1) Put all your vegetable ends and peels (onions, carrots, outer lettuce leaves, etc.) into water to simmer for soup stock. Strain the remainder and put the rest in the compost bin.
2) Save attractive bottles and resealable metal tins to use as containers for beans, grains, tea, etc., either for storage or gifts.
3) On trash days, put out a box that says “FREE” filled with usable stuff that you don’t want or need. It’s usually gone before the trash folks come. It will save you a trip to a donation spot and likely help out someone in need.
4) Use any plastic containers from take-out dining to store things like salt, peppercorns, seeds, or tiny items that need moisture or dust protection or could be used in an earthquake/emergency kit.
5) Use leftover pieces of carpeting to replace car mats during sloppy winter months. They can take the abuse of snow, sand, and salt. Discard them later and the car is clean.
6) Recycle some of your chipped mugs into planters.
7) Your used mobile phone — whether working or not — can be recycled and used for a good cause. Working mobile phones can be contributed to charity (try phones4charity.org or wirelessfoundation.org) and non-working phones can be recycled for parts. Check with your mobile carrier about their recycling programs.
8) Donate your used furniture to upholsterers or art schools. Both often need samples for students or apprenties to practice with.
9) Don’t throw away your corks. Instead, place on the tips of knitting needles or the ends of sharp tools to keep them safe.
10) Egg cartons have multiple recycling possibilities, once they become empty. Consider:
- Use them as plant starter trays. Remove the lid; add potting soil and seeds to each mini compartment, water and place where it will receive sunlight daily.
- Use them to sort, organize and house screws and bolts in the garage. Label the contents on the lid.
- Use them to keep small kitchen items organized.