Green Living

Environmentally Friendly Packaging

There isn’t one. It’s hard to send packages without creating waste, but there are ways you can limit it.

Environmentally Friendly Packaging
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For non-fragile items: Look for reusable boxes you have in your home to pack clothing, stuffed animals, and most non-perishable or non-fragile items. All corrugated fiberboard boxes are recyclable. (Examine the boxes carefully: Dry or frayed fibers compromise the sturdiness of the package.)

For short trips:
Use biodegradable cellulose-based packing peanuts, made from corn and potato starch (available at most office supply stores and online at; they’re perfect for securing most items sent short distances and small items in larger boxes. Note: Over long distances, peanuts degrade and lose their protective capability.

For fragile items: Stuff with fluffy towels to protect breakable items, electronics, and items that shouldn’t be shaken. Skip the bubble wrap; made from polyethylene, it’s not recyclable. Use old newspaper instead and remember to recycle it if you receive it.

For perishables: Send food in clean, reusable containers like Tupperware or GladWare.

Shop online:
Look for companies that employ green standards when they ship their products. For example, greenfeet .com reuses old styrofoam peanuts. FedEx has teamed up with Eco-Fiber Solutions to provide consumers with boxes that are recycled and recyclable.