What Would MacGyver Do?

You can save money and the environment by reusing/repurposing just about anything. Here is a list of 10 things you should never, ever, ever throw away.

  1. Socks. One sock goes missing, or they eventually get holes in them. So what do you do? Reuse them, of course! Make dust mits, washcloths, hair curlers, or cold compresses.
  2. Aluminum foil. Uncover that casserole like the boss chef that you are, but don’t you dare throw that aluminum away! You could be throwing away a potential pot scrubber, silver polisher, funnel or a scissor sharpener. Check out even more amazing ways to reuse aluminum foil.
  3. Electronics. Think twice before tossing technology. Check out the many benefits of recycling electronics or donate to charitable organizations like Cell Phones for Soldiers or Hope Phones. Not sure where to recycle?  Search for local retailers that accept used electronics or use the yellow e-recycling bins on campus.
  4. Magazines. Upcycling old magazines might sound crazy, but they have more uses than you think. Create jewelry, wall art, bows, or use them as packing material. You can also swap magazines with friends or donate them to art teachers, libraries or doctors’ offices.
  5. Egg shells. There are many ‘eggcelent things’ you can do with egg shells! Compost eggs for naturally fertilized soil, use them as a natural pest control in your garden, or use them as a natural drain cleaner.
  6. Used eyeglasses. Many people in the world don’t have access to prescription eyeglasses, so don’t trash your oldies. Check out these charitable organizations that will take used glasses, sort them by prescription and put them into the right hands.
  7. Old t-shirts. When you start to confuse the holes in your shirt for arm holes, it’s time to consider not wearing it (but don’t throw it away)! Old t-shirts make great all purpose rags  for dusting, wiping off counters and washing dishes or cars. Check out 50 ways to repurpose old t-shirts.
  8. Rubberbands. Pull them out of your junk drawer (we all have one, no shame) and never throw them away again. Use them as a jar opener, eraser, paintbrush scraper, wine marker, hair tie and more!
  9. Toothbrushes. After they are done cleaning your teeth, toothbrushes have a whole life ahead of them. Those tiny bristles effectively clean baseboards, shoes, laundry, fingernails and even unclump mascara! Check it out!
  10. Candles. The wick is gone, but the thrill doesn’t have to be.  Reuse wax to create decorative molds, make your own potpourri or car freshener. Don’t forget to reuse your candle jar too!

Next time you think about throwing something away, Google it. Be the MacGyver of the recycling/repurposing world with your trash-saving improvisation skills!


Image: Creative Commons via Flickr user Clevergrrl


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