Wine Bottle Gift Box, You Can Buy One, or You Can Make One

Wine Bottle Gift Box, You Can Buy One, or You Can Make One

When you give someone a gift, the wrapping is part of the gift just as much as the present inside it. Normally one should never judge a book by its cover but sometimes one should and this is one of those times. Wine does not start to taste better when the box it is presented in is nicer and more expensive, of course not, but it does give it that little bit extra.

You can buy a gift box for wine bottles in all sorts of places, ranging from a wine shop you normally visit or a vineyard store. There are multiple colors you can choose from and even when it comes to designs and materials you will not run out of options.

Design or make your own

Are you a creative person maybe? If you have experience with art work and know about designing then why not create your own wine bottle gift box? When the thought of putting a box together has you buying a designer one then buy one that is already made for you? A tip would be to go to your local wine store and buy a few of the wine boxes that are not decorated yet.

You have a wide choice of materials when it comes to gift boxes for one bottle. There are the ones made of wood but also plastic, fabric, cardboard and even metal. Some decorating tips would be to use a wooden one and paint it, maybe with some rustic scenes or a portrait. An other option could be to go 3 dimensional and glue things like flowers or other items on the box.

Even if your on a budget and you can only by a cardboard wine bottle gift box, you can still paint it to make it more personal and even glue things on it.

If your not only good with design but also with your hands then design the whole gift box from scratch, choose you own material and create something really personal around the bottle of wine you are giving as a present. There are metal containers for wine bottles that you could also use, or maybe create your own from sheet metal.

Maybe you have these wild ideas for a lovely gift wrapping but are not creative enough to make it happen on your own, then you could ask a friend who is a bit experienced to help you out by being the hands to your mind.

Wine should be enjoyed and indeed the wrapping will not make it taste better then it already is. But the joy of unwrapping it, knowing that the gift giver has gone to all that effort just to create something special will make drinking it very special. And just think about all the fun you will have beforehand when you are in the middle of creating the wine bottle gift box.

When you need some ideas or some tips do a search online to find some arts and crafts sites who can show you some new ways of creating the perfect wine bottle wrapping.

Jean Bolton loves to give gifts and wine is her favorite. She shows that personalized wine gift bottles or wine country gift baskets make a perfect gift.

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Implementing An Office Recycling System

Implementing An Office Recycling System

So you want to work so that you’re easier on the environment? Well, that’s a good start. Often, the easiest part is recycling and cutting down on the amount you contribute to the waste stream and the landfills. First of all, you’ll need to set up your system. In most areas, you are able to recycle paper, cans and some plastics. If you’re not sure, check with a local office recycling company (such as Green Deeds Ltd) as to what services they provide regarding recycling, and what they haven’t. Do not forget to inform your office cleaner about that as well. Next, you’ll need to get the equipment for a recycling system. If your local recycling company is nice, they’ll provide you with recycling bins as a part of their waste-and-recycling collection system. If they aren’t, you’ll have to provide your own. The most eco-friendly way is cardboard boxes (which are themselves recyclable) or else using plastic bins. You may be able to pick up some cheap second hand bins if you don’t want to buy new ones. 

Now, I can’t tell you exactly where to put your bins – or how many you should have, as I can’t see your canteen or office. But I’ll tell you one system that works for many offices, and you can adapt this to suit yourself. 

* GOOS (Good On One Side) paper. This is stored flat in a cardboard box and is used for any pen and paper work that isn’t going public – rough drafts, shopping lists, telephone messages.

* Other paper and cardboard. If you have a log fire, you can keep some of these as fire starters, plus other newspapers, etc. for spreading out under paintings, lining guinea pig cages, scrunching up and stuffing inside wet Wellingtons to dry them, etc. What doesn’t get burned or can go into the guinea pig cage will be recycled.

* The Bag of Bags. If you have plastic shopping bags, you’ll find multiple uses for them, or else they’ll need to be recycled. Have a Bag of Bags hanging up where you can shove clean plastic bags until use or recycling. A proper Bag of Bags is a long tube of cloth with a drawstring closure at each end. Or you can just use one of the more presentable shopping bags.

