Friday, June 29, 2012

reduce, reuse, recycle

this seems to be a theme with me...

a couple of things from today that made me happy: 1. i went to the bank to get quarters for laundry and they actually came in the old paper sleeves! i was so happy not to have the extra plastic to throw away. i think next time i go in, i'll specifically request paper instead of plastic if they have it. 2. i took our cans and bottles to the local CRV (california redemption value) recycling center and found out that they will recycle things even without a CRV code on them. they have to be drink containers, have a recycle symbol and you won't get money back, but they'll take them. i was thrilled! milk jugs and wine bottles were saved from the landfill (actually from my in-laws recycle bin) but happy day none-the-less.

now, here are a couple of ideas for the rest of the stuff i'm unable to recycle at our apartment complex.

1. you know those plastic nets that potatoes and things come in? my mother-in-law gave me the great idea of cutting them up and using them to scrub dishes! brilliant! they work so well and they don't get stinky like some dish scrubbers can.

the yellow one on the left has been cut and i've used the top part. if it gets grungy, toss it out and cut off another piece. these two bags are going to last me forever! 

2. my husband and i love sandwiches. we eat them almost every day for lunch. we've found these lunch meats that we enjoy by oscar meyer called carving board. they are chunks of meat, not puny little slices. they make delicious sandwiches and nice chunks for salads. cool thing is, they come in plastic containers that work perfectly for storing, what else? sandwiches! i've found that i can make my husband a sandwich, wrap it in a select-a-size paper towel, plop it right in there, snap the lid on and put it in his lunch. that way, i don't have to use a ziplock, the sandwich maintains it's shape and there's no danger of it getting moist from the ice packs he uses. really, you could use these to hold lots of different things: chips, cookies, left-overs to send home with someone and not worry about getting your tupperware back, crayons, markers, crafty bits, etc.

3. i'm always trying to come up with uses for the keurig machine k-cups. i'll admit, i still don't have the perfect solution. but, what i do have is fertilizer for my garden and a bunch of cute little rinsed out cups waiting to be turned into something fabulous.

have you ever opened one of these up? here are the guts:

 you have your coffee

 and under that a filter
(this one has been partially ripped out)

i have been taking the foil tops off and emptying the coffee grounds into a coffee creamer container that i cut the top off of. once i get a good amount of grounds, i will use them in my garden. (google "coffee grounds as fertilizer" for more detailed instructions.)

i then take out the paper filter, rince my cups out and stack them nicely in a counter wipe container that i've saved. i'm thinking since the cups already have a hole punched in them, i'd like to try making a string of patio lights. maybe cut them into daisies? i'm not sure yet. i need to find some little christmas type strand of lights and give it a try. whatever i end up doing with them, i'll post it... granted it turns out worth a damn.

anywho, those are my tips for the day. hope i've inspired you to get creative to keep a few more items out of our landfills. let me know in the comments if you have any other suggestions or have any items you'd like help thinking of an alternative use for.


  1. How about using this + your choice coffee grounds?

    1. thanks, julia! we actually have one and have begun using it again. when we were living with his folks, we got used to just using the throw-away ones and forgot we had one of these nifty deals since it was packed away. it works great, i can use the grounds in the garden and it's definitely less expensive. i would still like to come up with things to use the disposable k-cups for though, since so many people in the world do use them.

  2. Maybe put some pretty plastic around them and make tiny little planters? The coffee grounds fertilizer automatically made me think plants, hehe. The could be starter cups for seedlings maybe? I like the string light idea too had. Oh! If the plastic is sturdy enough maybe you could make them into little tealights too. Just melt wax and put a wick in them. Wrap it in some pretty paper and there ya go :)

    1. great ideas! i thought about the tea lights, but i'm afraid it would just melt. i have so many little cups though, i could try one and see what happens. thanks for the comment :)