Eggs are some of the most consumed food products in the world. Humans have eaten them for quite a long time.
However, when purchasing these eggs, they are usually packaged in cartons. More specifically, molded recycled paper.
While your first(and most natural) impulse is probably to throw these out, you should instead be trying to apply the 5R’s and reuse that paper.
Nevertheless, make sure to educate yourself on how to do this properly(more on that in a minute).
The following is a list of smart ways you can reuse egg cartons.
1. Nurture Seedlings
If gardening is something you enjoy, or if you can do so in your current living conditions, then this is an excellent use of recycled egg cartons.
What you want to do here is make “cups” by cutting off the lid of the packaging.
You can then fill up the individual cups of the carton with potting soil and plant seeds.
Namely, these cups are perfect for seed germination. By putting them in the right place, and with some water care, you can eventually cut the cup off the packaging and plant the sprout.
Another good use for the lid is to cover the seedlings and poke some holes into the lid. You can then plant them(without any plastic, of course), and have your very own miniature greenhouse.
2. Use For Storage & Organization
Egg cartons make for excellent storage of small objects. Whether screws, pins, or anything else, it is a unique way to reuse them as your repository. Think of it as a recyclable toolbox.
3. Paint Cups
This is especially useful if you love to mess with paint. Namely, if you need to use multiple paint colors at once for any reason, then an empty egg carton is the perfect solution.
How many of you have bottles (hopefully glass versions) with some sort of sauce in them in your fridge?
Moreover, how many of those bottles are mostly empty? The idea here is to use the carton as a paper holder for you to put your bottles upside down.
In this way, you can easily use the remainder of your sauces without much struggle.
5. Ice Tray
Now, to reuse egg cartons as ice trays, then most likely, your containers are made of plastic, which we strongly recommend against using.
That being said, if you already have them in plastic, then this is an excellent way to reuse them.
This is because the ice will not stick to the plastic. As long as you wash the trays consistently you will have no issues.
6. Farm Use
If you have access to a farm or know somebody who does, then an egg carton is excellent in worm farms. Worm farming is a way composting organics. Here’s a great article on it.
Additionally, you can give them to those who have chickens to avoid getting new cartons for eggs. Speaking of composting:
7. Use For Composting
Just like for worm farms, you can also compost yourself, as long as you have a bin for it. Composting consists of 3 ingredients: Browns, Greens, and Water.
Egg cartons are entirely compostable. If you are looking for some of the benefits of doing this, then consider it reduces the use of chemical fertilizers, in addition to the suppression of plant diseases, and enriches the soil.
Moreover, composting can be done indoors as well as outdoors. This is especially important if you do not have access to a garden or reside in an apartment.
8. Use To Feed Birds
For all us of animal enthusiasts, by merely getting rid of the lid, you can get some seeds to feed birds.
Can Egg Cartons Be Sanitized?
Yes, egg cartons can be sanitized in different ways. This can be done by simply wiping down the container with some vinegar to sanitize.
Additionally, if you have styrofoam cartons (which again we highly recommend against), you can wash them thoroughly with water and Soap.
There are a lot of questions about the potential hazard of reusing egg cartons (i.e., Can you get salmonella from egg cartons?). Therefore, let’s take a look at that.
Is It Safe To Reuse Egg Cartons?
While we are not doctors, we believe the correct question to ask here is: where did the eggs and cartons that you bought come from?
The list of uses above is for the reuse of an egg carton we assume you already bought.
Therefore, where and how you get your original egg carton is crucial. You should be very careful when shopping for them.
For context, in the United States, any farmer of eggs has to follow the Food & Drug Administration’s regulation on egg safety, which instructs on what farmers should do with new eggs and how to package them.
Thus, exercise caution in your uses, i.e., if you have a carton that came with a cracked egg, then we would not use the package.
And, instead, find a local way to have it recycled or sent back to an egg manufacturing plant that will take the carton.
Can You Burn Egg Cartons?
You should not burn egg cartons. Besides the fact that there are better egg carton uses than burning them, it can be quite hazardous to yourself as well as the environment.
There are plenty of ways to reuse egg cartons. The point here is to provide you with one or two options that may spare you from getting rid of an empty egg carton.
Additionally, make sure you are very careful of where you get your eggs; this can go a long way to deciding how you can safely reuse this type of carton.
However, it is definitely possible and will have a significant impact on your well being and that of the environment.
We hope this may lead you to keep, organize, and reconsider disposing of cartons all together, en route a more Zero Waste lifestyle. Feel free to reach out to us with any comments or concerns.
CO-Founder @ Puratium. Lover of Belgian Beer 🍺, and debating endlessly over 🏀. That being said, actively doing my part for the 🌍.