If I had a chicken this would not be a problem.
December 20, 2010 7:14 PM   Subscribe

What do I do with all these egg cartons?!

I eat LOTS of eggs. I have approximately ten zillion cardboard egg cartons. They seem like they'd be good for something...but what?! I don't papier-mache and I have no need for small item storage.

Can I donate them to a school for craft purposes? Or is everyone so germophobic now that that's not kosher anymore? I'm going through one a week! HALP
posted by overeducated_alligator to Home & Garden (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
they're good for a cheap sound buffer. I'd say put a post up on craigslist, or hit up a local music shop and see if there are any aspiring musicians whose parents would really appreciate the sound baffling
posted by zombieApoc at 7:19 PM on December 20, 2010

Do you know anyone with preschool-aged kids? You could give the cartons to them, they could bring them to school, etc. I'm sure there are a bunch of crafts they could use them for.
posted by pinky at 7:23 PM on December 20, 2010

Best answer: backpackers also use them. some melted wax and drier lint make a good firestarter.
posted by zombieApoc at 7:29 PM on December 20, 2010 [2 favorites]

Do you compost or know anyone that does? Shredded egg cartons are a great "dry" component for compost, if so.

You can also just shred them up, mix them with a couple weeks' worth of saved vegetable scraps. and bury them in your yard, if you have one - you'll be doing the soil some good!
posted by ryanshepard at 7:29 PM on December 20, 2010

This is assuming that they're paper cartons, of course.
posted by ryanshepard at 7:31 PM on December 20, 2010

If you decided to buy "farm fresh" eggs at a farmers' market (if one exists near where you live), you could probably bring back empty cartons and return them. This way you won't end up with lots of trash. Similarly, you can sometimes buy milk in returnable glass bottles. Again, this might not be available where you live, and might command a bit of a premium, but they're good options if you're conscious about the amount of trash you're creating.
posted by Nomyte at 7:31 PM on December 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Egg cartons are useless as soundproofing, because they have very little mass, and you need mass to absorb sound. You can put them on walls to try to damp sound reflections, but they're not incredibly effective (and they're a fire hazard too).

I just chuck the cartons in with the other paper recycling, myself -- check if your local recycling supports that?
posted by xil at 7:32 PM on December 20, 2010

Farmers appreciate them. If you know anyone who sells yard eggs, or have a farmers' market near you, ask around to see who might want them.
posted by katemonster at 7:33 PM on December 20, 2010

Seconding giving them to a farmer.

Ask ahead, but you may be able to give your used cartons to a farmer's market even if you don't buy eggs from that farm.
posted by Sara C. at 7:54 PM on December 20, 2010

Do you know anyone with pet gerbils? Ours go crazy over a chance to chew up a cardboard egg carton. They are working on one right now in fact. :)
posted by beandip at 8:15 PM on December 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Chandelier?
posted by lollusc at 8:30 PM on December 20, 2010

Use one (or more) to organize earrings or other small jewelry in your dresser.
posted by olinerd at 8:49 PM on December 20, 2010

Farmers do appreciate them. But before you give ALL of them to farmers, go buy a couple dozen jalapenos, some gorgonzola and cream cheese, and some bacon. Cut the top off the peppers and scoop out the seeds and ribs. Mix the cheeses and fill the peppers. Wrap a slice of bacon around each pepper, secure with toothpick, and place in cardboard egg cartons. Place in smoker (or on grill w/ low indirect fire) for about an hour, until the bacon is done.

They're called Texas Crack. Enjoy.
posted by cyndigo at 9:08 PM on December 20, 2010 [2 favorites]

Firestarters! My dad collects dryer lint, old candles, and egg cartons. He puts a bundle of lint in each "cup" and then melts a bunch of the wax over it, gelling it into a wax/carton/lint blob. Use them as firestarters! Just tear off one of the "cups", light it, and toss it in your sticks- those sucker will light dang near anything. And you've just re-used 3 things you would normally throw out. Yay planet earth!
posted by rawredmeat at 9:25 PM on December 20, 2010 [4 favorites]

you could probably bring back empty cartons and return them

No, usually you can't. It might be different where you live, but usually cartons that go for sale have to be new, and stamped with a farm and batch identifier in case they make anyone sick (I know this because I tried to return mine to a smallholding).
posted by Cuppatea at 5:07 AM on December 21, 2010

Response by poster: Cuppatea, that was my concern - they also have supermarket brand stamping all over them. Unfortunately, it's also winter and the farmers' markets near me are closed. I think firestarters will be the winning use!
posted by overeducated_alligator at 5:28 AM on December 21, 2010

Crickets like to hide in them - if you know of any cricket breeders or pet stores that sell crickets, they might appreciate them for cricket condos.
posted by peagood at 5:41 AM on December 21, 2010

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