Learning about 2021’s most used shipping product

Shipping in 2021 is now not just a small part of the business.  eCommerce is now one of the major parts of the economy thanks to all the business shutdowns by the government.  It is simply a new way to attempt to stay employed and millions of people are starting companies trying to survive.  What this means is that they are now using packaging supplies more than ever.

This has made the world has become increasingly smaller and people are now able to get items from all across the world.  This has been marvelous for economic reasons and allowed many places in the world to thrive where their local economies would not allow it. It has also had some detrimental effects on different areas including the environment.  In particular, the use of cardboard has been increasing not only in the last few years but centuries.  It was created in the 1700s and slowly become the leading item for packaging supplies in the world. The United States per household throws away roughly 13,000 separate cardboard boxes every year.  Those numbers are based before the pandemic and now I would imagine that number is easily doubled and maybe even tripled.  That number will most likely increase due to the covid-19 pandemic.  Now since most Americans are forced to stay at home we are ordering more from online stores and being shipped our items in cardboard boxes. It has become possibly its own pandemic in a way due to the excess amount made and the inability to dispose of it properly. 

This all ties into a big issue of the creation of this product.  It is not surprising that a fact that will blow the average individual’s mind is that the amount of energy used to create cardboard.  If the amount of cardboard that was thrown away each eBay was instead used to heat houses.  Let’s put that into perspective.  Then 50 million average households would have the energy to heat their homes.  That amount is staggering and it shows that we spend more on creating cardboard than we most likely should.  In the United States alone we throw away 850 million tons of paper and cardboard.  That number is staggering to me and what that really means is that 1 billion trees were most likely cut down to create that amount of waste.  This means that the average American uses 7 trees all on their own just in paper waste. 

So let’s get into this, for me personally, that would mean I would cut down every tree on the property I own in one year.  This for myself would be unsustainable because it would take 40 years to get my trees to grow back to the same size and that number and time involved is hard to wrap my mind around.  The amount of waste we are creating and the amount of energy we are spending to create that waste is most likely not sustainable.  If we could instead recycle every amount of paper we might be able to slow the degradation of our tree population down. This at the very minimum should be what we all do.  So keep in my the need to recycle and try to do so with your paper products. The environment needs this and our planet needs this.  

Store your holiday lights well

This is the time of year that is super fun.  I love the holidays and spending time with family, but it is also the time for a ton of extra work and especially if you love Christmas lights.  Christmas makes me think of my mom pulling out the decorations from under the staircase just before Thanksgiving would come around. Her storage typically consisted of big, long cardboard boxes containing her 7-or-so synthetic Christmas trees. Some people go way overboard and in the end, we all get the benefit of it. 

Now there are a lot of storage containers that held all of these, but of course, there were other containers and boxes of ornaments, decorations, and wreaths—but Christmas, to me, felt like a house with long brown boxes strewn about. I even recall it being hard to walk around the house simply because everything was so crowded and out in the walkways. Nothing embodied the Christmas spirit better than getting ready for the season with decorations and the house undergoing a lot of change.  So that is all just part of the holiday for me and it was a really cool addition.  Now here are a few tips on getting the most out of the boxes you may have to store away winter holiday decorations.

The hard part of the storage game can be with all of the ornaments.  While the delicate orb ornaments a lot of people think of when it comes to Christmas are better off left in the boxes they came in (usually partitioned cardboard boxes), your random assortment of baby’s 1st and Hallmark ornaments can be piled into whatever size boxes you have available.  These are super special and you don’t want anything to go wrong with them.
A good tip is to try layering your ornaments with a piece of fabric/felt. This will make sure they don’t get tangled and don’t chip off just from being picked up and moved around.

Storing trees always seems to be a bit complicated.  I hate that each year I need a new container for them.  As already mentioned, almost everyone seems to have a fake tree in a big box, whether it’s the one that the tree came in or otherwise. If you’ve misplaced your original tree box or time has simply gotten to it (or mice), try repurposing leftover boxes from house appliances. They’re usually big enough to do the job

Don’t forget to do the lights well.  Stringed lights define Christmas time pretty much better than anything. But when it comes to putting them away for the year, they can be a hassle. The first thing you should probably do is wrap them in a coil so that they’re easy to store and easy to untangle for the years to come. Again, boxes do wonders here, allowing you to stack different coils of lights in each without the worry of them tangling with one another.I hope these ideas can help.   If you’ve got a few spare boxes lying around the house, put them to use! Don’t even think about discarding them or burning them—you know there’s always a section of your house or season of the year that could use some organizing. Think seasonally! Any holiday can surely spark your imagination to consider putting things away neatly. What most people regard as fodder for fire or simply trash, you can use for tidiness. 

Find your Favorite Treats

This year has been slightly different than the others.  What has happened is that the world flipped upside down due to COVID-19.  The truth is that this virus ended up scaring most of the world into shutting down.  It turns out that the death rate is almost zero from it but what happened is that most factories and many places that produce important products stopped working.  Our economy is based on just in time and if one thing gets missed then millions of products have trouble getting made.  Just look up how many products and processes are needed for a pencil to work.  But when it comes to finding your favorite treats on the supermarket shelves you may be in for a hard time. 

This year I have had real trouble with getting the goods that come normally for most people.  Food shortages and regular goods like toilet paper have been insane to find on the market in the United States.  What is crazy is that our stores have gone to rationing certain items.  When something becomes little scares we go straight to socialist rationing and good luck getting two of your favorite candy boxes if they start running low.  This is something that I have found to be really hard to deal with.  There really is not need to ration in a capitalist society and it is unfortunate that so many things have gone wrong with our country to keep us from enjoying our favorite candy boxes on a daily basis if we so wish. 

