*Check out this article from the founder of ECOlunchbox!
Everyone talks these days about going plastic-free and living a zero-waste lifestyle. But what’s a green living aficionado to do with all the plastic he’s/she’s purging? Lots of people are ditching plastic food storage containers for plastic-free alternatives. Before you toss them in the recycling bin, check out eco-friendly upcycling ideas!
“We all are familiar with the old adage, ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.’ The ‘reduce and recycle’ concepts are pretty no brainer, but sometimes it’s tough to come up with great ideas for reuse,” explains Sandra Ann Harris, social entrepreneur and founder of ECOlunchbox. “Did you know that every single piece of plastic ever created still exists? Since plastic is not biodegradable, it never goes away. Recycling is great, but ultimately only 1% of global plastics are successfully recycled and it’s getting tougher to get old plastics into the recycling stream since there’s just too much of the stuff flooding the marketplace.”
Here are some eco-creative ideas Harris has for folks seeking to press their old plastic pieces into a new use at home. The only no, no, according to Harris, is using the plastic around food, especially when it comes to kids’ lunches since they leach toxins like BPA.
- Supplies. Supplies. Supplies. Use plastic containers to create organizational tools for supplies such as sewing items, art supplies and makeup. You can paint the outside or use washi tape to decorate them to blend in with your décor.
- Make entertainment car kits to keep kids busy. Fill the plastic container with crayons, stickers, mini puzzles, toys and other small items to keep kids busy on car rides. When not in use snap the lid back on and keep it under the seat for when you need it again.
- Plant your own herb garden. Fill the containers will soil and drop in a few seeds to grow your own herbs for cooking! Make sure to poke a few holes on the bottom for drainage and set the container on top of its matching lid to catch access water.
- Paint away the day. Have to paint a wall or an old dresser? Instead of purchasing a pain tray at a hardware store use the old plastic containers in your cupboards. This idea also works for setting up a paint station for kids. The plastic containers will help prevent spillage unlike cups that can easily be knocked down.
- Mini compost. Most people keep their compost bins outdoors but utilize the plastic containers as a holder for coffee grounds, vegetable trimmings and other compostable items until you can empty them into the larger bin.
- Travel with no mess. If you are checking your bag on a flight or heading out on a road trip, fill up plastic containers with your toiletry items to prevent them from getting smooshed in your bag and leaking out.
- Organize dresser drawers. Use the containers to keep items organized inside of dresser drawers such as socks, underwear and other smaller items. This is especially ideal if you have a baby and you’re tired of searching everywhere for those tiny socks.