* Compost bowl. A retired coloured aluminium serving bowl from the 1960s for any other organic waste generated in the kitchen (eggshells, orange peel, nutshells, coffee grounds, tea bags, plum stones). Lives on the top of the canteen bench to remind me to empty it frequently, as well as being handy. 

* Other recycling. This is a recycling company provided bin for old bottles, jars and tins. If you have to sort things, then sort them as you toss them into the bins. Name the bins.

Green Deeds Ltd provides specialised office recycling services to offices in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire & Cambridgeshire from their Biggleswade site & Liverpool, Merseyside, West Lancashire & Cheshire from their Liverpool site. To find out more please visit http://www.recycleofficewaste.co.uk

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Making Cold Process Soap

Making Cold Process Soap

What is soap? Soap is a substance that’s used for cleansing and it is made when a chemical reaction occurs between lye (Sodium Hydroxide) and fat.

Soap got its name when the Romans at ‘Mount Sapo’, a popular location for animal sacrifices, discovered it. Rain mixed the animal fat residue (tallow from cattle) with the burned wood on clay and a chemical reaction occurred. Women living on the banks of the Tiber river discovered that clothes which they washed using this substance were much cleaner and cleaned with much less effort.

When making soap, there are some substances that are necessary for this process. Let’s take a look at them.

Fats – fats are oils from animals or vegetables. Animal fats are fats from beef tallow (of course this is less animal friendly and less commonly used these days). Vegetable oils that are most commonly used for soap making are olive, coconut, cocoa, and palm oils.

Lye – (Sodium Hydroxide) or another common name, caustic soda. Lye needs to be dissolved in water in order to actively react with.

Water – The best water to use for soap making is distilled water. Hard water contains minerals and salts that may interfere with this chemical reaction. It is always recommended to follow a given recipe and measure the water and the lye. Not having enough water may result in hard, dry soap, and too much water may yield too soft of a soap.

Essential oils and herbs – essential oils add fragrance to soap. In some cases skin-sensitive people use soap with no fragrance. When herbs are added to soap they add color, change the texture and contribute their qualities for relaxing and healing skin. Some herbs work as exfoliates.

Tools – Stainless steel pot (never aluminum!), 2 wooden spoons, wide mouthed glass jar (at least 2 quarts), thermometer that reads between 80’F – 110’F, shoe box or cardboard box about this size, plastic wrap, safety glasses, and rubber gloves. Avoid using these tools for eating; dedicate them only for soap making. Also clean them separately from your kitchen utensils.

First step – Making the lye solution

This step requires the most precaution. Wearing safety glasses and rubber gloves is a must. To prevent inhaling the lye fumes, it is best to do this outdoors. Start by adding lye gently to distilled cold water while stirring carefully. You shoul not use hot water to begin with, since lye heats up on it’s own in reaction to contact with the cold water and it’s undesirable for this solution to boil. Also, do not do the opposite of adding water to lye as this may cause explosion. If you see a thin layer of white crust at the bottom of the jar, keep stirring gently until all the lye is dissolved in the water.

Second Step – Melting the Fats
Melt the oils (fats) in a stainless steel pot and only when melted, begin adding olive oil while stirring well.

Third Step – Mixing the Lye Solution with the Fats
Using the safety glasses and rubber gloves, measure the temperature of lye solution and that of the oils. If the oils’ temperature is high, you can immerse this pot into a sink of cool water to slightly cool the temperature. Some soap makers suggest that the temperature of both substances should be between 100’F – 110’F. We recommend measuring between 95’F – 98’F. When both substances reach the same temperature, slowly pour the lye solution into the oils. Patiently stir until the substances are fully mixed (This may take some time. Patience is critical at this stage).

