Cardboard is among the most used materials in the world. Not only does it make for perfect packaging used in many industries, it is also easy to recycle. But homeowners often choose not to throw old cardboard boxes away because the material can have numerous uses. What can you do with all that cardboard lying around?
Sure, you can always recycle it. In fact, the percentage of U.S. citizens who choose to recycle cardboard has increased from 55% in 1993 to a stunning 89% in 2014, according to the latest data. Recycling cardboard is great because doing so saves a lot less energy and produces less dangerous greenhouse gasses. Still, there’s a limit to how much you can recycle the cardboard, as the fibers inside it get shorter each time it’s recycled.
But even if you don’t choose to recycle cardboard, there are numerous uses for all the excess lying around your home. You can repurpose old cardboard into something you can actually use. In this article, we’ll give you a couple of ideas.
Light Your Fire
Even though people often use sticks, branches and twigs to kindle a fire while out camping or in their fireplace, adding cardboard to the mix can help you create a quick and even fire. Make sure to cut the cardboard into thin strips and weave them around sticks, branches or whatever you’re using to kindle the fire. This will help light the fire easier, even if conditions are less than ideal. This could help if there’s a lot of humidity in the area where you’re trying to light the fire. Dry cardboard can help with that, and your fire will last longer and produce a more steady burn.
Reuse for Shipping
While this is probably the most obvious way to use old cardboard boxes, a lot of homeowners still choose to recycle their cardboard and buy brand new boxes at the post office. But if you recently received a cardboard package of any shape and style, you could easily find a way to reuse it to ship something yourself. Simply replace your address with a blank paper where you’ll write the new recipient’s address.
Eliminating Weeds in Your Garden
Did you know that cardboard makes for a great compost? Therefore, it can have numerous uses in your garden. One of the best uses is to battle persistent weeds. Cardboard can help eliminate the weed by blocking out the sun, killing weed in the process. To do this, you need to break the boxes into flat cardboard sheets. Place the cardboard sheets over the weed-infested area. Soak the cardboard up with water and add an extra level of soil. After a couple of weeks you’ll see that your weed problem is gone without having to use dangerous weed killers.
A Gift for Your Pet
If you have a furry friend like a cat or a dog, all you need to do is simply give them a box, and they’ll find a fun way to use it. But you can also repurpose it into an impromptu bed, a scratching post or a toy. For example, you can punch a hole in one side of the box and add noisy trinkets inside it. Watch your cat have fun trying to fish the trinkets out.
Amila Gamage Wickramarachchi is the founder of this blog where she shares her parenting and lifestyle experiences. She is an engineer and a trainer who works in the construction industry. She is the founder of Sihela Consultants.(www.sihelaconsultants.com)