Welcome to the first edition of the feature, “it’s in the bag…”. Each time we meet, I will feature a “themed” group of sustainable/green products that I have come across while going about daily life. I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments, especially if you have ever had personal experience with a mentioned product or can think of another brand available. I hope that you enjoy this feature as much as I have writing it! On to this post!…
While setting up my office space for my new business (Reclaimed Threads) I found myself in a unique position to make some sustainable decisions around what products to stock this office space with. If you are familiar with my business, you know that it revolves around the idea of using reclaimed materials to make something new, bags in the case of Reclaimed Threads. So I wanted to stay in tune with this as I moved forward. I found some AMAZING green office products while stocking my space!
Binders and file folders– I went to Target and found binders and file folders that are by Greenroom Eco. They are SO cute and I love that they contain 60% post consumer recycled fibers and they print with soy-based, non-toxic in. How great is that? The company also makes notebooks, journals and social stationary. Go to Target to check it out or go straight to the source and check out their site: http://www.greenroomeco.com/ Finding these products by accident is what made me think “DUH! If there are products like this out there, then this is the kind of stuff that I’m going to to buy for my business!” and the result being an almost completely stocked office (i still need to grab some stuff at the store) and this post.
Printer Paper- I originally wanted to get paper from Rawganique because their paper products are 25% hemp fiber and 75% post-consumer recycled paper. They don’t use any virgin trees in making their paper. http://www.rawganique.com/HempPaperProducts.htm#printer Their shipping was $13.50 and I couldn’t afford that on top of the price of the paper, which wasn’t too bad but I wasn’t buying enough to justify the shipping cost. So instead I opted to go to OfficeMax, they have packages of ‘OfficeMax’ 100% post consumer recycled multipurpose paper. I really like it, it has a smooth texture and is just as “bright white” as other brands I have used. The price wasn’t even SO much more than the non-recycled choices, maybe $2. http://www.officemax.com/office-supplies/paper/recycled-paper/product-ARS24027 I will look into going back to Rawganique in the future though because their products look great.
Business Cards: For my business cards I have been using up my Avery clean-edge business cards sheets that go through my laser printer because I had them from a long time ago. Now that I have used them up, I have been looking for sustainable business cards. I was SO excited to find this website where they have tons of options for business cards made from 100% post consumer content. Their prices start at around $10 for 100 cards.I can’t decide which one I want! In fact I may pick a few and have everyone help me! That will come at a later date though! Here is the site though for you too look at in the meantime: http://www.123print.com/Recycled-Business-Cards The picture posted here is of their website and you can see the pages and pages of options. Awesome.
Shipping Supplies: Since my business is based on mailing my product to customers I wanted to make sure that I am only using Sustainable Products while doing this.
Mailing Labels: I need to print my own labels in order to maintain a high level of professionalism and to make sure that the writing is bold and clear. That way there is one less obstacle in your package getting to you as soon as possible! I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to find any labels made from recycled fiber but Avery came through again! With lots of options. the ones I chose were the Avery® White EcoFriendly Address Labels 48160, 1″ x 2-5/8″ (product number 48160) for the return address and Avery® White EcoFriendly Shipping Labels 48163, 2″ x 4″ (product number 48163) for the mailing address. Both can be found at www.avery.com. Not only are the labels made from recycled fibers but the packaging is as well, the adhesive is water-based and recyclable and everything is processed chlorine free. I need to run to the store and get mine and I can’t wait! I’m getting mine at OfficeMax but I’m sure you can get them anywhere there are Avery products.
Packaging: I am really excited to share this product with you. Since my bags can be folded nicely, I can use very little shipping material. I have found the best padded envelopes by Caremail. They are Plastic-free Cushioned Rugged Mailers and they are made from 90% recycled material, 50% of which is post consumer. I think the envelopes have a nice texture and color. They come in a wide variety of sizes and Caremail has a wide range of other shipping products. Caremail offers boxes, kraft paper and protective packaging items like peanuts that break down easy and ”eco-Packaging” which is recycled paper used to cushion items in boxes. I’m obviously obsessed with OfficeMax today so here is where you can find Caremail products there: http://www.officemax.com/catalog/search.jsp?freeText=caremail&search.x=0&search.y=0.
I do not have a lot of office supply needs but I was able to fulfill what I did need in a sustainable way. There is such a variety of “green” options out there that it wasn’t too hard to find what I was looking for and everything was pretty close to the same price as the “traditional” options.
I’d be really interested in hearing if anyone knows of green options for pens and pencils or if there are ways that you go green in your office that you think is pretty awesome. Thanks, see you next time!
Remember to check out Reclaimed Thread’s shop as well for Eco-Chic Bags! www.reclaimedthreads.etsy.com