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Where to Find Free Packaging Materials

Updated on December 30, 2010

Make your Business a Little Greener by Switching to Recycled Packaging, Biodegradable Packaging, and Even Free Packing Materials!

Green packaging isn't just something to make yourself feel better, you're customers will appreciate it too! Going the extra "green" mile in business tactics will stick in your customers heads, and you'll show that you not only care about them, but our environment, too. Here you can find some tips to make your business a little less wasteful, while saving your business some money at the same time. Often times the best packing materials will be free packaging materials!

Packaging: Where Most of our Waste Comes From

Reduce the amount of packaging you consume in your business and go green!

Packaging. It's one of the biggest contributions we all make to landfills and excessive waste. Potato chips, ziploc bags, juice, TV dinners...these all have some sort of packaging that winds up, for the most part, being tossed into the garbage, only to wind up in a landfill. Businesses also produce a large amount of packaging waste, from cardboard boxes, tape and packing slips to ink cartridges. There are simple ways that you can reduce the amount of packaging your business uses.

Packaging you can control:

Paper or plastic bags. By bringing your own reusable bag, you can cut down on the amount of paper resources and plastic you consume. Plastic bags never biodegrade fully and use toxic oils to construct the plastic, while the paper bag making process uses large amounts of water and trees to make the bags.

Publishers often have extra newsprint rolls that may be cheap or even free.

Publishers often have extra newsprint rolls that may be cheap or even free.
Publishers often have extra newsprint rolls that may be cheap or even free.

After using your printer ink cartridges

they can be recycled. Visit to even make money on your used ink cartridges. You can also earn money for fundrasing through

If possible, opt for ground shipping

to be a little greener. Shipping by air (that's usually 2nd day, priority, express, etc.) uses more energy and resources, and often costs more than Ground Shipping. Note: UPS Ground is usually more dependable and quick than USPS Parcel Post (which is very slow).

Ground shipping often uses far less energy and might save you some money.

Ground shipping often uses far less energy and might save you some money.
Ground shipping often uses far less energy and might save you some money.

Where to Find Recycled Packaging for Free

Other businesses that might have packing material

Recycling packaging is even greener than using biodegradable packaging. Sounds crazy, but if you think about it, it's true! Use up the pre-existing packaging that's around that would've been thrown away and you're preventing new packaging from being made.

Where do you find recycled packaging for free?

There are many places that you can find all of the free packaging that you might need. First, try Craigslist or Kijiji to see what's available in your local area.

You should also try your local post office. If your local USPS knows that you'll be by to grab packing pillows, packing peanuts and used boxes, they will most likely save them for you. Grocery stores and mall stores also often have used boxes and packing that they'd be more than glad to give you. You'll be saving them the expensive dumpster space by taking it off their hands for free.

You can even find biodegradable packing peanuts online!

You can even find biodegradable packing peanuts online!
You can even find biodegradable packing peanuts online!

Recycling for your Business

Easy steps to recycle nearly everything your business uses

Businesses must consume to stay in business, it's their nature. However, this doesn't mean they're free to avoid recycling. Here are a list of things you can start recycling to lighten the carbon footprint of your business:

  • Paper: printed, brochures, junk mail
  • Cardboard boxes: save them up and bring them to the recycling center.
  • Plastic bottles: soda bottles, detergent, cleaning products. Save these up as well, or send them curbside if possible.
  • Packing peanuts, air pillows, other packaging: put an ad in Craigslist to have eager shippers pick up free packing supplies.
  • Recycle your old computers. Sounds difficult, but it's not that hard.
  • Provide your employees with a reusable cup or mug and do away with the disposable drinkware.


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