizes 10ml to 100ml) and pump dispenser (fits sizes 50ml to 500ml) caps.
Make up travel or pet-friendly oil blends in your extra bottles. If you need to travel with your oils, pour them into smaller travel-size bottles for lighter luggage, and if you are using oils on animals, use your extra bottles to make up diluted oil blends.
If you are having guests over, a cute welcoming idea is to use your extra aromatherapy bottles as mini vases for little flowers in the guest bedroom. Place a few on the window sill and let the light shine through the glass. You don’t need a big flower arrangement, sometimes the beauty is in the finer details!
If you are more crafty you can use aromatherapy bottles to make light decorations with fairy lights. Take out the dropper inserts of your bottles and make one slice down through it, so it has a c-shape. This allows you to slip it over the wires of individual fairy lights. Then insert the light into the bottle and press the dropper insert snuggly back into place, and voila! You have some soft fairy light decorations.
An easy 9 points for repurposing any glassware.
The box: I tend to reuse my EN boxes to send other parcels or to store things in at home. My cats use them as playthings too. If you don’t use them, drop the boxes off at a recycle depot.
Stickers, labels and the courier sleeve: Peel off any plastic labels and put them into your eco brick, no excuses!
We would love to hear what creative ways you recycle your EN packaging! Let us know how you are part of the solution in the comments, and tally up your points.
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