How can I reuse or recycle veg boxes?

Krystyna left a comment on the Suggestions page asking:

I’ve just had my first veg box delivery and was wondering if anyone had good re-use suggestions for the wooden veg boxes…?

First off, reduce – you should probably check with your veg box company to see if they have a scheme to take them back and reuse them as veg boxes. They might be able to collect old ones when they drop off new ones.

If that’s not possible, cute vintage apple boxes sell for a mint on eBay so if they’re nice, one idea might be to keep hold of them for 50 years then put them on eBay in 2060 ;)

More practically, my dad used to use those sort of boxes in the garden – as trays for holding pots of plants and for storage – and they’re great as veg storage boxes too funnily enough – people who grow their own root veg will probably be particularly interested in them (offer them on Freecycle/Freegle if you don’t grow yourself).

They’d be perfect for storage in general around the house – if they’re like the ones I’ve seen, the wood might be a little cheap/rough for fine/snaggable items but sanding & painting might take care of that.

And if all else fails, they’d make great kindling for anyone with an open fire/stove (assuming they’ve not been treated with anything to protect the wood).

Any other suggestions?

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7 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle veg boxes?”


  1. Cipollina says:

    These are all the rage up in Scandinavia at the moment, and the interior decorators pay absolutely crazy sums to get hold of them – particularily the sturdier types that I believe are on the way out of the market replaced by plastic crates.

    I got a whole bunch of the sturdy kind that a neighbour was about to throw away, and they’re so useful to have around in the shed and garden, I can’t believe she wanted to throw them. A couple were broken, and parts of them I’ve turned into a bird feeder – a cute little white “house” with red roof, to go with our big terracotta-roofed house!

    The flimsier kind isn’t useful for much, but I did make a tiny shrine from one a few years back. The Mexicans use them a lot for this kind of crafts. Look up “retablo, folk art” on image search, and several should pop up.

  2. Roger says:

    I use mine as a DVD rack.

  3. @Roger- I am in the same boat. I use mine for dvd’s but also for sorting paperwork.

  4. Anna says:

    As we have a vegetable garden, we use the small ones, lined with newspapers, to grow seeds; and the rest of them to store, in a cool and dark attic, our home grown food, such as onions, potatoes and tomatoes.
    When they finally get dark, dirty or rotten we put in the fire, becouse they don´t make compost.

  5. Bobbie says:

    My mom used these boxes extensively, especially the ones with wide boards. She sanded them and made: jewelery and trinket boxes, doll furniture, picture frames, cut out little animals and flowers then used them to decorate furniture, picture frames, walls, you name it. I’ve not told nearly the things she used “apple boxes” for, but she found them very useful.

  6. louisa says:

    Your veg company probably wouldn’t like it – but they can be used for growing your own salad leaves:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardenersworld/video/toby_30minfix/mini_veg_garden.shtml



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