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Topic: green book shipping

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Subject: green book shipping
Date Posted: 1/6/2009 12:44 PM ET
Member Since: 12/24/2007
Posts: 7
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I used to ship all books in envelopes, but after awhile the cost is so expensive.  So I started recycling the paperbags from the grocery store.........they make a great protective liner to ship books out and I've yet to get a complaint.  Plus they just look retro, and the excitement of not knowing what's wrapped behind the brown bag.

Date Posted: 1/6/2009 1:45 PM ET
Member Since: 10/15/2007
Posts: 1,037
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I also do that when I get them.

Subject: Book Wrappings
Date Posted: 1/6/2009 9:08 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2006
Posts: 214
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Someone sent me some books wrapped in fabric bags. I like the bags and use them for various things :-)

I tend to wrap the books first in plastic wrap of plastic bags, then re-use envelopes froom books others have sent me. I noticed one time that the person who sent the book had re-used it, and then I re-used it again - a fourth lifetime for that envelope!

Date Posted: 1/7/2009 4:22 AM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2009
Posts: 1,924
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 But everything I keep reading says that wrapping in paper of any kind is not good.... maybe go over to the newbie area questions and look into the details as to why?

I badly need to find a better option than the poly mailers I picked up from freecycle...

 

Date Posted: 1/7/2009 10:10 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,357
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I re-use the envelopes I'm sent.  I also got lucky and snagged a couple boxes from work a while ago.  Between the two I've not had to worry about buying or finding other shipping methods.

For paperbacks you can take the large envelopes (8.5x11--some junk mail, some official mail comes in them to me), tuck the book in & fold the envelope over. That covers any text on the front of the envelope.

When my grandmother died I received a cabinet and put all my shipping supplies in it, sorted by size.  It's been SO nice--I thought I had very few envelopes and it turned out I just had them all over the basement!

Date Posted: 1/7/2009 11:56 AM ET
Member Since: 6/18/2007
Posts: 765
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I reuse the envelopes that I recieve from other people as well.  I get many that have been reused already, sometimes several times! 

Jari, I like your idea of using cut up plastic bags from the supermarket to wrap the books in.  And what are these fabric bags?  They sound interesting.

I haven't tried wrapping in paper bags yet.  I do keep my stockpile of books alphabetized in paper bags under my bed though.

I have no trouble receiving books and sending books in the PaperBackSwap wrapper.  I tape it quite thoroughly and when I don't forget I do wrap the book in plastic wrap also.

Subject: Glad I'm in this Thread!
Date Posted: 1/7/2009 12:17 PM ET
Member Since: 12/16/2008
Posts: 17
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...because I checked out your interesting mention of a special deal for certain states...alas, I didn't qualify! But I did find a Maeve Binchy that I can't wait to sink my teeth into!!! I think the moral is--posting honestly on these boards is a good way to get noticed! As of now, I only have romances up--and I don't read them! But I have thousands of books around this house that I need to put up...I hope I can get some moved out. By the way---I received an order from Amazon recently whose envelope was on its SIXTH recycle--It was gaining weight! I may seriously try to get some of the tape and labels off!!!! Thanks, Linda, Paula
Date Posted: 1/7/2009 12:20 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,357
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Heh. I've done that on some envelopes--stripped off a couple layers of tape!

They do eventually die.  Sometimes they can be used one last time in place of a plastic bag, though, inside another envelope.

Date Posted: 1/7/2009 7:21 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2006
Posts: 125
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I travel a lot, so recieve the hotel newspapers in the plastic bags. I keep those bags, which are the perfect width for most paperbacks. Vinyl bags from UPS can be turned inside out and reused. They're sturdy and waterproof.

Date Posted: 1/7/2009 10:29 PM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2007
Posts: 7,123
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I reuse the plastic bags that clothing comes in from catalogs (especially the clear plastic bags some places use), and also the bag my newspaper comes in, and the plastic bag that Staples packs its padded mailers into, from when I buy those. Whatever I have on hand.

