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Author Topic: How Do You Re-Use?  (Read 9446 times)
Sperran
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« Topic Start: July 08, 2008, 09:11:42 pm »

A lot of us try to be "green" in a variety of ways...recycling, composting, conserving energy, etc.  One of my favorite ways to be green is reusing junk and making it into usable stuff.  What are some of the things you do to reuse?  Here are a couple of my favorites:

1.  Turn soft plastic containers (e.g. yogurt containers, sour cream cartons) into seedling containers.  I heat the tip of a Phillips screwdriver to poke drainage holes in the bottom, and then put the container lid underneath as a drip tray.  If you can get your hands on larger containers (e.g. Panera's cream cheese containers) this works well for large houseplants as well.

2.  Turn cereal boxes into magazine holders.  I never have enough magazine holders because I hate to pay the exorbitant cost for a cheap piece of plastic.  I recently found that I can make serviceable holders out of cereal boxes.  Once the cereal is gone, just remove the plastic bag from the inside and cut it into the magazine holder shape.  Here is a pic of a few completed ones: http://replayground.blogspot.com/2008/04/diy-organizing.html.  If you get really fancy, you could cover and decorate it.  Mine are more au naturale, 'cause I'm lazy and not very Martha Stewarty.

Sperran 
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« Reply #1: July 09, 2008, 05:12:09 am »

What are some of the things you do to reuse? 

We reuse baby food jars as spice jars.  We buy spices in bulk at the coop, which means we get just what we think we're going to need and no more, but I often mis-estimate how much a teaspoon etc. is and have some left over.  I hate to just pitch it.  Into a baby food jar it goes!  We also occasionally dry our own herbs when something good shows up at the CSA or Farmer's Market, and they're good for that too.  My MIL uses baby food jars to store small objects (mostly nuts and bolts from her late husband's workbench at the moment, I think).

And of course there's the classic "butter/sour cream/cream cheese tub to hold leftovers/pack lunches/etc." thing.  Smiley  And the also-classic "plastic grocery bags as trash can liners" thing.
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« Reply #2: July 09, 2008, 08:23:34 am »

What are some of the things you do to reuse?

I recently turned an empty tampon box into a pen holder. It was so much fun. I got out my coloring supplies and glue and stuff and at one am I created a box that closes and says "PENS ... and such" on the front. It's pretty! Smiley

Avalon milk bottles (those old-style thick glass ones) I reuse as coin jars or vases if I don't return them for deposits.
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« Reply #3: July 09, 2008, 02:27:42 pm »


Used wax, crayons to color it, and glass baby food jars as candles. I use the cloth from old T-shirts for interesting wicks. (decorative only of course. depending on the wax/crayon ration, you may not want to burn it...)

Old mail-boxes from my dad's firm as recycling bins.
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« Reply #4: July 09, 2008, 02:46:38 pm »


Oh, also:  I have a page-a-day calendar on my desk at work (Christmas present from Dad; I probably wouldn't have gotten it myself).  I use the used pages as scratch paper.
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« Reply #5: July 09, 2008, 05:56:08 pm »

A lot of us try to be "green" in a variety of ways...recycling, composting, conserving energy, etc.  One of my favorite ways to be green is reusing junk and making it into usable stuff.  What are some of the things you do to reuse?  Here are a couple of my favorites:

1.  Turn soft plastic containers (e.g. yogurt containers, sour cream cartons) into seedling containers.  I heat the tip of a Phillips screwdriver to poke drainage holes in the bottom, and then put the container lid underneath as a drip tray.  If you can get your hands on larger containers (e.g. Panera's cream cheese containers) this works well for large houseplants as well.

2.  Turn cereal boxes into magazine holders.  I never have enough magazine holders because I hate to pay the exorbitant cost for a cheap piece of plastic.  I recently found that I can make serviceable holders out of cereal boxes.  Once the cereal is gone, just remove the plastic bag from the inside and cut it into the magazine holder shape.  Here is a pic of a few completed ones: http://replayground.blogspot.com/2008/04/diy-organizing.html.  If you get really fancy, you could cover and decorate it.  Mine are more au naturale, 'cause I'm lazy and not very Martha Stewarty.

Sperran 

I've been carrying around plastic bags in my purse for a couple of years now, and realize I am turning into my grandmother, who did this too. Fortunately, my children are not embarrassed by this, as I was, b/c it is totally socially acceptable around here these days.

I reuse plastic containers a time or two, but put them in the recycle after that, b/c of the plastic breaking down into whatever is in the container.  As an early childhood teacher, I've been keeping a junk box full of all kinds of wild garbage treasures for kids to make stuff with for years, in my classrooms. When my kids were little, we had one at home, and we still get pretty good action out of paper towel tubes for rockets, light sabers and so on.

