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    How to Repurpose Your Garbage

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    If you’re living off the land, you already know how important it is to reduce waste and live sustainably.

    But did you know that some of the most common household waste items – such as plastic bags, food scraps, and paper products – can be repurposed in countless ways, providing much-needed resources and reducing the amount of waste going into landfills and polluting the environment?

    In this post, we'll take a closer look at how to repurpose your garbage with minimal effort – and often, for zero cost.

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    What Can You Do With All the Garbage That You Have?

    Are you tired of throwing away your garbage and wondering if there's a way to repurpose it? Well, then you're in luck – we've got some amazing tips and tricks for turning your trash into treasure.

    Let's take a deep (dumpster) dive to see what our garbage has in store for us.

    1. Plastic Bags

    A type of item that seems to stack up quickly in our homes is plastic bags. Instead of throwing them out or hoarding an endless supply, consider using your plastic bags as trash bags for small bins around the house.

    You can also use them as garden liners: Before you line your raised garden bed with expensive landscaping fabric, consider using a few layers of plastic bags instead. Simply lay them out on the bottom of the bed before adding your soil. Not only will this prevent weeds from sprouting up through the bed, but it will also keep your soil moist.

    Here are a few more ways to reuse your plastic bags.

    2. Plastic Bottles

    There are endless possibilities when it comes to repurposing plastic bottles. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

    • Create a vertical garden: Cut the bottles in half, fill them with soil and some plants, then hang them up on a wall or fence to make a garden!
    • Make a bird feeder: Cut a few holes in the bottle, fill it with birdseed, and hang it up outside. You'll have a steady stream of feathered friends visiting your yard!
    • Create a DIY greenhouse: Cut the bottom off your bottle, and use it as a mini greenhouse for starting seedlings. The clear plastic will let the sunlight in, and keep the humidity in too!
    • Make your own scoops: Cut the top off your bottle at an angle, then use it as a scoop for pet food, birdseed, or any other dry goods you need to measure out.

    Here are even more ideas for upcycling your plastic bottles.

    3. Glass Jars

    So you've got a bunch of glass jars lying around, and you don't know what to do with them? Well, fear no! There are actually a ton of cool and creative ways to repurpose them.

    One idea is to turn them into vases. Simply clean out the jars, remove any labels or adhesive residue, and fill them with water and fresh flowers. Not only is this a beautiful and eco-friendly way to decorate your home, but it's also a great way to save a little money on expensive floral arrangements.

    Another idea is to use them for storage. Whether you need a container for your DIY supplies, loose change, or even your lunch, glass jars can make great and affordable storage options. Plus, they're easy to label and see-through, so you always know what's inside.

    If you're feeling super crafty, you could even turn your glass jars into candles or fairy lights! Just add a little wax and a wick for candles, or some battery-powered lights for a magical glow.

    Here are a few more practical ideas to repurpose your glass jars.

    4. Aluminum Cans

    Aluminum cans are one of the most commonly used packaging materials in the world. In fact, Americans use an average of 80 billion aluminum cans annually!

    However, many of these cans end up in landfills or as litter, which can take hundreds of years to decompose and harm wildlife. So, why not get creative and try repurposing them instead?

    One idea for repurposing aluminum cans is to turn them into unique and custom-made planters.

    This eco-friendly DIY project is super easy to do and requires only a few materials, like potting soil, seeds, and a sharp pair of scissors.

    To get started, simply cut off the top of the can with the scissors and then drill a few drainage holes on the bottom. Then, fill the can with soil and plant your seeds. You can decorate the can by painting it, creating a design, or even wrapping it in twine or ribbon to give it a rustic feel.

    If you want to make some crafts, here are a few fun ways to do it with your aluminum cans.

    5. Cardboard Boxes

    Cardboard boxes can also make great planters! They're sturdy and can hold plenty of soil. You can cut them up into various sizes and shapes to fit your needs. Plus, when the cardboard eventually breaks down, it adds organic matter to the soil and helps your plants grow.