And I went through a phase where I was out of padded envelopes (both new and used) and didn't have time to go buy any, so I wrapped three or four trade-sized paperbacks in the outside covers of magazines, taped over with clear tape. I was able to fold them so that there wasn't much writing on the outside, just the cover photo, and then I Sharpied over the writing that remained, because I think there's a postal regulation against random printed type on packages. They all seem to have gotten to their destinations undamaged!

Date Posted: 1/8/2009 12:41 PM ET
Member Since: 9/11/2008
Posts: 203
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We use brown paper at work to keep things covered and sterile and there are always leftover scraps.  I keep them in one of my desk drawers for when I need to wrap.  Usually the scraps are big enough to cover a paperback but when they aren't, I just a tape a couple together.  I add a plastic layer by cutting off the bottoms of bags I get from stores to fit the book then save the upper part to make plarn out of (I mentioned this in the green crafting thread.  You can use it to crochet or knit new bags and other things).

 

ETA:  This got me thinking, we get a lot of fedex shipments at work.  I looked around on the USPS regulations forum and it appears to be perfectly acceptable to reseal and send fedex or ups envelopes.



Last Edited on: 1/8/09 1:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: Tape
Date Posted: 1/8/2009 10:33 PM ET
Member Since: 12/16/2008
Posts: 17
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I've been wondering, with all these possibilities, how UNGREEN is tape???? Curious. Paula : )
Subject: Tape
Date Posted: 1/8/2009 10:34 PM ET
Member Since: 12/16/2008
Posts: 17
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I've been wondering, with all these possibilities, how UNGREEN is tape???? Curious. Paula : )
Date Posted: 1/9/2009 9:21 AM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 1,008
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If wrapping in basic brown paper is green, then the company that mails me "movies" has been green for years. Nice to know they are so cutting edge.

Date Posted: 1/9/2009 10:24 AM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2008
Posts: 9,335
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imo reusing anything is better than buying something new.  it doesn't matter if it's paper of plastic as long as you are extending the life of it before it become garbage.  imo there is NEVER a reason to buy anything for the purpose of shipping.  the last time I bought a card or envelope of any kind was 30 years ago...when I happened to love and collect cards & stationary.  on the rare occasions that I run out of bubble mailers that someone else has sent me, I reuse manilla envelopes that are also being recycled...if I ever run out of those, then I will reuse brown paper, which I seem to have a lot of...or anything else lying around.  I also print all of my mailer info on paper which has been used on one side...which I scour the junk mail for before I recycle it.  I never print the wrap-around mailer which I think is a waste of paper.

tape is my biggest issue, too.  I've got packing tape, and I cut it in half length wise, so that it lasts twice as long.  I also 'harvest' any usable tape off packages...which is rare, but it does happen, tape on tape or on plastic can be removed and reused.

personally, I don't fuss over the cost of a bubble mailer compared to paper mailer...I'd rather give the book more protection, since they are already available to reuse.  I wish people would stop buying them, of course, but as long as I rec them, I'll reuse them.  And I agree to reuse the other types as well, UPS FEDEX DHL...reuse everything!

another thing...as much as I adore pbs...if the book is available at the library...then I just borrow it...especially for those that will just end up reposted.  it seems like a lot of fiction readers pour through books only for a single read...and while that does keep pbs alive (and I want pbs alive and well!)...it doesn't seem green - excessive carbon emissions from shipping.  when there are a lot of copies in the pbs system...i donate the book to the library, to give others a chance to read it locally.

Date Posted: 1/9/2009 11:46 AM ET
Member Since: 9/11/2008
Posts: 203
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Julie - I always question whether it is more green to rent something locally than to have it shipped.  For me getting a book from the library means getting in my car and making a special trip since it isn't really near any of the places I usally ran errands.  However, the USPS trucks are already travelling and adding 1 book to the load doesn't really increase the carbon emissions of the trip.  That is especially true for PBS where most packages are sent media mail and so filling up space on a truck that would otherwise have gone out partially empty.

Subject: wrapping
Date Posted: 1/11/2009 3:22 PM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2006
Posts: 5
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Animal feed bags, the plastic/tarp kind, make great wrappers. Lightweight and waterproof.

For those on a campus: I pick up the large, heavy paper posters/flyers advertizing events (after the event date, of course) and use them to wrap books.

