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The Green Life: Unusual Ways to Repurpose Your Garbage

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August 06, 2013

Unusual Ways to Repurpose Your Garbage

Boot vasesSure, there are certain things that you put aside to recycle or reuse. But let’s face it, there is a lot of useless garbage that seems to belong nowhere but the trash. And landfills aren’t getting any smaller! Here are some troublesome items that you might not realize can be recycled or reused, according to Jeff Yeager, author of Don’t Throw That Away, The Ultimate Cheapskate, and other books about living lighter on the planet.

Used Dryer Sheets
You can't compost dryer sheets because of the chemicals they contain and some dryer sheets, like Bounce, can't be recycled. Check the container to confirm if the sheets are recyclable or not.

Lint Brush: You can roll up some used dryer sheets to fashion a lint brush. This is a useful tool for removing hair and lint from your clothes.
Dust wipes: Whether it’s for your windshield or television screen, these dryer sheets make for great anti-static wipes on all types of surfaces.

Packing Peanuts
Packing Peanuts are that random thing that you receive in mass and may feel guilty tossing in the trash. If you do not wish to receive packing peanuts at all, you can request an eco-friendly or biodegradable option. If not, here are some fun ideas for these packing peanuts.

Substitute Drainage: Instead of using heavy gravel to drain your potted plants, an inch or so of packing peanuts will do the job. This is an instance where the biodegradable type is preferable.
Costumes: If you ever need a belly, to either create the illusion of having a potbelly or being pregnant, you can to packing peanuts to stuff your costume. This is a great way to reuse packing peanuts for holidays from April Fools to Halloween!

For non-vegans, eggs are present in a variety of foods from breakfast to desserts. However, the only parts of the eggs that aren’t used are the eggshells. Luckily, we can compost egg shells, but there are also other ways to use eggshells.

Face Mask: Grind eggshells and whisk the remnants in egg white. Use this as a face mask and only take off when it has completely dried. This will give you healthy, tight skin. 
Pest Control: Eggshells are a great way to deter slugs, snails and worms. Just sprinkle crushed eggshells around your flowerbeds to deter all unwanted pests without the use of chemicals. This is also good for anyone having trouble with deer eating plants because deer apparently hate the smell of egg.

And you thought there was only one purpose for pantyhose? Here are another two!

Food Storage: Store your vegetables and flower bulbs in your pantyhose and hang them. This improves air circulation and prevents rotting.
Artsy Projects: Pantyhose have interesting and unique textures and patterns. Use the pantyhose as a stencil of sorts to recreate these shapes while painting.

-Image by iStockphoto/mscornelius

  Ailsa_SMAilsa Sachdev is an editorial intern at Sierra. She is a rising senior at Mount Holyoke College and spent the last semester reporting on witchcraft in Morocco. She is passionate about food and travel, and knows how to say "I'm hungry" in over 10 languages.


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