Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Egg Carton O'Rama

Anyone that owns chickens has probably had to deal with this from time to time:
One of many small towers of egg cartons consuming
the area above my refrigerator, the laundry room, and
any other place I can manage to stuff them.
It seems that once someone knows that you have chickens, they start saving egg cartons for you.  Tons & tons of egg cartons; so many that I think people intentionally buy extra eggs at the store just so they can "gift" me with the cartons.  Maybe it makes them feel better thinking that those egg cartons are not going into a landfill.  And some of them I do re-use.  But let me tell you, especially during spring, I usually have a tower of cartons exceeding me in height (although not in girth or that would be an incredible amount of cartons!!)  And although I appreciate the thoughtful intentions, I can only use so many.  Last year I actually put an ad in the paper for them hoping someone else would need them.

On a side note.....why is it that McDonald's got all that flack years ago for having their hamburgers in styrofoam  packaging, but the majority of egg cartons are still made with the stuff?  I'd have to think that more eggs are sold than Big Mac's were.  Or maybe not?  And why are't the cardboard cartons used more?  Probably more expensive?


So even though I use my fair share of egg cartons and a few leave the house when I sell or give eggs away, there is still a plethora of cartons left.  I've used them in counting games with Rhiannon, for watercolor paints, storing small craft items and this time of year, starting seedlings:

My pathetic attempt; 72 measly seed starts.  But more planned.
Soon, I hope.
Does anyone have any other ideas for these things??  


  1. I just did the same thing yesterday with mine, planted seeds and put seedlings in a bunch of them. They are great to separate small tacks, screws and nails and they are good for pins, needles and little odds and ends in the sewing drawer too. They make great paint holders if you are painting and using a variety of colors. For adults and kids! You can cut them up into the little cups and keep them at the fireplace for great fire starters too. I love the paper egg cartons. The styrofoam ones aren't that useful to us, but if there is a will there is a way to find some sort of use.

  2. I donated a lot of egg cartons to a teacher friend for her student's paint projects. She was very greatful.

  3. Our egg cartons are mostly cardboard.... perhaps different "companies" use different materials? I like the rainbow colors of yours. Mine are all plain gray. :o)

    Great idea starting seeds in the extras. They do make good little sorters, too.

    We've made princess crowns with egg cartons by cutting the cups off in strips and then forming a crown shape with a couple of them, then stapling them together. Does that make sense (it is mighty early!). I think the idea is from The Tightwad Gazette book. You know you have too many egg cartons when your children are wearing them on their heads!

    Have a good day, Carolyn.

  4. I do have a few ideas, but will post them soon on my SCRAP blog. I really need to get that done before planting season too.

  5. I so understand.....your pic looks like one of my many stacks! I actually use the cardboard ones for little chick feeders when the chicks are in the brooder in my basement, seems to work great and I just change them out once they are dirty....I only ever have a dozen chicks at one time.

  6. I only save the cardboard ones, when people "gift" me with the styrofoam cartons, I usually pitch them (after they leave of course). ;-) I have a tower 'o cartons above the washer/dryer right now just waiting for the silly chickens to get up to speed with their egg production!

  7. The styrofoam cartons can make good packing material if you need to ship things and the box you have is too big.

    I really get a kick out of the "organic, free-range eggs" I sometimes get at the store - packed in clear plastic cartons.

    We just got some eggs from a friend that keeps chickens, but I never thought to ask if she needed cartons. Maybe she has a stack, too. She sent hers to us in a paper carton - I even made a blog post about the eggs:

  8. The flip side of this is what a bamboozeling thing it is to have eggs and NO cartons! Our cartons in this area seem to be all the gray cardboard. I've never thought (duh, why not?) of using the cartons to start seedlings! I think I'm gonna do that this year! Thanks!

  9. I make soap and pour leftovers in these to make small soap samples for my customers and for seed starting as well.

  10. ohmigosh, I totally had forgotten about those McDonald's boxes!! I admit to saving egg cartons, but they are from a friend who has her farm's name printed on them so I bring them back when we are done LOL who knows if she uses them or not but at least they are compostable if not!

  11. O you will love this one - my word verification was "ireadya" NO I CANNOT READ YOU stupid word verification thing LOL...

  12. Isn't that the truth... McDonalds and Walmart get ALL the flack! I guess the styrofoam gives the eggs a little more protection. We escaped the storms that Missouri got, just a little wind and rain here on Granny Mountain. We are in for a rocky spring they say with lots of storms.

  13. Styrofoam remains the major thorn in my side. It really, really irks me. That being said, about 99% off my cartons are cardboard. And the last time I thought I had too many and gave them away, I found myself WAY short in the spring/summer. And I refuse to buy them. If someone offers me a styrofoam carton, I gently refuse, then give them a lecture on the evils of the stuff. I am sure they appreciate -- I can tell by the eye-rolling.

  14. Carolyn,
    I too get egg cartons a lot. But not because I have Chickens ( not yet, but soon, I hope!).
    I get them because people know that I have the Worms! The cardboard ones I tear up and use as bedding material for them! They are so fast to break down and the Worms love them!

  15. I really have no idea why there are so few cardboard egg cartons around here. In my towering stacks, I only found two.

    Family Best, I think my favorite use is seed starting!

    SFG, Great idea, I'm going to see if I can get a school to take some!

    Mooberry, LOL! And we crown our children with egg cartons!

    Kristina, now that we know about your egg carton post, you've GOT to do one 'cause you know we'll all be looking for it!

    Niece, Next time I get cardboard containers I'm going to save them for chick feeders, good idea!

    Candy, you sly bugger.....just can't hurt anyone's feelings, even about egg cartons! LOL

    Avery, Oh, I forgot about the packing materials, that is a great idea for them. And the plastic packaging for those "all natural organic free range, etc." eggs does seem a bit hypocritical, doesn't it? Checked out your post too, thanks for mentioning it.

    Mama Pea, I may run into the same egg-carton-less problem if any of the people who give me cartons read this! I wonder if the seedling roots would grow through the paper cartons & you could just cut the individual pieces out and plant the entire thing? You should do an experiment like that and post the results for us. Just saying. :)

    Donna, Mini-soaps, that's an idea I'm going to use next time I get my saponification groove on, thanks!

    Erin, maybe your friend is tossing them behind your back so you don't feel badly!! (I wonder if there's some stupid law saying you can't reuse egg cartons)

    Joycee, glad you didn't get any storm damage. Guess we got a doozy of a spring storm season to look forward to. :(

    Susan, I really don't understand why "they" haven't stopped using styrofoam, it seems like there are so many other alternatives. And honey, EVERYbody rolls their eyes at you!! :)

    Tom, maybe you can send some of your cartons to Mama Pea when she runs low!

  16. I would be embarassed to show you my stash of cartons. ;) They are good for sorting small items such as beads.