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What do you reuse? - Page 2

post #21 of 47
Wow great ideas! I have a lot of glass jars here and now i have more ideas for reusing them. Thanks
post #22 of 47

more stuff I remembered

- We use the second side of printer paper for drafts or things we're just going to use around the house.
- I save the cell packs from plants to start my own seed in again.
- I retell all my funniest stories, again and again and again .
- I am letting the trunk of my Christmas tree (my son's first) cure to make tree blocks out of.
- I save the padded envelopes and boxes I get in the mail to re-use for the same purpose.
- As my husband is a wandering academic, we move often. I have never bought a moving box for us to move; I have saved a lot of trees and $$$ reusing boxes.
- The sleeves of shirts and legs of pants that are no longer able to be worn make great bags - often with only one seam. I made silk ones for my son's birthday party and filled them with paint sample cards for a nature color hunt game we played on a walk. The kids each got one to take home. I've also made some cute reusable gift bags from old jeans legs.
post #23 of 47
I have a bunch of glass babyfood jars that I'd love to use for cute, sophisticated gifts, but I haven't come up with a great idea yet. Any suggestions?

We reuse t-shirts and clothes for cleaning rags. I also used ripped off jean bottoms for car rags because they're more durable, but I admit that I got a lot of weird comments on those, and I like the gift bag idea above a lot better!

Tissue boxes are reused a lot to store hair things, small toys, and other little things that float around the house and get lost... AND the tissue boxes look pretty and stack well.

I keep cardboard for easily spreading tacky craft glue or for including in envelopes when I mail photos.

We reuse pretty much everything as toddler toys. Any container can be turned into a musical instrument (drum or rattle) or a game of hide-and-seek.

We also reuse ziplock baggies a LOT. As long as they don't have a hole in 'em, they can easily be refilled with serving sizes of baby carrots or trail mix over and over again. Once they've gotten gross, we ship 'em upstairs and use them when we scoop out the litter before garbage day.
post #24 of 47
Other people already mentioned most of mine...but I do want to rave a moment about how glass jars are much better for food storage than plastic containers! They wash so much cleaner so much more easily! Things seem to stay fresh longer in them. The threaded lids almost never leak. My very favorite feature is this: If you put something hot in a glass jar and fill it very full and put on the lid immediately, sometimes it will seal so well that the food stays good (in the back of the fridge) for MONTHS. I'm talking about the jars from spaghetti sauce and such that have a circle that pops up when you break the seal--you can get that circle to pop down again when the jar is full of hot food. I wonder if it's then shelf-stable, like the original food was until opened, and doesn't even need to be refrigerated, but so far I haven't been brave enough to experiment! I love spaghetti and enjoy making my own sauce, but I figure I may as well make a big batch while I'm at it, so keeping it from getting moldy before we use it is an issue.

Glass juice bottles, too...I snagged 7 of them during my big recycling project in 2002, and I'm still using them daily for juice to drink w/my lunch at work.

We reuse various types of food containers to buy food from the bulk section of our co-op (you scoop from a bin into your container, after weighing it empty and writing its weight on the label so the cashier can subtract it and charge you only for the food). It's fun deciding what's the best container for which food. There are products we haven't bought in years whose containers we're still using: raisins in a Maxwell House instant coffee jar, oats in the huge plastic jar that held 4 pounds of generic peanut butter, etc.

I cut up old knit clothes to make hankies. Last time, I was left with some shreds of pretty fabric from the edges, so I used them as cushioning for a gift I was mailing to my mom--rather than wrap it, I just put it in an envelope and stuffed the gaps with the fabric scraps.

Here are ideas for reusing mesh produce bags, remnants of bar soap, extra address labels and other stickers, scrap paper, egg cartons, and unwanted tobacco.

We made our own Christmas tree out of a cardboard box and the green plastic bags the Sunday paper comes in.

We save gift wrap and use it over again. When it has no large areas that look nice, we cut out the best-looking parts to use as gift tags or to decorate plain paper: reused tissue or an inside-out brown bag. (We also have a lot of cloth gift bags that we use over and over, but most of them we made from new fabric. A few were made from scraps from larger projects.)

When my son was a baby, he had hours of fun playing with shaker-toys made from the cardboard canisters with plastic lids that fried onions ( come in, with a bottle cap or something like that inside.

