Cardboard box recycling and kids

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 10:35 AM Comments comments (1)

A cardboard box is easily the most versatile recycling material (and I love it because it's almost always free). This was brought home to me when, at his 2nd birthday party, the little guy played with the boxes his gifts came in. In fact, any cardboard box seems to stoke his imagination, especially if he can climb inside. A box becomes a plane, a train, storage for his stuffed toys, a drawing table, a stool (with the bottom reinforced with more cardboard), and anything else he can dream up. 

So it comes as no surprise to me that some clever folks out there in internet land have great ideas to continue this tradition. Here are a few that I found. Visit the sites for instructions.

Cardboard Green Grocer Store

Lier of Ikat Bag made this adorable green grocery store – something every little kid I know would love to have. I love that she included fruit and veggies in the boxes in front of the little store.

Cardboard Suitcases

Don't you just love these little nesting suitcases, also from Lier of Ikat Bag. She's even added little buckle closures and handles to each one and included little passports for each of her little travelers. I like these suitcases so much that I plan on making some for myself for storage!!

Cardboard Kitchen and Bedroom

Leni  Chan and her son created this kitchen and bedroom from cardboard boxes. They also have plans to add on a bathroom.

Cardboard Castle

Who wouldn’t want a castle of their own? Christiane Lemieux, the founder and creative director of DwellStudio shares this one that was designed and built by her two young children. Complete instructions and photos over at Built by kids.

Cardboard Parking Garage

Something  from La Factoria Plastica I will definitely make for the little guy. He's got a collection of little cars that will fit neatly inside this cute little garage

Need more storage?

Posted on March 31, 2011 at 11:11 AM Comments comments (0)

Here's a great idea from Ikea. If you need more storage and that storage has to be in view (because you live in a second-storey basement flat like I do), you can attach boxes together in a nice display using only large office binder clips.

The Ikea idea, of course, is to use their wooden storage boxes but I think this can be done with sturdy recycled cardboard boxes too. Great idea as you can dismantle and rearrange storage as you like. Wish I'd thought of it!!

Images via Ikea

The Life Box or how to turn a cardboard box into a forest

Posted on June 27, 2010 at 5:09 AM Comments comments (0)

What if the box you sent in the mail was more amazing than whatever present you put inside? The Life Box is a new type of cardboard box that's filled with hundreds of tree seeds that you can easily grow. The seeds are interlaced with beneficial fungi to help them grow better. The Life Box was invented by Paul Stamets, mycologist, author and founder of Fungi Perfecti®, LLC

To start your own forest, you tear off the cardboard and soak it to start the seedlings; you'll have baby trees ready to plant in a couple of years. The tree species were carefully selected to be native all across the U.S. and Canada, and include birches, alders, pines, hemlocks, and cedars.

Once the trees are planted, go to the company's website to enter the GPS locations of each tree so they can be tracked.

Image The Life Box

Recycling a plastic sushi container

Posted on March 26, 2010 at 1:56 PM Comments comments (0)

Every once in a while (okay almost every week), I get a craving for sushi from Pret A Manger on Hanover Street, but I always feel a little guilty because sushi comes in plastic containers. This time after enjoying my Japanese treat, I was determined to recycle every bit of the container, including the delightful retractable chopsticks (okay, I get excited when I see great design at work), a pretty carved bamboo toothpick and a neat little plastic soy sauce jar.

What you see above is the result. I'm using the plastic container to store paper beads that will eventually become a gorgeous necklace. Each compartment holds essentials to make the necklace and the soy bottle holds the needles I need. The retractable chopsticks will be used to knit up a couple of egg cosies when I find some yarn. As for the toothpick, well, there's no reason not to keep to its original function!