Packing peanuts are the pits from an environmental perspective. These single-use packing materials are made from Styrofoam, a petroleum product, and they're a huge waste of resources.
Of course, you can find ways to reuse those packing peanuts, but the greenest option is to skip them all together.
Whether you're packing for a move or wrapping up something fragile for shipping, it might be tempting to pad your package with peanuts, but there are lots of other, more eco-friendly ways to protect your valuables while they're in transit. We've rounded up a few packing peanut alternatives, and I've love to hear your ideas in the comments!
1. Shredded Paper
Do you have a paper shredder to dispose of things like bank statements and bills with sensitive information on them? Instead of dumping that paper in the recycle bin, save it for the next time you have to pack and ship something fragile. I love this method, because not only does it replace a disposable petroleum product, but it extends the life of that paper just a bit longer.
2. Linens and Towels
Next time you're packing for a move, don't put your linens, towels, and clothes in separate bags and boxes from your breakables! Instead, use all of that free fabric to wrap valuables. You'll end up with fewer boxes, which means a quicker, easier move, too!
3. Reclaimed Paper
Junk mail, old newspapers, and magazines are perfect for wrapping up breakables, whether you're shipping something or packing for a move. Just make sure you use lots of layers, so your valuables will arrive safely.
This might sound crazy, but in a pinch you can use popcorn in place of packing peanuts. Yep! Actual popcorn! Just make sure you go with the air-popped variety. Buttered popcorn would be a hot mess by the time your package arrived at its destination.
5. Fabric Scraps
Seamsters! Those bins of fabric scraps that you've been hoarding are invaluable when you're moving. Use them to pad boxes with fragile items.
What other eco-friendly packing peanut alternatives have you guys run across? Let's keep the ideas going in the comments!
Image Credit: Packing Peanuts photo via Bigstock