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Ways To Repurpose Everyday 'trash'

Updated on June 8, 2016

Recycle - Reuse - Go Green!

So many plastic containers, bottles, and items we throw away can have several uses. Here are some ideas for keeping at least some items out of the land fill.

The plastic 'clam shell' deli containers and the large ones that contain greens, etc. make excellent seed starting, mini-green houses. Place soil and seeds in one, water it, and close to give seeds a quicker start before spring planting.

Prescription bottles - I'm getting older (which beats the alternative) and seem to need more prescriptions than I used to. They are handy for small craft items (beads, pins,findings, etc.) or to store screws, nails, push pins and other small items in the junk drawer.

Milk jugs make great plant or seedling protectors. Simply cut off the bottom and set over seeds or young transplants to protect them from insects or early frosts. Take the cap off so the plants don't cook on unseasonably hot days. Milk and other plastic jugs are good to fill in empty spaces in a large freezer. Fill them with water and freeze and leave them in the freezer. It keeps the freezer from running so often trying to keep empty 'air' space cold. Also, if we have a power outage, they will keep your food frozen longer.

Glass jars and bottles from pickles, jams and sauces make great storage containers for home-made condiments and left overs and are free and healthier than plastic.

Have an office or community swap. We all have perfectly good clothing, household items and 'gifts' we've received that we don't want or need. So, once or twice a year host a swap. Items left over can be donated to a local charity shop afterwards. This way we clear out our clutter and maybe find something we truly need in the process.

Be creative and think about what an item can be used for after it's served it's original purpose. It can save you money and help heal the planet too!


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    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 8 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      Koreans has also a great way of disposing their garbage though proper segregation and recycling. I wonder why other countries can implement it and most cannot?

    • Bruce Elkin profile image

      Bruce Elkin 9 years ago from Victoria, BC Canada

      Good stuff, Pat. When I went to Europe in 1965, I was surprised that there were no beer or pop bottles littering the ground. As soon as I bought a beer, I discovered why. At that time a bottle of beer cost about 25 cents, and the deposit on the bottle was also 25 cents.

      In Canada, we have a pretty good returnable system. But it's still only a 10 cent depost on beer and pop cans/bottles, 10 cents on the big 2 litre bottles.

      In Ireland they put a 10 cent/bag charge on plastic bags, and cut out about 90% of the bags going into the landfills.

      There is a organization that has branches in many cities in Canada and the US called "Freecycle". You can Google it and see if there's one near you. It's a kind of recycling, virtual swap meet, where you can give stuff away, and get stuff other people don't want.

      This going green thing isn't going to be a fad this time. It's for real, not only because of the environment, but because it saves waste, and saving waste saves money. That's what'll get most people's attention. Saving $$$'s.

    • Marisa Wright profile image

      Marisa Wright 9 years ago from Sydney

      Pat, only one city in Australia (Adelaide) has deposits on bottles and cans, and they have great success with it.  It beats me why none of the other states will pick it up. 

      I agree about prescriptions, too - in Australia there is supposedly a scheme whereby you return unused pills etc to your local pharmacy and they dispose of them safely.  When I tried to do that once, the pharmacist took the pills, then grumbled "I don't know what you expect me to do with them, I'll just throw them down the toilet same as you"!

      It especially annoys me when I buy an asthma inhaler, which is just a plastic casing with a canister inside.  You can't just buy the canister, you have to buy a whole new plastic casing each time.  Makes no sense.