You're done shopping. Check.
The gift is wrapped. Check.
Now you need to mail the package to that special someone. There are many choices when it comes to how you package and ship that gift. Why not show how much you really care and send an eco-friendly, greener package?
I don't have to tell you that reusing a box you already have is a great place to start. Next, you can protect your gift with things you already have around the home. Bunches of newspaper or magazine pages, shredded bills, plastic bags and any saved Styrofoam packing peanuts all work well. The key is to avoid buying new Styrofoam packing peanuts. Styrofoam is rarely recyclable and it takes centuries to break down. Save any peanuts you receive in a garbage bag and use them as needed or you can drop them off at any Parcel Post store where they will be reused.
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When I need to buy shipping supplies there are a number of options to help me send a greener package. I found a great line of eco-friendly shipping products called CareMail. The boxes are made out of 100% post consumer content, the paper that you and I recycle. The envelopes are padded with old newspapers and CareMail's packing peanuts are made of corn and potato starch so they biodegrade almost instantly in water. You can find the entire line of eco-friendly products at Staples or Amazon.com.
The United States Postal Service (USPS) has also been working to improve the way it operates by introducing fuel-efficient vehicles and adopting eco-friendly packaging. And almost anything you can do at a post office you can now do online, saving you time and money while creating fewer emissions. You can order stamps or free Priority Mail boxes for shipping your packages at www.usps.com. The items will be delivered right to your home and you can arrange a free pick-up when your packages are ready to be mailed. Priority Mail boxes come in a variety of sizes and include flat rate domestic shipping regardless of weight. So you'll know how much postage you need for your package without ever going to the post office. Put your Priority Mail package out with the regular mail or schedule a free pick-up at www.usps.com. The best part is the boxes are made of recycled content. They can be used, recycled and used again without any loss of quality. The material moves around a closed loop without the need to generate virgin material. This is what the Cradle to Cradle (C2C) logo means and the USPS has more than a dozen products ranging from boxes to tape that carry the certification.
I know it's the season for giving but it's also the season for giving back. One way to do that is to that it by sending your packages in a way that's better for our Earth. Now that's a thoughtful present.