I moved out to the country and they do not provide trash-pick up as a part of the water bill. It costs $25 a month for that service. So I wanted to come up with more ways to reduce and reuse. I normally do anyway but now it is even more important. I can burn trash but the weather hasn't been all that great.
As I open food boxes from the kitchen, I flatten them and use them as a backing for patterns I trace off the internet. I use my lighted PC screen as a light box. I transfer these tracings onto the flattened boxes so they last longer.
The biggest problem has been cardboard boxes, which I have solved! I cut a stack about 18 inches high and dinner plate sized circles. I pieced several 1/2 circles together when the pieces got to small for whole ones and taped them together. Then, I taped several small stacks together for easier handling. I got an old clothing item, cut the hem off and made a strong tie and tied the ends together securely. Previously I crocheted a round rag rug that I put a drawstring of crocheted rag chain to form a bag. I slipped my stacked cardboard down into the bag and hooked it shut securely. Now, I have a very comfy footstool and plan on making a few more but larger around. These could also be made into a booster seat just the same way and covered with your choice of sturdy fabric or whatever. Make them whatever diameter you need!
In addition to that I save some soup cans, rinse them out to use for meat drippings. I have a few covered ones for catchalls and pencil holders. Of course the cans could be used for basically crush resistant mail tubes too. My son had a teacher who recycled hers for cute little gift buckets when there was a class party filled with goodies and candies! Normally she painted a theme on them!
I crocheted an appliance plastic, which was pretty good size into a nice patio rug and added blue fringe made from a new blue trash sack.
I also make paper beads from other papers I accumulate! I love it.
Source: I came up with these ideas while trying to keep from paying for trash pick-up service! It's working!
By melody_yesterday from Otterville, MO
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That is wonderful! I always soak my cardboard in used dishwater to soften it and then roll it in a ball after tearing it into pieces, it makes less waste that way....I always reuse grocery bags and fill them with trash also and then put those little bags into big bags....I have to reduce trash so that I don't get more bags on garbage day then they will pick up...those are great ideas though!
I have a friend who uses the lighter weight cardboard and makes post cards she does not say hello whoever or sign it, we know where it's from she is the only 1 we know that does this so we know it's from her and she even jots down little notes on the printed side of the recycled cereal box and post cards are cheaper than regular mail, another use for the lighter weight cardboard, I cut them to size and use them as dividers in my recipe box. I use the cereal boxes as Magazine organizers and holders
On the heavier cardboard I use it is nesting boxes for my chickens, or bring them to the feed store then they use them when they sell small animals. You can roll cardboard instead of cutting it in small pieces cut it in long strips the desired height and you could either roll or accordion fold it to make your foot stool If you do it correctly you could even make a step stool for the kitchen, you can make a emergency stove burner, take a clean tuna can and cut a strip of cardboard the height of the can, then roll the strip of cardboard so it will fit tightly inside the can melt old candle and pour the hot wax over the cardboard makes a great little camp stove or in emergency stove save a large can to use as support over you're cardboard burner, cut a few slits in it for air circulation
Cut them to use as a spacers or support in the freezer If I have a floppy or uneven container.
I bury Cans in my vegetable garden open side up they hold the moisture and as they rust they put needed iron into the ground.
I need to replace them every two or 3 years.
I use bread, English muffin and bagel bags rolled up on themselves as starter pots.
I save all my broken glass and even intentionally break some and run it through my tumbler and make my own beach glass for craft project and I make wind chimes out of bottles.
One of my treasured necklaces is made of beads from old church Sunday bulletins. I like to think that because the beads are recycled church bulletins that God smiles when I wear this necklace. I purchased my necklace at a church fundraising sale. The necklaces were very popular at the sale when the women found out the source of the beads. You can go around and collect the used bulletins after church and help clean up the sanctuary at the same time. That way you'll have more beads using the same colors.
I live in Costa Rica in an area that does not have garbage pickup. Fortunately a nearby town does take recyclable plastic, glass, tin cans and aluminum cans. But I have discovered that I like to keep and clean some glass jars to use for leftovers to go in the fridge. I like them better than tupperware or the like because you can see what is in them and we tend to actually use the leftovers more this way Also, I have used Styrofoam as a pin cushion. Styrofoam will never decompose in a land fill, and is harmful to burn. I save the Styrofoam "plates" which come with some fresh meats and wash them well and reuse them for working with crafts. You can put paint in them, or glue which can easily be washed out and reused again. I even used one once to make a doll bed and covered it in cloth. I am still trying to find ideas for used wine bottles, so anybody got any ideas?
angeltrumpet: the wine bottles: use for tapered candle holders,
cut them & invert them sand off the edges & they can become wine glasses (goblets) I saw those on eHow or Instructables, I saw really cool rings that were made from the necks of alcohol bottles : they were cut just below the top.
Here are several things you can do with empty wine bottles : http://www.inst lted+wine+bottle
Here's a video HOW TO for melting a wine bottle in the toaster oven:
but if you look on eHow or Instructables there are written tutorials too.
the cheese plates they make sell for $26 - $30 on 2 different sites I looked at!
So, maybe that's a little extra income for someone ! ;) Google : bottle jewelry.
I love the bottle rim rings.
We have had active recycling since 1991 in our county (Swift/MN). It it picked up weekly at our doors (town/rural). We don't have to sort it out, just one bin. Our compostible and and NON compost garbage has proper procedure as well. Non-compost must be tied in a bag, the other, left open or not bagged, but in trash container.
I recycle all the time. We cannot buy eggs in styro, packaging from many things have changed to reuse/recycle friendly. Many of use use our own bags to shop with, (even those must be remembered to be washed). Many places are available to drop off your unused household/clothing items for free. Law mandates recycling of car oil/batteries. Plenty of places recycle metal/steel, etc.
My husband's work place has computers doing goofy print outs in error and so he gets the paper to bring home for the grandchildren and neighboring daycare to use for art paper.
My neighbor gal went back to college and asked for our kids to draw pictures and send to her. She will hang as decorations on their dorm walls. She is the RA. Besides getting mail from home!
When I get new technology 'stuff' I find someone who can use the 'old'. Whether updated computers, etc. I have been able to help older citizens stay in touch in the 21st century. And kept the computers out of the landfills. My son does this for free. And we help keep them in antivirus status...most often with a $10 name brand protection.
We have a local swap/shop on Facebook which moves everything and anything around in the community. Like a garage sale online. From cars/tools, clothing, baby items, books, household, etc. It is set up with tight rules and you must get an invitation to join the group. No spam, no trash. Coordinator a busy mom and everyone abides by the rules.
McD pop cups became my plants in the garden wrap around this spring. I cut the bottom off, slit up the side and stuck in the ground to protect the young plants. When plants sturdy enough, tossed into the recycle bin for pickup. Have used 3 lb margarine containers the same way. Also, you can cut their bottoms out, stick in ground and have your planter ready to go in the garden. Contains flowers, keeps weeds out.
Laundry bottles are used in garage for oil drainage containers, carried to the recycler.
Just some of the things off the top of my head.
Forgot one of the neatest things seen and have done. Taking old VHS or audio cassettes. Take screws out, unwind the tape. If you crochet, get to it. People also use plastic shopping bags and cut them into strips and crochet summer beach purses. They sell awesomely at craft fairs.
i remember when i was a kid my Grandma made a great footstool by weighting big coffee cans with sand (not completely full, just enough to give it heft) wiring them together in a circle with one in the middle and then covering the whole thing with upholstery fabric and padding on top. it lasted for years and years. she also made little trinket boxes out of cut-down frozen juice boxes by covering them with fabric. she used ribbon to hinge the lids.
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