The Most Genius Recycling Hacks

By Molly Atherton 7 months ago

1. DVDs, CDs or Videotapes - dust them off to bring them into the 21st century!

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If you can’t keep the birds and squirrels out of your garden, try hanging CDs or DVDs from tree branches.  The flicker of the shiny surface and the movement of the CD, will scare away any undesirables.  Also, why not pull the tape out of old VHS tapes to use anywhere you need rope, say, to secure posts in your backyard garden.  You'll find it's really sturdy!

2. Plastic Water Bottles - handier than you think!

Image source The Sun

In addition to throwing them in the recycling bin, you can use plastic water bottles for a variety of purposes.  If you’re a keen gardener, cutting off the bottoms of the bottles will create great planters for seedlings.  Turn them into piggy banks for the kids or use them for different craft ideas.

3. Empty Ice Cream Containers - so many uses

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Whether the container is one of the smaller cardboard varieties or a giant plastic tub, both can be rinsed out to store loads of different stuff.  Store small tools and craft items or use the container to collect food scraps or coffee grounds before adding them to the compost heap.

4. Jeans You No Longer Wear - DON'T throw them out!

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Whether they no longer fit or you have worn them down to the ground, old jeans can definitely be reused.  If they’ve got one hole too many, use them for patchwork sewing projects, to patch up worn knees on other denim jeans or cut them up for use as cleaning cloths.

5. Old Wine Corks - getting crafty

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Rather than chucking away those wine corks, get creative.  You don't even have to be artistic with this hack - as long as you have a glue gun, you can impress your friends and family.  Make the corks into coasters, especially wine coasters, which will look so cool!

6. Roll-On Deodorant Bottles - cute paint applicator

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This is such a simple hack that you'll give yourself a pat on the back when you've done it.  Pop open the empty roll-on deodorant bottles and thoroughly wash both the ball and the bottle.  Then fill the bottle w and you've got a fun paint bottle for the kids. Remember to screw the lid on tightly and store upside down.

7. Plastic Lids - get rid of rust

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Isn't it annoying when you're cleaning the bathroom and there's rust rings from the metal shaving gel canister.  Don't start scolding the culprit.  Think smart and use plastic lids to put under the offending items.  Cleaning will be just that bit easier for you!

8. Junk Mail - has value

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You probably throw junk mail away without even reading it but stop right there.  Next time you receive some through the letterbox, collect the return envelopes and use address labels and stamps to send your own mail.  Shred any others to mulch your garden.

9. Empty Wet Wipe Containers - you'll love this one!

Image source The Sun

Most people would throw empty wet wipe containers in the bin and not think twice about it.  That behaviour will be a thing of the past when you read on.  Fill the empty dispenser with string, pushing the end bit through the hole in the top of the lid.  No more struggles ever again with it unravelling or not being able to find the end!

10. Unwanted Keys - get another matching set

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Over time, we all accumulate a large number of random keys that we no longer use.  Often we can't even remember which door or cupboard they are meant for or the keys are from an old property you no longer live in.  Keys make really cool jewellery and can be used  for unique earrings and necklaces.

11. Old Jars - prevents sink blockages

Image source Loaves and Dishes

Instead of pouring used cooking oil or bacon grease down the kitchen plug hole, which you should never do anyway as it blocks the drain and can cause all sorts of problems, pour it into an old jar, screw the lid on tightly and discard. Job done with no mess!

12. Aluminium Foil - sunlight hack

Image source Balcony Garden Web

Aluminium foil can also be used for a wide variety of purposes around the home If you’re growing plants in the shade and want to get a bit of light to them, arrange pieces of foil behind the plants to reflect sunlight in their direction.  You can also use leftover foil to create watertight packages for seeds.

13. Old Sponge - no more dents

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If you get fed up of indentations on the carpet, every time you move the furniture to vacuum the living room,  cut up an old sponge into small squares or circles and stick under the chair legs. There is a double benefit to this hack as it will also stop furniture moving even a fraction when you sit down.

14. Empty Lip Balm Containers - lick your lips for a great tip

Image source Cute DIY Projects

These containers come in handy when you travel and take up hardly any room which is great if you are planning to use only hand luggage for your trip. Refill the containers with products to make convenient, travel-friendly portions of your favourite cleanser, shampoo and conditioner.  Maybe even a small pair of earrings or a dress ring.

15. Bread Ties - don't get yourself in a tangle

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We're sure you wouldn't dream of holding on to bread ties but change your usual habit by doing so.  The ties will come in very handy to prevent snarls of wires near your television, computer or wherever you tend to have a bundle of annoying wires.  This hack will stop you getting annoyed with yourself!