Date Posted: 1/11/2009 5:42 PM ET
Member Since: 7/2/2006
Posts: 87
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I use old calendars and plastic bags to wrap.

Subject: green book shipping
Date Posted: 1/14/2009 9:02 PM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2008
Posts: 2
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I am fortunate to work somewhere where we get alot of bubblewrap.Everyone knows to save it for me!(If you don't have this same fortune Freecycle is a good option!)

I wrap my books in a layer or two of the bubblewrap and then in a layer or two of newspapers(my husband works for a newspaper,but free papers abound!).I have inquired at the post office and they think using the newspapers is great!Everything gets a layer of layer of mailing tape.But even if a bit of the paper rips,the bubblewrap underneath is intact and keeps the book safe.

I find getting books in newspapers interesting as it is extra reading material(!) and I get little snippets of life in other parts of the country!

Date Posted: 1/23/2009 11:35 AM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2008
Posts: 1,520
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I wrap my books in the plastic sacks the newspaper comes in and try, whenever I can,  to re-use the envelopes I get.  (Although, it is sometimes frustrating to spend 15-20 minutes trying to get the envelope opened carefully so you can re-use it when you are dying to see what book you just got!!!! LOL)  I just found a great souce of plastic...we do a lot of shipping at our office and ,since DHL no longer ships domestically, I realized we had probably 50 DHL plastic envelopes!!!!!  By cutting them up, I can probably get wrapping for at least two books out of each one!!!!

Subject: Opening envelopes
Date Posted: 1/23/2009 12:12 PM ET
Member Since: 12/16/2008
Posts: 17
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Julie! Just slit it across the top with scissors or a knife! Then, when you re-use, just tape closed the opening. No more time wasted! Good luck, Paula
Subject: PLEASE, no brown kraft paper
Date Posted: 1/23/2009 5:24 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2006
Posts: 22
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The rough, brown paper from paper bags or kraft paper is NOT acceptable for wrapping books.  It is very easily abraded and nearly always rips.  I've received many books over the years and brown paper is the worst by far.  For one book, plain white printer paper (TWO sheets) works very well - I've never had a ripped package.  Also good is any mailing envelope whether it's re-used or not.  The difference is that the paper is smooth, rather than rough.  The rough paper seems to tear open at the slightest abrasion.  I've also used most of the suggestions listed above, although I nearly always wrap the books first in either plastic grocery bags or some other reused plastic.   Just please, no rough, brown paper.  I just now received two books (which had been wrapped in Saran Wrap first) which were wrapped in brown paper and the package was entirely torn open, right through the Saran to the books.

 

Date Posted: 2/2/2009 11:38 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 415
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When mailing several books at a time I have used a cereal box. It not heavy like a normal cardboard box. I then wrap it with a brown bag.

This week I  reused a envelope that had been used for the 3rd time. I hadn't been reusing envelopes   until about 3 months ago. I thought this is really saving by reusing. So now I been saving all kinds of evelopes that come in the mail. :)   It feels good to recycle!!  and to save!!

i need to check out the other posts here to see what other ways to recycle. Our rural area has no recycling at all.



Last Edited on: 2/2/09 11:55 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 2/3/2009 2:51 PM ET
Member Since: 11/16/2007
Posts: 745
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Reuse. Repurpose. Recycle.

Try to reuse something for its original use. If not, try to repurpose it and use it for something different. If not, try to recycle it. That's my motto.

 

Date Posted: 2/4/2009 6:22 PM ET
Member Since: 12/22/2008
Posts: 326
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I reuse as many envelopes as I can. Slit open at the top and just tape a new label over the old one. FedEx, UPS, USPS Priority Mail, Crate and Barrel and others send items out in those heavy plastic envelopes which you can turn inside out and reuse. I recently used one from a Crate and Barrel order to wrap four books individially (cut in half and split open).

I wrapped some books in used wrapping paper after Christmas. I have also used magazine pages for smaller books and magazine covers for larger books.

If you work in an office I would get the word out that you want envelopes and people (hopefully) will save them for you. Even the cardboard ones from priority mail and such could be gently pulled apart, turned inside out, refolded and taped together with relatively little effort.

I mailed a book once in just bubble wrap too. That one took rather a lot of tape though!

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