creative uses for items you toss

Creative Uses For Things You Toss or Recycle

March 12, 2024
creative uses for items you recycle
Photo by Anete Lusina on Pexels

I guess you could say that I’m a little bit obsessed about reusing and recycling. I’ve been in the home consignment business for almost 20 years. My whole business model is getting my customers to buy my consignors’ used stuff. That’s reuse and recycling at its finest, ladies and gentlemen! The way I look at this philosophy is that it’s better for you and it’s better for the earth. but there’s so much more we can do. Did you know that there are many creative uses for things you toss or recycle. Read on for some great ideas about taking ordinary trash and turning it into something attractive and useful.

don't toss that

Creative Uses For Things You Toss or Recycle. First Up: The Clementine Box

Clementine boxes have a lot of creative uses. Clementines (also mandarins and tangerines) are in season in the Winter months, so now is a great time to score this delicious fruit and to get yourself a few of the oh-so-cute boxes that they come in. I have been using these boxes for years to “containerize” veggie trays both at home and when I’m asked to bring one somewhere. The ridged sides of the box make standing the cut veggies a snap (I wedge a hollowed-out pepper in there, as well, to hold the all-important dip). At home these boxes are reusable for these veggie trays and a variety of storage options. Take these boxes to a friends’ and you can leave them, with no guilt and your compliments. Clementine boxes are also great for containerizing ribbon for your gift wrapping needs and they make absolutely adorable planter boxes!

Prescription Bottles – They Have So Many Other Uses

I am on a quest to take as little medicine as possible these days, but try as I might there always seems to be the need for an allergy pill or an occasional antibiotic. There’s no need to pitch the pill bottle when you’re done, however. Prescription bottles have lots of up-cycle uses. Consider:

  • Using them to house your earbuds in your handbag or briefcase
  • Creating a mini first aid kit with the larger ones (Band Aids, Tums, Tylenol, aspirin, Neosporin) that you can keep in your car, your desk, etc.
  • Making your own sewing kit for those button emergencies when you travel. Just throw it in your cosmetic bag or DOP case.

Creative Uses For Things Your Toss or Recycle: The Coffee Can

My Dad saved every coffee can that came into our house. He used them to organize all kinds of hardware, like nails, nuts and bolts. And he used them to decant paint and paint trim so he wouldn’t have to carry the gallon can up the ladder. You too can up-cycle these great containers. Not only can coffee cans be easily painted to turn them into almost anything, but they can be easily drilled and turned in to festive luminaries for your holiday celebrations and to mark the pathways to your home for your guests. Coffee cans can also be wrapped in fabric, twine or raffia (with the help of a little hot glue) and they make excellent containers for herbs, pens/pencils as well as kitchen tools.

Glass Jars Become Beautiful with a Little Creativity

So you ate the last pickle… what’s the big deal? They’re fat free, after all. Now, guess what? You’ve got the jar to recycle… or better yet… up-cycle. Make a quick trip to Home Depot or Lowe’s for a knob to add to the center of the lid and you’ve got an adorable container. Or a stop at your local consignment store, like Consignments Ltd., for a glass candlestick to add a base to the jar for a cool apothecary. You can up-cycle this jar, and all the others turning up in your world, into kitchen storage containers or organizers for toiletries in your bath. The options are almost endless and the benefit is three-fold: organization, earth-friendliness and more pickles! Win-win-win!

For more on recycling, check out my previous blogs: Wait, Don’t Throw That Out, Ingenious Uses For Every Day Objects and Four Easy Ways To Reduce Trash At Home.

And Now For A Little Music Before We Go…

Enjoy the day, my friends. Marianne

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