16. Empty Egg Cartons - muffin holders!

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These are so useful and can be used to organize and store small craft items.  They are also suitable for making an egg carton planter for small flowers, using them to gift small items (like mini-muffins) and cutting them up to use in craft ideas.  Whatever you do, DON' throw them away!

17. Old Contact Lens Cases - great for holidays

Image source One Crazy House

Similar to empty lip balm containers, you can clean any old contact lens cases and fill them with small amounts of lotion, cleansers, make up and assorted cosmetics that you’d like to take with you when you travel.  They will literally take up practically no space at all in your bag!

18. Old Toothbrushes - so many uses

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Save and use old toothbrushes to get to difficult to reach places or other delicate or hard to clean items, such as grout in the bathroom and underneath the fixtures on faucets.  You can clean old toothbrushes and use as an eyebrow brush, hair colour applicator or for cleaning electronics.

19. Plastic Bags - not all bad

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If you place plastic bags over your plants when you're not going to be around to tend to them for a little while, this will keep them alive as it will trap in moisture.  Plastic bags are also super for use as protection for your car wipers and mirrors, during freezing weather.

20. Coffee Grounds - banishes odours

Image source Gardening News

After you've enjoyed a fresh coffee at home, don't throw away the coffee grounds.  They are rich in nitrogen and brilliant for feeding roses.  They can also be used as a pest control against slugs and ants.  If your fridge is smelling a bit fishy or garlicky, coffee grounds will help neutralize those odours.

21. Orange And Lemon Peels - zesty hack

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Be sure to keep citrus peels once you've enjoyed the fruit.  If you wash and freeze the peels, they will still be zesty next time you want to use them to garnish a drink.  If you are looking for an organic homemade multi-purpose cleaner, mix orange and lemon peels with water and vinegar - cleans a treat and leaves a fresh scent!

22. Tea Bags - after you've had a cuppa

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With used teabags, open them up and spread around your plants, in the soil, particularly ferns and roses and you will be rejuvenate them in no time.  This is due to the acidic tannins in the drink.  Cold tea bags are also used for tired eyes, which have become puffy.

23. Empty Toilet Paper Rolls - organise your desk

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Instead of throwing an empty toilet paper roll in the bin, which apparently half a million people do, every single day, get your kids to decorate them to use as desk organisers.  Besides being colourful and seeing exactly what you've got, they take up minimum space.

24. Rubber bands - handier than you thought

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You can secure clothes, which often slip off their hangers, with thick rubber bands.  You can use a band around the top of a lid to make a jar opener or how about making a spoon stopper.  Wrap a rubber band around the top of a spoon handle and this will prevent it falling into the mixing bowl - great hack!

25. Bacon Grease - feed the birds

Image source Bird Spot

If you follow a real food diet, you may already be aware of ways to reuse your bacon grease for cooking, but here are some ideas you might not have heard of.  Store the bacon fat in a glass jar with a screw top and place in the fridge, to avoid oxidation.  Substitute this grease when a recipe suggests fat.  The taste will be sensational!  Also, you can spread the grease on pine cones, dip in bird seed and leave out for any feathered friends in the winter.

26. Soap Slivers - make a loofah!

Image source Angie's List

All those little soap slivers can be put to good use.  If you are troubled by pests on your fruit trees, put soap slivers in a pair of tight or a stocking and hang on the tree.  If you want to get creative and make your own loofah, place soap slivers inside small mesh bags and then exfoliate.

27. Baby Food Jars - the spice of life

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These jars are the perfect size for storing spices.  When you run out of any of your herbs and spices, replace with a cardboard refill pack.  Then tip them into the baby food jar and screw the top tightly.  The original refill box can then go straight into the recycling bin.

28. Plastic Milk Bottles - sort your stationery

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If you cut the plastic bottle, shown above, you have some brilliant storage for your coloured pencils, pens, crayons etc.  You can see exactly where they are without emptying your pencil case and it's quite satisfying to see them all set out in order!

29. Old Jeans - take a seat

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If you want to be the talking point of your whole street, make a pouffe or stool out of your old Levi's and invite your neighbours round.  You will end up taking orders for the quirky piece of furniture and what started out as a jeans hack could turn into a nice little business for you!

30. Beer Bottles - light up the room

Image source Instructables

When you come downstairs the following morning, after an evening of a few beers and they are still out on the table, use them as candle holders.  They look even more effective when the wax has melted down the sides, making the candle holder appear more rustic.

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