Friday, November 9, 2012

Re-Use It Before Discarding It

Frugal Friday

Our society is so quick to throw things away.  And I don’t mean garbage.  We toss shirts missing buttons, or socks with holes or old electronics we’ve replaced with a newer and better model.  While this is good for the economy, it is destructive to the environment.  There are so many items we use in our everyday lives that can easily be re-used and kept out of the landfill--for a while at least.

Here are a few ideas for re-using everyday items:

  • Butter wrappers - Use empty wrappers to grease baking pans.
  • Opened envelopes - Use as scratch paper for your “To Do” lists, or for a grocery shopping list.
  • Inner envelopes - These are the ones that come in your bills, and are left over if you pay bills online.  Buy large stick-on labels and cover the window or pre-printed address and write the new address on the label.  Or use them to sort coupons.  Write the coupon category on the outside of the envelope, then put the envelopes in your glove compartment so you always have them when you are out shopping.
  • Plastic grocery bags - Use as liners for small trash cans, or to wrap paint brushes and rollers in the middle of a paint job.
  • Plastic bread clips - These make good cord corrals or small scrapers.
  • Styrofoam peanuts - Keep them to store fragile holiday items or to pack and ship holiday gifts.
  • Cereal liners - Clean and cut them, then place between meat patties before freezing, or covering food in the microwave.
  • Toilet paper rolls - Use upright to start seedlings in the spring, cut down and place in storage boxes for separating small items like beads, or use to protect small, fragile items when packing.
  • Shredded documents - Use for packing materials, whether moving or storing. This is especially useful for odd-shaped items.
  • Business cards - Turn over and use the back as a label for cartons or storage boxes.
  • Plastic bread bags - Use for liners in children’s boots to keep feet dry, or use to store your own home-made goodies.
  • Newspaper - Use to line bird cages, or as filler when packing.

How have you re-used some of your “trash”?

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