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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    yay area

    what do you reuse & recycle in your house?

    are there things that you obsessively save & reuse around the house? this could be to save $$ or the environment..... or maybe just an OCD!

    for example, i save and reuse fabric softener sheets (like to add extra softness to big loads, or reuse several when i'm broke or just out of them.) once they're spent, i use them for dusting - great for the tv screen.

    another thing i do and feel like a dork about is saving the crusts off my 2-year old's sanwiches. i dry them in a warm oven then grind up into breadcrumbs. decided to do this the last time i reached for a box of breadcrumbs at the store and decided it was just stupid to buy them.

    oh, and i never throw away torn up clothes - if they're not made into something, they become rags - a roll of paper towels easily lasts 2 months or more in this house - and that's with a toddler and a baby.

    AND YOU?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    yogurt containers (esp the Dora Yumsters ones): used for stacking/sorting toys or to start seeds in

    stained toddler clothes (that still fit): garden/outside clothes
    stained toddler clothes (that don't fit): rags or if the fabric's pretty, the unstained parts go into my fabric stash

    plastic grocery bags: diaper bags for the nasty ones (put diaper in, tie knot, turn bag inside out, tie another knot, lunch bags, small trash bags

    used-up bath towels: cut up into rags for handwashing after especially nasty outdoor projects (oil, mud, whatever)

    clothing detergent bottles: watering cans (drill a few holes in the lid) -- saw this in You Grow Girl and Readymade, and I saw an old(er) guy using one of them the other day, I thought that was cool

    vegetable odds and ends: they go in the freezer in a plastic baggie until I make stock

    magazines: the prettier pages make envelopes, collages, magnets, cards

    beer bottle caps: magnets or jewelry

    spaghetti sauce (or any glass) jars: craft storage or homemade soup storage

    that's all I can think of right now.

    sarabell, that breadcrust thing is a good idea! and I didn't think of using the fabric softener sheets for dusting -- now I just have to stop them from getting lost in pants legs so I can reuse them.

  4. #3
    We reuse the plastic shopping bags for cat litter. We live upstairs in an apt w/ a balcony, so when the cat litter bucket is empty we put it out on the balcony and put the bags of cat litter in them so we don't have to run all the way out to the dumpster every time.

    I sleep in my worn out clothes, like t-shirts and all that.

  5. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    heh, forgot to sign on. :)

  6. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Kentucky for now...
    I wash and reuse ziploc bags. A box will last us for months.
    I also use old t's, etc. as rags.
    I use spent dryer sheets to line the bottom of my poted plant pots to keep the soil from draining out to holes in the bottom.
    We recycle plastic grocery bags either for lunch bags, or I take them to the local co-op to be used there.
    I also try to reuse clothes that might have a stain or a hole, and use the good part of the fabric for craft projects (esp. linen, etc.).
    Toothpast that falls off of the brush b4 I can get it in my mouth (happens less often as a grown up), I used to clean the bathroom faucet (trick my mom taught me).
    I use the baking soda from the fridge (when it is time to change it) to scrub the kitchen sink.
    We compost all of our fruits, veggies, etc.

    I like the idea of using a laundry det. bottle as a watering can. When mine empties this time, I am going to do that.

    Keep the ideas coming! This is pretty cool.....

  7. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    I like to reuse whatever I can. I wash and reuse the ziplocs, I save plastic garbage bags for dirty diapers and dog poo, jars, containers (even butter containers) anything I can to keep odds and ends in.

    Problem husband ends up throwing these things away because he thinks I just have them as clutter.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Bay Area
    I reuse the plastic baby wipes box. I just buy the refills. I think I've had the same one for two years now!

    I save the plastic grocery bags to line wastebaskets and to tie up stinky diapers.

    I wash and reuse the plastic spoons that I pack into my son's lunchbox. I have to keep reminding him to bring them back home!

    I save tins, like cracker tins to hold my odds and ends. I'll usually paste some pretty pictures to them to make them more interesting.

    I save used dryer sheets and use them in art projects. They have a great texture, so I can cut them up and make clouds, feathers, stuff like that. Plus it makes my art smell good.

    If my kids outgrow something and it's too damaged to donate, I'll cut it up and use the scraps for small sewing projects. I'll cut off the buttons or snaps to use in future projects. Old white tees become painting rags.

    We save glass jars to hold old cooking oil. We then recycle the oil.

    I recycle my magazines, but only after saving all the pretty pictures and any craft tutorials or recipes.

  9. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    yay area
    good to see so many great ideas - i was embarassed to list too many of the things i save!

    ziploc bags.... can't even remember the last time i bought those! i save all the bags from bread, produce, etc. and use those again and again. not a big germophobe here, but i'm wary of reusing them if there's been anything that would necessitate them being washed (some thing i saw one of the random times i watched 'oprah'. can you believe she even washes hers - or at least had her staff do so... at least until she talked with the germ man....) i just reuse the ones that had dry things in them. plus, i heard that they decompose pretty quickly anyhow.

    i save the dishsoap bottles for bath toys like my gramma did for me.

    applesauce and yogurt cups for my son's snacks - otherwise my "good" containers get lost in the house.

    all my broken pottery - eventually i'll have enough to do some sort of mosaic thing with it.

    and of course all those baby food jars - still haven't figured out what they'll be other than glitter/colored salt shakers....[/quote]

  10. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Portland OR
    I keep my quart non-dairy creamer containers to use as soap molds. I also use my empty lye canisters (well washed out) as little round molds.

    I keep all my shopping bags and use as many as I can, but I have more than I can use so I have them all in a trash bag to bring back to the store for recycling.

    I keep our old clothes for fabric. I made this quilt w/old dress shirts:

  11. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Plastic bags are reused for all manner of stuff: poop bags( 2 labs=lot's of bags), wet stuff; etc.

    Coffee grounds/egg shells to compost.

    kids use thermoses in their lunches and reusable drink containers.

    Mags for art projects.

    Newspapers for Cub Scout project.

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