Keep your eggs zero waste: Buy them in paper cartons, not clear plastic or Styrofoam. When you’re done with the paper cartons, there are many ways to reuse them. Here are a few ideas to spark your egg carton reuse:
- Fill them with eggs again if you have a local bulk egg source.
- Offer them to local chicken farmer friends, urban or country, or to vendors at your local farmers’ market.
- Do something practical with them around your home or garden – National Geographic has some great ideas to get you started.
- Turn them into an arts and crafts material – Crafty Crow has a great selection of projects.
- Offer them to a local preschool, elementary, or art teacher. While you may not have time to get your craft on, there are many kids who do!
- If all else fails, put them in your compost bin – They break down quickly!
- While some municipalities accept paper egg cartons in their recycling bins, the recycled paper pulp used for egg cartons has fibers that are too short to be used again in paper or cardboard. If you’re interested in lowering your footprint on the planet, it probably makes more sense to reuse them as long as possible, then to compost them.
If you’re looking for a radical solution to egg carton impact, try a carton-free life: Raise your own hens and collect their eggs in your hands, baskets, colanders, or bowls. An increasing number of US cities and towns are revising their code to allow hens. It only takes a couple to supply a small family with all the eggs they need, and hens do a wonderful job of converting human food scraps into new nutritious food for humans.
Just to prove that egg cartons are versatile, we’ve created an app that allows you to input the name of any item in your home and see how you can reuse or recycle it. Input “egg cartons” and you’ll see this for starters:
After egg cartons, try something else like “junk mail,” and we’re sure you’ll be impressed.
In the meantime, do you have a favorite egg carton reuse or chicken farmer tip? We’d love to hear from you!