Fourth Step – Adding Fragrances, colorants and Herbs
This is when fragrances, colorants or herbs are added to the mixture. Simply follow the amounts in you recipe. There’s no exact amount of time for how long to stir, it can vary from five to forty minutes. Stir until you see ‘trace’. Trace means when you pick up the spoon and are able to draw on the surface by dripping from the spoon. A successful trace should enable you to see the drops for few seconds before they disappear back into the mixture. The mixture should be as thick as pudding.

Fifth Step – Saponification
Pour the mixture into a plastic wrap lined box or a shoebox. Cover the box with its lid and then cover the lid with a blanket. It is very important to not disturb the mixture until saponification is done. At this stage the substance is turns from a mixture into solid soap. It has to sit for 18-48 hours while it releases heat.

Sixth Step – Remodeling the Soap
After saponification, remove the lid and the blanket, and set it aside for another 12 hours. The fresh and fragrant soap is now ready to be removed from the mold. If you see a thin layer of oil and a white crust that looks like chalk, it indicates that you succeeded in making a good batch. If you see a layer, which is grossly separated, wrap it and throw it away as this batch has failed. Using rubber gloves, cut the soap into bars, or shape it like clay. You can also mold it with cookie cutters or stamp it. Set the soap aside again to cure for two to three weeks. The soap is ready to use then.

Iris Fuchs – SoapMakingStore.com, specializing in the highest quality soap making kits, soap making supplies, soap making training books, DVD’s and informational material.
Visit http://www.soapmakingstore.com

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Bottle Boxes

Bottle Boxes

Bottle boxes need to give extra protection than a normal cardboard box due to the wine bottles being made of glass. Most wine is sold in glass bottles and are sealed using corks. An increasing number of wine producers have been using other closures such as screwcaps or plastic corks. In addition to being less expensive, alternative closures prevent cork taint, although they have been blamed for other problems such as excessive reduction.

Some wines are packaged in heavy plastic bags within cardboard boxes, and are called box wines. These wines are normally accessed via a tap on the side of the box. Box wine can maintain an acceptable degree of freshness for up to a month after opening, while bottled wine will more rapidly oxidize, and is considerably degraded within a few days.

The environmental considerations of wine packaging reveal benefits and drawbacks of both bottled and boxed wines. Glass used to make bottles has a good environmental reputation, as it is completely recyclable, whereas plastics used in box wines are considered to be much less environmentally friendly. However, wine bottle manufacturers have been cited for clean air act violations. A New York Times editorial puported that box wine, being lighter in package weight, has a reduced carbon footprint from its distribution. Boxed wine plastics, even though possibly recyclable, can be more labor-intensive and expensive to process than glass bottles. And while a wine box is recyclable, its plastic wine bladder most likely is not.

As late as the mid-1600s, French vintners did not use cork stoppers, using oil-soaked rags stuffed into the necks of bottles instead.

Natural cork closures are used for about 80% of the 20 billion bottles of wine produced each year. After a decline in use as wine-stoppers due to the increase in the use of cheaper synthetic alternatives, cork wine-stoppers are making a comeback and currently represent approximately 60% of wine-stoppers today.

Cork is a suitable material for use as a bottle stopper. Because of the cellular structure of cork, it is easily compressed upon insertion into a bottle and will expand to form a tight seal. The interior diameter of the neck of glass bottles tends to be inconsistent, making this ability to seal through variable contraction and expansion an important attribute. However, unavoidable natural flaws, channels, and cracks in the bark make the cork itself highly inconsistent. In a 2005 closure study 45% of corks showed gas leakage during pressure testing both from the sides of the cork as well as through the cork body itself.

Since the mid 1990s, a number of wine brands have switched to alternative wine closures such as synthetic plastic stoppers, screwcaps, or other closures. Screwcaps are often seen as a cheap alternative destined only for the low grade wines. These alternatives to real cork have their own properties, some advantageous and others controversial. For example, while screwtops are generally considered to offer a trichloroanisole (TCA) free seal they reduce the oxygen transfer rate to almost zero, which can lead to reductive qualities in the wine. TCA is one of the primary causes of cork taint in wine. However, in recent years major cork producers have developed methods that remove most TCA from natural wine corks. Natural cork stoppers are important because they allow oxygen to interact with wine for proper aging, and are best suited for bold red wines purchased with the intent to age.

