Eco-Friendly Initiatives & an #EarthDayBONUS Challenge

In observance of Earth Day, this is a great time to remember that we all share the responsibility of protecting the environment so we can pass down a habitable home for the generations to come. In today’s blog post, you’ll learn about the efforts CM is taking to reduce our carbon footprint, you’ll get info on which of our products are recyclable AND you’ll get eco-friendly tips from some of our Advisors!

And that’s not all — you’ll want to join us on the Virtual Crop Facebook Group today to take on our #EarthDayBONUS challenge! It includes 3 sketches you can create using paper scraps of different sizes. Use your scraps to create the challenge(s) for the chance to win YOUR CHOICE of 1 paper pack + 1 sticker pack + 1 mat pack!

So without further ado, let’s get to it!

EARTH-FRIENDLY HOME OFFICE / FACTORY INITIATIVES

We Recycle Plastic.

In our factory, we have gaylords where we recycle plastics that come from sources such as pallet wrapping, scrap shrink-wrap, scrap air pillows and other packaging. Once full, we work with a local vendor who picks them up and inserts them into a recycling stream for plastics.

We Recycle Paper.

Similar to plastics, we have gaylords in the factory where we collect both plain and printed paper that comes from the manufacturing operations. Once full, the paper is picked up by a local vendor who combines it with other papers to be recycled.

We Recycle Scrap Poly.

Our bestselling Page Protectors are guaranteed to keep your photos and album pages safe for years to come, and we also try to help keep the planet safe for years to come by recycling the scrap poly that results from Page Protector production.

As the rolls of poly are sonic welded together, the edges are cut off and removed via a vacuum system. 

These strips of poly are further chopped down and then move through a large cyclone system above the baler, where they eventually settle into the baler and are baled up like a big bale of hay. 

These bales are then picked up by a local vendor who combines them with other plastics and inserts them into a recycling stream.

We Recycle Cardboard.

We generate a lot of cardboard, as it’s used in much of the raw material packaging, all of the purchased-items packaging and the scrap we generate from our manufacturing and distribution processes. We separate out the cardboard from the regular trash and have dumpsters provided specifically to collect the cardboard, which is then recycled. 

We Safely Dispose of Fluids from the Photo-Printing Process.

The Fuji wet lab we use to produce our high-quality 4×6 Photo Prints utilizes water and chemicals in the process of producing the photos. We collect the byproducts (fluid) from the photo-printing process and collect them in large drums outside our wet lab. We work with a local firm to pick up these drums and ensure the waste fluids are disposed of without harm to the environment. 

We Recycle Bottles and Cans.

As for our team members, we’re dedicated to preserving our planet as well! In our breakroom, we provide a large bin to recycle bottles and cans.

EARTH-FRIENDLY SUPPLIER INITIATIVES

And it’s not just CM and our team members who are implementing eco-friendly initiatives — the supplier who prints our paper packs, mat packs, stickers, Fast2Fab™ refill pages and packaging inserts uses a practice called LED-UV printing, which produces no waste!

LED-UV printing brings extraordinary benefits to the offset printing process, most fundamentally through the 1:1 replacement of solvent-based ink and coating chemistry with that of photo-sensitive inks and coatings, capable of transforming instantaneously from a liquid to a solid through a photo-polymerization process upon exposure to UV light, without generating hazardous Volatile Organic Compound emissions (VOCs).

Printers like ours who are recognized for the adoption of LED-UV curing technology are some of the most forward-thinking companies in their respective regions!

EARTH-FRIENDLY SCRAPBOOKING AND ADVISOR TIPS

As scrapbookers, it’s no secret that we go through a lot of materials. An afternoon of scrapbooking can have our craft tables looking like the start of a landfill (but a very beautiful one!). Read on to learn which CM products are recyclable so you can practice eco-friendly scrapbooking!

Paper Products

All of CM’s paper products are recyclable — everything from our designer paper packs and cardstock to our mat packs and refill pages are 100% safe to throw in a recycling bin!

Tape Runners

Tape Runners are made of plastic, and therefore, recyclable. However, the liner of the Tape Runner (the clear strip that is left over once you use up all the adhesive) is not. So, in order to properly recycle your Tape Runner, you should remove the clear liner from the Tape Runner Refill. This is the best way to make sure that the Tape Runner that you are disposing of is in fact 100% safe to recycle. Note: Some recycling companies do not accept certain types of small plastics. We recommend checking with your local recycler to see if they will accept and recycle the Tape Runner.

ADVISOR TIP:

“I unwind the plastic tape when I’m finished and use any leftover bits of the Tape Runner Refill — usually I can do two photos. Then I take the empty cartridge apart and save the ‘wheel’ part with the little piece that fits in the end and give them to a teacher friend — kids at school are very creative. They make great wheels and playtime construction equipment.” Advisor Pat Leaver

Air Pillows

As you know, CM packs boxes with air pillow packaging to make sure your products stay protected and remain in pristine condition all the way from our warehouse to your home. However, once you have opened your container, the air pillows have finished their job — that is, unless you’re creative and eco-friendly!

