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 the executive 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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