We’re all in this world together. So it makes sense to find ways to make it a better place. That’s why we take pride in giving people a way to reduce trips to the grocery store, waste less food, and cook meals with energy-efficient microwaves. But what about all that packaging– the box, foam, and even the dry ice?
Here are some great ways to use your PTF box to reduce, reuse, recycle– and help the needy too!
NEW: PTF + you can help the needy
Personal Trainer Food is pleased to announce a partnership with Give Back Box to help you reuse your box! This program lets you donate your clothes and household goods to charity at no cost. Just fill your PTF box, visit the Give Back Box website to print a shipping label to donate all those clothes you don’t fit in any more!
Foam makes great outdoor decorations, especially for Christmas: cut it in the shape of trees, Christmas tree balls, and stars. Paint the shapes, and wrap them with Christmas lights. For other parties, cutout letters “USA” for the 4th, numbers for a birthday age, “GIRL,” “BOY!,” “NOEL,” and “XMAS.” For a clean cut, see the foam cutting tips below.
Fill up that blank wall
You can paint the foam black and mount a photo on it. Use some removable adhesive strips to stick it to the wall. Or you can find some fabric with a great print on it and strategically wrap it around the foam as shown below. Staple the edges on the back and hang with removable adhesive strips.
Weight loss success tracker
Cover a piece of foam with burlap or canvas and staple it in place to make a handy bulletin board. For a prettier board, add embellishments like colorful ribbons, dried flowers, and some vintage photos. Use it to pin up inspirational quotes or to track all your Non-Scale Victories!
Reduce shipping materials
It should go without saying that you can re-use the box and foam when you ship stuff. Even if the box is too large, everything can be cut down to fit what you are packing. The foam can also be cut or broken to cushion even the oddest-shapes, replacing the need for packing peanuts. Don’t forget to use with your Give Back Box!
Reuse for moving day
Personal Trainer Food boxes are golden when it comes to moving; they have sturdy handles to help you lift them. The foam can be used to cushion items like flat TVs, mirrors, and pictures during transportation. If you aren’t moving you can help someone else who is– list the boxes in the free section of your neighborhood classifieds.
All that cardboard and foam is useful stuff for arts and crafts, science fairs, drama club, and spirit days. Make your donation even better: toss some extra classroom supplies in the box like markers, paints, construction paper, tissues, and hand sanitizer.
Learn some science
Learn some science with the kids with any leftover dry ice (safety first, see below!). You can blow up balloons, make spoons sing, and build an engine with these great ideas from Continental Carbonic. See the dry ice safety tips below.
Remove dents and dings
Remove or reduce the appearance of minor dents that haven’t creased the sheet metal on your car. First, park the car in the sun so the metal can warm up. Protect your hands with heavy gloves and pick up the ice with tongs. Pass the dry ice over the dent without touching the car itself. The rapid cooling of the metal can pop the dent out. See the dry ice safety tips below.
Green thumbs unite!
Instead of buying expensive containers, you can grow herb gardens and greens right in your PTF box. In wetter locations, wrap some chicken wire around the outside to hold things together. Once finished, the cardboard can be put in your compost and the foam used for floral or dry flower arrangements.
End food waste
A worm bin is a fun and easy way to recycle food scraps. All you need is a ventilated box with a lid, some compost, newspaper, shredded cardboard and worms. Here is a great set of instructions. The worms will turn your food waste into rich compost for your garden beds and lawn.
Take it easy on the knees
Use the foam pieces as kneelers when working in the garden, garage, or around the house. Stack up the foam to get different ‘seat heights.’
Warm your buns
Foam can be used to sit on for comfort and protection from the cold. Use the pieces as bun warmers for outdoor fun like sporting events, camping, the fire-pit, or picnics in the snow.
Spook someone (and prep your lawn for winter, too)
Use the foam to turn your yard into a creepy graveyard. Cut the pieces to shape and paint spooky epitaphs on them. Mound up compost piles and stick the headstones in them. Once the trick-or-treaters are gone, spread the compost as a lawn amendment. For a clean cut, see the foam cutting tips below.
Show your love
Use the foam and/or cardboard to make the biggest heart ever. Paint it red and sprinkle some glitter on it to win over your sweetheart. For a clean cut, see the foam cutting tips below.
Build a fort
For most kids, the box alone makes a great fort. But with a few more boxes, its easy to create elaborate hideaways for you… (ahem)… the kids to play in.
Stoke the imagination…
Why stop at fort-building? There are all sorts of crazy costumes you can make to go with it! How about a robot, rocket, airplane, or a gallant knight?
Well, ok… only if you dare! Cardboard box forts aren’t just for the kids. Cats and dogs love them too.
Rescues that specialize in helping outdoor or feral animals are always in need of insulating materials such as foam and cardboard to build warm shelters and feeding stations.
Hold the biggest catch ever: make a fishing cooler using the box and foam. Line it with a yard bag inside to prevent leaks. Sketch a ruler on the top for fun.
Foam makes a great disposable painting stand, especially because you can press items into it so they stand up. The cardboard box can be used as a mini spray booth to protect the area from overspray. For larger items, cut it open to make a wind shield so you get a perfectly even coat.
Save on energy bills
All that foam is free insulation that can be used to moderate temperatures in your home and outbuildings. Use it to insulate your attic, garden shed, playhouse, garage, or doghouse.
Fix it right
Foam makes a handy screw or parts holder, and can help you remember how everything goes back. Before removing the old part, trace an outline of the new part on the foam, including the screw holes. As you remove the old part, press the screws into the holes of your outline. No more left over nuts and bolts!
Not sure where to recycle the foam?
Most of us can easily recycle cardboard boxes, but are stumped when it comes to foam. If your waste company doesn’t pick up foam, you can take it (or mail it) to one of 351 recycling locations in the U.S.
Click on the Home for Foam image below to find a place to recycle foam near you!
To learn more interesting facts about recycling foam, visit Foam Facts.
How to cut foam
The best way to get a clean cut with foam is to purchase a hot knife at your local arts and crafts store. They are just $10-15. You can also use an electric knife with a little wax on it as a lubricant. For straight lines, you’ll get better results if you score the foam with a butter knife, credit card, or box cutter first.
Dry ice safety tips
- Do not touch with bare skin.
- Do not eat dry ice.
- Use only in open or well-ventilated areas to avoid suffocation from CO2 replacing oxygen. Do not use in cars or near sleeping areas.
- Do not place in closed containers; may cause explosion.
- Keep out of reach of children.
A Special Offer Just for You…
For a limited time only, you can get 10 days of breakfast free when you purchase a Lunch and Dinner subscription program. Use code MORNING when you check out.
Click here or on the ad below to get started now — and get the RIGHT foods you need to get (and keep) the body of your dreams.
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Offer available on Lunch and Dinner meal plan only. Only valid on on first order of subscription. Valid for orders placed 11:00a 8/7/2017 to 11:59p 8/13/2017. Use code MORNING at checkout to receive offer. May not be combined with other offers.
Weight loss results not guaranteed and are based on various factors. Copyright © 2017 Personal Trainer Food, All rights reserved.
About the Writer: 100 pounds ago, Jan knew what it is like to be obese, unhappy, and stuck. She has spent the last 15 years as a fitness writer, trainer, yoga teacher, and Weight Loss Coach. Today, she’s proud to be a part of the Personal Trainer Food team so she can continue her goal to help others live their fullest lives possible. Email Jan@PersonalTrainerFood.com if you have any questions!