If you are not organized with your unpacking, your new home can look like a sea of cardboard and bubble wrap once all of the boxes have been unpacked. To avoid this, have a plan in place for unpacking and the extraneous packing supplies before you pull the tape off of the first box.
Set up the first three boxes that you unpack. One can be used for broken down cardboard containers and paper, the second for packing peanuts and the last for bubble wrap. Once your last piece of bric-a-brac has been placed on the shelf, you will only have those three boxes to left to deal with instead of a maze of empty cartons and plastic strewn all over your new home.
Now that the used packing supplies are in order, here are some ideas on what you can do with them:
Good cardboard boxes are always good to have around for future use, so consider breaking them down and storing them in a dry place. You can even use one of the larger boxes to keep the rest of the folded boxes inside of. Cardboard is made with recycled materials, so any boxes that were damaged in the move can be crushed and made ready to be sent to a recycling plant.
You likely used packing paper and/or peanuts during your move to help keep your boxes stable and the items inside from shifting. You can recycle the paper along with the cardboard boxes, but the Styrofoam packing peanuts are another story. These are not biodegradable and will not be accepted by any recycling plant. Resist the urge to toss them into the trash, rather find a business such as a shipping company that will accept used Styrofoam peanuts and reuse them.
There are biodegradable packing peanuts that are made using natural starch. This type breaks down in water and can be cut up and added as mulch to a garden or lawn. If possible, you should purchase this type of packing filer as opposed to the Styrofoam which is harmful to our planet.
After you have completed popping all of those little pockets of air that make up bubble wrap you can recycle it in the same way that you do with other plastic products. If you think you may have future use for it with storing breakables, hold onto it for now. Plastic bubble wrap is excellent protection for lamps, dishes and other breakable items.
Before discarding of any of your packing supplies consider what you may need them for in the future. Or maybe you know of someone else who is planning a move soon and could benefit from them. At the very least, find the recycling areas in your new neighbourhood and bring your used moving supplies there to minimize your impact on the environment.