How To... Use Less Packaging

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With my brother heading off for the Peace Corps, we're going to be sending more packages in the mail than usual over the next 27 months. We're going to do our best to keep the packaging in check, with as little waste as possible. We've been doing some of these things for years because, well, we're thrifty. Save money and go green when you're mailing packages by following the tips after the jump...

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  • Reuse shipping materials.
  • If there are labels or tape on the outside of the box that you're not able to remove, turn the box wrong-side-out. Cut the flaps open and refold the box.
  • Make the gift you're sending play the role of packaging: wrap the package's more fragile contents with tea towels, scarves, etc...
  • If you must use packing peanuts, try air-popped popcorn instead. Or use biodegradable packing peanuts that dissolve in water.
  • Send your packages early enough to be ground transported instead of air.
  • Within the city, use bicycle messengers instead of FedEx, UPS, or USPS.

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Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and son in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.

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