    Another idea is to use cardboard boxes for storage. Cut them up into smaller sections and glue them together to make a custom drawer organizer. You can also use them to store your shoes, books, or any other item you have lying around. It's an inexpensive and eco-friendly storage solution.

    Still not satisfied? Here are more ideas.

    6. Pantyhose

    If you have some old pantyhose lying around, don't toss them just yet! There are actually quite a few ways to repurpose them, and it could save you some money and help the environment too.

    One idea is to use them to strain liquids. Whether you're making homemade nut milk or straining the pulp out of your fresh-pressed juice, pantyhose can be a great alternative to cheesecloth. Just stretch the hose over a bowl and pour your liquid through. The mesh will catch any solids, leaving you with a smooth liquid.

    Another use for old pantyhose is as a scrubber. Cut them into small squares and use them to scrub dishes, the shower, or even your car. The material is gentle enough not to scratch surfaces, but tough enough to get rid of grime and dirt.

    Here are more resourceful tips.

    7. Fruit and Vegetable Scraps

    Save your carrot peels, onion skins, and other veggie scraps to make a flavorful broth. Just simmer them in water with some herbs and spices, then strain them and use them as a base for soup, stews, or sauces.

    You can also make a DIY fruit-infused water. Repurpose citrus peels, berry tops, and even apple cores to create infused water. Simply add your fruit scraps to a pitcher of water and let it steep in the fridge for a few hours to give your H2O a tasty twist.

    You can also try making your own fertilizer with leftover fruit and veggie scraps. You can blend them up in a food processor or grind them in a coffee grinder, then sprinkle the mixture around your plants as a natural nutrient boost.

    You can find a few more helpful ideas here.

    8. Livestock Feed Bags

    One idea for repurposing these bags is to turn them into reusable shopping bags. With a few simple steps, you can easily transform these bags into a fashionable and eco-friendly alternative to plastic shopping bags.

    Start by thoroughly cleaning and drying the feed bags to remove any traces of dust or dirt. Then, cut the bags down to your desired size and shape, keeping in mind the dimensions needed for a shopping bag. Next, sew the sides and bottom of the bag together using a strong and durable thread.

    To add some style and personalization to your shopping bag, consider adding straps, lining, or even decorating the bag with paint or markers. Not only will you have a functional shopping bag, but you'll also be reducing waste and helping the environment by repurposing materials that would otherwise end up in a landfill.

    In addition to shopping bags, other creative ideas for repurposing livestock feed bags include using them as gardening or tool totes, laundry bags, or even pet beds.

    Here are a few more ways you can use up all of those feed bags.

    9. Fabric and Yarn Scraps

    If you have lots of old fabric or yarn scraps hanging around, one idea is to make a patchwork quilt or blanket using your scraps. You can cut them into different shapes and sizes and sew them together to create a colorful and unique piece. Not only will this keep you warm, but it will also add a lovely touch to your home decor.

    Another option is to use your scraps to create fabric or yarn baskets. These can be great for organizing your space and can be made in a variety of sizes and shapes. You can get as creative as you want with the design and use different colors and textures to make them truly one-of-a-kind.

    If you have a lot of small scraps, you can also make fun and quirky accessories like scrunchies, headbands, and even jewelry. These can be a great way to add some color and personality to your outfit without breaking the bank.

    Here are even more project ideas.

    10. Paper

    One of the best ways to reuse paper is to shred it and then use it as packing material instead of traditional plastic foam or bubble wrap. Shredded paper can be an eco-friendly and low-cost alternative that protects your fragile items during shipping.

    You can also use old paper to create compost for your garden. Simply mix shredded paper with organic matter like food scraps and yard waste, and let it decompose. The resulting compost will enrich the soil in your garden and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills.

    Here are a few final ideas.

    The Takeaway

    Repurposing your garbage is a smart and creative way to reduce waste and save money.

    So next time you're about to toss something in the trash, take a minute to think about how you could give it a new life instead. Give these fun projects a try today!

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