This week we wanted to give you all an update on the subject of packaging! Bar and I have been pretty caught up in placing orders like crazy this past week, and packaging is something that we had to spend a good amount of time considering for a variety of reasons.
Most importantly, we want to make sure your Maslow parts arrive on your doorstep with the least amount of damage possible. Luckily, most of the parts are pretty difficult to damage, but the motors and arduino are things that need a lot of protection. Of course bubble wrap is the generally accepted safest means when it comes to transporting fragile items, but beyond the fun of popping all those little bubbles, who likes bubble wrap? It’s bulky and it’s definitely not good for the environment. We decided that to stay inline with our goals of promoting sustainability and environmental protection while simultaneously providing you all the opportunity to build amazing things, we wanted to find a bubble wrap alternative that will protect your Maslow parts just as well as bubble wrap but with a much lower environmental impact.
With Bar’s previous Kickstarter project, one of my favorite stories is the one in which Bar and Tom tried to “go green” by purchasing environmentally friendly “green” packing peanuts. When the peanuts arrived, it turned out they were just regular styrofoam packing peanuts which were the color green! Hey, this whole mass-shipment thing can be tricky the first time around! :)
Attempting to learn from that minor mistake, I took to the internet to find out - does a more environmentally-friendly alternative to bubble wrap even exist? After some brief research, we came to learn that of course it does, and in fact there are a number of companies out there attempting to provide a better alternative to all that bubble wrap. Lucky for us, almost all of these companies provide free samples of their packaging products, so we ordered away and have now decided on a corrugated bubble wrap made from upcycled and recycled cardboard. The corrugated bubble wrap is 100% recyclable and biodegradable, so you can dispose of it pretty much any way you please! Now that’s a win for everyone (except those of you who really love popping traditional bubble wrap. Sorry.)
After figuring out the bubble wrap situation, we moved on to tape. Since practically the beginning of this project, Bar has been a little too excited about the idea of having tape with the Maslow name on it, similar to the tape you receive on a box shipped from Amazon. Not wanting to let Bar and his love of the little things down, I searched the internet not only for environmentally-friendly tape, but for environmentally-friendly tape that you can get your logo printed on. Unfortunately, no one seems to want to make less than 60 450’ rolls of custom, environmentally-friendly tape, which is way more tape than we could ever use, so we decided to go with the basic, brown paper tape. The same company which provides the corrugated bubble wrap also sells Kraft paper tape that I learned is water-activated. This tape is made with FSC-certified paper, biodegradable laminate, and water-activated potato starch adhesive, making it just as recyclable or biodegradable as the bubble wrap! I have to admit I’m pretty excited to have a go at this water-activated tape dispenser for the first time.
The next packaging item on our list was small bags used to hold all the little hardware pieces that will come with the Maslow kit. Once again, the same company provides clear bags made from 100% recycled material, making them 100% recyclable for you! They are resealable, making them the perfect bag so that none of your smaller Maslow parts get lost in transit.
Finally, we needed some rubber bands to bundle the wires together. Once again, we had no idea if environmentally-friendly rubber bands even existed, and upon searching, the answer was yes and no. Rubber is a naturally occurring material, making rubber bands inherently pretty environmentally-friendly, as long as the rubber was harvested from sustainable sources. Alternatively, many companies make latex “rubber” bands, which does provide an alternative to harvesting all that rubber to make rubber bands. The downside with latex is that many people have latex allergies, so we decided to go with your traditional rubber band with one twist: we had to go with purple! If Bar can’t get his custom tape, at least I can get my kicks with the purple rubber bands :)
Thanks for reading this in depth explanation on packaging! Hopefully you found it at least a little entertaining. We wanted to let you all know not to expect an update next Wednesday, as we’re going to take a little time away to be with our families for the holidays. We hope you all have a joyful, stress-free couple of weeks and we’ll be in touch in 2017!
Happy Holidays from the Maslow Team! Hannah, Bar & Tom