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reducing waste

4 Ways to Reuse Your Imperfect Box

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Wondering what to do with your Imperfect box after you’ve unpacked your groceries?

Sure, you can always recycle it and in some areas we can even take your box back, but when it comes to preventing waste, it’s always best to reuse things whenever possible. So, if you’re looking to reduce waste or just want to get creative, here are a few ways to give more life to your Imperfect box!

Use it to sheet mulch your yard

Sheet mulching is an easy way to use your old cardboard to build a better garden. By creating a lasagna of compost and old cardboard, you build a new type of soil that won’t dry out and is rich in nutrients. It will also help your soil retain water better and suppress weeds. It’s an ideal way to help turn your lawn into a garden. What are you waiting for?

Get crafty!

With a pair of scissors and your imagination, you can turn your old cardboard into fun and useful things like postcards (who doesn’t like a handwritten thank you letter these days? ), coasters, and more! You can also use those craft instincts to create a fort for a cat or dog in your life.

Organize your closet

Many of us are trying to get organized these days, and sometimes all it takes is a few boxes to finally tidy up those books, clothes, or gear you’ve been piling in the corner. Try cutting up your old cardboard to create easy dividers for your drawers. With a little bit of spare cardboard and some creative upcycling ideas, your living space can be more functional and less wasteful than ever!

Share with a neighbor

We know it might sound a bit odd, but you honestly never know who else in your community might need a cardboard box to move, organize, or build the world’s best homemade halloween costume.  Try offering your boxes on Craigslist’s free stuff section, Nextdoor, or Buy Nothing. Alternatively, try talking to a local food pantry or nonprofit to see if they could use your boxes. Through our work with food banks we were surprised to learn that many of them spend a lot of money on new cardboard boxes to distribute food to their clients, so you never know what a nonprofit might be lacking until you ask. Your used boxes could enjoy an ideal second life as vehicles for giving back!

23 Comments

  • Avatar
    Pam Warren
    January 27, 2020 at 9:07 pm

    We run a small pantry and we use the produce boxes to transport cold items. The insulation that comes in the box is great to help keep frozen food cold, especially in the warm weather. We use the ice packs that come in the boxes for so many purposes.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Imperfect
      January 27, 2020 at 10:30 pm

      Hey Pam! Thanks so much for sharing this with us. We’re happy to hear that you’re helping give our boxes and ice packs a well-deserved second life at such an impactful organization. We appreciate your generosity and support!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Kristen Lanum
    February 3, 2020 at 10:58 pm

    Is Imperfect able to reuse the ice packs or insulation?

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Lisa BowensChapman
    March 9, 2020 at 1:24 am

    I get mine delivered by Fedex so not able to returned so I was thinking of ways of using the cardboard. I am likely going to use some when I am able to get out in the garden. Anyway, I sell honey and eggs at the farmers market and usually use a cooler but then I remembered the box. It was perfect for all of the egg cartons and I even reused the ice pack.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Imperfect
      March 9, 2020 at 3:57 pm

      Hey Lisa! These are all fantastic ideas for reusing your box. Thanks for sharing! We’re so happy to hear that you’re getting new life out of your boxes and ice packs.

      Reply
  • […] you rather just reuse your box instead? Here are 4 impactful ways you can reuse an Imperfect […]

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Gayle Kallmann
      January 14, 2021 at 8:53 pm

      I have kept the (good) boxes, insulation, and the ice packs from my deliveries and would love to donate them…my garage is bulging! I live in So Cal between Barstow and Victorville. If any nonprofits are nearby I would love to donate as much as possible! Also would like to know if you taking back boxes, ice packs, and/or insulation yet?

      Reply
      • Imperfect
        Imperfect
        January 14, 2021 at 11:53 pm

        We definitely encourage you to reach out to your community to find out if there’s a need for those donations! Also at this time, we are still not taking back packaging, but will let everybody know once we are doing so again.

        Reply
  • Avatar
    Esther Rivier
    October 4, 2020 at 12:45 am

    I’ve used my insulated bags and freezer bags for camping trips or trips to the beach. Wondering if you are accepting used boxes and gel freezer bags again tho? I only have use for so many.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Imperfect Foods
      October 11, 2020 at 8:11 pm

      We do have a packaging return program, but we’ve paused it due to current public health concerns. Hopefully, we’ll be able to start that back up again, but in the meantime, we encourage you to recycle or compost your boxes and recycle those bags where #4 plastics are accepted!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Suzanne Flaherty
    November 11, 2020 at 11:18 pm

    I use mine for my recycling instead of my blue bin. It’s a win-win.

    Reply
    • Imperfect
      Imperfect
      November 12, 2020 at 11:06 pm

      A recycling queen! ♻️

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Sue
    December 11, 2020 at 7:38 am

    The ice packs are stored in my deep freezer. When we have long power outages the ice packs are divided between the refrigerator and upper freezer keeping everything colder for much longer. After the electricity is turned back on, all ice packs get returned to the deep freezer. The boxes are great for the compost and for building up the garden soil. I really like everything about your company! Thank you!

    Reply
    • Imperfect
      Imperfect
      December 23, 2020 at 11:24 pm

      So great that you’re able to reuse the ice packs like this! Love it!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Rene Jackson
    January 11, 2021 at 7:27 am

    We go fishing quite often and when we do we always had to buy ice to put the on fish in the cooler. I gathered up my ice bags from the freezer and use them in place of the melting ice. Cheaper in using ice packs this way. And they are washable to refreeze for our next fishing trip or even a picnic.

    Reply
    • Imperfect
      Imperfect
      January 14, 2021 at 11:43 pm

      Such a great way to reuse the ice bags!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Bo
    January 28, 2021 at 3:30 pm

    I’m a new customer and so far I love the deliveries I’ve got 2 so far so I’m looking forward to using some of the boxes in the compost and the ice packs on fishing trips thank you

    Reply
    • Imperfect
      Imperfect
      January 28, 2021 at 7:16 pm

      So berry hap-pea to have you in our wonky family 💚

      Reply
  • Avatar
    MELANIE T.
    February 23, 2021 at 11:47 pm

    I give my boxes, box liners, and ice packs to a friend who participates in her church’s food pantry. Until I can give them more, they ask their participants to bring their boxes back with them to their next visit (the lines are much longer than usual these days.). Hopefully they remember to refreeze their ice packs! Your tip for layering garden plots sounds promising! And it’s time to box up everything my daughter left behind when she moved out and reclaim the space for myself! 🙂

    Reply
    • Imperfect
      Imperfect
      March 2, 2021 at 8:33 pm

      Love that you’re able to find a second home for your packaging to some members of your community who can really put them to great use! 💚

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Nope
    March 15, 2021 at 6:54 pm

    I love that this is your way to turn the tables away from YOU taking back the boxes and ice packs like you used to. No matter how many people reuse them in a creative way, it’s still wasteful the box has a single life anyways.

    Perhaps quit wasting resources like this dumb article and pay people to make better business decisions to uphold your corporate responsibility?

    Reply
    • Imperfect
      Imperfect
      March 26, 2021 at 9:38 pm

      Hey there! We had to stop that program due to the pandemic, but stay tuned because we’re bringing that program back soon in all markets!

      Reply

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