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Ways to Recycle and Reuse Cardboard

I love to share employment ideas from around the web for people out there who like working from home as much as I do!


All about Reusing and Recycling Cardboard

On the pathway to living a greener life, many of us have set up recycling containers in our home. But, before we take our recyclables to the recycle center, consider reusing them!

Reusing items at home actually eliminates more waste than recycling, because it puts the item to use without consuming energy expended at a recycling plant. So, take your household cardboard from the recycle bin and see how many reuses you can find for cardboard around your own home.

Reuse or Recycle Cardboard as Garden Mulch

Reuse or Recycle Cardboard as Garden Mulch

Reuse and Recycle Cardboard in the Garden

#1 Way to Reuse Cardboard - Garden

I have been researching ways to reuse things, before recycling them for years, and I can tell you that there are very few things that cannot be put to use in the home garden. Broken down cardboard boxes make excellent garden mulch and can be tacked down and used as pathways through the garden, preventing weeds and limiting the amount of time spent pulling weeds from the garden.

Reuse other Items in the Garden

Mailing Packages to Reuse or Recycle Cardboard

#2 Way to Recycle or Reuse Cardboard Boxes

Receiving them in the mail is probably how you ended up with most of your cardboard boxes in the first place. Don't buy cardboard boxes to ship packages. Put the ones you've already received to good use and send them on their way. If the outside of the box has markings on it, cut a paper bag into a solid sheet of paper and use it to "wrap" the outside of the cardboard box.

Reuse or Recycle Cardboard Boxes for Storage

#3 Way to Reuse Cardboard - Storing Your Clutter

Use your cardboard boxes to organize your clutter, or your out of season items such as winter coats. Clearly mark on the outside of the box the contents, so you'll remember just what is in it. Smaller cardboard boxes can be decorated with contact paper and used to store magazines, crafts and other household items.

Magazine Holder from a Cardboard Box

#4 Way to Reuse Cardboard

Lightweight cardboard boxes, the type that cereal and crackers come in, can be used for creating a magazine holder. This is a quick and easy project for ages 6 and up. The instruction below involve painting, but you can jazz up the box by gluing paper to it too.

Magazine Holder from a Cardboard Box

Recycle an Old Cardboard Shoe Box in a Pirate's Treasure Box

#5 Way to Reuse Cardboard - Make a Treasure Box

Recycle and old cardboard Shoe Box into a Pirate's Treasure Box. Kids love this make-believe treasure box. No need to buy expensive craft supplies to make it, simply recycle!

Pirate Treasure Box

How to Make a Lap Desk for the Car

#6 Way to Reuse or Recycle Cardboard

Travel Lap Desk with Wipe-off Top - Keep your kids busy during long car rides!

You'll need:

Large sturdy cardboard box.

Shipping Tape

Empty Snack Food Container such as Fruit Roll Up or Granola Bars


Glue Gun

Scroll to Continue


Gift Boxes

# 7 Way to Reuse Cardboard

With a little decoration, you can make a shoebox that is destined for the trash into something valuable. Use decorated shoe boxes for storage or gift giving. Make it a little fancier, by creating a *fliptop* box from an old shoebox by following these directions at Lovely Little Life.

Cardboard Box Reuse by Sadlers Cartoons

Got some tips or questions, feel free to leave them here. You'll get a reply soon!

© 2010 hsschulte

Put Your Ideas and Comments on Cardboard Recycling ... - Here!

Zaiyah on December 29, 2014:

Keep it coming, wrsteri, this is good stuff.

paperplastic on February 20, 2013:

Great design! pretty nice lens

ismeedee on June 16, 2012:

Absolutely fabulous lens! We have started a small business at home and need to post items. I've decided to go to the recycling bins and pick out some cardboard to make our own boxes from!!! We reuse pretty much everything in our house!

EcoLogik on June 14, 2012:

Great lens. Useful info.

TinTeddy on April 28, 2012:

Some great ideas, thank you for sharing

KateHonebrink on April 24, 2012:

Since I don't have much storage in my home, I don't keep anything I don't need at the moment. I really love all your ideas to reuse and recycle cardboard! Kudos!

Virginia Allain from Central Florida on February 18, 2012:

I save some boxes for mailing things (books I sell on Amazon), but most goes to recycling. You have some great cardboard crafts here.

I had an article on eHow (actually still there) called How to Cover a Box with Fabric. It was quite popular.

WriterJanis2 on February 18, 2012:

What a great idea to make a lap desk!

CruiseReady from East Central Florida on February 17, 2012:

I think I will try making a magazine holder - that's areally nice idea!

Diana Grant from United Kingdom on February 10, 2012:

I use it as a lightweight board for my artist's easel. Great ideas - Angel Blessings from me

Diana Grant from United Kingdom on February 10, 2012:

I use it as a lightweight board for my artist's easel. Great ideas - Angel Blessings from me

Diana Grant from United Kingdom on February 10, 2012:

I use it as a lightweight board for my artist's easel. Great ideas - Angel Blessings from me

Mona from Iowa on December 27, 2011:

I have a gallery that gets in tons of cardboard but since I ship out as well I simply reuse it. I love all the ideas you've presented for recycling on a in- home basis.

Peggy Hazelwood from Desert Southwest, U.S.A. on December 26, 2011:

Great uses for cardboard. I reuse packing boxes and decoupage shoe boxes for storage and what I don't use, I recycle.

anonymous on December 18, 2011:

I either use it for storage locally, or put it in local recycle in the condo. It's got to be seriously falling apart or contaminated (really greasy pizza, etc) before I'll just trash it.

anonymous on November 17, 2011:

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When you have time, please take a look at my lens. It is located at

If you like my lens, please add a like to my lens as well. I am new to squidoo and I would appreciate any comments at all.

FunkyJewelleryUK on May 15, 2011:

Sweet lens. Nice ideas! :)

marsha32 on December 16, 2010:

I wouldn't have thought of the garden idea, but that's a great one!

Another A+ lens.

anonymous on October 14, 2010:

Hi, my name is judith, im totally in love with recycling and reusing. ive recently used the cardboard printer cartridge boxes for making a shoe/ magazine/book rack. You just need to put 2 or 3 boxes on top of each other, with the opening facing you, stick them together using a tape, and then cover the entire thing using old (glossy) newspaper/ magazine pages or old gift wrapping paper. This can also double up as a table.let me know what you think of this.

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