Sunday, November 15, 2009

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

I have a part time job at Pottery Barn. One of my favorite things to do there is work in the stock room. It's quiet in the stock room, and fairly orderly -- nothing like my day to day life as a stay-at-home-mom. In the stock room, I'm in control. I get to decide what box gets opened and where the contents get put. I get to line everything up all perfectly straight. Oooooo...I just love perfectly straight.

One of the things I don't love about working in the stock room is the realization that big retail = big trash. Seriously, the amount of trash that is generated is scary. The cardboard gets recycled, so that’s OK. But everything else...all the bubble wrap, the foam blankets, the styrofoam, all the packing material goes straight into the landfills. And I’m talking MOUNTAINS of packing material. It’s bad…really bad.

I’m a firm believer that everything ought to be used at least twice, so I’m always trying to find something to do with all this packaging. I’m forever bringing home huge sheets of styrofoam and bags of bubble wrap. It makes The Man more than just a little crazy, but the kids usually love it. Last week I came home with two big bags of bubble wrap and foam blanketing. Now I’m trying to figure out what to do with it all. Ladybug was more than happy to help me out. 

After using the bags as lounge chairs for a while, we emptied them and made a nice big moutain to play in. It was great for jumping on, hiding in, crawling through and kicking all over the place.

Of course, we popped plenty of it -- with our fingers, our feet...our bottoms (hee, hee, hee.)  We also practiced our scissor skills by cutting some of it up.  Cutting the foamy blankets was so much fun, Ladybug decided to see if it was just as much fun to cut up her skirt.  Fun for her.  For me, not so much.  Oh and learn. 

So we've lounged on it, played in it, popped it and cut it, but now what?  I just don't think it's trash yet.  I'm keeping some of it for packaging up my Etsy products, but I'd have to be making hundreds of sales a week to go through this stuff.  And while that would be nice, I don't think it's going to happen any time soon.  So I'm looking for ideas.  What would you do with all this stuff???


T@PoppyPlacePdx said...

Oh I am so with you on the keeping everything straight and orderly, I used to work the stockroom way back when as a teenager and loved it. All the other girls wanted to be out front but I loved the QUIET too!!!!

You know, because I do most of my shopping on line, over the course of a year the packing materials pile up and I do not make enough sales on line to utilize a faction of it :( so I just advertise it free on craigslist, you would be amazed at how many people want free packing materials. Hope that helps, hope all goes well, regards, T. :)

Unknown said...

Ladybug is just precious, and the most EPIC pile of bubble wrap I've ever seen!

Alyssa S. said...

Good for you for bringing it home to reuse!!! I would have been occupied for days popping bubble wrap :) I never realized how much of a draw bubble wrap was until I saw that there is an iPod Touch/iPhone app that is virtual bubble wrap you can pop...I swear!!!!

Hilary said...

I'd turn the spare room into a padded cell, for those moments when I completely lose it!

PS thanks for adding me to your blog roll :O)

Rainy Day Gardener said...

That is some serious bubble wrap! I know you'll be able to put it to good use :)

SwngDncr said...

I think the suggestion of craigslist or something similar might not be a bad idea. There's got to be someone who needs some packing material in your area.