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petermonroe's avatar

What is one thing you reuse or recycle?

Asked by petermonroe (7points) July 30th, 2008

I save take out containers and I use those to store left over foods in. I need some more good ideas.

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16 Answers

St.George's avatar

I save anything plastic or glass that has a lid. I store leftovers in pickle jars, yogurt containers. The other day I packed my son’s lunch in a washed out raspberry clamshell container. It was awesome and I was quite proud. I regularly pack the kids’ lunch in bento boxes once I realized how much plastic they were using and tossing out. The bentos protect the food and are resuable….and they’re cool looking.

jcs007's avatar

Rather than just chug a water bottle and throw it away, I usually take it with me to class and refill it as many times as possible. After a day or two of chug-fill, I fill old plastic grocery bags with them. Once a bag is full, I give it to the recycling people. Not only am I staying hydrated, but I’m being easier on the environment, too! =D

mcbealer's avatar

cube shaped facial tissue boxes

Once they’re empty, you can use them to stowe away items you wish to keep on-hand but neatly concealed. For example, check card receipts, hair clips/bands, plastic bags, spare change, etc. You could even have a group of them on a shelf, just keep buying them in coordinating colors/patterns.

tinyfaery's avatar

I’m sure you know what items are recyclable: paper, styrofoam, plastic, glass, and aluminum (depending on where you live, of course). There are so many recyclables people tend to overlook, like junk mail, prescription bottles, anything packaged in paper products (e.g. cereal boxes), etc. Switching to reusable shopping bags is also a great way to be green.

AstroChuck's avatar

Ziplock bags, water bottles, and Kleenex.
That last one drives my wife nuts. I mean I eventually toss it once it’s gross.

robmandu's avatar



Speaking of re-usable shopping bags, they’re hard to get a good deal on sometimes. For example, Wal-Mart sells some sort of black canvas bag that’s hardly bigger than their plastic sacks for $1. That’s kinda okay, I guess.

Ikea, on the other hand, sells huge, fiber-reinforced plastic bags for only 50ยข each. They’re quite spiffy in appearance, blue with yellow straps.

KimberlyLD's avatar

I took the 3lb coffee cans (plastic) that you get at the supermarket and added recycle symbols to the outside with paper and glue and in the bottom put a list of all the things we recycle. Then I placed them in the bathrooms and bedrooms near the trash cans.
(The coffee cans don’t hold a ton, but they are also unobtrusive and easy to empty!)

Now when we have visitors they know what we can recycle. It’s worked really well and when they get full I empty them into the big bins in the kitchen. (Which are old beer cases.)

It saved buying a bunch of “recycling” containers and when the beer boxes start to break down, we recycle them and put new ones in place.

gailcalled's avatar

If you have a yard or a balcony with plants or parents with same, start to compost all the non-animal scraps from kitchen. I simply dump all mine vegetative wastes in a heap on corner of property and turn it w. a shovel once in a while. It turns into beautiful, rich dirt.

Use large
reuseable cloth bags or baskets for all shopping.(Get black; I have to launder my white ones..)

Hang clothes on a rack or line instead of dryer. Unplug all small appliances when not in use toaster, cell phone charger, radio, etc.) Do most laundry in cold water.

Call and cancel all the stupid catalogs that come in your mail.

As light bulbs blow out, replace with the new energy efficient ones.

When you have to buy new appliances, get the Star energy-efficient ones.

Use gray water for plants and gardens.

gailcalled's avatar

*edit: my veggie wastes….

marinelife's avatar

We reuse plastic bags for dog poop scooping.

I keep any small and medium paper shopping bags (the nice ones with the handles) and use them for picnics and outings or vacations. I also put books in them to exchange at the used bookstore.

I always take my paperbacks to the used bookstore and buy used ones when I can.

tupara's avatar

Beer bottles for home brew.

Seesul's avatar

We have a great recycling program in our town. The neighboring city basically penalizes for trash, charging more for bigger cans. In our town, they give us all a large one, as well as containers for nearly everything recyclable. It’s all volunteer how much you fill that trash can. I think with the efficiency of it all, and people not being forced, but asked, it has worked out better, at least here. I challenge myself to putting as little as possible in the garbage each week. I see my neighbors doing the same. I never fill the can more than half, and it’s usually about a 1/4 full.

I also find myself on recycle patrol in the house, fetching out what can be recycled out of the trash whenever possible and pointing out that it is in the wrong place.

@mcbealer: my favorite use of the boutique tissue boxes (my nose won’t take any other) is to use them to store lint from the dryer. I use the softener sheets until they are limp, (usually at least 3 times) wipe the lint screen with them (makes it much easier) and then stuff it all in the empty box. Takes up very little room on the shelf and then I toss that only when it is full.

@gail: I FINALLY have all energy star appliances. The biggest difference were the washer and dryer. Those have saved a ton of energy and water, not to mention detergent. (We’ve been using grey water since the last drought in CA, 1984). Trader Joe’s makes a fantastic (and cheap) hypo-allergenic, HE detergent. I know you don’t have a TJ’s near you, sorry

I had to google bento boxes. They were used for goldfish when I was a kid. One time, my mom came home, she put one on the counter and my sister got the goldfish bowl out, set it up (mom laughing). She opened it up found Italian deli instead.

KimberlyLD's avatar

@gailcalled you can also use: to mass reduce your junk mail magazines. I’ve managed to get the entire family to use it and and there are days on end when we get NO MAIL at all!!!

I also use to trade my books and DVDs for “new” reads and movies and everyone I’ve encountered through this trading site reuses their bubble mailers and boxes for shipping used media.

My subscription magazines get handed off to friends or piled high and then (with address tags removed) carted to the local elementary school for art and other projects.

I also shop for my craft supplies at a place called SCRAP that takes donations of goods from local businesses and resells them to the community. Everything from tiles samples to old ice cream boxes.

Oh, and the most fun reuse container is Mini M&M tubes. I use them for storing quarters, and for containing small items when traveling, vitamins, earrings, etc. Add a sticker label on the outside and poof! magic travel container!

Nimis's avatar

My house is a recycling center/station.

clothing, furniture, appliances—> salvation army or goodwill
old computers—> recycling drives
larger items—> urban ore
smaller miscellaneous stuff that people could use—> east bay depot
yoghurt containers—> the ceramic department at school
packaging material—> popcorn hotline (we drop off at mannequin madness)
any recyclables (including junk mail, cereal boxes, etc.)—> recycling box in our kitchen
paper towels used to dry clean hands—> kept in a bucket to be used to clean dirty stuff…like food off the floor
old jars—> reused around the house for pens, change, etc.
twisty ties—> reused for things that don’t come with twisty ties
light bulbs—> am collecting them for a (yet undetermined) art project

Nimis's avatar

We tried composting once. But since we live in an apartment complex, it got gross pretty quick.

mcbealer's avatar

@ Nimis ~ I have made some adorable snowman decorations using old lightbulbs, PM me if you would like more information.

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