reducing waste

The Most Creative Ways to Reuse an Imperfect Box

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In our quest to become the most sustainable grocer, we’re always looking for ways to extend the life of our packaging materials. That’s why we take back your insulated liners and refrigerated gel packs. But besides recycling them, have you ever wondered if there are some nifty ways to reuse an Imperfect box after you’ve unloaded your groceries? 

We used to think the options were pretty simple, like using it to help a friend move or maybe make a Halloween costume for your dog if you were feeling extra creative. But over and over again, our customers have blown us away with all the creative ways they upcycle their Imperfect boxes. We’ve seen our boxes become everything from luxury housing for cats and guinea pigs, to part of the set for a play, and much more. 

Here are some of our favorite creative reuses of our boxes to date! 

Creative ways to reuse a box for baby chickens

Somewhere to cluck home

Sharolyn has been using her boxes to create a cozy home for her baby chicks. The chicks stay warm thanks to a thoughtfully placed heat lamp and our hearts stay warm anytime we think about these adorable baby birds and their upcycled home. 

Creative ways to reuse an Imperfect box for a toy grill

A bite-sized grill

Samantha turned her old boxes into a toy grill for their son to practice on while dad uses the real one. We respect anyone who sees the wisdom in kindling a love of cooking and recycling at a young age. 

Creative ways to reuse a box for a cat fort

The wizarding world of… cats?

Reed turned a few boxes into a multi-level Harry Potter-themed condo for their cat. Talk about a purrfect way to reuse your cardboard!

box turned into a tree

Something to play with

Sarah and Jess in Chicago turned several boxes into a tree trunk as part of a set for a play. Way to set the stage for sustainability. 

toy racecar from cardboard Imperfectbox

The Fast & the Adorablest

Molly in Oregon transformed her boxes into a race car for her two children, setting a new land speed record for creative transformation in the process. Take notes, The Fast & the Furious screenwriters. 

ninja turtle costume from cardboard Imperfectbox

A waste-fighting super hero

Addie turned her box into an amazing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles costume for her son. She is a real-life superhero in the fight against paper waste!

So if you’re ever uncertain about what to do with your cardboard box, we hope these insanely creative ways to reuse an Imperfect box inspire you. If you need even more ideas, check out this blog post for some inspiration. When in doubt, please recycle your used cardboard box. Thanks for helping make sure all of your Imperfect packaging has a picture-perfect ending! 


  • Cynthia
    July 7, 2021 at 8:13 pm

    Love the cat condo! However, my Daughter owns a small catering business and I give her the boxes and the liners to reuse. On the other hand, I will return the cold packs to Imperfect for recycling.
    Thank you.

    • Imperfect Foods
      July 18, 2021 at 11:16 pm

      So glad you’re helping your daughter and putting those packing materials to good use! We appreciate you!

  • Iva
    July 7, 2021 at 11:54 pm

    I keep mine in the kitchen to catch all my recycle-ables. I get my delivery on Monday. My old box goes into the tub on Tuesday evening for pickup Wednesday, and the new one takes its place. Its not all that imaginative but it is useful 🙂

    • Imperfect Foods
      July 18, 2021 at 11:16 pm

      Love that! Way to be a recycling champ!

    • Ashley Earhart
      December 29, 2021 at 6:15 pm

      I do this too!

      • Imperfect
        December 30, 2021 at 10:54 am

        Love to hear it so much! 👏

  • Cheryl Gafner
    July 8, 2021 at 12:09 am


    • Imperfect Foods
      July 18, 2021 at 11:16 pm


  • Ginny
    July 8, 2021 at 12:37 pm

    I use cardboard boxes in the garden to kill weeds. Just flatten the boxes and lay them down to kill weeds, then over it they disintegrate and enrich the soil.

    • Imperfect Foods
      July 18, 2021 at 11:24 pm

      Woohoo! What a wonderful way to compost those boxes while you cultivate your beautiful garden!

  • Evan Laurence
    July 8, 2021 at 7:12 pm

    How about the silver bags the frozen food comes in? I’d love to see things made out of those! I volunyeer to make something!

    • Imperfect Foods
      July 18, 2021 at 11:25 pm

      If you head on over to our Instagram and scroll down a bit, you’ll see a fabulous dress made out of those liners! We’d love to see what you create with them so be sure to tag us or send us a photo of your work!

  • Josita
    July 9, 2021 at 1:37 am

    When are you taking them back again for reuse?

    • Imperfect Foods
      July 18, 2021 at 11:29 pm

      We’re not taking back our boxes at this time as we’re not able to reuse them and they’re easy for folks to reuse or recycle at home. We do take back our insulated liners and gel packs for sterilization and reuse however!

  • barbara
    July 9, 2021 at 5:11 am

    I use my box as a ‘bath tub’ for my guide dog in training. He learns how to ‘load up’ before we use the real tub.
    when we finish we recycle the box.
    I learned from my sister who works for P&G that they use 100% recycled cardboard in toilet paper rolls…Made in Georgia USA.

    • Imperfect Foods
      July 19, 2021 at 12:12 am

      That’s so precious! So happy to hear that your boxes are helping your training process! 💚

  • Nancy
    July 19, 2021 at 8:53 pm

    I also use mine to kill weeds. Thistle, Creeping Charlie, and Burdock are like cockroaches nothing kills them. But putting boxes down, then dirt on top I have a great raspberry bed going. And when the thistles come through, they’re small enough to just pull up.

    • Imperfect
      July 20, 2021 at 7:49 pm

      This is so amazing to hear! And we bet those raspberries are so sweet and delicious! 💚


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