Monday, 25 March 2013

What to do with all those padded envelopes

The other day I met some ladies who are interested in joining the Rubbish Diet Challenge - and as usual it wasn't long before conversation turns to "What can you do about.....? type questions.

padded envelopes
As people do more and more shopping on line so they begin to accumulate more and more padded envelopes. James Thompson, pointed me to this great Friends of the Earth guidance by Melanie Kramers: Melanie's guide to recycling padded envelopes:
  1. Reuse It's obvious, but saving envelopes and reusing them when you have to send a package can save a packet. You may never need to buy them again. Friends of the Earth envelope reuse labels are a great way to clearly write the new address.
  2. Sell or give away Bundled together by the dozen, used padded envelopes are a popular bulk buy on Ebay. Offer them on your local Freecycle site, where they'll be snapped up fast, or give to family and friends who do lots of eBay selling.
  3. Storage Make the most of that protective bubble wrap and use them to store fragile items such as Christmas tree decorations.
  4. Insulation My colleague Rachel recommends cutting open envelopes and taping them round outdoor water pipes as cosy insulation to stop them freezing in winter. You can stick a whole one over the outdoor tap.
  5. Knee pads Try wrapping a few envelopes in fabric or cardboard to make a comfortable cushion for your knees when gardening.
  6. Homemade pots Cut down to size and filled with compost, Jiffy bags make a handy pot for growing seedlings before transplanting.
  7. Kids' crafts Save them for any kids you know to use as an unusual spongy art canvas.
  8. Drawer dividers Old envelopes make useful pockets for keeping things tidy within a drawer, from loose screws to buttons and elastic bands.
  9. Cat cushions Apparently, some cats love snoozing on soft padded envelopes that don't tear when kneaded with sharp claws. My cat seems to prefer the ironing pile for naps, but see what your pet makes of it.
  10. Packaging Even when really used and battered, there's still life in your old padded envelopes. Use them as protection for whatever you want to send, then pop the whole thing inside a normal envelope.

Melanie Kramers, Communications & Media team If anyone has any other uses for them or indeed has any questions about different materials - give us a shout thanks Ali ________________________________________

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