Sure, you could toss this stuff into the recycling bin and still be doing a good deed. It didn’t end up in a landfill, right? But what if you were able to accomplish even more by not disposing of it at all? Even though recycling is a wonderful thing, it still requires resources. Better yet, just think a little outside of the box about ways to give things a new use. Here’s a list of some of the most commonly discarded food packaging items that are fabulous for reusing.
Parmesan cheese shaker: Rinse it out to remove residue and remove most of the label. A little cooking oil will help loosen a stubborn label. Then, toss it in the utensil basket in the dishwasher to clean it completely. Remove any label remnants and make sure it’s completely dry inside and out. Then use it for anything that benefits from a bit of sprinkling. Such as, baking soda, glitter, sidewalk salt in the winter, and sugar mixes like cinnamon sugar. Another great use is watering household plants. The water will disperse better.
Large, plastic juice containers with wide, pop top openings: Clean in the same way as recommended for the parmesan cheese container. If the plastic juice bottle doesn’t fit well in the dishwasher, you can opt to clean the inside with a dishwashing sponge-wand. Then, use it to store and dispense: small animal food, sand, cereal, and anything else that’s the right size to successfully pour out of the opening. It’s also a great replacement for a standard plant watering jug.
Cold coffee beverage bottles – We’re referencing the ones that you buy at the grocery so you don’t have to pay top price for a frappacino at the coffee shop. Collect enough of them to store your collection of bulk spices! Clean those with warm soapy water, rinse, dry completely. You can paint the lids all the same color to make it a matching set, and then use a glass marker to label them.
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