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Alternative Packaging for eBaying

While selling a lot of gadgets on eBay, I try to re-use packaging wherever possible. That means keeping and re-using boxes, padded envelopes, and if I don’t have any bulk padding, then scrunching up used newspapers to fill out empty space.

However, following Lush’s lead, I thought I’d try out Popcorn for cost effectiveness. It should be:

– Cheap
– Environmentally friendly (compostable)
– Easily storable (unpopped)

So – I popped some corn to pad out a laptop (sealed in one layer of bubble wrap to prevent any entering the case). I also kept track of various metrics:

To pad out a laptop in a 8L box:
– 350g of corn, worth around 40p
– 18 mins spent popping
– 0.18Ah of electricity; about 2p’s worth
– A rather warm house from the popcorn maker (nice, on a cold winters’ day)
– A strong aroma of popcorn throughout the house (not so nice – I opened a window, losing all the lovely heat generated above)

Compare this to using scrunched newspaper (I didn’t have any spare, so had to buy a couple of Suns at 20p each)
– 8 mins spent ‘scrunching’
– 40p in newspaper
– No electricity, but tired hands

In short, while corn is a quaint approach, and not bad, it’s more ‘elegant’ than is necessary. However, I think it would be useful for smaller boxes where there’s a moderate amount of empty space, and newspaper isn’t appropriate.
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