I’m trying to get ready for my upcoming Open Studio and I am awash in packing peanuts.

I just received three big boxes of display stuff from another artist. BIG boxes. And all of them were filled with packing peanuts.

I hate packing peanuts. I hate opening a box and having them fall out all over my studio. I hate trying to pick them up as they either slide under furniture, stick to everything in sight, or fall back out of the garbage bag I’m trying to scoop them into.

No matter how carefully I proceed, I know I’m going to spend a chunk of time re-scooping, re-sweeping, and re-picking. Because everyone knows you’re gonna handle each individual packing peanut about three times before you can get it disposed of.

I do love how lightweight they are when I’m packing an order. But I shudder at provoking the same exasperated response in MY customer who opens up MY box of product….

So here’s my big packing peanuts tip to anyone who would like to recycle and reuse the damn things in a way that won’t pass forward the same frustration and inconvenience as well:

Grab some of those plastic grocery store shopping bags, the ones you bring home dozens of every time you go grocery shopping. Actually, this is also a great way to use up some of those bags, too. TWO recycling tips with one post!

(Please don’t tell me to use paper bags. We just end up with hundreds of paper bags, too. Yes, someday we will be organized to use the reusable shopping bags. When we are also organized enough to a) buy toilet paper the first trip to the grocery store; b) buy toilet paper the second trip to the grocery store; and c) don’t have to buy four different kinds of cereal for each member of the family….)

Okay, seriously, pour some of the packing peanuts into each bag, about half full, and tie the bag shut in a knot.

You can now stuff these floppy bags inside your shipping container to cushion and protect your product.

When your customer unpacks the box, instead of a bajillion packing peanuts flying everywhere, they can now simply remove the bags of peanuts.

They can also easily reuse them or recycle them as they see fit.

And no one need ever appear in public again with little white pieces of foam stuck in their hair….

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