Milk Crates - not as green as you think

I know milk crates are a really sturdy container and popular for a lot of "green" projects.

The problem is that they're stolen.  They belong to the dairy whose name is printed on the sides.  Dairies reuse these crates.  They don't discard them, contrary to popular belief.

Reusing them would be green if they were discarded.  Sadly, dairies must keep replacing their stolen milk crates.  That means more resources used.  The milk crates outside stores aren't being thrown away; they're awaiting pickup from the dairy driver.

Even damaged crates belong to the dairies.  They send them to be repaired and continue to use them.

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if you have a table saw here is an easy crate of the same size if not bigger made from a 4.99 2x6

Goodhart5 years ago
Some "milk crates" are made just like milk crates but made specifically for storage.

Many are sold on the open market...but still called "milk crates".

This one DOES have the company name on it,,,. but it's not a milk company
You can't seriously be arguing that milk crates are a non-transferable asset.

Wilmette5 years ago
I have milk crates that I did not steal.
I have been given them by store owners who have gone out of business or switched dariies. The daries didn't come for their crates.
I have gotten them from dumpsters and other collections of discarded items.
I have been given them.
To return these items to the rightful daries would require me to extend effort and give the dairy free labor. It would cost me more time and effort than the crate is worth.
Is it green to use discards. Absolutely. Is it green to spend time and effort to return discards to the owners. No.
I would not expect a dairy driver to spend time tracking down the owner of a hat or pair of gloves that might have been left on one of his crates
onrust5 years ago
I have switched to kosher pickle buckets with lids :)
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kill-a-watt5 years ago
it would be nice if someone, somewhere sold milk crates that could be bought outright. Oh, and don't suck.

They sell crate-like objects at the hardware store, but they're not nearly as well made.

I ended up making a ton of wooden ones. They're fairly useful as nomadic furniture, but not nearly as nice for holding books as I thought.
What are your wooden crates like? Joinery-wise I mean.

At $6 a piece online, dairy crates are still cheaper than a lot of other materials for creating basic furniture.

Crates can safely be arranged into small shelf units if they're zip-tied (I used wire back in the day) together tightly. I liked milk crates for efficiently storing and accessing lots of mass market paperbacks, as well as CDs, videotapes, and audio cassettes. I still use an extra-big record crate for storing my LPs.

A few strategically placed crates can raise a mattress or futon off the floor on a slab of plywood.

Crates are great for carrying crap out to the desert and back, because you'll leave the sand and dust behind. They also stack, lock, and tessellate better than cardboard boxes, and won't be damaged by fluids or crushed by what is above them. This makes them good for hauling food.

I once made an abstract Christmas tree by stacking milk crates up into a trunk and sticking brooms and mops into it like branches. Lights, boom, Happy Holidays.

yea, these look like the real deal. $6.50 plus shipping is cheap too. I wish I could have bought these back in 1995, online, as easy as I could today.

The rectangular ones sold at this site hold more cubic inches per dollar paid, so would be my first choice.

My only other concern would be if a cop saw all your crates in the back of your car, would that now give him probable cause to search you vehicle?  I'd guess it would.

I also believe that once probable cause to do a warrantless search exists, showing the officer the legally own status of the crates would not extinguish the probable cause.

With grandmas being arrested for buying too much allergy medical and the fact that  the average person unknowingly commits an average of three felonies a day, I don't think my fear of warrantless searches is overblown.

Any reference to this statement? "the fact that the average person unknowingly commits an average of three felonies a day"
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