The study “Analysis of the life cycle of Cork, Aluminum and Plastic Wine Closures,” commissioned by cork manufacturer Amorim and made public in December 2008, concluded that cork is the most environmentally responsible stopper, in a one-year life cycle analysis comparison with the plastic stoppers and aluminum screwcaps.

Kevin Thomas works for Davpack, a uk packaging supplier. Their friendly staff are waiting to help you choose the right packaging for your business.

Text and content © Copyright of Davenport Paper Co. Ltd 2009

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WONG: One man’s garbage is another man’s fortune. In Bangladesh, used plastic bottles that are found in garbage dumps and litter drains and roadside dishes are providing much-needed income to impoverished people. They’re also creating a new export commodity for the country. Here’s a closer look. STORY: Over the past five years, the recycling of the Poly Ethylene Terephthalate or PET bottles has steadily grown into an industry in Bangladesh. The extremely poor and street children scavenge the used packaging for food products, beverages and edible oils sell them to factory owners. The factories sort the bottles and containers into different colors before crushing them into pieces to make plastic flakes, which are in high demand from many Southeast Asian countries. Most of the work is done manually. [Parveen Begum, Recycling Worker]: “We have been working in this factory for five long years, we separate colored and white bottles from the dump. Four members of our family are working here and earning our livelihood out of this and living fine by the grace of God.” The flakes are made into fibers and are a base material for clothing, pillows, carpets and polyester sheets. [Sarwar Wadud Chowdhury, Flake Exporters Assoc.]: “Poor people collect these non-traditional items from garbage and the roadside and supply them to our factories. In our factory we sort and recycle them to make PET flakes. These PET flakes are exported to China, Korea, Vietnam and Thailand. Our importers make

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Making Dried Flowers

Making Dried Flowers

Dried flowers, plants and herbs are another way to enjoy cut flowers. Whether those plants are from your garden, store bought or picked wild they are a longlasting keepsake of nature. Did you know that drying flowers is a craft you can do yourself?


Introduction to the Craft


Fortunately there are many flowers that dry well; so experiment with flowers that you like. Do not harvest growing plants until they are completely dry of any rain or dew. Pick them at the base of the stem for long lengths in arranging. Place cut flowers in a warm, dry area away from direct light. The simplist method of drying is air drying where the plants are hung from a wire to dry naturally.


Drying time varies considerably depending on air temperature and humidity. Once the drying is complete you should store them in a place that won’t require you to move them around frequently as they are delicate. Never store them in plastic containers or plastic bags as they will sweat and then rot. Keep them in a cardboard box with ventilation holes. If the flowers were preserved using silica gel, apply a thin layer of the gel to the bottom of the box.


Methods of Drying


For bulk drying large quantities air drying is the best method. Strip off unwanted leaves. Bunch the flowers together using an elastic band. Don’t bunch too many together or allow the flower heads to closely touch each other. Some very large heads are best dried individually.


If you tangle leaves and blooms together in the bunch they will stay in that position when dried. Hang them suspended from secure hooks in a place with air circulation. Drying time is anywhere from a few days to several weeks. You can tell they are ready when they feel quite crisp. Easy enough!


A very different process to get dried flowers involves using silica gel. It results in the flowers retaining spectacular color and appearing almost fresh. The silica gel (resembling rock salt) must be ground to fine granules. It can be reused countless times. This method works for flower heads. Once the flower head is totally dry you can begin. Egg cartons or small plastic flower pots are ideal as the holding area for the gel and flower head.


Tins can be used for a large quantity of flowers. The egg carton or pot must be filled 1/3 full of gel. Set in the flower head and start with the outer petals and work in. Gently spoon the gel between each petal. Do this until the head is fully covered.


Cover and check on them in 2 days. Remove flower heads when dry to avoid overdrying them. Large-headed flowers sometimes take 5 days. Be extremely gentle in removing the flower. Excess gel can be removed with a fine watercolor brush. To revive the flower’s color spray a bit of wax polish on it.


