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Topic: Dont throw that away!

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Subject: Dont throw that away!
Date Posted: 1/2/2009 4:25 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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I feel like I'm always saying that. I always try to keep cool whip, sour cream, cream cheese bowls cause they are reusable and sturdy. They make great leftover containers and they are dishwasher safe. BUT my mom and husband throw them out all the time. Im always saying something like "Thats gonna be in a landfill forever!" So dont throw out your plastic food containers. Reuse them they are still good. Like those roll over minutes LOL

Any other tips on reusing things and reducing your throwaways?

Date Posted: 1/4/2009 12:29 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2008
Posts: 497
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We save and reuse most of our glass pasta sauce-type bottles. I like them because I can so easily see what's in them. The plastic containers can be recycled, depending on what your local recycling takes. Don't keep them too long though, the plastic can start to degrade and get into your food, so don't put them in the microwave with food in them.
Date Posted: 1/4/2009 3:01 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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We dont have recycling here except for metal :(

Date Posted: 1/4/2009 10:50 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2008
Posts: 9,597
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Wide mouth plastic jars make good storage containers for many non-edible things. They come in many sizes. Examples:

cotton balls

crafting items:  beads, buttons, etc

Toys or parts of games: dominos, marbles, dice and moving pieces

and oh so many more.

Date Posted: 1/4/2009 7:53 PM ET
Member Since: 1/9/2006
Posts: 6,638
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Last Edited on: 1/20/09 4:03 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: freecycle.org is the best place not to throw anything away
Date Posted: 1/6/2009 6:52 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2007
Posts: 3
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Originally founded to keep items out of landfills, this organization has groups everywhere.  Just go to freecycle.org and select your area to see the groups and join.  There are 5000 members in my county. These are set up as yahoo groups.

Your camera stopped working?  Have an old sewing machine that doesn't work anymore?  A box of baby toys?  You replaced your old refrigerator?  A dining room set that you don't want anymore?  Gifts you received you don't want or never got around to returning?  Moving and have things too good to throw away or need to get rid of it quickly? Want to get a really good feeling?  Freecycle it! 

Need something for your baby or older children?  Can't afford a new washer right now?  Or just don't want to buy new - Freecycle.  The quality of some of the things I have received from freecyle makes me very excited.  Need gifts for your family and can't afford them?  Need clothes?  You don't have to be needy to use this, but this community takes care of people.

The range of things that you can give away and also get is astounding. 

And it is all 100% free.

Make it part of your life.

Last Edited on: 1/6/09 6:57 AM ET - Total times edited: 7
Date Posted: 1/6/2009 9:27 AM ET
Member Since: 7/11/2008
Posts: 1,241
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I recycle those kind of plastic dishes.  Do you have any kind of recyling program where you live?  You can go online and find out which #'s (located on bottom of items) are safe to recycle.  We have a service that picks ours up every week, but it is a homebased company so I have to bag it up for them.  My Mom takes her recycling to her local recycling center. 

Another idea would to give them to your husband to use in his garage.  My husband puts different things in them like bolts, nuts, nails, etc.

Last Edited on: 1/6/09 9:29 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/6/2009 10:29 AM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2007
Posts: 1,453
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I recycle my hot sauce jars, and jelly jars. The jelly I by has a handle on it and makes for great cups. The hot sauce jars I can use when I make soups, my own hot sauce, or as cups as well.

Subject: Compost!!!
Date Posted: 1/6/2009 11:18 AM ET
Member Since: 7/27/2007
Posts: 14
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Instead of throwing all the carrot-tops and potato peelings in the landfill, start a compost pile/bin.  I throw in cut-up toilet paper tubes, used tissues, shredded paper (as long as its not the plastic magazine-type), old bread, paper towels, egg shells, etc.  Anything that isnt meat.  I always have great free fertilizer for the garden.

Date Posted: 1/6/2009 11:25 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2008
Posts: 3
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“Recycle everything. Challenge yourself to double your recycling and halve your trash." 

--The Nature Conservancy www.nature.org

Date Posted: 1/8/2009 10:58 AM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2007
Posts: 13,991
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This is off-topic, but I used to travel a lot to third-world and poorer countries for work. THey DO NOT HAVE "garbage" They re-use everything, in truly amazing ways. Our trash is (or maybe was, now) an indicator of our "wealth" and throw-away society.

