Updated on September 16, 2013
Biodegradable Packing Nuts
The other day I caved after being bombarded with advertising and ordered from soap.com. Surprisingly, many of the toiletries I normally buy are much cheaper on this site than if I were to buy them in the store. They also offer free next day shipping on orders over $25. Of course, there is always debate about whether ordering online is more eco-friendly than shopping yourself, but that’s another topic.
So I spent $26 and got my stuff. I was pleased to find they gave me a free tube of toothpaste (same brand I use) and candy with my order.
What was more pleasing was a little note in the box that explained that the packing nuts were “Earth-Friendly”. I’ve heard of these before, and they’ve actually been around since the 90’s, but I never saw them in person. I guess they didn’t really become popular until recently (they are slightly more expensive than traditional styrofoam nuts).
Basically, the note says the nuts are made from corn and potato starch and break down in water in less than 10 minutes (which they do, I tried it). Consequently, they are nontoxic. They are also not static prone like styrofoam.
The recommended disposal methods were (this is right off the card):
Dissolve in water: pour it into your sink, bathtub, or toilet
Put in your compost bin: it will aerate and dissolve with moisture
Bury in soil: it will be eaten by insects and will dissolve in the soil.
Put in your trash: it will dissolve in the landfill.
I put mine in the trash, since that was the easiest.
I found a ton of websites that sell peanuts like these. Next time you need packing nuts, consider buying these! You can even buy them at Staples, Costco, Office Max, and UHaul!
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can even make your own biodegradable nuts: