Below are some alternative packing materials that will ensure that every item you ship is well protected and cushioned during transit without spending a fortune. Apart from saving some bucks, reusing or recycling materials is also a great way of preventing more waste from piling up in our landfills and eventually wreaking havoc on the environment.
Reuse paper products
Old newspaper, magazines, office paper waste (that don’t contain confidential information) and even junk mails can be crumpled, balled up or shredded to be used as fillers and cushioning materials instead of packing peanuts or Styrofoam pads. Paper is a biodegradable material unlike polystyrene that does not break down naturally.
Resealable sandwich bags
Commercially available air pillows are expensive and easily punctured. Good alternatives are resealable bags which are much cheaper and made from thicker material. You can even re-use previously used Ziploc bags as long as the seal is intact and there are no holes. Just make sure to wash and dry them completely.
Simply inflate the bags with a sports ball needle and pump, then seal them closed. These bags are available in so many different sizes making them perfect fillers for all types of packages. They also take up much less space when uninflated so that you don’t have to stock up on boxes of pre-made air pillows.
Old clothes and linens
An old cotton shirt or bed sheet can be used to wrap a fragile item. They protect and cushion an item so they don’t get scratched or broken during shipping.
Popcorn and other natural materials
Coffee husks, wood shavings, rice hulls, nut shells (peanuts and chestnuts) and popcorn are clean, lightweight and unique alternatives to packing peanuts. Use them as loose fillers in packages to keep items immobile. You can also place them in bags to provide a more solid cushioning to your items. Just don’t add that extra butter on those popcorn!