The good part is, things like this thread show that's changing. There's really little need to buy much storage containers, given how much other stuff we buy that can be re-used like that.

Date Posted: 1/8/2009 11:31 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I recycle them but used to keep them all the time but have a sufficient stash of containers to use for leftovers and such.  I am glad that my city started taking all plastics!

Date Posted: 1/8/2009 1:16 PM ET
Member Since: 4/8/2006
Posts: 3,392
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I collect paper that doesn't have anything written on the back. When I have five to ten sheets, I cut it into quarters and staple them together to make little note pads. They are perfect for to do and grocery lists.


Date Posted: 1/9/2009 10:32 AM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2008
Posts: 9,335
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regarding the first post...I would start by reducing first.  I know that's not easy...but buying the large container of sour cream instead of the small will go a long way to reducing the waste.  there are many items I simply do not buy from the store anymore at all.  I remember 20 years ago shopping, and leaving a store with 4 or more bags of groceries...these days I'm challenged to find 10 things I would actually trust enough to buy at the store! 

I'm off topic a little here, but it's related to reducing.  Do you know it takes me less time to saute onions and tomatoes than it does to shop for and warm up pasta sauce?  (personally, I don't take the time to make pasta sauce because I prefer a chermol flavor)  just an example.  of course, you could say you have to shop for the onions and tomatoes...but I'm just saying that many of the things we buy out of convenience barely take any time to make ourselves!

Date Posted: 1/9/2009 11:51 AM ET
Member Since: 10/1/2007
Posts: 2,380
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I have lots of medicine bottles : (  but I recycle them:  Just remove the label and wash with soap & water.

Some are perfect to hold quarters.  Great for tolls.  I just sit one in the ashtray when driving.  Others are perfect for dimes, nickles, and pennies.  They are clear, you see what it holds, and are in a single roll so you can see how much you have.

I put some nuts, bolts, and nails and put in my toolbox.

Use them to hold a special key that you want out of the way, but not hidden too much.

Use them to carry one dose of all your meds if you're going to be away from home.

Great toothpick holder for your purse.

Use them in your desk drawer to hold paper clips, thumbtacks, etc.


Subject: don't throw that away
Date Posted: 1/9/2009 2:56 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2007
Posts: 116
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I also save the plastic containers like cool whip, sour cream, oleo, etc.  I also save the large jars that hold wild rice.   I use them to throw chicken bones or steak bones in before tossing it in the garbage so a dog or cat doesn't eat them and get them lodged in their throat or stomach.  I had a friend once whose dog died after eating a chicken bone which splintered and poked a hole in his colon.  Died during surgery. 

Date Posted: 1/17/2009 10:25 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 189
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The sour cream containers are also great for sending leftovers home with visitors.  You never have to worry about getting them back:)

Subject: Freecycle.org....
Date Posted: 1/18/2009 11:41 AM ET
Member Since: 12/22/2008
Posts: 2
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I love this site! I subscribe daily. Have gotten two tvs. Old but in mint condition. Have gotten rid of items that others can use. Especially with the way the economy is right now.  Easier than a garage sale!!!  Please check it out!

Subject: Tooooo much stuff!
Date Posted: 1/18/2009 11:55 AM ET
Member Since: 12/22/2008
Posts: 2
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the other day went to pick my youngest up at child care, there was a notice of a family that had thier house catch on fire Christmas day. Picked up the list went home started going thru all my stuff and realized after 10 bags and 3 closets, 2 cabinets, that I have too much. It felt good to give, but even better to reduce and know that my stuff isn't going to make a carbon foot print.  I wish the area I lived in had a little more in the way of fresh outside food markets and more organic areas. Would love to get the family off the preservatives and processed food. 

If anyone has any ideas on how to move family to more organic and wholesome foods and products would love to hear the ideas!

Subject: don't throw that away...
Date Posted: 1/25/2009 3:53 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2008
Posts: 1
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I do landscape/main and I also offer recycling to all my clients, I came across so many recycles from them that I recycle at my own house, kitty liter containers are always handy for so many things like gardening fertilizers, , wild ride containers become bird seed holders for my parakeet, heavy duty shoe boxes make for great organizers, the list goes on and on...

