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How to Reuse Packaging Material

Reusing packaging material - Packaging Incorporated

Feel guilty throwing out the packaging materials that come in packages you receive? Here are some ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle them!


  • Keep them to give gifts in.
  • Send packages of your own with boxes you’ve kept.
  • People are always looking for moving boxes. If you’re not planning on moving soon, give them to someone who is.
  • Kids love big boxes. Help them make a fort!
  • Recycle boxes that can’t be reused.


  • Cover textbooks or other hard-cover books that you’d like to keep looking nice.
  • Keep it and use it to do your own shipping.
  • Wrap gifts in it. It looks nice tied with raffia or twine.
  • Use it for art projects. Let kids paint on it, crumple it and make monsters out of it, cut it into shapes for Christmas ornaments, or anything they can dream up.
  • Paper crafts are for adults too! Find ideas here.
  • Make a journal out of it – cut page-size pieces, hole punch them, and tie them together with yarn or string. If you crumple and straighten each piece several times, the paper will get soft and have a old-timey feel to it.
  • Recycle or compost used paper packaging, depending on what kind of paper it is and whether its compostable.


  • Check to see if the company you’ve received your package from uses eco-friendly foam packaging.
  • Use it to insulate a garage, shed, or doghouse. Foam makes excellent insulation!
  • There are usually a place or two in cities that accept foam packaging, to either dispose of it properly or reuse it.

With all kinds of packaging material, there’s a way to recycle it or give it away to be disposed of in the best manner possible. Check online for places in your area that accept various kinds of materials. In fact, there are post offices and other facilities that will actually take your materials and reuse them to ship again. Also, you can check with companies before you buy from them about whether or not they use eco-friendly materials.

Image Credit: Chiot’s Run

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