What to do with Cardboard; Repurposing Rubbish into Creative Genius

When it comes to cardboard in our rubbish, we use it in abundance. In fact, Cardboard Balers state ‘an average household can throw away as much as 13,000 separate pieces of cardboard every year. Most of this is packaging on foods and retail items’.

Although it has been estimated that over three-quarters of cardboard is now recycled, it is more environmental to reuse cardboard rubbish before we go straight to reprocessing it. This is because to repurpose something is to revitalise it and prolong its lifespan.

Moreover, if you (like me) are experiencing rubbish and recycling removal disruptions due to COVID-19, you’re probably wondering what to do with your Easter egg boxes from the holidays. Well, hopefully, this article will give you some creative inspiration!

Rubbish to Compost:

Cardboard is a surprisingly useful element when it comes to gardening. The fact that it is biodegradable means that it can be used in a multitude of ways. Composting is one such example. To do this, shred the cardboard, wet it, and mix it with soil at a 50/50 ratio. You can also use a sheet cardboard to insulate your compost heap.

Rubbish to Seed Pots:

You can also use cardboard to make biodegradable seed pots. This fantastic idea from ‘Zero Waste Week’ suggests the use of old toilet rolls or egg boxes for this. This way, you can plant your seeds in the ground and not have to worry about the plastic pot you leave behind. A great and easy way to reduce cardboard waste in your home whilst also helping your garden to grow.

Rubbish to Weed Control:

Cardboard is a free way to prevent weeds from killing your plants. If you put down a few layers beneath the plants you want to protect, the weeds will not be able to penetrate through. This is a non-chemical alternative to weed killer and the cardboard will eventually decompose into mulch and enrich the soil to help the plant grow – although this will mean that you will have to replace the cardboard barrier.

Rubbish to Bird feeders:

Egg boxes would make a great little bird feeder. Just fill the egg pockets with seeds and some leftover food. Apples, bananas, eggshells, raisins, and peanut butter are said to attract birds.

Rubbish to Crafting baskets:

Making weaved baskets is a great way to reduce cardboard waste whilst also helping you get organised and tidy up. There are numerous tutorials online which will instruct you on how to weave and decorate your basket.  

Rubbish to Musical Instruments:

Although using cardboard to create musical instruments sounds a little farfetched, it has been done! From a kazoo to a guitar, cardboard offers a sustainable material through which you can express and explore your musical talents.

Rubbish to Creative craft:

There are many ways to use cardboard as a tool for your creative muse! From constructing a Wendy house out of cardboard to sculpting a robot figurine or animal mask, cardboard is a diverse artistic instrument and can be a great way to keep you busy during the lockdown.

If you need inspiration, the internet holds a vast array of creative genius – I’d recommend checking out https://www.diyncrafts.com/27010/repurpose/35-brilliant-diy-repurposing-ideas-cardboard-boxes and How to Reuse Your Cardboard Boxes for Beautiful DIY Crafts for Your Home (porch.com) for fantastic ideas and instructions on how to create such projects.

Repurposing and reusing rubbish can awaken your artistic side whilst also reinventing an item you would have otherwise thrown away into something entirely new and usable. This kind of inventive thinking is what we need to be utilising in order to create a more sustainable approach to waste management.

Written by Leah Bennett

20 Apr 2020