I know it sounds a bit over the top but if you really need to get that sweet fix then I want you to be able to go out to new places and enjoy it.  What this means is that you may end up going to another location that has different rules for you to follow in this COVID-19 pandemic.  It could lead to you getting arrested if you are not following those rules to a tee.  That is why I want to go over some basics so when you go to another grocery store to get that awesome treat you are not going to be punished for it.

One of the first things you need to do is have a good copy of your State’s rules and regulations on COVID-19.  This is a baseline for the local cities and towns that may have their own regulations and if you a re crossing states you need to be super careful you don’t get arrested for shopping in a new state.  This could be a regulation that you are not familiar with so go to that sates website and print out the rules that are relevant.   But that is not all you need to also go to the town and city of the location you are going to be going to and find out what you need to do to follow the local rules.  IT sounds a bit crazy, but following those local laws can save you from a lot of hardship. 

You may need to wear a mask or you may have to keep it on in teh car.  It is a big deal to know what rules to follow because you don’t want to get arrested for candy. That would really be sad.

The packaging is too much to handle

The truth of 2020 is that we are no changing the way we are living in a fundamental way.  The change in our economy has left us all feeling bad about being outside or just stressed because of all the rules and regulations put in place.  It is so much more difficult to shop because of all the fear that has been based upon a populous that believes anything they hear on TV.  It is a sad and rough thing which has brought so many people to change how they do their shopping.  Now we see more people buying online than ever before and they are getting boxes sent to their homes at rates 10 to 500% higher than they were before.  People are shopping for groceries online and getting meals sent to their homes instead of going out to eat and we are buying more things on Amazon than ever.  What this has done is left us all with a ton of extra trash and in some ways very hard times getting rid of it. 

I know that I have tons of cardboard boxes stacking up in my garage and it is all because of my own ordering habits.  The problem is that I can get rid of them simply by putting them in regular trash bags and sending them out with my trash or do the right thing and recycle them.  The issue is that now recycling so much trash has become a real burden and very complicated in my neighborhood.  I know my place is not the only one with limits on how much they can recycle and my own city allows one trashcan per household per week.  That does not give us much space to actually get all of this recyclable material into. 

What I used to do is get a few boxes in a week and simply just toss them in the can.  Along with about one trash bag a week, this fit and was perfectly fine.  But now I am getting around 20 boxes a week and they are simply piling up along with the plastic.  This has put me on a mission to try to break them down wisely.  Now I am an outdoorsman and I know that breaking down cardboard is done best with a box cutter of a nice knife.  The box cutter works well, but they are rather lacking in ergonomics and 20 boxes a week can lead to some pretty hurt hands when breaking them down to put in my recycling trashcan. 

What I have chosen to do is to get a really nice knife that fits my hand very well and is suited to the task.  What I found is that blade steel, handle comfort, and the grind of the blade makes a lot of difference in the task it is put to doing.  If you are missing one of those things for the task you want then the knife will not work very well and you should probably just use a box cutter anyway. 

A big tip is to get a fixed blade knife that fits your hand.  It should also have Powdered Steel.  In 2020 this means the steel must say CPM in from of it.  It is the best process to make the highest end and most edge retentive steels.  You should also look for a flat ground knife.  These are the best for slicing and will aid the most in the task. 

Going to the Grocery

This year is a little more interesting than others when it comes to shopping.  It is much different this year and that is because rather it mattered or not the world changed.  COVID-19 has occurred this year and it has made some big changes in how the world lives and shops if you live in a first-world country.  The regulations that are now in place have changed and really split apart our country and forced people to do things that are not proven by science.  Where it has affected my family the most is in how we shop.  It is now so much more complicated to go and get your selection of favorite candy boxes from the aisle these days.  Instead, now we have to go through hoops or refuse to leave our home at all. That is why I want to help you get through the craziness of 2020 and to be able to shop well if you are new to this whole scene.

The first thing to know is that rules and regulations are different everywhere.  I am not a practicing lawyer so this is not legal advice, but you should check into the local rules where you live.  This can be done and should be done because you don’t want to get arrested by simply going to the grocery store.  That would be a terrible thing and I have seen police arrest mothers for not masking their children and vice versa.  This is a terrible and scary thing and if you are simply trying to feed your family you need to know the rules.

You can find out your local rules and regulations by getting online most of the time.  Search your state government website for rules and then go to your city and then county websites as well.  Know where your grocery store is and what rules you will have to follow in order to get food.  Sometimes there are time restrictions, and there will almost always be a mask restriction.  It is even possible you are not going to be allowed to bring your children with you.  This can be really hard on some people because they cannot afford a baby sitter. But rest assured once you know the law you can finally get ready to shop.

I would highly suggest simply trying to stay out of people’s ways when you go shopping. Some people are afraid to be touched or to even be within 6 feet of someone else.  Even though they are outside and the virus dies in sunlight, they will still be filled with fear.  It is true that you have a 99.9% chance of surviving if you get the virus aka a more spreadable cold, but it is still worth causing fear over I guess.  So just know that people are going to be on edge. 

I prefer to shop like I don’t see anyone else there. It allows me to not worry about what anyone else is thinking. I like to shop in peace and I can get my food and browse my favorites candy boxes in peace.  That is what I am there to really get any how.  Food to live on is just that, but snacks are forever. So be safe and travel well this year.