One of my favorite babyfood jar activities is making snowglobes. At my kids' preschool, we did them every year for the Winter Faire. Some glittery bits, little snowguys  or critters, some water with a little food coloring and a drop or two of glycerin, very cute. We have a quite a little collection of them here. It's important to glue the caps down though, or they leak, over time.

We have this organization in SF, and they are really heaven for artists and teachers and other crafty type people
http://www.scrap-sf.org/
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« Reply #6: July 09, 2008, 06:33:50 pm »

We have this organization in SF, and they are really heaven for artists and teachers and other crafty type people
http://www.scrap-sf.org/

What a good idea!  That provides a home for things that really couldn't be used or recycled in other ways (e.g. the headless, naked barbie torsos featured on the first page of the site).

Sperran
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« Reply #7: July 09, 2008, 06:48:02 pm »

What a good idea!  That provides a home for things that really couldn't be used or recycled in other ways (e.g. the headless, naked barbie torsos featured on the first page of the site).

Sperran

yeah, they always have something awesome on the main page, although when I go it tends to be more along the lines of empty thread spools and carpet squares. Still, very wonderful.
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Goddess grant me:
  The power of Water,
  to accept with ease & grace what I cannot change.

  The power of Fire,
  for the energy & courage to change the things I can.

  The power of Air,
  for the ability and wisdom to know the difference.

  And the power of Earth,
  for the strength to continue my path.

http://rosejayadal.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #8: July 10, 2008, 10:02:27 am »

A lot of us try to be "green" in a variety of ways...recycling, composting, conserving energy, etc.  One of my favorite ways to be green is reusing junk and making it into usable stuff.  What are some of the things you do to reuse? 

Tea boxes.  I open them out flat, then re-glue them back together inside out. (most are plain white on the inside) I use them for all sorts of things, mostly as gift boxes though. I often decorate them using the little papers that the tea bags come in.  I either fold these papers into shapes and glue them onto the boxes in patterns or cut them up into little squares to make mosaics.
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Sperran
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« Reply #9: July 10, 2008, 01:55:31 pm »

Tea boxes.  I open them out flat, then re-glue them back together inside out. (most are plain white on the inside) I use them for all sorts of things, mostly as gift boxes though. I often decorate them using the little papers that the tea bags come in.  I either fold these papers into shapes and glue them onto the boxes in patterns or cut them up into little squares to make mosaics.

That's a good idea.  They would be the perfect size for a small gift, and with the decoration, there would be no need for wrap.

Sperran
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« Reply #10: July 10, 2008, 03:23:23 pm »

Used wax, crayons to color it, and glass baby food jars as candles. I use the cloth from old T-shirts for interesting wicks. (decorative only of course. depending on the wax/crayon ration, you may not want to burn it...)

Old mail-boxes from my dad's firm as recycling bins.

On the same theme I re -use tea light cases. You can buy the wicks cheaply over the net. White tea lights are really cheap but as soon as you want coloured or scented they become very pricey. They are easily coloured with wax crayons and scented with essential oils.
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« Reply #11: July 10, 2008, 03:27:39 pm »



Sperran 

I reuse those padded mailing envelopes  -as do a lot of people I think. I once sent one that had originally come from the US to a friend in Australia. A couple of years later I received a package from the US - yes I recognised my own writing. It had been several places else in the meantime including Canada but must surely hold the record for the most travelled. It was too battered though for me to use again.
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« Reply #12: July 10, 2008, 03:51:45 pm »

A lot of us try to be "green" in a variety of ways...recycling, composting, conserving energy, etc.  One of my favorite ways to be green is reusing junk and making it into usable stuff.  What are some of the things you do to reuse?
I do the normal stuff - grocery bags as trash bags, plastic containers for storing leftovers, reuse jars for storing dried herbs or other bulk items... 

Classico pasta sauces come in mason jars that have measurements marked on the side, so they are absolutely perfect for brewing medicinal teas - you know exactly how much you're making, the glass is tempered to accept the hot water, and you can screw the lid on so no essential oils escape in the steam!  I love those things.

I'm really "bad" about repairing things and continuing to use them as long as humanly possible.

I've also been known to incorporate interesting bits of garbage, aka "found items," into my artwork.
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« Reply #13: July 10, 2008, 06:04:44 pm »

That's a good idea.  They would be the perfect size for a small gift, and with the decoration, there would be no need for wrap.
Sperran

Thanks!
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« Reply #14: July 10, 2008, 06:06:38 pm »

Classico pasta sauces come in mason jars that have measurements marked on the side, so they are absolutely perfect for brewing medicinal teas - you know exactly how much you're making, the glass is tempered to accept the hot water, and you can screw the lid on so no essential oils escape in the steam!  I love those things.

I sometimes buy that brand - thanks for the tip - wonderful idea!
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