During my tour of our warehouse I mentioned that we made the switch recently to anti-static biodegradable packing peanuts. Part of the reason was to protect our products better. Part of the reason was to create a uniform packing process (previously we had just been re-using all sorts of packing material from our vendors). And of course part of the reason was because it is good for the environment and – in conjunction with using 100% recycled paper – we can tell our customers that we’re “going green” with their shipments.
George was able to strike a killer deal with our new distributor, so we stocked up:
Which left us with the question: what do we do with the packing material that our vendors send to us? We decided to temporarily fill garbage bags with it and then figure it out later. However, after a few months it really piled up. We’re receiving orders from our vendors on a daily basis, many times 2-3 in a day.
I had read an article somewhere about freecycle, which is basically craigslist for free shit, so we decided to give it a shot. In their own words:
It’s a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer (them’s good people). Membership is free.
Pretty good idea huh? They even have companies like Waste Management as their sponsors. I signed up for the Albany, NY group and posted that we had packing material and pallets available to anyone willing to come pick them up. I didn’t expect too much.
Instead I received about 8 inquires in the first 24-48 hours! Within a week we had about 20 pallets and a whole bunch of packing materials cleared out of our warehouse. We even made friends with a local company that makes signs and are currently working with them to improve our current outdoor signage (which currently consists of a few laminated sheets of paper). Anyway, freecycle is an awesome site. Highly recommended to anyone moving and about to take a trip to the dump. Snap a few digital pictures of the things you’ll be getting rid of and do a quick post. After all, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure 🙂
Merry Christmas Everyone!