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Once Isn’t Enough – Let’s Start a Packing Materials Movement

There’s been something bugging me for some time, and I have waffled like a politician at election time.  The hot-button issue?  Re-using packing materials.

I get packages all the time.  Most of the time, I break them down and put them in the recycle bin. I’m no expert, but doesn’t recycling boxes involve shredding and mushing them to paper pulp before turning them into into new boxes (or other paper products?)  That seems like a lot of energy.  And water.

I do a lot of shipping.  Shipping that requires double boxing to protect reclaimed glass art.  Does it really make sense that I reuse glass to make art but I do not reuse boxes for shipping?

The answer seems obvious until you consider that many customers (and even retailers) are put off by artists who send their works in used boxes.  I’ve heard it called, “tacky.” (Insert nasally voice.)

I finally realized a shipping label could solve my dilemma.   I thought a quick Google search would turn up something suitable, but no.  Nothing.  Is it possible I’m the first person that deals in recycled goods to have thought of this?

Finally, I made my own.  I used Avery 2 x 4″ sticker stock and their downloadable template maker.  It may go through some changes, but here’s what they look like:

Once is Not Enough

I still think new packaging materials are appropriate for some shipments, like jewelry.  But I will try to incorporate reused packing materials when shipping my reclaimed glass art pieces.  But either way, I think I will add this sticker to all packages to encourage others to reuse before they recycle.

What do you think?  Would you be okay with receiving a reclaimed glass art sculpture in packing materials that served a prior purpose?  Would the sticker help?

If you do some shipping and would like to have this sticker, please feel free to copy and paste it into your template.  I’ll also add a PDF file that is set up for Avery 2 x 4″ shipping labels at the bottom of this post for easy downloading.  Who knows, maybe we’ll start a Packing Materials Movement together!

ReUse Packaging Stickers

This entry was posted in: Studio Talk


Mira Woodworth is an award-winning artist whose works span from large installations in public spaces to small collectible works. Her innovative designs have been published in Art Jewelry Magazine, “Sculpture and Design With Recycled Glass” by Cindy Coldiron and “Cast” by Jen Townsend and Rene Zettle-Sterling. Mira’s installations can be found in public spaces such as the Milford Regional Medical Center, the Pechanga Casino and Resort, The Ritz Carlton, and the China World Trade Center. She also writes - a website about helping artists sell their art online.

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