My Girl Scouts designed a restaurant as part of their Cooking badge and held a "grand opening" where we served "free samples" of the foods we'd made. All the dishes we used were food packaging the girls and I had saved, which would otherwise have been recycled or trashed, and which got this one additional use before it met that fate. It was fun seeing the variety of dishes we collected and deciding which was best for what food!

I save business reply mail envelopes that I'm not going to use, and give one to each Girl Scout patrol (small group within the troop) to collect their dues money. Each girl writes on the envelope her name and how much she paid. That way I just toss the sealed envelopes into my bag and don't have to count the money until I get home!

When we moved, we bought new pink dishcloths to match our new kitchen and demoted the old ones (green and other colors) to bathroom cleaning cloths. As they get worn out, they become "rags" that get one last use for some yucky job and then get thrown away.

We use produce bags over and over again until they tear or something gets moldy in them. After using the produce, we put the bag into one of our canvas totes that we use for grocery shopping so that we'll have it next time.

We use bags from bread, etc., to store various foods and just keep shaking out crumbs, rinsing or washing if necessary, and using them again.
post #25 of 47
Forgot to mention old yogurt tubs! We use them for a bunch of things: buckets for outdoor play, temporary plant pots, bath toys, diluting the vinegar to wash my hair, soaking cloth pads or bloodstained hankies in cold water, soaking other stained items in Oxi-Clean, mixing up wonder-cleaner, rinsing the bathtub after scrubbing.... We keep one next to the sink as the compost bucket (temporary storage of food scraps destined for outdoor compost bins) and keep washing and reusing it until something gets really yucky in it or it's stained by coffee grounds, and then it gets recycled.

We save the containers similar to yogurt tubs but clear, which take-out soup comes in, to bring home leftovers from restaurants. In a pinch, we use yogurt tubs for that and tape on a label to show it's not yogurt in the fridge.

We prefer milk in paper cartons rather than plastic jugs. After finishing the milk, we open the top of the carton all the way and set it on the floor next to the kitchen trash. Non-compostable food scraps go in there, and the carton then gets folded shut so the food won't leak into the trash bag and make a mess when the trash is carried out.
post #26 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by possum View Post
I also save the tops of carrots and bits from celery and onion peels for a few days in the fridge when I am going to make stock.
I do this too - except I put them in a big ziploc bag in the freezer, so I can accumulate them over time and make a bunch of stock at once.
post #27 of 47
taking notes here because i apparently suck at this.
post #28 of 47
I personally do not resuse a lot of things. I recycle as much as I can at the center and then find other non trash alternatives for things that they do not take.
For instance, they do not take yogurt containers and things of the like. They only take threaded bottles. So I will keep the plain containers that have lids and use them as storage containers, but the ones with print on them, I give to the school. They have a recycling room in which I donate many things that would typically be trashed. I wonder if they think I am crazy.....

I do reuse socks and other old fabrics.
post #29 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlessedOne View Post
I personally do not resuse a lot of things. I recycle as much as I can at the center and then find other non trash alternatives for things that they do not take.
For instance, they do not take yogurt containers and things of the like. They only take threaded bottles. So I will keep the plain containers that have lids and use them as storage containers, but the ones with print on them, I give to the school. They have a recycling room in which I donate many things that would typically be trashed. I wonder if they think I am crazy.....

I do reuse socks and other old fabrics.
What I recycle....
cardboard- recycling center
glass bottles/jars-recycling center
threaded plastic bottles- recycling center
newspapers/magazines/misc paper-recycling center
pretty much all metals- various recycling centers
plastic bags- walmart and the recycling center

most other things- school recycling room

Pretty much the only things that go in my trash....
dryer lint (too nasty for me to recycle)
diapers ( I know I COULD do reuseable and I think about it a lot...but I do not think I can commit.....I have been changing diapers constantly for the past 6 years (3 kids....really close in age and another that will be born anytime now....so providing I do not get pregnant again before this one is out of diapers...then I will have about 8 years of diaper changing.....I really do not think I could handle reusable!))
plastic wrap
paper towels/toilet paper

That is pretty much it.....I try my hardest to recycle as much as I can. I know I could improve on some things, but I think I am doing pretty good.

I am wanting to figure out a way that I can eliminate all non-recycleable trash....in an environmentally friendly manner...I have some ideas...but I do not how to make them work for sure.

