10 Ways to Cure Your "Card-boredom"

admin May 27, 2010

If you made the mistake of not using BungoBox for your last move, or for any other reason have ended up with tons of cardboard just lying around the house - here are some tips to put it to good use and have some fun (all before recycling it of course)!

cat with homemade scratching post

1. Make a Scratching Post for Your Cat

Let your cat show cardboard who's boss! Follow these instructions for this "shred-tastic" project (courtesy of: http://bit.ly/1mGuaM):

  1. Cut cardboard into strips of the height you want the scratching post to be.
  2. Start curling the cardboard into circles, wrapping each piece around the previous pieces and attach with duct tape.
  3. Keep going until it's the right size that you think your cat will use.
  4. Use a saw/utility knife to even off any loose ends on the bottom so it will sit flat on the floor.

cardboard computer casing

2. Make Your Own Computer

Follow this idea and project from a Grad Student from the University of Houston and create your own computer casing made of cardboard! As part of his graduate thesis, Brenden Macaluso developed this "sustainable casing" - featuring 8 USB ports, recyclable corrugated cardboard, less weight and a unique design. Macaluso's focus behind this creation was that products should be designed with "the end of their life cycle in mind". Since computers have a finite life and are disposed of at an alarming rate (over 1.84 million tons of electronic waste was sent to our landfills in 2007), he might be on to something here! (Read more about this project here: http://bit.ly/aLbnCf)

office made out of cardboard

3. Build Your Own Office

Okay, this one may be a little tough, but still a better use for cardboard than moving! "Nothing", an advertising agency based in Amsterdam, constructed the entire interior of their office using cardboard - furniture and all. No screws or glue were used, everything is held together simply by interlocking the cardboard. It took them 5,382 square feet of cardboard for the project, which entailed creating 1,500 separate unique pieces. (See more here: http://bit.ly/aA2wcd)

cardboard boat

4. Build a Boat and Join "The Great Cardboard Boat Regatta" Races

Increasing in popularity each year since its start in 1962, cardboard boat-building and racing would be a fun family activity! Many designs have been created, from kayak-style to pirate ship, airplanes to animals, as long as it floats you're in! In order to participate in The Great Cardboard Boat Regatta, your boat must be able to complete at least 3 trips around a 200-yard course. Be careful with paint and decorations, as some will render the cardboard non-recyclable when you're done. Even if you make one on a smaller scale, this would be fun for the whole family! (Read more here: http://bit.ly/aK3Un9)

cardboard oven

5. Make an Eco-Friendly Oven for the Kids to Cook

Let the kids cook dinner for once without worrying about a huge mess in the kitchen and/or burned and cut fingers! Using two cardboard boxes, an acrylic cover, black paint and foil, inventor Jon Bohmer came up with his "Kyoto Box", that may be a helpful solution for those living in developing nations without easy access to firewood for cooking. CNN reported on his "accidental" creation, which started as a simple project with his daughters and ended up with him winning the FT Climate Change Challenge. Check out the Kyoto Box info video here: http://bit.ly/aGsA8T

cardboard sled

6. Go Sledding!

Okay, so we may not have snow here in Florida to do it traditionally, but we still have some hills! Remember back to when we were creative and used things around the house for a fun Saturday afternoon with some friends. Flatten a box, find a hill and slide away (or get more creative if you wish). You can have races, get outdoors and have some fun!

7. Make a Fort or Playhouse

It's much quicker and easier than a tree house - and it uses trees that have already made the sacrifice. Have the kids help, cut out windows and doors, combine more than one box to make it bigger, decorate it and then they have their own little house! Just be sure not to leave it outside when it rains!

cardboard composter

8. Make Your Own Composter

It will eventually even compost itself! You'll need: 2 boxes (the same size), some tape, some sticks or scrap wood (to support it an inch or so off the ground for breathing) and compost materials! When creating the compost, remember these tips:

  1. Always start with dead leaves on the bottom - the drier the better
  2. Avoid cooked foods, meats and dairy
  3. Combine kitchen wastes in composter with equal amounts of leaves
  4. Sometimes earthworms are a great addition to make the process faster

For more information on this project, visit: http://bit.ly/bMWjJU

cardboard car

9. Make a Car and Enter a Cardboard Car Derby

Like Arkansas' EcoFest where they have a Grand Prix intended to "promote engineering skills and alternative energy as well as demonstrate the intrinsic worth of discarded materials". Sounds like another fun family project with a good learning experience attached! To get more info on the EcoFest, including tips on building your own, go here: http://bit.ly/922KwI

cardboard theater

10. Show Off Your Theatrical Side

By making a T.V. and/or puppet theater! Create characters from other forms of recyclable materials - paper towel rolls, paper, etc. Use some old pillowcases for curtains. Have the kids be newscasters or put on a show. Turn off the T.V. for the night and instead act out your favorite family movies, plays or shows!

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