We asked earlier this week what disposable items you had found creative re-uses for, and the answers are in. Not surprisingly, some of you have some pretty crafty uses for household goods that usually end up at the curb. From CD-R spindles to corks, twist-ties to tissue boxes, lots of supposedly one-use items can save you money, free up space, and be seriously handy when the need arises. After the jump, a roundup of our readers' waste-reducing reuses. Yoghurt photo by Dan4th, all others by How can I recycle this.
CDs/DVDs and their cases
- "The (spindle) covers can be turned upside-down and used as small tabletop bins as well (especially the 50 and 100-packs)."—kureshii
- "An outer plastic container from a 50-spindle of CDs or DVDs makes a great desk pen or craft tool holder if you tuck toilet-paper tubes into it."—kevinw1.
- Commenter mrs_helm said she's heard that used CDs/DVDs hung outside will repel flies, while kevinw1 ties them to tree branches to keep birds away from his seedlings and plants.
- mrs_helm's other CD/DVD re-use: "Cover one side with felt and place under breakable figurines so they don't scratch the furniture." They might also work under furniture on hardwood floors, provided you can cover them with the right material.
Photo by How can I recycle this.
- "Used dryer sheets will clean your iron - just run the iron over it on medium heat."—kuisine
- "Stick used dryer sheets into drawers to keep clothing smelling nice."—ac042186
.Photo by Fuzzy Gerdes.
There's no clear consensus, at least among commenters, as to whether it's safe and prudent to re-use plastic bottled water containers (urban legend buster Snopes.com has a somewhat mixed answer to the standard claims), but, along with re-using plastic grocery bags, cutlery and storage containers, they keep their plastics out of the landfill with some crafty uses:
- "Plastic yoghurt containers make great starter pots for seedlings."—elsifer.
- "... The Stonyfield quart-sized yoghurt containers are marked as dishwasher safe. We make our own chicken stock, and freeze it in those yoghurt containers."—skyesong.
- "The plastic bags that newspapers are delivered in make for a great umbrella bag (when you have to carry your wet closed umbrella into your office, etc."—Thunderpants.
- "Plastic Chinese food containers: store miscellaneous parts in in my garage."—gargouille.
- "I sell and trade a lot of used books, so I cut up the heavy plastic wrap from the cases of bottled water and use it as a waterproof liner for shipping. I use brown paper cut from grocery bags for the outer wrapper."—gwynn1101.
Photo by MiRo740.
Odds and ends
Objects that seemingly have only one specific purpose—keeping your wine fresh, dispensing tissues, and the like—are no match for our space-minding, clutter-savvy readers:
- "2 wine corks can make a quick and easy laptop stand."—Brad N. (and previously explained in detail by reader George).
- "I save those pop-up tissue boxes for the car. They make great trash receptacles and it is easy to tell when they are full."—RubberduckGrrl.
- "I have saved every twist-tie I've come into contact with, and I end up re-using every one. Keep your pens together in your bag. ear bud cables organized at the gym. Chip clips. Shower curtain rings. Any tech cable that's snaking around the room. Half of that single-serve bag of coffee."—Transuranic.
- "Nylon mesh from fruits and veggies can be used to protect glassware (mostly bottles)."—ac042186.
Got any other creative re-uses your fellow readers missed in the last post? Drop 'em in the comments.