Newspapers, magazines and other publications that you no longer need and are headed to the garbage bin are great packing materials. You can use these paper products to wrap items or crumple them to provide cushion. You can also run them into a shredder.Just be reminded that the ink from these printed matter can stain your items so wrap them first in newsprint, Kraft paper or used plastic bags to protect them.
If you want to go green, nothing beats natural products to use as packing materials. Curly wood shavings, rice hulls, dried moss and nut shells from chestnuts or peanuts are lightweight and biodegradable alternatives to packing materials made from plastic and polystyrene. Just make sure that they are completely dry and clean when using these natural materials to avoid the growth of mildew. Ask your local sash factory for wood shavings while rice hulls and dried moss are usually available from garden stores at very cheap prices. Don’t throw away your nut shells and ask friends and family to keep theirs for you. They may think you’ve gone nuts but you know better!
Recycle items found in your home like egg cartons that can be used to line the sides of a box. Broken or unused pool noodles are also great cushion materials. They are pliable enough to wrap around an item or can be easily cut into size to line the sides of a box. You can also chop them into small pieces to resemble packing peanuts.
There are many other items that can be used as alternative packing materials. Just be creative and you can save a lot without endangering the safety of your items.