Recycle/Reuse: Juice Boxes

Every so often, I will order the Tropicana Juice Boxes from Market Day for my kids. They love them and go through them pretty fast and I like that Tropicana advertises 2 servings of fruit per carton. I also like supporting our school with the sale.

The last time we bought them, I decided I was going to find a new use for the containers, rather than just recycling them. I had also kept an Earthbound Farm baby spinach container at the same time. I happened to put the juice box inside it to wash later and then I thought what a perfect little garden kit it might make for the kids. Totally one of those right place at the right time ideas.

The great things about seeds is that you can grow them in practically anything that won’t emit toxic chemicals. I have more seed starters coming this week but here’s how we made the juice box set. You can use any juice box containers that you may have.

The first thing you need to do is thoroughly clean out your containers. Once they are dry, cut off the tops so they fit inside your Earthbound Farm container, or other salad container. Don’t forget to cut a couple holes in the bottom of the juice boxes so that the water can drain. The great thing about the Earthbound Farm (and other salad containers) is that parts of the bottom are raised. This helps in keeping your juice boxes from sitting in water.

After your juice boxes are clean and dry, you can fill them with dirt: (I recommend an Organic Potting Mix, if you can find it.)

You don’t need to fill them to the top as seeds don’t need that much dirt to grow. Once the dirt has been added, drop a seed in the middle, cover it with dirt and then water it. You don’t want to drown the seed but add just enough water to keep it moist. Don’t forget to label your containers if you are using more than one type of seed. Initially, we used sticks for the labels but when I had the container shut, mold started to grow on them so I took them out. So just be careful if you put in sticks with the lid closed. I ended up just using a Sharpie marker on the outside. This is what they looked like when we were done:

I kept the lid on in the beginning for just a little bit so the moisture could build up a little. I’m sure you’d be fine without the lid, though. You just need to be careful not to leave the lid on too long or the containers will get too moist inside. And here are the seeds several weeks later:

Our parsley and chives are doing well. The lavender hasn’t sprouted just yet. I could probably keep the seeds in these containers for awhile but eventually we are going to transfer them to an herb bowl. (more to come on that this week along with several other seed starter ideas!) As you can see, six Tropicana containers fit perfectly inside the clamshell container.

This is just one way to re-use juice boxes. It’s a fun activity to do with the kids and you’ll save money on fresh herbs (or whatever you decide to grow!) Keep your eyes open for deals on Organic seed packets. Our Menards stores often have them 40% Off the packet price.

What other ways have you found to re-use juice boxes?