Great Uses for Leftover Packaging Foam
If you’ve ordered something through the mail or purchased a delicate item in a store, you’ve run across foam packaging inserts. Whether they’re rigid, white polystyrene or squishy charcoal foam, it is often wise to keep around some extra packing materials, even after you’ve decided the product they came with won’t be getting returned.
The most obvious way to reuse packing foam is to use it to protect something you need to mail. If you’re sending something to a relative or friend or returning something for repairs, it’s a good idea to protect it as best possible. Often times we no longer have the original box something came in, so we use one that’s “close enough.” Stuffing a package with soft, polyurethane foam can keep it secure and help absorb impact.
Packaging peanuts are the bane of most people’s lives around the holidays, but there are a few reasons to keep some around for purposes other than mailing another package. Peanuts can be used as spacers behind wall hangings to protect paint and are also helpful for holding a nail in place to when you begin to hammer to help avoid smashing a finger.
Firmer open-cell packing materials can also serve an acoustical purpose. When combined with a non-resonant piece of MDF wood, firm charcoal foam can be used under speakers and subwoofers as a decoupling material, isolating the speaker from the floor. This will reduce the vibrations transmitted through the room, which can be causing annoying rattles and buzzes as small items are affected by the frequencies. It can also give your speakers and woofers a clearer sound and help raise them to a better listening height. If you’ve got boxes full of packaging foam, there are many more ideas besides these that can help you re-use materials you’d otherwise just throw away.