A suitable method for drying large flowers like sunflowers and peonies is to dry them flat. Lay them on a wire garden sieve and rest it on raised objects to create a space. Again, drying time can be 2 to 5 days. Another method for drying in emergencies uses an oven or microwave.


The trick is to set the temperature in a conventional oven at its very lowest setting. Drying will take 30 to 60 minutes. A microwave oven should be set very low. Check the plants very frequently. Try once each couple of minutes.


Glycerin is the perfect substance for preserving plants such as mimosa and gypsophila. Boil about 2 pints of water and add a large tablespoon of salt to dissolve in the water. After the water cools a little pour into a jar. Stand this jar in a bucket as support for the plant. Stand the stems in the hot water for 24 hours. Make a mixture of 1 part glycerin to 2 parts hot water.


Replace the old water with this new mixture and stand the plant in it up to 10 days. The leaves will look darker and feel slightly sticky when ready. During recent years dried floral arrangements have become popular and much loved. You can arrange your flowers in a container of your choosing. You could press flowers with a flower press instead of using previous drying methods explained in order to display your flowers flat.

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Cardboard Boxes, Packaging Boxes, Cardboard Packaging From Creative Packaging

Cardboard Boxes, Packaging Boxes, Cardboard Packaging From Creative Packaging

Creative Packaging is a leading producer of cardboard boxes & cardboard packaging to commercial, consumer and industrial industries. Creative Packaging Pty Ltd is an independent manufacturer and converter of corrugated cardboard, cardboard boxes and packaging and they are located in Brisbane’s Southside, servicing all parts of South-East Qld and Northern NSW as well as the Sunshine Coast and west to Toowoomba. To meet your corrugated cardboard packaging and cardboard box requirements, their commitments to you are Consistent, reliable and on-time supply, Consistent quality, The best possible value, Responsiveness and fast turn-around of your order, 48hr delivery on all stocked items.

With extensive production capabilities, incorporating in-house structural and graphic design facilities, Creative Packaging offers quality finished cardboard and corrugated packaging products to a diverse range of customers in the commercial, industrial, and agricultural markets. Their range of cardboard and corrugated products is very diverse. They can simply supply corrugated board for sale to box converting plants or alternatively, supply a complete range of printed boxes with various finishes and styles, trays for hand erect and machine erecting, die cut cartons for counters and display stands for retailers. They work with you to understand what is important and resolve packaging issues arising from poor packaging design. Close relationships and understanding your operation enable their people to find the right corrugated packaging solution to suit your business. They ensure that your products are packaged correctly, are of the right quality and consistently delivered in the right quantity, at the right time, and at the right price for 100% satisfaction. They offer range of standard Cardboard Boxes and accessories that they keep in stock for those every day needs. They stock over 1000 cardboard boxes and Standard Cardboard Packaging accessories. Cardboard boxes are industrially prefabricated boxes, primarily used for packaging goods and materials. The advent of flaked cereals increased the use of cardboard boxes and they are often used to make a cutout replica of a person. Most types of cardboard are recyclable. Packaging of all types of products is extremely essential, as it prevents them from getting damaged and contaminated, when in transit or during storage. Since all products are not identical, the same holds true for their packaging as well. For example, glassware being more susceptible to breakage is packaged in padded and shock proof boxes to prevent any breakage. They provide a comprehensive range of packaging materials comprising of the Packaging Boxes. On global business place, they are the manufacturer of quality Clear Plastic Storage Boxes.

Creative Packaging is a leading producer of cardboard boxes & cardboard packaging to commercial, consumer and industrial industries. Creative Packaging Pty Ltd is an independent manufacturer and converter of corrugated cardboard, cardboard boxes and packaging and they are located in Brisbane’s Southside, servicing all parts of South-East Qld and Northern NSW as well as the Sunshine Coast and west to Toowoomba.

