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There are now several “green” packing materials. EcoCradle is a product made from fungal mycelium (mushroom roots) on rice hulls or other organic byproducts. It looks a little like Styrofoam. The root mass is biodegradable, renewable, can be put in a garden, doesn’t attract pests and is competitive in price. Another “green” packing material is PaperNuts, made from recycled paper. Of course the easiest and least expensive is homemade shredded or crumpled newspapers. Don’t use popcorn. It attracts bugs and mice.



#2 Green's fine, but NOT Newspaper!Andrew Green 2011-12-19 09:43
Crumpled newspaper is a tempting choice for packing due to its availability, but makes a poor choice for at least a couple of reasons:

1) It's very poor at cushioning. When compressed and released, it does not rebound, thus allowing objects to work themselves free and rattle around during shipping. The results can be disastrous.

2) Crumpled newspaper isn't light, either; you're paying to ship it. Weigh a section or two of an average newspaper, the amount that you would use for packing. Heavier than it looks, right? It weighs just the same in crumpled form.

Items requiring padding should be wrapped in bubble wrap, followed by styrofoam popcorn or similar to fill in larger spaces in the box, so that you hear nothing when shaking the finished package. Both bubble wrap and popcorn can be reused over and over; just roll up or bag up whatever you receive for future reuse, or turn it in for recycling.
#1 Green PackingClara White 2011-12-14 22:42
A couple of other ideas about "green" packing: To keep all that shredded paper from attacking the recipient of the package, stuff it into paper or plastic bags (ones that need to be re-used or recycled anyway). You can also make your own air bags when you need light weight packaging (which saves on energy to transport your package). Just take a plastic bag (make sure there are no holes in it -- I use inexpensive food storage bags most of the time) and fill it about half way with air. Then seal it (either tie it tightly or tape it securely, being sure than no air gaps can occur). For flexibility of shape, don't tie it like a balloon -- leave a little slack space for the air to move around. These air bags work well for light-weight items.

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