A few months ago, Gavin from Baseball Card Breakdown posted a handy guide on how to pack and ship cards safely and cheaply.
One of his suggestions was to reuse as much packing material as possible—envelopes, top loaders, painter's tape, bubble wrap, etc.
I finished reading the post, and started thinking: Why don't we start a challenge where bloggers try to reuse the same envelope and supplies as many times as possible when sending cards to one another? It would be fun, it's good for the environment, we'd improve our card-packing skills, and we'd even save a little money. That's a win all around.
Well, a few months have passed, and I say it's time we give it a try. Since Gavin's post was the impetus for this challenge, I'm going to start off by sending him some cards he needs. Then he'll use the same bubble mailer and supplies to send some cards to another blogger, and so on. It'll be fun to track the envelope as it makes its way around the country (or possibly countries?).
Because you might one day be a recipient of the esteemed and well-traveled envelope, here are some tips that will keep the streak going:
(1) To open it and remove your cards, use a pair of scissors to cut the finest line possible across one end, as shown. Better yet, if you've got an x-acto knife or box cutter, just make a cut across the top edge where the previous blogger taped the envelope closed. That will keep the envelope from getting smaller each time it's used.
(2) To pack up your outgoing cards, place them in the same team bag that your incoming cards arrived in, sandwich them between the same top-loaders your incoming cards were sandwiched between, and seal the sides with painter's tape. (As Gavin mentioned in his tips, a pull-tab on each strip of tape is a nice touch.) You can use more supplies if you have more cards to send.
(3) Add your information to the tracking sheet so we can keep a running tab on just how far the envelope has traveled as the challenge continues.
(4) If the previous blogger affixed a mailing label to the envelope using clear tape, try to carefully remove it. If it peels off, that's great. If not, you can try using the edge of a pair of scissors to start a little cut on the angle (going through the tape, but not the bubble mailer), and then peel from there. You can also try to peel off the USPS tracking number and postage stickers. If any of that proves too difficult or frustrating, you can tape your new mailing label on top of the old one. But let's try to avoid too much label build-up.
(5) Once your new mailing label is on, place the cards and the tracking sheet inside the envelope and reseal the open edge carefully.
(6) Post an update on your blog! Feel free to include images of the cards you received and mention who sent them. Also mention which blogger you're sending some cards to next. (Let's keep the specific mailing addresses private, though.)
For starters, I'd like to put a one-year time frame on this. If momentum is still strong after that—and if the envelope is still holding together—we can just keep going.
There are no specific rules on card quantity, and it doesn't have to be a trade. If you know a blogger you just want to send some cards to, that's fine. (Generosity among this community won't be a problem, that's for sure.) You
reach out to a blogger you've never interacted with. Maybe you can help
them with their want lists.
All that being said, the first shipment is on its way to you, Gavin!
Looking forward to this, everyone.
P.S. — Leave a comment below if you want to be part of the challenge. That will give Gavin some ideas on who to send cards to next.