Reducing Reusing and Recycling One Peanut at a time…

For years Styrofoam has been demonized as the world’s poison that we have not been able to kick the habit of using. Although it is still around, green options are being made instead of the toxic alternatives that have been manufactured for years. For instance, environmentally friendly packing peanuts are available that are made out of corn starch and wheat. This allows most of them to dissolve in water and in this case you can simply add these to your compost pile. Traditional packing peanuts are now color coded to indicate the origin of the material they contain. Polystyrene takes hundreds of years to decompose in nature, so recycling is vital. Keep on the look out for green-colored packing peanuts.

However, toxic Styrofoam is still very present in our country. Being that this is the case, make a difference! Use those peanuts for good either in your life and home or properly discard and donate them. There are so many options if you really dig deep into your imagination.

Reuse: Before you throw them away, either post them on Craigslist or find them a good home.

Recycle: Shipping services will often recycle your unneeded donation of peanuts, not to mention stores that ship on a regular basis. More and more recycling programs are accepting packing peanuts, but make sure you put them in a bag or box.

Refuse: If you detest packing peanuts as much as I do, ask mail-order companies if they use them before you agree to place an order, and encourage them to use the new biodegradable variety.

Make ice last longer: Put packaging peanuts in a plastic bag and place on the ice bin—this will allow the life of your ice to last longer and the contents will stay colder longer. Who would of thought?!

Potted plant drainage: Substituting packing peanuts (the non-biodegradable variety) for gravel in the base of potted plants not only provides good drainage, but it makes the containers much lighter and easier to move.

Floating key chain: What a great idea! Take your set of keys and thread them to a bunch of peanuts. This way being out in open water will prevent the keys to your life from sinking into the deep ocean.