Most people try to help our environment by recycling glass, cans, and paper. But there are a lot of ways we can reuse many ordinary household items and prevent them from ending up in our landfills. This guide will give you some ideas to get those creative juices flowing.
Recycle Plastic Bags
Several years ago a friend of mine showed up at my door with a beautiful purse. It looked like it was made of straw, but when I touched it I was shocked that she had crocheted it from grocery store plastic bags!
Clever entropreneur’s are even making money by selling bags and wallets made from plastic bags. Others are selling the plastic chains! To make a chain you simply fold up your plastic bags and cut 1″ strips. When you take them apart you now have a 1″ plastic ring. Connect the rings together as you would two rubberbands, then roll your plastic yarn into a ball. You are ready to crochet!
Recycle Plastic Containers
Use plastic bottles as educational toys. Fill with water and add glitter or small toys that can float from one end to the other. For some fun you can add food coloring. Be sure to glue the cap on so little hands can’t open it!
You can use 2 liter bottles to make homemade bottle rockets.
Use empty gallon sized milk jugs for storing extra water during a power outage or other such emergency situation. If the water has been stored so long it is no longer safe to drink you can always use the water to flush your toilet.
When we had our motorhome I recycled those plastic flavored coffee creamer containers by filling them with powdered milk, sugar, flour, etc. They stood upright so they took up very little room, and I could pour my contents right out when I needed it!
35mm film canisters make great paint containers. We have a painter in our church and she is always asking us to save these for her.
Use gallon sized milk cartons for making luminaires. These look beautiful when placed along a dark driveway. We use these as decorations for weddings and at Christmas. You can get specific directions on the internet for how to make these.
Reuse plastic containers that soft margarine or cottage cheese come in. I wouldn’t use these to reheat foods in the microwave, but they are great for storing fruit, salads, or other cold foods.
Recycle Your Clothing
Sweaters can be cut and sewn into pillows! A friend of mine has started her own business doing just that. When I saw her wares at a holiday bazaar, I never would have guessed that her beautiful pillows were made from sweaters!
My grandmother never bought a blanket! She sewed her families clothes and cut up the old garments as well as leftover pieces of fabric and made quilts from them. You can do this with old garments as well. My grandma even cut fabric into strips to crochet her kitchen rugs.
Recycle Items For Cleaning
Old toothbrushes make great scrubbers for cleaning tight areas. I use mine to clean the grout in my bathroom tile and another one for cleaning around my toilet.
Ways To Use Paper
Do you have a paper shredder? Use that shredded paper to keep valuables safe when packing for a move! By doing so you can put all of that shredded junk mail to good use.
Don’t throw away the comic section of your newspaper! Save them for wrapping kids toys for birthday parties, or for shower gifts. Kids love it!
You can make placemats from old wallpaper books. This is a source for a ton of kids craft projects as well. Ask you local store for old books as they just throw them away and will be happy to give them to you.
Let your kids make kazoos out of toilet paper or paper towel rolls. Cut a small piece of waxed paper and rubber band it to one end and let them blow!
Reuse Paper Egg Cartons
Egg cartons are a good tool for starting your seeds before spring. Just cut them apart when you are ready to plant, and you can place each section directly into the soil as they will degrade on their own.
Glass bottles can be used in a variety of ways. Use a large canning jar as a country flower vase. Baby food jars can be used to store small craft items. My daughter made me a gift when she was 7 years old and I still have it. In school her teacher had the students glue pieces of torn tissue paper on the outside of the baby food jars, and then placed a candle inside of it. When lit it looked like stainless glass.
I’ve seen gorgeous pins and other pieces of jewelry made from broken pieces of china. The edges were smoothed out embellishments were added and pins were connected to the backs.
Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
There are many ways to reuse ordinary household items. Many can be used for kids crafts projects, while others can actually be used to help you earn extra cash. With a little imagination you can help our environment!