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Reusing Packaging

Last post 09-17-2010 3:09 PM by Anna Marie. 48 replies.
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  • 03-12-2009 5:00 AM

    Reusing Packaging

    I was just thinking about this; I love getting 35 lb buckets of cat litter because the buckets are so utterly useful!  (I hate carrying them to the car, and then into the house, but oh, well.).  We chop up cardboard boxes to start the fire in the woodstove.    I also reuse grocery bags to use as trash liners in small cans... but what other ways can you reuse packaging? All kinds, not just bags and boxes?


    (I want to try making tin-can lanterns this summer, too!) 

  • 03-12-2009 7:16 AM In reply to

    Re: Reusing Packaging

     DH loves sunflower seeds so I buy him those in the bucket.  I reuse the bucket many ways -- upside down they are step stools for the kids, hold my shop rags/torn towels, holds Kinex/tinker toys/Leggos, playhouse for kitty, holds little bags of beans in pantry, holds car washing supplies...you name it

    You teach people how to treat you -- Dr Phil
  • 03-12-2009 7:30 AM In reply to

    Re: Reusing Packaging

    We reuse grocery bags when cleaning the cat's litterbox, to bag up dirty diapers, and as "fluff" in packages to friends and family (instead of bubble wrap or styrofoam chips). I also use grocery bags to wrap up Christmas ornaments when the holidays are over.

    I just emptied a box of diapers and thought that the box was the perfect size for a care package to hubbie. That will get reused the next time I send him some goodies.

    I reuse plastic containers that food comes in--margarine tubs and such. They mostly get reused in the kitchen to hold the last bits of leftovers.


  • 03-12-2009 8:32 AM In reply to

    • mikasha
    • Top 200 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-23-2009
    • Ontario, Canada
    • Posts 238

    Re: Reusing Packaging

    We use vinegar to clean and then reuse the 4L jug it comes in to chill water in the fridge. I keep 2 in the fridge at all times - we drink a lot of water - and one in the freezer to use in our cooler. I replace them with a new one when we go through a new bottle of vinegar and recycle the old ones.

    All the plastic containers from yogurt, cottage cheese, margarine etc. I use to freeze our soups, stews, sauces and shredded cheese. We also use them for leftovers.

    Large ice cream tubs get reused all over the house: food storage for bulk purchases (flour, rice, beans, etc.), popcorn tubs, taking salad to a friend's for dinner (I don't worry about losing the dish that wayWink), cleaning buckets and storage for cleaning rags.

    When we shop online I keep a few sturdy small boxes to ship gifts to people at Christmas.

    Plastic grocery bags are rare here - we bring 2 rubermaid type containers with us to the grocery store and put all our groceries in that. The bags we do get from stores get reused as small garbage bin liners. If they only have dry items in them then I just dump them into the big bag and reuse the bag as long as possible.

    Produce bags get used as kitty litter scoop bags. 3 cats = a lot of scooping.

    I'm short but I keep all my plastic containers up high on my shelves. I kept a few sturdy boxes and looped a strong ribbon through as a handle which is just within my reach. When I want the containers I grab the handle and pull the box down. I hate having to use a stepstool. LOL

    Our eggs come in clear plastic containers so I use the egg cups as paint trays when I'm doing crafts. (Washable non-toxic paint so they can still be recycled.)

    Right now I'm trying to figure out what to do with a bunch of tiny glass jars I got for Christmas. They were little jam samplers and they're so cute I don't want to recycle them. I thought I could reuse them as bath salt containers for gift baskets or to mix my paints in so I can have a few pre-mixed colours. Anyone have any other ideas for them?



    "We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have." Friedrich Gottlob Koenig
  • 03-12-2009 8:37 AM In reply to

    Re: Reusing Packaging


    Right now I'm trying to figure out what to do with a bunch of tiny glass jars I got for Christmas. They were little jam samplers and they're so cute I don't want to recycle them. I thought I could reuse them as bath salt containers for gift baskets or to mix my paints in so I can have a few pre-mixed colours. Anyone have any other ideas for them?



    Do little custom spice mixes for gifts?   A friend of mine gave me three spice mixes for grilling in glass jars for Yule and when they're done, either I'll use them for more spice mix or something else. 


    I have been looking at the light-bulb packaging for the fancy low-wattage lightbulbs.  That stuff is sure hard to get into, but if you cut it apart carefully, you could either have plastic paint-mixing trays and/or molds for soap, bath bombs, or plaster of paris for kids to make light-bulb items.

  • 03-12-2009 12:14 PM In reply to

    • Pat
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-06-2007
    • Colorado
    • Posts 14,459

    Re: Reusing Packaging

     I reuse a lot of things, too. Plastic bags to line trash bags (but a lot of other things, too), tissue boxes to hold said plastic bags, other plastic bags (that held popcorn, frozen vegetables, etc.) for food and other storage, glass and plastic jars to hold leftovers in the refrigerator or freezer, cardboard boxes for storage, sometimes covered with material, decoupage or contact paper. I cut one apart and made a bulletin board for my office. I have two really neat white plastic tubs that were filled with cookies at one point. I keep shoe boxes for all sorts of things. Tuna cans, all sizes of "tin" cans are used in many, many ways. Foil and wax paper boxes keep the kitchen utensil drawer organized. 

    I don't have much trash to throw out. Wink 

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  • 03-12-2009 12:37 PM In reply to

    Re: Reusing Packaging

    Sam's Club dog biscuits used to come in plastic tubs (now they come in bags). Those tubs had a handle and a lid that snapped open and close on hinges. I used several of those as diaper pails for my cloth diapers. The fact that the lid didn't have to be screwed on or off and had a handle made them perfect containers for this. I could fill it with dirty/wet diapers, pick it up and carry it to the laundry and dump the contents in my washer, all without making a mess. I would keep extras and just switch them out as needed. The were bigger than a gallon but not huge so that I couldn't carry it.

    I reuse plastic grocery sacks (when I get them) for garbage can liners and for pooper scoopers for our dog walks.

    We reuse yogurt and sour cream/cottage cheese containers for leftover lunch containers. We don't have to worry about leaving them at work or losing them. They make perfect snack containers for my boys for trips in the car or to the park.

    Velveeta boxes organize my kitchen drawers and desk drawers.

    Brown paper bags (grocery bags) are reused for recycling containers. You can then recycle the bags after dumping the recycling at the center, lol.

  • 03-13-2009 4:27 PM In reply to

    Re: Reusing Packaging

    Dear Mikasha, If you sew, your little glass bottles would be perfect for arranging different colors of buttons.  Yours in HIm, Deb

    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in Government & Charity Assistance

    Proud guardian of Heart, a black female Miniature Poodle, a Psychiatric Service Dog

    Enter His gates with thanksgiving, His courts with praise; give thanks to Him, bless His Name. (Psalm 100)

    Yours in thrift, Deborah

  • 03-13-2009 4:56 PM In reply to

    Re: Reusing Packaging

    ZIP lock bags washed out you can do that no meat or I heard dairy produccts then through them out tthe other food pretty much can wash out,and reuse old bread bags...

  • 03-15-2009 6:33 PM In reply to

    Re: Reusing Packaging

    do you think that plastic milk jugs cut in half can be used as beginning planters?



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