These air pillows are recyclable so you can dispose of them that way if you want. But, many have found that if you slit one end of the pillow open, they work great as mini garbage bags (which we all know scrapbookers could always use more of). They can also be repurposed into shopping bags, protection wrapping for ornaments/seasonal items or you can even use them to ship your own items!

ADVISOR TIPS:

“I have been using the packing pillows to pick up after my dog for years. They are just right. If you don’t have a dog, I’m sure a rescue facility would use them.” – Advisor Reta Thompson

“I take mine into our IT department and they reuse them for shipping computers to our other offices.” – Advisor Emily Toler

“I tape them to the table edges during crops for little waste bags. They are handy!” – Advisor Debbie Nelson

“Here’s an idea if you have kitties — use the bags for kitty litter. I trim across the top sealed part and leave it partly attached so it’s handy for tying off the top of the bag.” – Advisor Pamela Tucker

Cardboard Boxes and Album Cover Inserts

You can also recycle any of our shipping containers, from the cardboard box your products arrive in to any cardboard box that you get from a specific product, such as a trimmer, Tape Runner, BMC or punch. But you can also find some other uses for them!

Some people head to their local resident Facebook page and find there are always people looking for boxes for moving, selling items online or just packing stuff away. You could also donate these boxes to a local troop support group so they can use them to send care packages overseas. Find more ideas for how to put your shipping containers to use by reading this article!

ADVISOR TIPS:

“I just donated a huge stack [of boxes] for college kids moving out of their dorms.” – Advisor Joni Swinford

“I save my chip boards from the pages, album covers and page protectors to give to my sister for the art students at her school. I have donated many of my tools as well, as I update to new ones. They totally appreciate them. Many of the teachers find ways to use things in their everyday classrooms; it’s not just the art teachers!” – Advisor Sheryl Casey

“Cardboard from the boxes can be spread around the garden as a weed suppressant and topped with mulch.”  Advisor Joanne Williams

“I’ve used mine to haul perennials… because they’re strong and sturdy.” – Advisor Mary Swanson

Donate Scrapbook Supplies

Want to be environmentally conscious and charitable at the same time? Why not donate your unused scrapbook supplies? If you have old or unused papers, punches and tools, there are plenty of places that would be thrilled to take them. Any of the following places would likely be willing to take any supplies or materials off your hands:

  • Schools
  • Churches
  • Community Centers
  • Foster Home Organizations
  • Battered Women Shelters
  • After-School Programs
  • Children’s Hospital

Donating scrapbook supplies ensures that someone is getting use out of something that you no longer need. Why not bring a smile to someone’s face while you help to save the planet?

TAKE ON THE #EARTHDAYBONUS CHALLENGE

Now that you’re hopefully feeling inspired to join us in reducing our carbon footprint, we hope you’ll also want to join us on the Virtual Crop Facebook Group to take on our #EarthDayBONUS challenge that’s happening NOW!

It includes 3 sketches you can create using paper scraps of different sizes. Use your scraps to create the challenge(s) by Wednesday, April 28, at 11:59pm CT (AU: 29 April at 2:59pm AET) for the chance to win YOUR CHOICE of 1 paper pack + 1 sticker pack + 1 mat pack!

There are so many different ways that we can all practice being more eco-friendly — for Earth Day and every day! No matter how you do it, any effort that you make to be more environmentally conscious is helpful in the long run. Remember, we’re all in this together. What other ideas do you have to reduce, reuse and recycle your scrapbooking supplies? Let us know in the comments below!

10 thoughts on “Eco-Friendly Initiatives & an #EarthDayBONUS Challenge

  1. This was such a welcome article. I love hearing all that CM is doing and appreciate the suggestions on how customers can help out!

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  2. great job with the recycling!!! but have looked everywhere on blog for instructions on the earthday bonus challenge. help!!!

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  3. This was an awesome behind the scene trip on the recycles. Thank you for posting this. I have been recycling my tape runners, since day one, my consultant, at the time would take them, and then present us with a new one as an incentive. Great idea! Now with the new refillable ones, I still recycle them, after I take the empty tape off of them. The roller itself is recyclable as well!

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  4. That is what I love about CM you not only supply us with great quality products but you care about the planet too.

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  5. I love that creative memories is recycling and doing what they can! One suggestion- give us a way to return the ziploc bags that our paper comes in! Mine still look brand new after I finish with the paper, but have to find people to donate them to. Seems like they could be used again. Are they recyclable? I could at least take them to a recycle place.

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