Some time ago, I challenged myself to find uses for bubble wrap, and came up with so many, I now think of the material as “green bubble wrap.” Wrap with it, stuff with it, pad with it, heat with it—the only limits on the uses for bubble wrap are levied by your imagination and ingenuity.
I admit upfront, though, that when I recycle bubble wrap in my own home, rather than put it out for the municipal recycling plant, I do feel a twinge of sadness. You see, I’m one of those who just can’t resist the traditional way to use bubble wrap. I confess: I love to pop the bubbles. So does one of my Himalayan cats.
I’ll admit that I cheat every now and then but, for the most part, it’s now green bubble wrap for me. I hope you are inspired by some of the ways I use bubble wrap.
10 Ways to Use Bubble Wrap and Go Green
- Bubble wrap regulates temperature. It will help retain cold as well as heat. Use it to insulate your pipes in the winter, or water bottle in the summer. It’s quite versatile, so be resourceful!
- Potted Plants: indoors or outdoors, you can use bubble wrap to insulate your plants against rapid or extreme temperature variations. Try lining the interior of a planter prior to adding the soil, to keep out some of the summer heat from your window boxes. Over the winter, use bubble wrap as a barrier to protect the root systems of outdoor plants from icy conditions.
- Pot luck: next time you are attending a covered dish or pot luck party, you can take fresh from the oven casseroles. Wrap the dish, cover and all, in bubble wrap. It will keep food hot, keep the lid on in the car, make it easy to handle without oven mitts, and prevent breakage. Wow! That’s a lot of uses for bubble wrap right there!
- Garages and greenhouses: recycle bubble wrap into window insulation that will permit light to shine in, but won’t let the heat out.
- Coolers and picnic baskets: wrap your cold stuff in bubble paper (that’s what my daughter calls it). To preserve ice in the cooler layer a sheet of bubble wrap over the entire surface of a top-loading chest.
- Freezers: if you have a large freezer (or, like me, little food!) use bubble wrap to stuff the empty regions of your freezer to hold in the cold, so when you open the door, the temperature will drop less, and the compressor won’t kick on as much. You’ll reduce energy consumption.
- Pipes: wrap bare water pipes in waterproof bubble wrap, seal it up with some waterproof duct tape, and you have another way to make green bubble wrap.
- Pools: have a swimming pool? Here’s a hot idea: lay long sheets of bubble wrap over the water to keep the temperature higher via cheap solar heat.
- The uses for bubble wrap are not limited to insulation techniques, however. It’s fun spongy feel renders it quite useful as padding in a variety of situations, such as under a sleeping bag, inside the trunk of your car, or inside an old case to make a pillow for the dog’s bed. Back in the kitchen bubble wrap makes a nice soft lining to protect produce in the crisper.
- A friend who lives in Canada passed this tip along: hang bubble wrap across your windshield overnight. In the morning, simply peel away the ice and snow. No more broken wipers, and more time to make a safe drive in to the office.
Of course, one of the primary uses for bubble wrap is to rewrap items you are mailing to someone else. It might be less imaginative, but it’s still a great way to use bubble wrap.