Reduce, reuse, and Taunton recycling
are three terms every elementary school student is taught about. They are taught to sort paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, and metal. There might even be a recycling directive at their school to promote this behavior. Do you do this at home? Many people will only recycle when it’s made extremely easy and convenient for them to do so. There is a national and international push for increased Taunton recycling
to help with climate change and running low on natural resources. With the world population increasing, available land becomes more and more limited, and landfills become filled, we will eventually run out of places to put all of our waste. There is a floating mass of trash, mostly plastic, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean called Trash Island. Trash Island is roughly the square acreage of Texas. Something needs to be done. Whether you believe climate change is an issue or not, running out of space and natural resources should still definitely be a concern. Rinsing empty containers and filling your Taunton recycling
bins is a good step if everyone does it, but there are other more interesting uses of your trash. Reusing recyclables in unique and creative ways can be very enjoyable.
One incredibly functional use of two-liter bottles is the creation of a vertical garden. If you don’t have a yard for a garden or space, in general, is limited, this is a great idea for gardeners. A vertical garden is made by cutting the sides off of 2-liter bottles and suspending them against a wall with a string, one over top of another from ceiling to floor. Make sure you have space between bottles so the plants have a place to grow. You can fit eight to ten bottles from ceiling to floor and can be hung side by side across your wall. Be sure to tether these securely because with soil and water they will end up being heavy. If you have an exterior wall you can use, that would work best, but you can do it inside as well. This idea is perfect for herbs, vining tomatoes, onions, and lettuce. You could also use flowers instead of making this a hanging vegetable garden. Imagine a wall covered with orchids of every color.
Sticking with our current garden theme is the use of egg cartons as starter pots for your garden plants. If you use the paper cartons, you can just cut the individual egg holders apart and bury them with the plant. They are biodegradable anyway, and you won’t risk damaging the plant during the transition from carton to ground. You can get your garden started in your home and establish your plants before planting them in the spring. This will give your plants a head start and improve the chances of a successful garden. Coffee grounds can also help with your garden’s success. Keep your used coffee grounds for spring and summer. They can be used as fertilizer and pest repellant. You can sprinkle the coffee grounds in a thin layer on your soil. It can also go in your compost bin and be used to add compost to the garden. Either way, it adds a nitrogen-rich organic material to your soil that is great for plants. Coffee grounds also help prevent some garden pests like slugs and snails. You can sprinkle it around your plants to create a barrier around them.
Next, we will move on from gardening ideas to ways to reuse newspapers. One great use for old newspapers is window cleaning. Newspapers actually leave less streaking than regular paper towels, and you already paid for them or they were free. You can also use a vinegar and water solution instead of a chemical cleaner. Newspapers can also be used to help get rid of stale odors. You can put balled up newspaper in smelly shoes, leave them there overnight, and the smell will be gone in the morning. You can also put balled up newspaper in a stale smelling suitcase and leave them there for a couple of weeks. This will help remove the smell. You can use damp paper towels to clean your oven and broken glass. Newspapers have many other uses and you typically always have some on hand. Other simple ideas are using newspapers for packaging, cat litter box liners, rags, and to unscrew a broken lightbulb without cutting or burning yourself.
Another idea for parents or teachers is making art from Taunton recycling
f. The possibilities for this are endless. Keep lids, egg cartons, bottles, toilet paper rolls, fabric scraps, and anything else that could be turned into a spaceship, animal, or robot. You never know what creative ideas will flow from your child’s imagination. Sort these items into Taunton recycling
containers for storage. The large containers that pretzels and animal crackers come in work well because of their size. These can be stored in a closet or on a designated shelf. One amazing idea for your space crazy child is a jet pact made from two 2L bottles. These can be painted and taped together as dual fuel tanks. Straps can be made from spare fabric and attached to the top and bottom so it fits like a backpack.
So what if you don’t garden, have kids, are a teacher, or drink coffee? Well, you’re an adult so you need to start drinking coffee. Maybe you enjoy wine instead. If you don’t drink coffee, you need something to get you through the day. There are tons of uses for empty wine bottles and wine corks. One really unique use of wine bottles is for chic and industrial style hanging lights. The industrial look is very popular. You will need to drill a hole through the top of the bottles and then feed a light through. This will secure it so the bottle doesn’t fall off and you are left with a great looking and cheap string of unique lights. If you make lights from wine bottles, how about coasters and a centerpiece table mat made from corks. Coasters can be made by hot-gluing wine corks side-by-side vertically in a circular pattern. You should bind when with a clamp or rubber bands until they have adequate time to dry. To make a centerpiece mat, just use the same method on a larger scale. For coasters the diameter should be around 6″ and for a centerpiece mat closer to 20″. Place a bowl on the mat filled with more corks and plastic grapes to complete the table’s look. Other interesting uses of corks are place card holders, stamps, a bath mat, pinboards, and wreaths. Other ways to reuse wine bottles include bird feeders, flower vases, and lanterns. They can also be painted or decoupaged with paper doilies.
When it comes to reusing items that would typically be thrown away and end up in a landfill, you are only limited by your own creativity. Most of these projects are very easy but provide a unique look that will help you and your home stand out. This is also obviously good for the environment. There are hundreds of other ideas you can find with a simple search. Don’t be afraid to try. It’s not like you paid for most of the materials anyway.