Polyethylene foam (PE foam) and Polypropylene foam (PP foam) are common packing materials because they’re light weight, cheap to manufacture, and perfect for protecting items. The only problem is that they’re often not easily recyclable. However, they are reusable and here are a few other things you can use them for.
1 – Pipe Insulation
In some areas, winter means extremely cold temperatures. It also means loss energy through hot water pipes. However, PP and PE foam is the same material used in many of the current marketing insulation packages for water pipe insulation. If it’s flexible enough, you might as well use it to wrap around your pipes.
2 – Projects and Presentations
Some of the PP foams tend to be very coarse, strong, and slightly brittle. However, that makes them perfect for using as presentation holders. You can draw on them with marker, use them to tack items to, and, since they’re light weight, you can also haul them around easily.
Of course, depending on what you need, you can use both for various carving or sculpting projects, too. Some of the PE foams are perfect for tracing and cutting out various shapes that you can use for art projects. You can easily cut out shapes and simple figures to dip and paint and stamp on paper. Alternatively, you could use the foam for three-dimensional modeling.
3 – Spacers
When you buy paintings, mirrors, or furniture, you may be worried about scraping up your walls or hardwood floors. Depending on the harshness of the foam, you can easily trim and cut them out to use them behind or under objects to keep your home safe from unnecessary scratches that can lead to extra work painting or rebuffing.
4 – Jungle Pits
If you’re the crafty type and have an abundance of foam sitting around, you could always use them to construct tiny (or large) jungle pits that your kids and their friends can jump into. Some of the foam acts as a natural cushion, and the kids can enjoy jumping into them all day. Additionally, if you’re worried about sharp edges, you can always line them with the foam, too.
5 – Furniture Repair
If you happen to have any bean bag chairs lying around, you can easily repair them by cutting up small pieces of foam. Likewise, depending on the foam, you chop them into tiny pieces to repair stuffed animals as well. Large pieces of foam can even be traced and trimmed to temporarily replace the insulation in couch cushions and other padded furniture. You might have to get inventive, but it should work.
6 – Soundproofing
If you’re an avid audiophile or just want to spend more time recording sounds, you can use some of the insulation foam to cut down on feedback and ambiance. Typically speaking, you’ll need a lot of it to cover an entire room, but there are some projects available that allow you to create small boxes that help create richer and smoother sounds using simple microphones.