When we gave Ev her new kitchen for Christmas we used the distraction to "remove" her old favourite toy before it fell to pieces.
That's right, you guessed it - a cardboard box. It was her library, her house, her hiding place even a piece of modern art once she'd painted it!
She'd sit in there and make tea...
And of course I had to go round for some tea sometimes, you were privileged to get invited in - even if you didn't fit!
I think children know that sometimes the best presents are free. This box gave her around 6 months of joy until it started to fall apart and now it's a mulch on the veg garden so it lives on a little longer yet!
I think that's proper recycling of a cardboard box!