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Packaging Boxes Printing

Packaging Boxes Printing

Boxes are mainly used for packaging of goods and materials. In the dynamic environment, people are often busy in the process of moving houses, apartments and offices. They always plan their move in an organized manner through packaging in boxes. Packaging is the technology of surrounding or protecting products from external hazards for distribution, storage, sale, and use. Packaging also refers to the process of production, evaluation, and design of packages. Packaging serves a number of purposes including protection and description of the contents inside packaging, theft prevention, and product promotion.

If you are doing a business that involves in transportation of goods, you need shipping boxes. Boxes make the first impression for your business, so your boxes must reflect your professionalism. Customers always appreciate their shipments arriving in great condition with the packaging intact, so your mailing boxes should be strong enough to take the attention of your customers.

Printingblue is manufacturer and supplier of all types of boxes and packaging products. We provide excellent boxes to ensure that your move is safe and hassle free. We make boxes in over 1000 sizes and styles of Cartons that we stock in our warehouse. These cardboard boxes are ready for moving all of the time. We provide services for big box retail, box bag retail, box contact maker, Box Factory, box for wholesale packaging, box maker, box packaging, box packaging for cosmetic, cardboard packaging, Fancy Cardboard Boxes, gift box packaging, Manufacture Cardboard Box, box manufacturer, Paper Boxes, Retail Packaging Suppliers, Round Cardboard Boxes, small soap packaging box, Wholesale Stationary Boxes.

We have been successfully serving the packaging needs of vendors with custom packaging and supplies for ten years. We are giving the readily available and offer the latest and most successful trends for a unique and customized look. We work with you to create a packaging solution that works for your business. For most shipping and packaging purposes, our standard cardboard boxes can be used. For small sipping items, you can buy small boxes. For additional protection of your items, you can use our heavy duty boxes.

Our moving packing boxes can also be used in moving of your office, home, or apartment etc. We always struggle to meet and exceed your expectations; so we are always looking for new and innovative ways to offer an excellent level of service. Whether you need a single box or a bulk quantity of boxes, we can offer you all solutions. We pride ourselves on the quality and cost effective product and service we provide.
More information about Packaging Boxes Printing

Sara works for PrintingBlue (http://www.printingblue.com) that has been serving the printing needs of customers since 1995 in USA, Canada and UK.

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Packaging & Corporate Responsibility

Packaging & Corporate Responsibility

Packaging is cheap and disposable, right?

Not so today. Most companies, large and small, have an outlook on the environment and many public owned corporations are being encouraged by their Customers, shareholders, government and pressure groups to be ‘greener’ or more environmentally responsible.

Reducing packaging and waste is often high on the corporate agenda and plays a key part in a company’s environmental impact. To save on packaging, simply remember the 4 R’s below, reduce, reuse, recycle and replace, and this will help you to make progress on reducing your packaging impact and meeting your corporate responsibility needs:

Remember the Packaging 4 R’s

Reduce packaging – the obvious step. Initially, review the overall weight or bulk of packaging used. See if you can redesign a product to use less packaging e.g. increasing the case count from 6 to 12 would use half as many boxes. Although these would be bigger the packaging weight would not increase proportionately.
    Reuse packaging – whether it’s a cardboard box or a jiffy mailing bag, many packaging supplies can be reused. Not only is this environmentally preferable, it saves you money too. The key to a successful reuse policy is in educating goods-in staff to open packaging carefully. Designate a suitable packaging storage area and then recycling instead of using new packaging materials.

Recycle packaging – most people automatically think of recycling when it comes to corporate environmental policy and many companies have office paper recycling schemes. However, recycling packaging still uses energy. Reducing and reusing packaging are better for the environment, and should be prioritised.

Replace packaging – if essential, you may still be able to make improvements in your choice of packaging materials. Generally, plastic is more difficult to reuse and recycle, due to local facilities being weighted towards paper, cardboard and glass. Not all plastics are accepted at recycling centres either. Paper and cardboard packaging can also be easily made from recycled paper pulp, or sustainable sources. If you want to prevent your packaging material from ending up in land fill, review your options, especially regarding plastics. E.g. a single sheet, cardboard packaging insert for a box might replace a plastic vacuum formed tray.

