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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

10 Ways To Make Your Trash Work For You

Those that are attempting to adopt the homesteading mindset are trying to re-learn the lost knowledge from our agrarian ancestors, as well as trying to find practical ways to save a buck or two.  The homesteading mindset is all about re-purposing items we already have in our possession.  With 230 million tons of trash that is thrown away each year in the United States, many people do not realize that the trash they are throwing away can truly be a treasure.
Finding ways to re-purpose trash can not only make your lifestyle more “green,”, but it can save you money and time as well.  For example, for those of you trying to get your gardens to grow – did you know that plastic soda and water bottles can be used as a drip irrigation system for your garden?  This would not only save on time watering the garden, but also conserve water.  What about all of those great vegetable and fruit peels we throw away instead of composting them?  Most of the trash we throw away can be re-used, re-purposed or re-cycled for another use.

Here are 10 ways to make your trash work for you:

1. Save those glass jars and bottles and recycle them. 
2. Tuna cans can be used as food plates for rabbits.
3. Popsicle sticks can be used as garden markers.
4. Worn down crayons can be melted into a mold to make more crayons, or used to create fire starters.
5. Ziploc bags can be washed and re-used for future uses.
6. Fruit and vegetable peelings, tea bags, coffee grounds, filters, newspapers, wood ash, grass clippings can be taken to the compost pile.
7. Bones from last nights dinner can be dried out and pulverized to be used as bone meal for garden (make sure all the meat is off the bones).  Once the bones have dried out, they can be thrown into the compost pile or put directly into garden for a fertilizer (provides plants with phosphorus and calcium).
8. Small plastic containers used for yogurt, butter, etc can be re-used as seed pots.
9. Coffee cans can be re-purposed and used as an organizational container for bug out bags, in the home or around the homestead.
10. Plastic containers for spices, oil, laundry soap and shampoo can all be re-used or re-filled.