Here are some ideas for putting the 3 R's to use. Let me know what you currently are doing, are trying or think is plain nuts! I want to hear from you! I do some of these, some I don't but today, I am a messenger so read and glean!
1. Kleenex boxes - Store plastic grocery store bags in them. You can then grab the bag just like you grab a tissue out of the box.
2. Envelopes - Carefully open the envelope and turn it inside out, so the address is on the inside. Re-glue or tape the flaps down. Or make your own envelopes out of scraps of paper, wrapping paper, newspaper, old phone book pages, or wallpaper scraps (see below).
3. Happy Meal boxes - Save the boxes, and when your child needs to be cheered up, make them their own happy meal! Add your own nutritious foods and a favorite toy. Or pick up inexpensive items from the dollar store: stickers, special pencils, etc (usually 10 for a dollar) as the toy.
4. Ziplock bags - Wash and rinse bags, then store them in the freezer to prevent mildew.
5. Tennis ball - Split it and hide your valuables inside.
6. Coffee cans (big ones) - Make toy "stilts"! Poke holes (with a can opener) on either side of the can and thread a jumprope through and they can walk on the cans while holding the jumpropes. Cool!
7. Egg cartons - Use to make seed starter trays. If you use the heavy cardboard trays, you can compost the cardboard when you pop the seedling out, or you could bury it next to the seedling to decompose. Use to make extra ice cubes or to freeze soup stock and gravy.
8. Old clothes - Use to make quilts, pillows, and blankets. Always save the buttons.
9. Broken candles - Melt them down to make new candles. Add broken crayons for color.
10. Nylon mesh bags from veggies - Cut the mesh into several pieces and use for plastic scouring pads to clean your dishes. Click here for more ideas: "Orange Bags -- How to Reuse Mesh Fruit Bags and Recycle" I like the idea of getting more life out of your sponge by wrapping it in a mesh bag from fruit, garlic, etc.
11. Used dryer softener sheets - Try cutting them in half!
12. Old pillow cases - Use for laundry bag.
13. Empty paper-towel roll - Store extension cords inside.
14. Frisbees - Use as paper plate holders at a picnic.
15. Mouse Pads - Use as a paint pallet. Use acrylic, oils, or most any paints. Wash when done, and reuse!
16. Newspaper - Use to clean windows, line trash cans, wrap presents. Use in place of peanuts when mailing packages, as fire starter, or as garden mulch.
17. Shoulder Pads - Use them to make padded hangers. Just sew a pad on each end of the hanger.
18. Wallpaper books/samples - Use to make book covers, decorative envelopes, or wrapping paper. Or make your own beautiful envelopes: take apart any envelope you have, and trace the pattern onto the back side of the wallpaper, then fold and glue or tape.
19. Film canisters - Store small items such as buttons, sequins, and small nails.
20. Soap scraps - Mix with water to make soap jelly. Put in sock, mesh, or used pantyhose to use in bath or for scenting drawers.
21. Pantyhose - Use for ponytail holders, to secure plants, or buffing your shoes.
22. Coffee filters - Use to clean and polish, or as a replacement for cheesecloth, paper towels, and napkins.
23. Glass jars & bottles - Use as a vase, for canning, or melt and pour wax in for candles.
24. Plastic grocery bags - Donate to local Salvation Army. They deliver meals on Wheels to elderly and are a non profit organization and need bags to put food in to deliver.
25. Plastic jugs - Cut out the side to make a big scoop or garden shovel, cut off the top and use as a funnel, fill with water and freeze to use in coolers, or cut off top and use bottom to store toilet brush.
26. Baby food jars - Fill with salt or cornmeal and use for paperweight, use for crafts, and for storing small items. Use for Use for individual Jar Mix Gifts: 1 cup of coffee mix, 1 cup of hot chocolate mix, or 1 cup of tea. Decorate jar, glue on ribbon, and attach gift tag with instructions.
27. Broken crayons - Sort by color, melt in old can, pour into molds that come with Jello gigglers, then kids have new crayons in all diferent shapes. **Thanks Susie!
28. Socks - Use in crafts, to hold soaps, or to wash car.
29. Milk cartons - use for potting plants, or fill with water and freeze to make blocks of ice.
30. Soap Wrapper - Place it inside your shoe cabinet or shoe box. It's a cheap way of filling the air with a nice smell.
31. Pill Bottles - Use to carry pins, vitamins, or fill it with vaseline to use as lip gloss.
32. Junk Mail - Put it through paper shredder and use as packing material when shipping gifts.