Recycle and Think Green
All that food & prep has me thinking. I’m thoroughly amazed by how often I find myself bringing yet another bag of trash to the garage!
Have to share this insightful article by Kandi Traxel – if you get a moment, pop over to her Shop With A Mom site for some great info!
Think Green! Everyday Items Can be Reusable
by Kandi Traxel
As the world aspires to become more “green”, my own household has jumped on the bandwagon. We recycle newspapers, shredded paper, plastic bottles and jugs, etc. Everything we can recycle we do recycle.
Many of the items that are used in our homes every day can be recycled. Paper, certain plastics, soda cans; the list goes on and on. But by the same token, many of those same items can be reused instead.
Here are just a few items that you use in your life everyday and the ways they can be reused:
If your family likes bottled water, but you don’t like the cost, or you would like to find a way to keep those bottles out of the landfills (without overworking the recycling centers), then invest in a charcoal water filter for your kitchen faucet. While the filters will have to be replaced about every three months on average, you can still save money by installing it and refilling all those bottles. You can also refill soda bottles, sports drink bottles, even milk jugs with the filtered water.
Butter, Margarine & Whipped Topping Tubs
There are more uses for plastic butter and margarine containers than I could even begin to list! First of all they make great food storage! If you prefer to use your matching Tupperware for that, there are still a ton of reasons to keep these containers handy.
One of the best ways to reuse these containers is for mixing. I use them for cake & muffin mixes, pancake mixes and even pudding. Just pour in your measured ingredients, put the lid on and give it a good shake. Pop the lid off and pour! You can even give them a bit of a squeeze forming a “spout” to make your mix pour out smoothly! This makes cooking & baking super easy and it’s a great way to reuse the containers over and over again.
I also like to use the 3-pound sized tubs for coatings! Make super easy chicken nuggets! Mix up your favorite coating recipe, drop in your chicken chunks and shake, shake, shake! You can do this with any type of coating!
The small, one-pound tubs are perfect for mixing paint, for holding homemade play dough, for sorting beads, and many, many, many other uses! You are limited only by your imagination on what you can do with these handy little containers!
Plastic and Glass Jars
Many companies are now using plastic rather than glass jars. I reuse plastic peanut butter jars to store my homemade sauces and salad dressings. Some brands of spaghetti sauce use very nice decorative glass jars that are perfect for refilling with gift mixes! You can find gift mix recipes with a quick internet search. Top the jars off with a piece of fabric, cut with decorative shears, or use a lace doily and thread a delicate ribbon through it. Tie it on the jar lid and you are all set with a beautiful hand made gift!
My husband likes to reuse jars in the garage for nuts, bolts, stray nails and more! He fastens the lids of the jars to the underside of wooden shelves, fills the jars with the tiny items and then screws the jar up into the lid. They hang there, freeing up shelf space and since they are clear, it is easy to see what they contain!
Baby Wipe Containers
You can buy refill packs for just about every brand of baby wipes. Save the containers and refill them. If you find you still have too many of these handy plastic containers, use them for just about any small item you can think of. They are washable and stackable, and they are perfect for crayons, colored pencils, markers, hair clips, sponge curlers, cotton balls, cotton swabs; the list goes on and on! Use them in the bathroom, the nursery, the garage or even the home office!
Plastic Grocery Store Bags
There are many, many great ways to reuse the plastic bags you get at the grocery store!
I have little trash cans all over the house. I like to have one in each room so that when I am in that room and need to toss something out, I don’t have to go into another room to do it. With all those little garbage cans around, I need small liners. Instead of spending the money on new liners, I reuse my plastic grocery bags. They are a perfect fit!
We also save them up and use them when we hold garage sales. They are perfect to hold your customer’s purchases, or to wrap breakable items.
These bags make great packing for shipping too! Whether it is for business or you are shipping gifts, they will cushion your items and get them there safely! And unlike newspapers, you don’t have to worry about ink rubbing off and staining your packed items!
If you find you have a surplus of the grocery store “can liners”, invest in a few basic canvas tote bags. You can pick these up at craft stores, in a myriad of sizes for very little. Use them when you shop for groceries, books, office supplies (or just about anything else) and ask the check out clerk to bag the items in your totes. Give them as gifts and encourage others to do the same thing!
Plastic Meat Trays
Plastic meat trays come in just about any size, from packaging for a single steak, to a large family pack of ground beef. I have reused plastic meat trays to sort all types of things! Outgoing mail, small toys, art supplies; the list goes on and on. And they fit great on shelves! Just wash them out and they are ready to go! The small ones are perfect for organizing the home office!
Foaming Hand Soap Bottles
Why buy a new bottle of foaming hand soap every time you run out? Those can be refilled with just about any type of soap, body wash or bath gel! For an 8 oz foaming hand soap bottle, refill with 2 oz (1/4 cup) of liquid soap, and 6 oz of water. This will save you a ton of money on buying a new bottle each time, and will help keep them out of the landfills!
While magazines are a recyclable product, they also make it a lot less boring when sitting in the doctor’s or dentist’s office! Call around and ask the local clinics if they would be willing to take them off of your hands. You can also try nursing homes. And don’t forget all those Highlights for Children or National Geographic for Kids! If they aren’t badly beat up or written in, your local children’s shelter would probably love to have extra reading material for the kids in their care!
Make an artistic statement!
Art teachers at your child’s elementary school are always looking for donated things like cardboard paper towel and toilet paper rolls, juice containers, milk and egg cartons, colored paper, and much, much more! Call your child’s school and ask what types of things you can save to donate to the art program!
There are so many things that we can reuse in our homes if we just take the time to think about it and get creative! So the next time you get ready to toss something in the trash, instead ask yourself how you might reuse it! You never know what innovative ideas you can come up with!
Now if we could just find a good use for dryer lint!