Recycling: Getting Double Use Out of Products

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One Gallon Plastic Milk Containers

This one I have to give credit to my dad.  It is his idea although I am sure others around the world do this as well, but it was my dad that I learned it from, so for the sake of this article the credit is all his.  If you buy milk and if you have kids you buy a lot of milk, then before you throw it in your plastic recycle bin (or heaven forbid the trash that goes to the landfill) get double use out of it first. 

First things first, clean out the milk container by filling it with water and rinsing it out.  Now fill the milk container with tap water up to the top.  Do not put the lid on the milk container, you can go ahead and recycle that.  Place the milk container filled with water in your freezer.  In a day or two you will have a nice solid block of ice. 

When you are ready to use it, run the frozen milk container under warm water for twenty to thirty seconds to loosen the ice off the sides and then using a pair of scissors cut away the plastic.  You can now recycle the plastic milk container.  Use a screw driver or ice pick to break up the block of ice to a more usable size, or if you go camping, leave it as a complete block and it will last longer.

Plastic Coffee Lids

Most coffee lids can not be recycled since they are formed from a different type of plastic compound then other plastic material.  But do not fear, they can still be used for something.  Take this plastic coffee lids and use them as protectors in your fridge for products that might spill and be hard to clean up later like syrup, ketchup, mustard and so on. 

I also use them as coasters for my drinks.  Sure they aren’t the most stylish around but they serve my purpose well and since they are just going to get thrown away anyway I mind as well get as much use out them as possible.

Large Cereal Boxes

Most cereal boxes can be recycled with your cardboard but I like this idea of using cereal boxes for another purpose.  My wife and son love Cheerios.  So when we go shopping she makes sure she buys the very large box of Cheerios.  This large box is perfect for storing magazines.  I especially like using the large cereal box for my magazines that I keep out in the garage as well as to hold of the user’s manuals for all of my power tools.  I properly mark the box on the sides, remove the tops (and sometimes cut the sides of the boxes off) and my cereal box has now become a reusable resource.

Recycling is not a cumbersome task or labor intensive job, it is a new mindset.  Recycling is a way for you to think of what to do with something other than its intended purpose.  Get in the habit of every time before you throw something away, give a quick thought as to what you can do with it before it ends up in that landfill.

About the Author:
Mr. Tucker is a regular contributor on Bukisa, an online community for writers that pays them for their articles.  You can also follow Bruce on Twitter.

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