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What To Do With the Stuff You Usually Throw Away

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The New Year is almost upon us, and that means … RESOLUTIONS! How many of you are thinking of being more “green” or just less wasteful? The Old Farmer’s Almanac Home Library Series: Home Wisdom has some advice on how to make the best of what you have … like trash!

What To Do With the Stuff You Usually Throw Away

Banana skins: Purée in a food processor and use to polish silver.

Bones: Boil to make stock, then use power tools to cut them into buttons and beads.

Bottle caps: Nail to a piece of wood, fluted sides up, and use them to scrape scales from fish.

Sardine can keys: Attach them to the bottom of toothpaste tubes and roll the tube up from the bottom, thus gaining an extra week’s worth of paste.

Coffee grounds: Dry the grounds in a warm oven, then sprinkle in the litter box or set a canful in the refrigerator to absorb odors.

Old combs: Use to hold small nails and avoid smashing fingers.

Roll-on deodorant bottles: Can be refilled with bath oil, liquid starch, suntan lotion, water for moistening stamps and envelopes, or paint for kids.

Egg cartons: Make good ice cube trays and starter pots for spring seedlings, or you can nail lots of them to a wall, overlapping the tops and the cups, for insulation.

Eggshells: Remove stains from china and glassware by soaking them in a vinegar-and-eggshell bath.

Old light bulbs: Dip in metallic paint, twist a thin piece of wire around the metal grooves, and you have a Christmas tree ornament.

Plastic milk jugs: Cut out the bottom and use the jugs as heat-retaining caps for garden plants in spring and fall.

Used motor oil: Soak the ends of fence posts or tomato stakes in the oil for 24 hours to make them waterproof.

Old records: Heat in a 350 degrees F oven or plunge into very hot water to mold into snack bowls or bookends.

Worn-out gloves: Cut off the fingertips, make a pair of slits for a belt, and you have a holder for screwdrivers.
 

About The Author

Heidi Stonehill

Heidi Stonehill is a senior editor for The Old Farmer’s Almanac, where she focuses much of her time on managing content development for the Almanac’s line of calendars. Read More from Heidi Stonehill

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