Please excuse the under renovations !

Monday, November 9, 2009

Back to the Green

Now that we've discussed household cleaners and such, it's time to talk about my favorite green things.....repurposing.  Repurposing is finding a new purpose and reusing items.  You'd be surprised at how easy it is to repurpose many of the items you throw in the trash.  Before I throw something away, I do my best to think of a way to reuse it.  Sometimes I'm not quite sure what to reuse it for, so I wash it and put it away in my hallway closet/pantry.

I reuse a variety of things.  For this post, I'm going to focus on containers.  We all buy items in containers of all sorts, shapes and sizes.  There are so many storage options available when you simply take some time to clean out an old used container.  When buying things in the grocery store I often buy an item that's in a nice container.  Nice containers for me are made from a sturdy plastic or glass and have a sturdy lid (preferably a screw on lid).  On the rare occasion that  I buy an individually packaged product, like snacks or yogurt, I try to buy only the ones in a small plastic container.  These small little containers can be used for small crafting items like beads and screws.  Of course, jars are the best containers to reuse.

My favorite and most repurposed containers are large spaghetti sauce jars, jelly jars and peanut butter jars.  I wash all my jars by letting them soak overnight and washing them by hand.  I then run them through a dishwasher cycle making sure to run the sterilize function.  The peanut oils in the plastic jars are a bit difficult to get out sometimes.  I often have to wash these at least twice in the dishwasher to get rid of all the oils. 

Those tiny baby food jars and containers are great for holding spice mixtures in the kitchen or minced and whole garlic in the fridge. 

I keep many of our large juice bottles to store water or use for tea or Kool-Aid (when we have it).  Milk jugs are only reused for outdoor and garden projects.  They make excellent homes for new seedlings in the spring.  Or they will provide a nice little bird feeder in a pinch.   

For a crafty project, I sometimes use plastic bottles to make plastic beads.  Here's a great tutorial on how to make these beads here if you'd like to make these yourself.  It's a fun little project that does an excellent job of keeping all those bottles out of the landfills.

Many flimsy plastic bowls get cut up and used as craft templates.  A butter bowl can be turned into a loom to make a quick knitted scarf or the base for a child's play crown.  Small lids from those bowls usually end up being coasters in my living room, while the large ones are used as reusable paint palettes. 

Cans are also great to reuse too.  You can paint any can after a good cleaning and scratching up with some sand paper.  Here's a nice little link to show you some pencil cups and a few other container ideas.  
I'll try to take some pictures over the next few days of containers I've repurposed and share them here.  Until tomorrow......


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