Today’s Solutions: January 30, 2023

While it’s possible to recycle old egg cartons, there are many ways you can repurpose cartons in order to give them a second life before being recycled. With that in mind, here are 7 simple ways to reuse egg cartons.

Starting seeds

Cardboard egg cartons have perfectly sized compartments for growing seedlings. Just place whatever plant seed in a bit of soil within each compartment, and wait for the seed to sprout. Once the plants are big enough to be transferred to your garden, no need to scoop them out. Just cut out the individual cups of the carton and place them directly into the soil. The paper will eventually break down as the plants grow.

Bird feeders

With some seed and some string, you can easily make an egg carton bird feeders. You can follow the tutorial at The Creative Cubby to make a feeder.

Packing material

Packing peanuts and bubble wrap are disastrous for the environment. Instead, cut the lid off the cartons and use the egg-cradling bottoms to line a box of fragile items. You’ll save money and avoid the spread of those awful styrofoam packing peanuts.

Firestarters

A lot of folks use fire starter sticks to light up their fireplace. But if you just use egg cartons, you won’t ever have to buy fire starter sticks again. Stuff the egg cups with organic flammable materials like dryer lint, dry grass, sawdust, pencil shavings, and more. Pour paraffin wax or melted candle scraps into the cups and mix them together. Let the mixtures set and then cut each cup out and store them in a place that’s not exposed to heat. Now, your fire starters are ready when you need them.

Feed your compost

Compost bins need close to a 50/50 combination of green (fruit and vegetable scraps, eggshells, fresh lawn clippings, etc.) and brown (dry leaves and grass, shredded cardboard and paper, nutshells, etc.) ingredients to feed the micro-organisms that are breaking down all of that organic matter and turning it into nutrient-rich soil. Tear the carton into small pieces and add it to your pile or bin, along with any other cardboard or paper waste you have. Just make sure you’re adding it with an equal amount of food scraps.

Get crafty

Egg cartons make great art supplies and your imagination is the limit. Just search Pinterest for egg carton crafts and you’ll find more than you thought possible.

Give them away

Do you know someone who keeps chickens? Do you have a favorite local farm that you buy from at the green market or are you a member of a CSA? It’s likely that they are in need of extra cartons for packing fresh eggs. Give them out and, if you’re lucky, you just might get one back full of more eggs.

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