Thursday, August 9, 2012

Reuse Is King

Sometimes things happen in spurts.  For example, I am on this kick to put as little into my trash can as possible.  Why?  First, it piles up and will be there for generations to come. Second, landfills aren't free -- they cost local government, which means eventually they'll cost me money.  And third, tossing out items with utility equates to throwing money in the trash.  And so, I've challenged myself to find useful ways to re-use items that would either go into the trash or recycle bin.  Recent refuges include:

  • cardboard for toy packaging (our daughter recently turned two, and unsolicited gifts arrived on our door step) as well as pizza delivery (my husband's version of dinner when I was out of town).  Added to a growing pile in the garage, I will use them later this year to kill parts of our lawn to make floor beds.  You layer down cardboard, dirt, and mulch.  After a Wisconsin winter the grass will have died, and we'll have new floor beds.
  • glass jars -- from spaghetti sauce to apple butter to crushed garlic, I run them through the dishwasher and store them in a cabinet.  So far I've used them to freeze soup.  Future plans include paint, votive candles, and giving them away as gifts or using them for holiday parties.
  • straws -- a few times a week I still find myself getting an iced coffee and a store.  Fueled primarily by a gift card from a client, I can recycle the container and lid, but not the straw.  It is durable and perfectly fine.  For now they are washed and stored in the cabinet.  As the kids get older I'm certain they can use draws for drinking or craft time.  A use is waiting to be discovered.  And
  • discarded toddler food.  This stuff usually cannot go into the compost pile because it contains butter, jelly, or olive oil.  Instead, I toss it out for the critters in the yard.  The drought has left them with slim pickings, and the kids and cats both delight in the feeding bonanza that are yard becomes.
How about you?  Any great saves from the trash?  Please leave a comment and share. And thanks for reading!

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