Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thrifty Thursday - Everyday Uses For Empty Egg Cartons

Fun fact: In 1911, the egg carton was invented by Joseph Coyle in British Columbia in an attempt to solve a dispute between a farmer and a hotel owner who kept blaming one another when the farmer’s eggs often arrived broken.
Organic, free-range or conventional, egg cartons are not always easily recyclable. They are produced out of a variety of materials, including recycled paper and molded pulp, clear plastic and expanded polystyrene foam.
So, if you’re in the habit of stockpiling your egg cartons without a good way to responsibly dispose of them, you’re in luck. (And if you don’t, you might want to start!) These containers have a ton of reuse options, most of which are extremely simple to execute.
1. Start seedlings. 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.
2. Muffle the band. This Old House technical editor (and former rock-star wannabe) Mark Powers once nailed egg cartons to his apartment walls and ceiling to dampen sound while he was recording.
3. Feed birds. 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.
4. Fire the grill. 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.
5. Cushion ornaments. The cartons are ideal for separating small, fragile Christmas ornaments for storage.
6. Organize fasteners. Use your cartons as repositories for screws and bolts removed during appliance or other household repairs. Numbering the cups ensures proper reassembly.
7. 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.
8. Ship cheaply. Being stiff but lightweight makes egg cartons excellent replacements for Styrofoam packing peanuts.
9. Manage a farm. 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.
10. Store golf balls. Egg cartons make excellent containers for golf balls. Just mark on the outside the brand of balls inside.
 11. Organize earrings. You can put them in a dresser drawer to stack and store your vast wardrobe of earrings.
12.  Makeshift piggy bank – Use an egg carton to store that pesky small change that doesn’t fit in your wallet. The coins can be separated by numerical value and are easy to sort, see and reclaim.
13. Painters Pallet. Keep colors separate, but easily accessible.
14. Desk Organizer. Remove the top and place inside a desk drawer to hold small items, like paper clips, rubber bands, push pins, etc. Paint or decorate if you want to place it on a desktop where it will be seen.
15. Toy Storage. Does it drive you crazy when those little pieces keep getting lost? Use a carton to store doll shoes, game pieces, dice, Lego, etc
16. Shipping. Being stiff but lightweight makes egg cartons excellent replacements for Styrofoam packing peanuts.
17. Manage seeds. You can use it to storage your seeds. Even variety of them! Each cup can be used for different seed type.
18. Make a candle. Make scented candles. Melt wax in a double boiler. Add scents (from a candle shop) and old crayons for color. Put the wick in the bottom of each egg cup. Tie on a small washer to keep it on the bottom. Pour in the wax, holding up the wick. After wax has set, remove the eggcup.
 19. Travel helper. Use them to hold small items like earrings, necklaces, sewing notions, etc; weave needle through the inside top cover so as not to lose it in your suitcase. Hold it together with a large rubber band.


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