this is what i got in my email titled :
5 things to never throw away …
well duh ?? and you must think im a huge asshole that wastes everything …( however i do not compost so maybe i am ) ohh and if you do not save your wine corks I cannot help you nor can this email ..
1. Food Scraps
By scraps I mean what is leftover after you’ve used a food product or prepped it for cooking. I’m specifically referencing fresh, vegetarian foods. Not meat. Throw that away or put it down the disposal (sans the bones).
For the vast majority of these scraps, I recommend an array of composting alternatives
(piles, boxes, bins, etc.) that can transform the food bits into nutrient dense plant food, which you can then use in your garden. Read here
for more information on how to begin composting.
However, I’d like to discuss a few foods that you can use in ways other than composting.
Lemons, Limes & Oranges
When you’re done squeezing the juices out of a lemon and lime or peeling an orange, don’t throw the scraps away. Instead, toss the peels down the kitchen sink. The next time you run the disposer, the oils and juices from the peels will make your sink/small area around your sink smell wonderful!
Or, if you’re super clever & thrifty like Monica from The Yummy Life, you can save those fruit peels and use them to make Naturally Scented All-Purpose Citrus Vinegar Cleaners. Vist the link for her DIY tutorial. These cleaners are inexpensive, all-natural and great for holiday gifts! Monica never ceases to amaze me. Talk about making the most with what you have! I can’t wait to try it. I’m currently saving orange and lemon peels to use in the next month or so.
Onions, Carrots and Celery
If you’re like me, you go through several onions a week. Every time you use an onion, you’re slicing off the two ends and likely several layers past the paper peel. Don’t throw those bits away! Cut off the small root ends, dispose of only the paper peel, but keep the rest. Store those onion bits in a freezer bag. Every time you cut a onion, add to the bag. Do the same thing every time you use carrots or celery. Eventually you’ll have enough scraps to flavor a meat stock or to make a vegetable stock
for soup without having to buy fresh ingredients!
Bones From Roasted Meats
When you roast meats like chicken
, beef, turkey or pork in the oven, do you throw the bones away after you’re done eating? Don’t! Save and freeze the bones, just like vegetables scraps, for making a homemade meat stock
. If you’ve ever eaten fresh, made-from-scratch soup, you know it’s loads better than the canned stuff. But did you know it’s way less expensive, as well? Store-bought stock costs $2-4 a container and you need 2-3 of them just to make one batch of soup. Plus, they’re over-loaded with sodium. Instead, save roasted bones over time and eventually you’ll have enough to make a meat stock. Simmer the bones for several hours with a few bay leaves, spices and vegetables scraps and it will yield a rich, flavorful stock great for soups, sauces, casseroles, etc. The homemade version is much healthier on your body and wallet.
2. Glass Jars
Salsas, jams, peanut butter, etc. all come in glass jars with tightly fitted lids. Don’t throw these away when you’ve finished the food. Instead, wash them out thoroughly then run the jars through a hot dishwasher cycle to sanitize. Now, you have sets of sturdy jars that are perfect for dry goods, homemade salad dressings, drinking glasses and storage for leftovers
. The tight fitting lids keep things fresh longer, but since the original seal is broken, they’re obviously not suitable for canning or preserving foods.
Alternately, you can position all your varying sized jars together and fill with small, fresh flowers for a wonderful, eclectic arrangement.
3. Plastic Food Containers
Just like glass jars, most plastic food containers come with a snap-lock lid that are perfect for storage. So, skip buying zip-lock or tupperware, when you can simply wash, sanitize and reuse cottage cheese, sour cream and butter containers for meal leftovers. Or, use these containers to store crafts or office supplies and hold turpentine or water for painting. Paint the outside and use as a makeshift vase for fresh flowers. Assemble bandages, tweezers, gauze, q-tips and triple-antibiotic ointment into the container, then label it clearly for a homemade, portable first-aid kit. The possibilites are endless!
4. Wine Corks
First, I should say that real cork is 100% recyclable and sustainable. Cork bark is extracted from a tree during specifics months of the year when it does little damage to the tree. This way, the bark grows back and can be re-harvested. So, even if you don’t want to repurpose your corks, keep ’em and many liquor stores and whole food markets have recycle bins where you can dispose of them.
Second, there are LOTS of fun things to do with corks. For starters, try cutting wine corks in half lengthwise and gluing them to cardboard squares to use as coasters
or heating pads
. Or, glue a magnet
to the back of several halved corks for a wine themed fridge decoration. Keep your growing collection of corks in a large glass container or pitcher for display
. There are a bazillion ways to re-use corks. Here are two other sites that offer creative suggestions: wise bread
and crafting a green world
5. Plastic Grocery Bags
Unless you bring your own bags or request paper at grocery stores, you’ll likely go home after every shopping excursion with 4-8+ plastic bags. Grocery stores push the plastic because it’s cheaper for them than paper bags. At least, that’s what an employee at central market told me not too long ago. That said, they build up quickly if you save them, but you should! Don’t throw them away.
First, huge boxes are cropping up in front of grocery stores where you can recycle the bags. Second, you can get at least one more use out of them before you recycle them.
Try lining your small trash cans (like bathrooms or bedrooms) with these bags. As long as nothing liquidy or gross get on them, you can reuse them several times and save on trash bags.
If you have a cat, use a plastic bag when you clean out the litter box. Scoop, dump and tie. Voila! I can attest to this one, my sister and I used this method bi-weekly.
Use the bags to hold wet items like swimsuits, towels or dirty shoes.
Save on packing peanuts or bubble wrap and use plastic bags as stuffing for mailing packages.
If you’re a creative type, make your own bean bag and use plastic grocery sacks as thestuffing. I’ve read that shredded foam or peanuts are very expensive.
Or, cut the bags into strips and crochet them into a purse, hat or toy
. Here are two great sites on plastic bag crafting: Bags Be Gone
and Plastic Bag Crafts
. Then, check out the Make Zine
blog, which illustrates unique uses like crocheted plastic dresses!