6 everyday things you should be recycling instead of throwing away

soda bottle piggy bankSoda bottles. Shoe boxes. Shower water. Shopping bags. No, it’s not a list of things that start with an “s,” it’s a partial list of things you can recycle or reuse around the house. The result? You’ll not only help the environment, you’ll also help your pocketbook by saving some money!

SODA OR WATER BOTTLES – Two-liter soda bottles can be transformed into piggy banks for kids (wrap them with wrapping paper, stickers or paint them). Smaller soda bottles or water bottles can be filled with water and frozen to be reused as cold packs or stuffed into coolers as reusable ice packs.

T-SHIRTS, TOWELS AND BLANKETS – Instead of throwing away old clothes, towels and blankets, consider cutting them up to be used as rags. Or sew them together to be transformed into a pillow.

SHOE BOXES AND OTHER BOXES – These items get recycled a lot, but still not often enough. Old boxes can be used for all sorts of stuff, including the storage of odds and ends in the garage or to hold small toys in a kid’s playroom.

SHOWER WATER – Recycled shower water? You bet! Instead of letting your shower run for two or three minutes while you wait for the water to warm up, put a bucket in the tub to collect the water and then use it to water plants or wash dishes.

PLASTIC SHOPPING BAGS – We often keep bags, but we never seem to have a use for them. One useful purpose for dog owners is using them to pull double doody – um, I mean duty – as a bag to collect dog waste. If you don’t have a pooch, donate the bags to your local dog park!

OVEN HEAT – Just like shower water, this is a recyclable household item most people don’t give a second thought to – but they should. On a cold night (you should already be turning your thermostat down a few degrees to save energy), leave the oven door open a crack to let heat out after you’ve used it. Just be sure to keep little ones out of the kitchen while you’re taking advantage of that extra warmth!

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