The Joys of Recycling

We all know that recycling is good for our planet and most people have the soda can and plastic and newspaper recycling down pat. But did you know there are other things that can be recycled? I am going to try and give you some easy ways to recycle items that you have that you may have not thought of. The more that we can save from going to the local landfills the better.


First, let's start with recycling everyday household garbage. You pay for these containers so you are really putting your money to better use when you recycle them.

  1. Meat containers that most of us get from the Walmart. These containers washed out make great pet food containers. The larger ones can also be used for disposable paint pans as most rollers will fit into them. Use them for dyeing small items. They can be used to store school papers for the kids and since they stack well, they can be used for storage of craft or office supplies.

  2. Styrofoam containers: Washed out, these can be shredded for packing material. The shredded materials can also be used to make hot seats for camping or for a dog that has arthritis. The styrofoam retains your body heat.

  3. Juice cans and containers can be used to store other liquids like ice tea and your kids can decorate the frozen juice cans to be used for pencil storage. Soda bottles can be used to make hot bottles for your garden, glue together with silicone caulk to form a ring and then fill bottles with water and place around your tomato plants in the early spring to keep them warm or they can be cut to make wind socks. Gallon milk containers make great shovels for pet droppings and can also be used as a funnel when you change your oil. Washed out full bottles can be used to take your old oil to the recycling center.

    The plastic can also be ironed flat with a warm iron and used for making your own templates or stencils. Frozen juice container lids can be used to make a "rattle" to keep birds out of your garden, string them on a stick and hang in your garden. Clean gallon milk containers can be filled with water and put in your freezer to fill it up so your freezer runs more efficiently. When you have enough food to fill your freezer, these frozen bottles can be used to cool your ice chest for your next picnic.

  4. Shred your junk mail and use it for packing materials around your breakables that you store. It's cheaper than bubble wrap. Shredded junk mail can also be used as packing material around anything you have to mail. It also can be put in your compost pile. Shredding it helps to break it down.
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  6. Clean cardboard can be used as spreaders for glues or adhesives. You can also use it to make templates and stencils though these don't last as long as the plastic ones. Organize your cross stitch thread by cutting squares and wrapping your thread around them. Store all of these in an old Velveeta cheese box. Cereal boxes can be cut down to store magazines or instructions. Mac and Cheese boxes make great building blocks for your kids. Cover them with the comics from your newspaper or spray paint them to look like bricks.

  7. Old mesh vegetable bags can be used to make handy scrubbers for around the house. Ball up two or three and secure with a rubber band. You can also drop a bar of soap into one, tie it off and tie next to your hose for quick clean up from gardening or other messy chores.

Well, this is about all the room I am sure they will give me on this topic but look around you! I am sure you can come up with more that even I haven't thought of.

Happy Recycling!

By Debra from Colorado Springs, CO

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By Michele (Guest Post)
December 1, 20060 found this helpful

These are all great ideas. I have one also....we use the jugs of kitty litter. I take the cap off to use for crafts and then cut down the sides of the jug and use it to store craft magazines in. They don't tear like the cereal boxes do from many years of use.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
June 7, 20070 found this helpful

Here in England the local councils give you separate bins to recycle, glass, plastic bottles, paper, cardboard, aluminium cans and garden cuttings for composting it keeps the amount of waste going to land fill down and adds extra revenue for the council

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By stacy (Guest Post)
April 17, 20080 found this helpful

I really like the idea for using mesh tomato bags. I also have used them for art. You can also use the mesh to make a fishnet for kids

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August 30, 20090 found this helpful

Great idea. I use the deep meat trays for holding crayons,matchboxes,stray toys. The flay ones we paint and use as signs for kids room and garden. I use mesh bags for the bath toys. To wash dedicates, hold rocks when we go collecting.


I give my older ones their grapes,etc to go. I think I must reuse just about everything-dunkin donuts cups,plastic and stryofoam. I use for outdoor cups, when kids are too excited to stay in and drink. The list is endless.

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August 31, 20090 found this helpful

I also use old plastic credit cards (scratch the scan bar) to spread glue evenly when I do any decoupage. Works great.

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January 5, 20110 found this helpful

These are great ideas, I am going to try a few of the newer ones I see on here! Thank you for posting!

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June 26, 20150 found this helpful

I love the posts. Keep them coming. I intend to share with businesses we deal with.


One of our vendors is a mover think of how they help. Hats off to your posts.

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