Date Posted: 1/26/2009 4:29 PM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2008
Posts: 3,574
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I should start by saying to conflicting things : I save about everything that looks usable. I have no problem keeping anything that I can think of a use for. My entire childhood, and my children's, was spent eating out of foxworthy tuperware, and, no, I don't believe it mystously starts to 'breakdown' after a week or two.
OTOH, there is nothing I am willing to keep to my own detremeint. If it is a battle between my house, and the Earth, my house wins. Sorry, I am just acknowledging the second law of thermodynamics.
I keep all squeeze bottles. I bead, and they are good for that.
I keep all foxworthy tuperware. I use margerine tubs the last time by sticking a can of veggies in them and sticking them in the microwave, thus getting to use the very last of the margerine.
I keep the bottles everything comes in. The rule in my house is, if it is in a labeled bottle, what is in it is, roughly, the same stuff, though it might be a refill, a generic, or homemade, if I use it for a whole differant things, I relabel. I don't rebottle things for no good reason - some dangerous things come in bottles designed for safety. But, I will fill the windex bottle with vinegar and water or the french salad dressing bottle with my homemade french salad dressing.
some things have a tendency to pile up, so I give them a space, and, once they fill their space, then I start tossing. Like foxworthy tuperware must fit in the tuperware cabnet and bags must fit in the bag sleave. But I am trying to start buying reusable bags to keep in the car.
I have never thrown away a wide mouthed screw on lid plastic bottle, or a 5 gallon pail, in my life. I was raised on a farm, you know.
Pill bottles and coffee cans do indeed keep all sorts of things sorted. So do mint tins. I found a site online where you can buy mint tins for crafts. empty, never used. for a buck. That's what they cost when they are full of mints! GoodGrief!
toilet paper rolls make great sorters storage for cords, great firestarters (fill with drier lint and melted crayon wax) and great 'crackers' for gift giving at christmas. (does someone know how to make homemade crackers' crack? cause no one in my family knows how...)
people who don't keep bottles - where do they put their homemade dressing, sauce and cleaning supplies? where do they put their childrens' crayons, or their nuts and bolts or saftypins or whathaveyou? If i didn't keep that stuff, my house would be a big old pile.
Subject: Recycling
Date Posted: 1/31/2009 8:18 PM ET
Member Since: 2/1/2007
Posts: 208
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The biggest thing I am doing now that I didn't do before is taking a cloth bag with me shopping or to the library instead of accepting a plastic one, or refusing one totally if my purchase will fit into my purse.  I've been surprised how many times a week I was using plastic bags.

This may seem trivial, but several years as a Girl Scout leader we learned to make fire starters out of cardboard tubes (toilet tissue, paper towels, wrapping paper ones) stuffed with drier lint.  Again I was surprised how many cardboard tubes we consumed.  They flame up quickly, but maybe more important than that usually a crowd of folks have the benefit of seeing recycling in action.

When I taught school, I recycled unused mimeos or misprinted sheets by cutting them up to make note paper or scratch paper for me and my students, I never threw them away until they were used twice.  Again a good "witness" to kids about recycling.

Last Edited on: 1/31/09 8:26 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: Recycle greeting cards
Date Posted: 1/31/2009 8:35 PM ET
Member Since: 2/1/2007
Posts: 208
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I make bookmarks from greeting cards and that way, if one is lost, it's no big deal since they cost nothing.  I can enjoy the greeting cards throughout the year that way, too.

Last Edited on: 1/31/09 8:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Beth - ,
Subject: Freecycle.org
Date Posted: 2/1/2009 12:19 PM ET
Member Since: 11/6/2008
Posts: 9
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I know, someone else already mentioned this, but it's worthy of a second mention.  At FREECYCLE.ORG you can give away things to people who may need them, and if you're wanting something specific, you can post on there and possibly get a used one in good shape before you spend the money on a new one -- AND save the landfill from the older one that the previous owner may have thrown out.  I own/moderate our local group and I sure wish more people would get interested!

Currently ReadingCellar of Horror by Ken Englade

Unpostable Books with slightly torn covers:  Stephen King's Four Past Midnight AND Secret Window (all in one book).  Also, Blood Will Tell by Carlton Smith.

Date Posted: 2/1/2009 1:20 PM ET
Member Since: 10/21/2007
Posts: 3,430
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I reuse wide mouth glass jars to store things like dry beans & rice.  I reuse diaper wipe boxes by storing crayons & other things in them.  

About the plastic bowls....I put them in the recycling bin.  I have limited cabinet space, so I can't save and reuse everything.   Where do you guys find the space?  I would be over-run with containers after a while.