You've changed your light bulbs, and you've added an extra recycling bin to your trash lineup. But are you being as creative as possible with your recycling? Remember, recycling items not only saves the planet but it also saves your budget. One particularly useful household item normally finds itself in the garbage can, but it can be put to better use elsewhere. Before they find their ways into the garbage or recycling bin, catch those egg cartons and put them to one more better uses.
Paper egg cartons are already environmentally friendly. They are made from recycled materials, and they're processed minimally to have an even better impact on the planet (thus their grainy gray appearance.) But before you recycle them once again after the eggs are gone, try some other uses.
Use your egg cartons for crafts. Those who enjoy bead crafts know that multiple products are sold for bead organization during stringing. Instead of these products that cost $10 and upwards, try an egg carton. Sort the beads in order in each compartment of the egg container and close the lid. The cartons can be stacked with multiple projects easier than the bead trays that are sold in stores, and these are free. Kids can even paint the containers to make them look prettier or coat them with glue and roll them over seed beads to create a glitzy craft storage container.
Small pets like hamsters, mice, hermit crabs, and land turtles all require small food bowls. It's nice to have two bowls to offer a variety of foods. Yet, these pet bowls sell for several dollars each at pet stores. By cutting the individual egg holders from the cartons, you can create a small food container that can safely be chewed and quickly replaced. For pet hamsters, you can also try to offer the individual "cups" as beds, filling them with shredded paper or straw. The little guys will enjoy nesting in the space.
Why purchase peat cups to start seeds when egg cartons work the same way. Remove the lid and fill the egg holders with potting soil. Then, as the seedlings mature, you can easily separate the cups and plant them directly into the ground. They will compost themselves just as the peat cups do, and you've saved money on your plantings. You can also stretch Saran Wrap across the top to keep the seeds extra moist and to generate additional heat until they sprout. Pop a few holes in the plastic with a toothpick for air circulation. If you'd like to separate the cups before planting, use the lid of the egg carton as a carrier and place the separated cups on the lid once they're planted.
Instead of purchasing expensive packing peanuts and bubble wrap, try placing egg cartons around your items as you box them. Whether you're sending items across the country or packing them for long term storage, egg cartons were made for this. Very few items in your attic are more delicate than an egg.
About The Author: Kelly Ann Butterbaugh is a freelance writer who regularly contributes to a variety of magazines and has written a history book for middle readers. Visit her website for writing help, lesson plans, history fun, or work for hire at http://www.kellybutterbaugh.com
Great ideas. I hate throwing those cartons away.
I use egg cartons to collect lint from the dryer. I just put the lint into each space and when it's full I use them in my fireplace. They make great starter logs.
If you have small glass ornaments, a paper egg carton is a good place to store them safely.
I use a couple of the styrofoam cartons to keep my earrings and other jewelry organized. This is great for clip earrings or any you cannot put on earrings hanging organizers.
Paper ones can be recycled, esp' if they are recycled paper to begin with. All the ideas were great. I esp' love the seed starter ones. Just pop them in the ground when they sprout and you don't have to worry about them.
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