Sustainable ways to repurpose cardboard boxes this Christmas

Families across the nation are rushing to put in their orders as retailers announce their last delivery dates for Christmas, with Royal Mail cutting off second class mail from tomorrow (18th December).

But with 70 percent of Brits now preferring to shop online, production of packaging has been ramping up, with Hermes revealing a record-breaking 72 million parcels were delivered in the UK between Black Friday and Christmas Eve alone last year, almost double that of 2019.

However, over a third of the UKs paper and carboard waste was not recycled last year.

For a more sustainable way to tackle your cardboard waste this Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the experts at WePack share their top tips on how to repurpose packaging to be more environmentally friendly.

Temporary insulation

As energy bills soar thanks to the UK’s highest rate of inflation in a decade, keeping your home warm this winter could cost you a pretty penny.

Cardboard, particularly corrugated cardboard, is brilliant for trapping heat thanks to its small pockets of air and being a poor thermal conductor. It can be used as a cheap solution to help you insulate your home during particularly cold spells.

Though it certainly should not be used as a permanent alternative to professionally fitted insulation, cardboard can be used in a pinch for providing an extra level of insulation to help reduce your energy bills.

Use your leftover cardboard packaging to block any draughty areas such as windows, doors and even your fireplace.

You should also look at your roof space. Simply filling a loft area with cardboard boxes will help to insulate the space, reducing your energy bill in turn.

Be aware that you should avoid using cardboard in any area where moisture is high since cardboard can easily become a breeding ground for mould.

Gardener’s gold

Did you know cardboard can be used as a sustainable, cheap way of preventing pesky weeds?

You can lay pieces of plain cardboard, such as used Amazon boxes, over a designated vegetable patch to work as a weed barrier.

Because of cardboard’s high carbon content, it is effective for growing fungi and enriching the soil. It also helps to aerate soil thanks to attracting worms that like to feed on the cardboard.

Be sure to hose down your cardboard once lain and cover it with soil.

Alternatively, you can shred your cardboard to make your own zero-waste compost.

Make sure your cardboard is broken down into smaller pieces and mixed in with other green materials to help it biodegrade. You’ll also want to ensure there is enough moisture to break it down, so consider wetting your cardboard before adding it to your compost heap.

Christmas Eve box

With over 6 million views on TikTok, the Christmas Eve box trend has been taking the UK by storm in recent years. The trend sees children (and adults) open decorative boxes on Christmas Eve filled with curated goodies for everything you need the night before the big day, such as Christmas pyjamas, snacks and games.

Buying unfilled Christmas Eve boxes can range from just a few pounds to more than £30 for the box alone.

Repurposing your used delivery boxes not only helps save money but also helps to reduce waste, allowing you to enjoy new Christmas traditions more sustainably.

For a more personal touch, you can get creative with the kids and decorate your boxes together to gift to friends and family.

However, if you do plan on recycling your used boxes afterward, be sure to avoid using materials like glitter which prevents cardboard from being recycled.

Moving boxes

With experts anticipating a continued increase in demand for houses throughout 2022 and beyond, the moving boom isn’t expected to die down any time soon.

If you’re planning a move sometime in the New Year, it’s worth holding on to your used parcels to save yourself some money on moving boxes while keeping your valuables secure.

And if you’re not in the market for moving boxes, chances are someone else is. Larger, sturdier boxes can be resold on eBay or Facebook Marketplace to those looking to move house, with sellers earning up to £25 for their used cardboard boxes.