9 Ideas To Upcycle Your Cardboard

For years, environmentally conscious people have been championing the idea of cardboard recycling. After all, each year, tens of millions of tons of paper products are thrown away, ending up in America's landfills. 

According to wastemanagement.com:

  • Recycling just one ton of cardboard saves more than 9 cubic yards of landfill space.
  • Recycling a ton of cardboard saves 390 kWh of energy, 46 gallons of oil, and 6.6 million BTUs.
  • Recycled cardboard saves 24 percent of the total energy needed to produce brand-new cardboard from nonrecycled materials.

If you're looking to do your part to protect the environment and decrease your carbon footprint, one of the best places to start is by reducing your waste. Recycling has been around for years, but a new buzz word is starting to make a mark: "upcycling," or "reusing a material without degrading the quality and composition of the material for its next use." Read on for 9 ideas to upcycle your old apple boxes, toilet paper tubes, and cereal containers.

1. Make a play guitar. A handy dad traced his ukelele onto several sheets of cardboard, cut them out, layered them together, added some rubber bands, and voila! Hours of entertainment for any child.

2. Use a large cardboard box as art paper for your kids. The paint won't leak through like it sometimes does, and children will love the super-sized art surface.

3. Store your sewing goods. Planetsave.com recommends cutting cardboard into uniform squares or rectangles with a small slit on one side. Slide the end of your odd-sized and leftover sewing fabric into the slit and wrap the remaining fabric around the board for easy, organized storage.

4. Head outside and use it as an alternative weed controller. Laying cardboard strips down in your garden or flowerbed can help your soil retain moisture better and suppress weed growth.

5. Make holiday decor. An online search for "holiday cardboard projects" will yield literally thousands of ideas for holiday-themed art projects. Here are just a few:

6. Create your own biodegradable planters with toilet paper tubes.

7. Light up a room with this DIY cardboard chandelier.

8. Let your children build their dream home. Gather an assortment of different sized boxes and give your kids some tape and let their imaginations run wild. 

9. Make cute, cheap drawer organizers with some cereal boxes, wrapping paper, and glue.