Envelope costs can add up quickly if you use a fresh one for each swap ($5 for a package of several envelopes). I didn’t start reusing them until I saw that other swappers on http://www.rehashclothes.com posted that fact on their profiles- such a neat idea that I adopted. It was a valuable lesson. Since we are trying to do our part in helping the planet by swapping, it totally makes sense to reuse these envelopes. It completes the recycling cycle. I mark over the names and addresses with a black sharpie, place a white sheet over it, and place pieces of clear packing tape over any tears in the envelopes/packages. I’ve been doing the same with flat rate envelopes/boxes, if there is minimal writing on it.
If I have a collection of paper grocery bags (great for ripening fruits), I start using them for sending books out (also belong to several book swap sites- one ended). I wrap using printed sign down and go over several times with clear packing tape.
Christmas time is a good time to collect things to recycle- gift bags, tissue papers, and gift boxes. If you break down the boxes, it saves on space.
Did you know that “shipping lots” are popular items on http://www.rehashclothes.com? I listed some lots on the site and got a couple offers. I also listed bubble wrap lots and tissue paper lots (also popular). When you start saving all this stuff, it really collects!
I’m an avid recycler and anytime I can reuse or recycle, I do it. I recycle and reuse at home (the recycling truck comes to the block, every other weekend). I recycle at work- ordered the recycle bins and empty into the recycle dumpsters. If I can’t use it, I donate it (clothing/books/magazines/household items/etc.) to either thrifts shops like Savers (donates to several worthy organizations like Safe Nest- domestic violence) or to local libraries. I also shop at thrift shops like Savers, Buffalo Exchange, and Salvation Army- you can find some neat things; too bad there is some stigma with buying “second hand.” My parents took me to thrift shops and sometimes we went to people’s yard sales, so it’s not a big deal. Sometimes I give things to family members, too. If I think that someone else can use it (some value), I hold it for a yard sale- some people love bargains. Just love to do my part in the whole recycling effort.