Whilst Davpack is a major UK packaging materials supplier, we believe that companies and individuals should make informed choices about the packaging products they use. If we all remember the 4 R’s, the impact of packaging waste could be reduced.

For more information about packaging supplies or to buy packaging online, why not visit the Davpack online superstore, or call 01332 821 200 and speak to one of our experts…….we supply UK packaging materials fast and have a wide range in stock, so you can make the right choice.

Kevin Thomas works for Davpack, a uk packaging supplier. Their friendly staff are waiting to help you choose the right packaging for your business.

Text and content © Copyright of Davenport Paper Co. Ltd 2009

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Recycling Tips: Shop Smart

Recycling Tips: Shop Smart

We all want to do our bit for the environment. But where do we start? The weekly supermarket-shopping trip is a good place. Supermarket products account for a large percentage of the goods bought every week. That gives supermarkets enormous influence over the products they offer, and the raw materials and packaging they use. But it also makes us, the shoppers, very powerful. By choosing or refusing, we can let the supermarket bosses know that environmental concerns are important to us. And when their profit’s on the line, they listen.

Plan your weekly shopping trip with the environment in mind and you’ll be surprised how many smart choices you can make. Aim for maximum waste reduction, but you can also support and encourage re-use and recycling. Start by taking your own shopping bags to the supermarket. If you only fill 5 plastic carriers per weekly shopping trip, taking your own bags will save 250 bags a year!

If your local supermarket offers a carrier bag recycling service, use it to get rid of all the bags you’ve collected from other stores. Not only will you de-clutter your home, but you will also help save precious oil and energy.

Avoid heavily packaged items. You only pay for what you throw in the bin as soon as you get home:

1. Cosmetics are serious offenders here. Take moisturizer: a glass jar, in a dinky little cardboard box, shrink-wrapped in plastic. Then there’s usually a leaflet in there somewhere, telling us how to cream our faces. Would it surprise you to know that 16% of the item price is for the packaging?

2. Cornflakes or other breakfast cereals are equally over-packaged with their plastic or foil bags inside cardboard cartons. Some manufacturers now use sturdier bags and dispense with the cardboard. Try to support them – they are helping to save trees.

3. Fruits and vegetables can add to your packaging waste, too. Styrofoam trays, plastic bags, and shrink-wrap are all unnecessary when buying fruit. Invest in washable cotton bags, or make your own from old pillowcases. You’ll get your fruit and vegetables home in top condition.

One sure-fire way of saving money is to buy frequently used items in bulk. Most of us do this automatically, but pat yourself on the back when you reach for the family pack of toilet rolls, shower gels, rice, or pasta, because you are also saving on packaging!

Another good place to reduce packaging waste is the aisle containing detergents and laundry aids. Concentrated detergents or fabric softeners come in much smaller packages and last just as long, if not longer, than the standard product. Many manufacturers also offer refills for the existing containers. Both are good ways to reduce waste. Alternatively, ditch the detergents, softeners, and drier sheets altogether and use wash balls and drier balls instead. Each wash ball lasts for approximately 100 washes before it needs to be replaced. Drier balls, once bought, will last forever. Add up the yearly cost of laundry aids, and all the waste they create. Then try wash and drier balls.

We all know that glass is a useful material, because it can be recycled. Most of us have home recycling bins for glass and use them. But do you buy soft drinks or beer in cans or plastic bottles? Do you buy milk in cartons? Look out for packaging materials that can be re-used or recycled and your waste reduction program will run and run.

The weekly shopping trip has a large impact on the content of our rubbish bins. Smart shopping ensures that the weekly rubbish heap is as small as possible, by reducing waste before it reaches our homes. Making smart, environmentally aware, choices during the weekly shop also conveys the message that we care about waste reduction, pollution, and recycling. Smart shopping can help the environment and will benefit your wallet, too.

For Green living and organic products visit ExquisiteOrganics.com.

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