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!


Kristin - The Goat said...

I don't have any at the moment as I'm just blown away by your number of DIY projects. You constantly come up with good stuff! Love it.

I grocery shop with a plastic wheeled bucket, as I call it. Sort of a milk crate on wheels. I put all the items into my bucket when I shop (keeps me from having to use a shopping cart and all the germs associated with that) and then I load onto the belt and the bagger at the end fills my bucket back up. I guess that's my DIY tip. I don't get bags this way. I don't have to have a stash of reusable bags. I just have my bucket.

Robj98168 said...

6 Packs can make a great planter for starting plants as well- silmply fold up some old newspaper to block the bottom of the 6 pack holder, then put your starting soil in and plant your seeds. One of the famer's market vendors did this and sold out- each of her 6 packs had 2 pumpkins, two strawberry, to corn in them. Cool Idea I thought! I notice old Blitzy managed to get his pic up on your blog again!

Lisa said...

Awesome list. I use a Florida's Crystals organic sugar contain for storing baking soda for cleaning.

I'm sure I could think of others by my brain is off for the night. ;)

Chantry said...

I love all the ideas. Love them.
Here's maybe one for any sewers out there...I like to take my fabric scraps...whatever little bits are too small to use in sewing and use them for packing and shipping. And it looks pretty cute when you open the box.

Robj98168 said...

Blitzkreig- click here to enter my giveaway- just the thig for those walks! And a great DIY Idea as well - Romeo

Lynn from said...

Great ideas! (And we share the same taste in beer...things you learn on blogs, I swear!)

Amanda said...

And here I was, thinking Dogfish Head was only local . .

Morgan said...

I love all of the ideas that you gave, but I also like that you can really get a sense of who you are based on the pictures you the Dogfish Raison d' etre six pack you have reused! Goood beer.

And I loved this, too: "Some girls get flowers, I get garbage." do you get your dog to pose for pictures?!?! Jealous!


Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

Lynne, Bunny, Morgan - Funny more people comment on the type of beer we drink than the idea of using the holder for storage! We have a great beer and wine shop that specializes in micro brews. They have a very good selection and almost always have Dogfish Head on hand.

Morgan - Blitzkrieg is very food motivated but I think he likes the camera more! He was in a short film for a film contest and ever since that day, when he sees a camera he demands to have his picture taken. Of course it also helps to have plenty of treats on hand and to reward frequently for each photo taken. Which Blitzkrieg doesn't mind at all.

Post a Comment

I love comments and read them all! If you’re shy and don’t want your opinions made public, you can always email me at condoblues [at] gmail [dot] com.