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Eco-Friendly Packing

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When packing, you’re going to need a lot of boxes, newspaper, bubble wrap, etc. – all of which can further stress the environment. Be a little more green by using recycled materials or biodegradable alternatives.

Boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, foam packing material: all of these things are involved in the process of packing up your home. Limiting usage of these items or finding alternative packing materials can go a long way toward eliminating unnecessary waste. This will, in turn, reduce any negative impact you might have on the environment during your move.

Before you start packing, you can reduce the amount of packing materials you'll need by reducing the amount of things you'll need to pack. Donate unwanted items to charity or sell some stuff off at a garage sale. Not only will you lighten your load, but you'll save space at your new home.

Boxes

Perhaps the most extensively used packing materials, cardboard boxes are great because they are easily reusable and recyclable. Rather than buying new boxes for your move, you can find boxes for reuse. You shouldn't have any trouble doing this. Once local grocery and liquor stores finish unpacking goods, they usually offer up the boxes for free. Give them a call and find out. Friends and family members might have some boxes lying around that you can use, so it might be a good idea to ask them as well.

Once you've completed your move, make sure to offer your boxes to others. Let friends and family know that they're available. You could also post your boxes on websites like http://www.craigslist.com/ or http://www.freecycle.com/

Other materials and ideas

Here are some tips in regard to other materials you might use for packing:

  • Bubble wrap and most foam packing materials are non-recyclable, so use green, reusable alternatives like newsprint, blankets, or pillows.
  • Clothing could make a good alternative packing material as well. Using clothes to cushion your other belongings might also save you a few boxes that you would have used for your clothes.
  • Clothing could make a good alternative packing material as well. Using clothes to cushion your other belongings might also save you a few boxes that you would have used for your clothes.
  • Natural rubber packing tapes are renewable and biodegradable.
  • There are good and bad packing peanuts, as far as the environment is concerned. When purchasing them, make sure that they are the biodegradable type.
  • Instead of packing peanuts, you can use popcorn. Just make sure that it is unsalted and unbuttered, as you don't want to get either salt or butter all over your stuff.

If you've got another creative packing idea, then go for it. The important thing is to keep the environment in mind when packing. By using green resources, and using them wisely, you can help to protect the planet that we all share.

Photo by: Ambro (Freedigitalphotos.net)

Sean McClain  Posted by Sean McClain on January 11, 2010

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