I may post up sometime with my idea and see if any of you can help make it work.
post #30 of 47
Blessed One, you ARE doing well! What is it you use plastic wrap for? I don't use it at all, so maybe I can help think of alternatives.
post #31 of 47
Interesting that so many people reuse their glass jars. I am finding it increasingly difficult to even find products in glass - everything seems to be sold only in plastic now.
post #32 of 47
Other things we reuse:
~I'm making tote bags out of plastic grocery bags (even though I use my reusable bags at most stores, I still have about a gazillion plastic bags around. I think they sneak into my house at night and then multiply in the hall closet.)

can someone explain this to me... slowly and in child-like directions thanks so much
post #33 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeguard View Post
Interesting that so many people reuse their glass jars. I am finding it increasingly difficult to even find products in glass - everything seems to be sold only in plastic now.
I find more glass at the organic and health food markets than at the big grocery store, but there are still ones out there:

Salsa is almost always in jars (though we buy this very infrequently since we usually make our own.)
Smuckers has a natural and an organic PB in glass.
Classico pasta sauces come in canning jars, and generally have decent ingredients.
Lots of spices come in glass.
Olives and pickles often are in glass.
Soy sauce is usually in glass. These bottles are great for bottling flavored vinegars - and even make great gifts!
Maple syrup comes in glass bottles usually; we have used them for bottling home made vanilla and the like.

I will pay a bit extra for something in a glass container that I will reuse.

Melinda
post #34 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnviroBecca View Post
Blessed One, you ARE doing well! What is it you use plastic wrap for? I don't use it at all, so maybe I can help think of alternatives.
I use plastic wrap to cover food in the fridge.....we do not have a lot of cabinet room to have a lot of reusable containers.....so I just cover whatever it was originally on with plastic wrap....and it means less dishes for me...lol

also the wrap that comes on food...such as frozen pizzas....
post #35 of 47
There was a similar thread on here a couple days ago, hate to repeat myself, but I bring my glass jars to the farmer's market (after running trough dishwasher). The people who sell flowers from their garden and wildflowers use them to put cut flowers in (since they let people take them home that way so they don't die).
post #36 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by possum View Post
- I retell all my funniest stories, again and again and again
Recycling at its finest!

Quote:
- I am letting the trunk of my Christmas tree (my son's first) cure to make tree blocks out of.
Very cool! What do you do to cure it?

Quote:
- The sleeves of shirts and legs of pants that are no longer able to be worn make great bags
I love this, too. Thanks for the excellent ideas!
post #37 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by hubris View Post
Very cool! What do you do to cure it?
You can just keep it in a dry place for 6-12 months so that the sap will dry up and the wood will dry out and not be "green" - like you would do with firewood.

Melinda
post #38 of 47
I save the jam jars I finish throughout the year and then use them at Christmas time. I make spiced nuts and give them to people in these jars. I hotglue on a pretty piece of fabric to the lid and a small bow. Also use them for drinking glasses and water for kids painting. Don't know why I never thought to use them for leftovers -- duh! -- great idea
post #39 of 47
Quote:
I use plastic wrap to cover food in the fridge.....we do not have a lot of cabinet room to have a lot of reusable containers.....so I just cover whatever it was originally on with plastic wrap....and it means less dishes for me...lol
Most things in our fridge get stored in a cereal bowl with a small plate on top. A lot of the time I don't bother covering stuff though, it reminds me to use it up if I can see it

I also use foil to cover some things, it can be wiped and reused a couple of times then recycled.

Finally we discovered that the plastic tops from pringles cans fit perfectly onto our IKEA glasses, so now we store things in those too.
post #40 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaughingHyena View Post
Most things in our fridge get stored in a cereal bowl with a small plate on top. A lot of the time I don't bother covering stuff though, it reminds me to use it up if I can see it

I also use foil to cover some things, it can be wiped and reused a couple of times then recycled.

Finally we discovered that the plastic tops from pringles cans fit perfectly onto our IKEA glasses, so now we store things in those too.
if I do not cover it....then it will likely be trash anyway because everyone in my house is so picky....

the plate idea is nice....although my plates would not work that way for the most part.......also it sounds like an accident waiting to happen with my kids.
I like syran because I can see through it. I purposely do not use foil because I was told that it can not be recycled. Although I will admit I used to stuff it inside my aluminum cans and then crush them....lol. But just taking it to the recycler....I do not think they take it around here.
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