The standard model egg carton is made of molded recycled paper but modern cartons are sometimes made from plastic (a waste of packaging finalist at treehugger.com). Turn that waste, into something functional! Here are 11 uses for cardboard egg cartons, most of them from ThisOldHouse.com.
- Start seedlings (cardboard only). Cut off the lid, fill each cup with potting soil, and plant some seeds. Once the seedlings sprout, cut each cup from the tray and plant it—cup and all.
- Muffle the band (cardboard only). Nailed egg cartons to apartment walls and ceiling dampen sound. It might not look great, but it might work in a garage or attic practice room.
- Feed birds (cardboard only). Trim off the lid, thread string through holes in each corner of the tray, fill the cups halfway with birdseed, and hang in a tree.
- Fire the grill (cardboard only). Melt candle scraps in a double boiler, then fill each cup halfway with sawdust. Carefully ladle the wax over the sawdust, and let it cool. Each cup can now serve as a fire starter—just light the edge.
- Cushion ornaments. The cartons are ideal for separating small, fragile Christmas ornaments for storage.
- Organize fasteners. Use your cartons as repositories for screws and bolts removed during appliance or other household repairs. Numbering the cups ensures proper reassembly.
- Round up tiny spare lights. Those stray 4—watt night—lights and holiday bulbs won’t last long rattling around in a drawer. An egg carton’s cups make for ideal storage. For this use, keep the lid.
- Ship cheaply. Being stiff but lightweight makes egg cartons excellent replacements for Styrofoam packing peanuts.
- Manage a farm (cardboard only). Torn up, egg cartons are a great food source in worm farms. If the soil mix is too moist, add dry carton pieces. Too dry? Dunk them in water first.
- Golf ball Storage. Easy to sort by brand, and they're stackable.
- Painters Pallet. Keep colors separate, but easily accessible.