Packaging tends to be very wasteful when you think of the oversized cardboard boxes, plastic tape, packing peanuts and bubble wrapping…not to mention the wrapping paper, bows and ribbons if you are sending a gift!

Most plastics are not biodegradable and many trees are cut down to make the paper and cardboard boxes. But
by making some small changes you can make your packaging routine greener.

* Choose the Right Size Box. Many companies ship items in boxes much larger than the actual item being shipped, which means they fill up the extra space with lots of peanuts or crumpled paper to keep the items from moving around and possibly breaking. Choose the smallest box possible allowing just a bit of space around the object to add a little packing materials.

* Always Choose Paper. If given the option between paper and plastic, choose paper and even more if it is recycled. For example, use old newspapers to pack your box instead of peanuts or bubble wrap which are not as eco-friendly as paper. Plus the paper can then be recycled.

* Use Paper Tape. Regular packaging tape is usually made of plastic which. Instead look for paper adhesive tape which some manufacturers make out of recycled paper. The paper tape can also be recycled afterwards.

* Go for Biodegradable Plastic. If you have to use plastic, look for ones made from wheat or corn starch. These plastics are not only biodegradable but also made from renewable sources.

* Choose Recycled Materials. There was a time when only corrugated cardboard boxes were manufactured using recycled materials. But now you can find a wide variety of products made out of recycled materials: from recycled paper adhesive tape and envelopes to biodegradable packing peanut to name a few.

* Re-use Paper Scraps. You can cut up, crumple, or shred newspapers, magazines, or used scrap paper to fill the space inside a box.

* Donate It. If you received a big box full of packing peanuts, don’t throw them away! If you don’t want them, see if your local post office will accept them. Even though they are not eco-friendly, it”s better to re-use them than sending them to the land field.

* Recycle. This is an obvious one but if you can’t re-use something, whether it’s because you already have too many or they are damaged, recycle them!

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