Recycle Those Shipping Boxes: We use cardboard like this

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Recycle Those Shipping Boxes

By Cat
June 17, 2014

Use shipping boxes a second time to help prevent weeds.

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Name: Sandy
Mont Belvieu, TX 77580 (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Composter Bee Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hibiscus Region: Texas
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ilovejesus99
Jun 16, 2014 7:45 PM CST
I love to use cardboard for this and under mulch. Earthworms love cardboard as long as it isn't the shiny kind.

Thank you for posting this :)
Name: Catherine
IN (Zone 5b)
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Cat
Jun 16, 2014 7:54 PM CST
Well I figure you pay for them with the shipping fees, might as well use them for some good and not just throw them away.
Cat
"Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers." - Veronica A. Shoffstall
Name: Sandy
Mont Belvieu, TX 77580 (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Composter Bee Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hibiscus Region: Texas
Amaryllis Bromeliad Dog Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Lilies
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ilovejesus99
Jun 16, 2014 8:21 PM CST
Amen to that
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Jun 17, 2014 10:43 AM CST
I've read that a heat gun or an iron make it easy to remove tape and labels.

But I haven 't bought either one yet, to try it out.

They throw away a LOT of big cardboard boxes where I work ... or, rather, they recycle them in the "Corrugated" dumpster.

Name: Catherine
IN (Zone 5b)
Daylilies Lilies Ponds Echinacea Irises Butterflies
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Cat
Jun 17, 2014 11:03 AM CST
@RickCorey That would be nice to know if they do work. If you try it be sure to post your results!
Cat
"Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers." - Veronica A. Shoffstall
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Jun 17, 2014 11:20 AM CST
I've priced used irons at Goodwill: too expensive, and I have no other use for it. But I might buy a heat gun some day!

I'll be sure to post the results.

Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Jun 17, 2014 11:31 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

The tape and labels come off effortlessly once the cardboard is adequately wet. But we just tear the tape off and leave the labels on; they all decompose nicely.

I find appliance and furniture stores are rich sources of cardboard. We dumpster dive our local stores every weekend and always come home with a truck load of cardboard.
Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
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CindiKS
Jun 17, 2014 11:56 AM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing "get rid of boxes you may not want others to see" Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
You are so right--trash day doesn't come soon enough sometimes. I was kind of embarrassed when I started breaking down all my nursery flats and shipping boxes. I had enough to cover a mile of pathways, I think!
Dave, we should have a dumpster diver badge! Mine would have 3 bars under it. *Blush* Lovey dubby
I'm a big believer in Freecycling and recycling.
The new construction dumpsters down the street from me are a great source for prizes.
Whistling
Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Name: Catherine
IN (Zone 5b)
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Cat
Jun 17, 2014 2:34 PM CST
I also find a lot of them at our local Dollar Store. They have a dumpster out back full of cardboard boxes. I just go get what I need. Big Grin
Cat
"Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers." - Veronica A. Shoffstall
Name: Sandy
Mont Belvieu, TX 77580 (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Composter Bee Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hibiscus Region: Texas
Amaryllis Bromeliad Dog Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Lilies
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ilovejesus99
Jun 17, 2014 4:04 PM CST
I find most tape comes off easy and I too leave the labels on. I even shred toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls. I also shred mail as long as it is not glossy paper. I do cut out the cellophane windows on envelopes. Does anyone know if cellophane will compost?

Name: Catherine
IN (Zone 5b)
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Cat
Jun 17, 2014 4:24 PM CST
I usually burn addressed, paranoid about throwing them in the trash. Didn't really think about putting them in there also. Good Idea!
Cat
"Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers." - Veronica A. Shoffstall
Name: Sandy
Mont Belvieu, TX 77580 (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Composter Bee Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hibiscus Region: Texas
Amaryllis Bromeliad Dog Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Lilies
Image
ilovejesus99
Jun 17, 2014 4:48 PM CST
Thanks they compost great Lovey dubby been doing it for several years Lovey dubby
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Jun 17, 2014 4:51 PM CST
Cellophane itself is biodegradable.
- - - - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cellophane

But are we sure that the film over the envelope window is literally "cellophane"?

Cellophane is just cellulose, dissolved and then re-precipitated and washed, with glycerin added to keep it soft and flexible. By itself, cellophane film repels water but lets water vapor pass through. Since it's nothing but cellulose, it's chemically like paper without the lignin and binders ... it's all one sheet instead of thin fibers, but still just cellulose.

If extruded as a thread instead of as a film, it's called rayon.

It does repel bacteria, so I would expect it to break down somewhat slower than paper.

(Some cellophane is made impenetrable to water vapor by coating it with a little nitrocellulose lacquer. I would not think envelope windows are coated that way - it would be quite futile. Paper lets water vapor AND liquid water go RIGHT through! Despite the name, nitrocellulose isn't toxic. It's used in nail polish, playing cards and ping-pong balls. It used to be used as a wound dressing (collodion) and as lacquer on guitars.)

An easy test for patient people would be to cut those windows out of a few weeks' worth of bills. Then crumble them together with a handful of compost that's fresh and "cooking". Tuck the bundle into one part of a compost heap, or bury it in fertile soil, and mark the spot with a mini-blind slat or bamboo skewer. Check it once a month until the cellophane and the paper its glued to "dissolve".

If it breaks down slower than you like, shred it into slivers before adding to the heap. Until it breaks down, it's an inert fiber soil amendment. After it breaks down, it's fungus-food.
[Last edited by RickCorey - Jun 18, 2014 2:33 PM (+)]
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Name: Dinu
Mysore, India (Zone 10a)
Garden Photography Annuals Organic Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Dinu
Jun 17, 2014 10:33 PM CST
Interesting, about the cellophane. Thanks for the link. Since our land is termite infested, anything that has cellulose content on the soil is soon detected by them and attacked by termites in quick time. As such, I cannot use any wooden things in my garden, driven into the soil. So even if I use the cardboard under the bed, they will soon be taken away by them. In a way, termites makes the earth porous as to absorb moisture. I use the waste boxes, paper and such for our hot water boiler. Then I use ash in small quantities to the soil as it has phosphorus. I use the good boxes for storing things, in the absence of proper shelves or storage places in our century old house.
The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for Him there. ~ GB Shaw, 'Adventures of the black girl'
Name: Sandy
Mont Belvieu, TX 77580 (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Composter Bee Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hibiscus Region: Texas
Amaryllis Bromeliad Dog Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Lilies
Image
ilovejesus99
Jun 18, 2014 10:08 AM CST
Thanks for info on the cellophane. I won't worry about it and will just compost it. I shred sale papers also unless i keep them for when I donaye stuff to resale where 100% of procedes go to help people. Thanks for doing the research Lovey dubby
Name: Catherine
IN (Zone 5b)
Daylilies Lilies Ponds Echinacea Irises Butterflies
Bee Lover Dragonflies Hummingbirder Birds Pollen collector Seed Starter
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Cat
Jun 18, 2014 12:50 PM CST
Yes, Thanks! I sure didn't know that about Cellophane.
Cat
"Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers." - Veronica A. Shoffstall
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Jun 18, 2014 2:53 PM CST
Wikipedia makes it easy to be curious. But I try to find some confirmation before taking it at its word.

>> In a way, termites makes the earth porous as to absorb moisture.

Good point! But I bet no one ever imports them deliberately to aerate their soil.

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