We make a point to source materials that we can recycle when we’re done using them to hold our dinner ingredients. While a lot of you are recycling them, we’ve found that some of you aren’t. But why?

In this post, we’ll be looking at how people are reusing the various components of their packages in creative ways instead of recycling them. Now’s a good time to introduce the concept of “upcycling.” If you haven’t heard this term before, “upcycling” refers to using materials for another purpose than originally intended. We’ve rounded up some of the best examples of how you’re reducing and reusing by upcycling everything that you’re not eating in your package. Let’s all get behind this movement!

The Box

It’s no secret that a box is great for storage. It just so happens that our boxes are the perfect size for rocket ships and cat play pens. We’ve even heard that they’re just the right size for your vintage records, and even your toddlers.

Spaceship from JenniferFlemming

Cat in the box from @sassyandsmiling


We know a lot of you are donating your icepacks to the Boy Scouts, local soup kitchens, and other organizations, but here are some examples of how people are using them now that it’s time for summer BBQs. Best idea yet? Keep those backyard brews cold with some good ole Nordic icepacks.

Cooler from @Nerdymobile

Or take the box, liner, and icepacks to go for a beach picnic. Look closely at the picture, Blue Apron makes an appearance in the midst of this beach fun.



During the colder months, we heard that a handful of members were turning the boxes with the insulated liners into shelters for stray cats. Aww. Others use them for outdoor recreation for their families. Seriously.

Liners from Claudia D

Plastic Baggies

It’s not every day that you come across such a medley of different sized baggies as you find in a Blue Apron box. After you cook with us for a few weeks, you will receive a perfect sized baggie for pretty much any object or occasion. Cherries for a picnic? Silverware? You got it–pack it on up!

Picnic Baggies

We’ve also heard that you’re using the medium sized baggies to mix spice mixes or dry ingredients for your recipes. Keep one more bowl clean and use a baggie to do the mixing!

Paper Bags

Now here’s one that we’re especially excited about. As you’re cooking, keep the paper knick knacks bag handy. Throw your used lemon wedges, the tops of tomatoes, and other scraps from the recipe into the bag. Now what? Compost it! Paper bags provide a carbon rich structure to your compost pile. Not only do they break down, but they provide valuable nutrients that might otherwise be missing.

Paper Bag Composting

Plastic Bottles

We spoke too soon–this one might actually be our favorite. We’re all about bringing lunch to work–a nice home-cooked meal can cozy up a work day. But when you bring a salad and don’t want mix the dressing in ahead of time out of fear of wilting greens, our little bottles come in handy. They’re perfect for one serving of salad dressing, soy sauce, or whatever it may be that you want to bring on the side.

Salad Dressing Bottle

Leftover Ingredients

Part of the appeal of Blue Apron is not having leftover ingredients. And yet, well, sometimes you do. Here’s how to upcycle two of those extras so you can use them when you’re ready.

Save herbs. Save those stems! You can get a second round out of those guys, and some of our members are putting this to the test. Put the stems in a cup of water, and they could sprout again–like this Thai Basil!

Thai Basil from Erika A

Save garlic. We know we send you a lot. But we certainly don’t think that’s a bad thing. Here are some recipes that will help you use up the extra cloves that accumulate from week to week.

Extra Garlic?

 We hope you’ve enjoyed these tips on how to upcycle your Blue Apron box. We’d love to hear your ideas–share them below in the comment section!