As many of you know, I also run a blog about the environment and sustainability. And while I rarely cross-promote articles, I decided that this post (originally on the other site back in June) could probably come in handy over here, with the economy the way it is and the growing concern about the environment. People are looking for more ways to save money and reduce the amount of trash they throw away, and if you look hard enough, there are a ton of things that come into our houses that we can reuse for multiple purposes! Here are 25 that I came up with; what would you add to the list?
Milk jugs (gallon or 1/2 gallon plastic) – Clothespin holder after you cut the top off and hang from your clothesline.
Plastic soda or water bottles – Can be used as kids banks after a nice paint job; a cold pack to be stored in the freezer; with some small holes in it, fill with bird seed and you have a nice bird feeder.
Spaghetti jars – small planters for around the home.
Film canister – Cut a slit in the side and you have a holder for a roll of stamps.
Beer bottle caps – You could pick up some small magnets and some glue at a craft store and make custom refrigerator magnets.
Glass bottles – pick up a light bulb fixture and you have a new lamp; can be used for vases, decorative grass holders.
Old t-shirts – rags for cleaning up around the house; sew a couple of your favorites into a pillow.
Shoe and delivery boxes – storage containers, file boxes, etc – no need to waste money on plastic containers from the container store. Every box in my closet is a reused cardboard one!
Toilet paper roll – extension cord organizer; stuff with paper and some alcohol to make a fire starter.
Sunday comics – wrapping paper. You would never have to buy wrapping paper again if you saved this all year!
An old garden hose – make a soaker hose – poke holes throughout, seal off other end, lay in garden; bucket handle,
Baby jars – votive candle holders; storing spices or seeds.
Toothbrushes – bathroom scrubbers; clothing stain scrubbers.
Mailing tubes – cut several of them to the same length, assemble into a wine rack.
Wine corks – soaked in alcohol, they make a good fire-starter.
CD’s – one-of-a-kind drink coasters (paint, cover with paper, etc).
Altoids tins – These tins are the perfect size to make small emergency kits for camping or to keep in your car; basic sewing kits for college kids.
Shredded paper – Makes great packing material for shipping gifts; also makes good packing material for when you are moving.
Old jeans – cut up and sew into squares full of padding to make pot holders.
Tires – build an earthship! Or, maybe just a tire swing.
Old shoes – send to Nike so the rubber can be turned into new playgrounds.
Bath mat – folded just right, can be used as a new floor mop!
Shower curtain – drop cloth for painting; cover the air conditioner during winter?
Mason canning jars – canning, obviously, but they also make great drinking glasses.
Paper – Be sure to use both sides of paper in the house. Just cut up “once used” paper and make notepads with the blank sides!
So what would you add?