Cutting back on recycling


While I have my garbage down to a small bag per month, I have way too many things that get recycled.  I am a firm believer that I am not living completely within my values if I have a bag of recycling every other week.  I thought I would share a newly re-purposed item, one I would have normally recycled.

I love canned pineapple!  If I eat too much of the fresh pineapple I end up with sores in my mouth.  It’s frustrating as I enjoy the taste.  Every now and then I splurge on a couple of cans of pineapple. I ended up with 2 empty cans and had put them in the recycling bag (I use one of my re-usable grocery bags and dump it when I need to use the bag).  I pulled them out and decided I could find a use for them.

I had previously been using a paint can to store the children’s markers and crayons.  This wasn’t working well as they would either have to dig to find the one they wanted or spill them out to make it easier.  You can see here what a mess the can looked like inside.


Here’s what I did.  I added fabric to both the inside and outside of the can. The fabric was leftover from other projects (and made in the USA!), then sealed it well to protect them.


Then I sorted the crayons and markers into their own can leaving the cap or the tip of the crayon standing up to make finding the needed color easy.


Not only is this easier and makes coloring more enjoyable, but the children like it so well they don’t have to be asked to put them back the right way, they got it!  An added bonus is that these two cans take up less space on the shelf than the paint can did.  The paint can will be re-purposed into a hanging planter in the summer.

Zero waste, zero recycling!

If I were to do this again, I would use a lighter weight fabric as this heavier Waverly fabric was a little difficult to work with. You can probably see some of the wrinkles in the photo.  I also found folding it over the lip of the can to protect the sharp edge was a little difficult with the heavier fabric.

What have you re-purposed lately rather than recycle something?




    • Not a bad idea, I like it. I have one commercial cookie tin that I put aside till I could think of a use for it. I too have more recycling than I would like to have, but I tell myself at least my trash doesn’t go out often. I have a small can that takes me about 3 weeks or more to fill. I want to reduce that as well, but so far that’s as long as I can go.


  1. Your post title really caught my eye. I so agree that Reduce and Reuse come before Recycle! Sometimes if cans are just the right size and have a lid (like coffee cans) I save them and refill them with stuff I buy at the Bulk Barn. My pet peeve is cans that are not made of metal – they are made of treated cardboard with metal ends – because they can’t be recycled. Like the ones for frozen juice concentrate. But they are pretty good for crafts like pencil holders.


  2. I have a small mason jam-jar holding my toothbrush, another jam jar holding my baking soda for toothbrushing purposes, and just last night I used a glass juice bottle to put tea in so I could have iced tea in the fridge 🙂 yay!

    I’m trying to eliminate plastic… I dunno how well I will do, but I’m trying!


    • I’m glad you are finding a way to eliminate plastic. I have a stainless steel cup for my toothbrush and metal tin for my baking soda other than the toothbrush and a toilet bowl brush I have no plastic in my bathroom.


        • Ok, you got me there. I don’t have a waste can in the bathroom, but the one I do have in the kitchen is plastic, it’s a small one, shorter than my dorm sized fridge. Like you I would like to get rid of it at some point. I pretty much have all the plastic out of the rest of my kitchen, I do have a sippy cup for my youngest grand daughter that is plastic because it’s the only kind she would drink out of, but I can soon get rid of that because she now likes to drink out of a regular cup.


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