Condo Blues: 6 DIY Recycling Ideas for Non DIYres

Thursday, November 5, 2009

6 DIY Recycling Ideas for Non DIYres

It only takes a short drive to go from my city that has a formal recycling program for glass, paper, metal, and plastic to tiny rural town America that tried and failed to make their city recycling program pay for itself. They reluctantly canceled the program.

In a situation like that I would take the DIY approach to recycling and reducing my household waste. But what do you do if you aren’t a DIYer, don’t have the skills, or time? Don’t worry; you can easily recycle items if you put your mind to it. Here are six DIY ways to reuse items even if you are not a DIYer.

Six Ways to Recycle When You Don't Have Time

1. Paint Halloween pumpkins instead of carving and use as food later. This year I painted my pumpkin which means it didn’t uh, self compost early like Husband’s carved pumpkin. The day after Halloween, I cut the pumpkin in half, scooped out the seeds for roasting, composted the goop, and then roasted, drained, and pureed the pumpkin for food. I froze 8 cups of puree from that pumpkin – that will make a lot of pumpkin soup!


2. Coffee can as compost caddy. I keep an empty plastic coffee can with lid under my sink for daily food scraps destined for the outdoor compost bin instead of one of those cute little ceramic containers. Truthfully I wanted a cute little ceramic container when we started our composting experiment. Then Husband brought a plastic coffee can home from work because his office doesn’t recycle and was about to throw it out. He thought it life in it and that surely I could “do something with it.” What can I say? The guy marvels at my creative reuse skills. Some girls get flowers, I get garbage.

3. Save and refill small empty bottles from new/refill bottles. If I can’t refill an old bottle from a bulk/refill size, I split the contents of a new bottle between it and an empty bottle (I do not mix different brands of cleaners. It’s not smart to cross contaminate even when using environmentally friendly brands.) This way I have a small stash of cleaning supplies under the kitchen and each bathroom sink to use as the need arises.

4. Cut up old towels to reuse as cleaning/shop rags. For towels that are too worn to donate, I cut them into fourths, stash them with cleaning supplies under the bathroom and kitchen sinks and use them like paper towels. Yes, I have to wash them and that uses other resources. However I put them in with my regular laundry so I’m really not doing or using anything extra to clean that tiny towel for another reuse.

5.Plastic bags for trash or pet pickup. I use reusable shopping bags but I still end up with plastic bags when I buy bread, dried beans, frozen vegetables, etc. I put those bags to reuse for doggie duty because my city requires me to bag it as well as my household trash. Of course I could just get my groceries in a plastic grocery bag from time to time but I found that those plastic bags multiplied in storage like bunnies! I found a better solution by trading a family member who wanted to kick the plastic grocery bag habit a bunch of my extra reusable shopping bags for her hamper of plastic grocery bags. It’s not a perfect solution but it works for me. As always your mileage and needs may vary.

6. Find a new reuse for something you already have even on a temporary basis. For example:




Do you have any recycling DIY ideas for Non DIYres?

This post is part of The Green Moms Carnival  where our topic is recycling. Be sure to check out the rest of the carnival posts on our hostess Recycle Your Day November 15th!