I was about to throw the egg carton away and I looked in the recycle bin and wondered, “What else can I do with an egg carton?” After all, I’m trying to live a greener life, I can’t go around throwing away all of the egg cartons.
So, I decided to get on the internet to see if I could find practical uses for egg cartons. I found plenty of information and ideas on what to do with them. Below are my favorites:
Egg Carton Desk organizer:
A recycled egg carton is great for holding paper clips, staples, safety pins and other small items that accumulate in the drawer. Every kitchen has a “junk” drawer. Why not organize the small stuff with an old egg carton.
Christmas Decoration Storage:
Recycled egg cartons are great for the small delicate items. Line the carton with cotton or tissue paper and place the breakables in there for storage.
Egg Carton Paint Palette.
This only works for the Styrofoam egg cartons. Rip the top off and use the egg carton to hold and mix paint. This is especially handy for kids. It works better than buying small paper cups.
Storage for Barbie Accessories:
Anyone who lives in a house with a Barbie doll and her accessories knows that Barbie is not a neat freak. Her shoes, hair dryer, makeup, etc tend to be left all over the house. A recycled egg carton is a perfect storage receptacle for Barbie’s accessories.
Egg Carton Fire Starter:
Here’s one that I’m particularly fond of. Use the cardboard egg container to house fire starter. My neighbor introduced me to this idea a few years ago. She placed pieces of wood chips into each pocket of the egg container and then filled it with melted wax. She let it cool and broke off a pocket or two to help start the fire in the fireplace.
There are various recipes for the fire starter option. Some people use dryer lint, while others use charcoal as the base for the fire starter. NO matter what base they use, they all pour wax over the coal/lint and use it either for camping, starting the indoor fireplace or grilling.
I particularly like reusing the egg cartons for fire starter because there is more of a need for fire starter. You can save your egg cartons and make a large batch of fire starter at one time, or make them as you acquire the materials.
Using recycled egg cartons for kid’s crafts is especially useful for pre-school and school-aged kids. Not only does it keep them busy, but can potentially recycle a large number of cartons.
This one is a tricky one, however. Being a mother, I know what its like when your little one brings home an
egg carton craft. You display it for a few years, and then you store it. You don’t want to get rid of it because it’s so precious. Depending on how many children you have, you may have a menagerie of egg carton animals and crafts. Hmmm, you see the problem? Although the carton was recycled, it will forever live with you.
You can shred the egg carton and use it when mailing delicate items.
You can always shred the cardboard egg cartons and put them in your compost pile/bin.
There are more uses for recycled egg cartons around the net. Here are a few sites with ideas.
Part of the challenge with living green is to continually find ways to re-use our unwanted items. Using an egg carton to organize a junk drawer is great, but how many junk drawers does one household have? Even if there are 10 junk drawers, what will you do with the rest of the egg cartons?
That’s why I like the fire starter option because it is not a ‘one-hit wonder,’ so when I go to the grocery store, I already know what I’m going to use the egg carton for. I can buy eggs without having to worry about how to discard the carton.
Whew, one product down, so many more to go… (This living green thing isn’t always easy)
UPDATE March 2017: Now that I purchase my eggs from a local farm, I bring the empty egg cartons back to the farm. They always need empty egg cartons. How cool is that?