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Green Packing and Shipping

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Second Best Green Packing
If you canít reuse anything to package gifts with, here are the green pros and cons of packaging you can buy.

  • Try to buy boxes with that are made from recycled fibers or from fibers sourced from managed forests.
  • Resist plastic packaging. Bubble wrap and other plastic packaging are derived from petroleum. Although they are technically recyclable, not all municipalities accept their plastic type. Many municipalities only recycle plastic bottles.
  • Try biodegradable packing peanuts, which easily dissolve when exposed to water and leave no chemical residue. They can be reused or composted.
  • Traditional peanuts are made of polystyrene, a petroleum derived material that is not biodegradable. Fortunately, this seemingly eternal plastic can be reused. Clean, unwanted polystyrene peanuts are accepted at 1,500 packaging stores around the US. Call the Plastic Loosefill Council’s Peanut Hotline at 1-800-828-2214 for the names of local businesses that accept them. (UPS is one of them.)

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Read more: Christmas, Crafts & Hobbies, Green Gifts, Holidays, Holidays & Gifts, Life, , ,

By Melissa Breyer, Producer, Care2 Green Living

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.

71 comments

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1:14AM PDT on Apr 9, 2011

Thanks for the article.

9:07AM PST on Feb 23, 2011

The problem with using food..popcorn ect.. is that rodents and bugs like it too. What a nightmare to open a beautifully thought out gift only to be shocked with droppings or crawling insects surprising you on the way to the trash can.

10:38PM PST on Dec 17, 2010

Remember that items such as holiday candies (peppermints, marshmallows, etc.) serves as great packing material. Plus, if you are purchasing more than one gift for someone, put them in the same box with festive fillers for one awesome gift. Reuseable bags are a god-send, and recycled aluminum gift card tins are great ideas, too! Also, many companies (Starbucks included) offer gift cards made of recycled materials. I hope these help as well!

12:37AM PST on Dec 13, 2010

than for the great information

12:09PM PST on Dec 9, 2010

Hate to be a downer, but popcorn is actually a problem for birds, as it is easily lodged in throats. Having rescued and cared for (successfully) many birds for decades, I also learned this. I myself in the dark before. So, use popcorn if you want and compost, but do not feed to birds. Good tips and intentions; we are all trying to do what is best, I know!

11:58AM PST on Dec 9, 2010

These are awesome ideas! I love the idea of using popcorn as packing material!

6:48AM PST on Dec 9, 2010

Popcorn sounds and tastes good.

3:37AM PST on Dec 9, 2010

Thanks, great information for the holiday season!

1:18AM PST on Dec 9, 2010

Thank you, Melissa! Mmmm, that popcorn looks good!

11:43PM PST on Dec 8, 2010

Excellent ideas, thanks.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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