Five Common Things We Throw Away That Can Serve Other Purposes

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We humans generate a lot of waste, but as author Tom Szaky shows us in his latest book -- a lot of the things we throw away have much practical usage left in them in ways we hadn't even considered before.

Here are just five examples of things that people throw away that serve an even greater need when repurposed creatively:

1. Old newspapers: If you don't have a bird or aren't housebreaking a puppy, these are just headed for the recycle bin, no? Not necessarily. If you line your kitchen garbage container with old newspaper, it will absorb the liquids that are spilled into it and also masks odors. No more smelly, messy, wet accidents.

2. Take Out Containers. Those Chinese food take-out containers? There's a real design-oriented reason they are shaped the way they are. If you undo the fasteners, the container opens out into a plate -- with your food already conveniently placed in the center.

3. Old Calendars. Old calendars make for great gift wrapping. Personalize the wrapping by making sure the actual birth date (or anniversary or what have you) is circled on the wrapping itself (or scribble down something the way people do for an upcoming event on a calendar).

4. Silica Gel Packs. You find them in everything these days and most people throw them away, but you can actually use them to banish condensation from window sills or even your car windshield. Actually, you can do quite a lot with these little guys.

5. Food Scraps. You can actually regrow a whole bunch of different foods just from scraps alone. Here are just sixteen examples.


Paul Palmer said...

Unfortunately I cannot join in the hurrah for this trivial, propagandistic book that so well serves the purposes of the Big Garbage Industry in assuring us that all is well if we just consume a bit more wisely. This joins the hundreds of other explorations of what garbage is and where it goes. Yawn, yawn. Recycling is no more than a scam that has been taken over by the BGI to tell us we can generate all the garbage we want and - go back to sleep darling - it's all okay because at the very end, we will capture 0.01% of the value of some 20% of the garbage and we will call that a solution. Nonsense. Until we redesign the way we conceive of production and consumption and reuse we are simply slipping backwards at an accelerating pace. If you want to learn how that can be readily done, even today, then begin to understand the nefarious role of recycling by reading

barb newton said...

Paul Palmer - thank you for posting the information about zero waste institute. This is an important issue to me.