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milk, jugs, recycleDid you know that there are millions of plastic items floating around out there in landfills? Kind of a sickening thought, huh? In my tiny town of 385 people, we have a recycling transfer station and for the items we don't reuse, my husband takes them in about once a month. Hey, it's a tiny house and even though I try, I just can't use everything.

You can keep your plastic milk jugs out of the garbage and the landfills by reusing them for everyday household organization and storage, in your yard and garden and basic toys for your kids. Try out some of these ideas.

  1. Make a cheap, easy and convenient bird feeder.
  2. Use them as a seed starting container by cutting off the jug about 3 inches from the bottom and poking small holes in the bottom for water drainage. Fill with potting soil and some seeds.
  3. Poke holes in the bottom of the jug and use as a watering can for your garden plants and flowers.
  4. Cut into strips and use a permanent marker to make plant markers.
  5. Cut the bottom and part of the handle off and use as a scoop.
  6. Cut off the bottom of the jug, poke a hole at the top of the handle and thread heavy wire through into the soil and use as a protector of your plants from the hot sun or inclement weather.
  7. Use as floaters for your kids when they are swimming or in the water. Tie a string to each handle and then tie around your child.
  8. Cut the bottom off and use the top as a funnel.
  9. Cut a hole opposite the handle and use as a storage container for almost anything. Works great for storing golf balls, nails, screws, and rubber bands and probably a thousand other things.
  10. Cut out a hole opposite the handle and use to store your plastic bags.
  11. Save them for when you need water. This works great for me when we forget to let the water drip in the winter and wake up to frozen pipes. I just run down to a friends house or to my dads house and fill up the empty jugs with water. Sure beats melting snow, cause you don't want to know how much snow it takes to make a gallon of water!!
  12. Cut the top off and use the bottom as a catch all container for things that don't have a permanent home.
  13. Cut a hole near the top and use to store your toilet brush.
  14. Use to store dry goods such as rice, coffee, and sugar.
  15. Cut a 1/4 inch slit near the top of the milk jug and use as a piggy bank. Decorate your new penny saver however you wish.
I love all these ideas and have tried the majority of them. I haven't tried the piggy bank yet, but I think that it is a great way to get my toddler involved in some of my projects. What are some of the ways you recycle your plastic jugs?

  • Paul Tomlinson

    In other words, there really isn't much you can use plastic milk jugs for. Honestly, you need maybe 10 of these for what the average person would possibly use them for.

    A seed starting container? OOOOKKKKKK. Yea, I'll jump right on that.

    Ah yes, the good ol' white trash bird feeder. Classy

    A scope? Yea, b/c the sturdy plastic handle ones which last a lifetime are just too inconvenient.

    Sweet Moses on a Pogo Stick - a Piggy Bank?!? NNNOOO. Have we learned nothing as a civilization? Please raise your hand for how many of us had those as a kid... and it collected about a 1.37 in change before getting tossed.

    Toilet Brush? TOILET BRUSH? Yea, it's soooo stable to put your toilet brush in an ol' plastic milk jug... and ain't it fun to keep picking that oh so clean brush off the floor?

    Flooters for your kids... Do I even need to comment on this? See 'white trash look' above.

    Rock n Roll!!! The funnel! Yes!!! By all means, go work on your car with one of these as your funnel. Go ahead... I dare ya.

    Permanent marker for plants? Harmless I suppose, but unless your garden is the size of Idaho, exactly how many do you need? And does anyone see the irony of planting plastic sticks into fertile ground?

    I could go on and on, but you get the point. It's time to be realistic here. Of course everyone wants a clean environment, but right now, efforts should focus on recycling. 99.9% of the population simply is not going to utilize any of these idea. They're just silly. And before you dog me, honestly ask how many juges could you possibly use for this? Just recycle them and move on w/ your life.

  • Donna

    "NOT ONE of the billions of plastic milk jugs picked up at the curbside is made into a new plastic milk jug... not one!"

  • kre8ivekween

    Oh. My. God.
    i cannot blieve u just sed that... all those things r really good the environment... U cannot blieve that U sed they arent... Ur just jelous u didnt think of those things..
    U R arent U??? am i rite??
    Yes i am.. pick on someone else...

    These R really goos ideas... thnx they really helped me save up...

    ha, kre8ivekween =P

  • Bill Shriver

    I string empty milk jugs by tying a rope on the first jug handle. Then I thread additional jugs on the rope threw the handle and hang in the garage. Then when going to the recycle,15 or 20 jugs can easily taken to the recycle center

  • Daniel

    Using as floats for your kids sounds pretty dangerous, maybe I'm not visualizing correctly?

  • DJC

    we've made 'bunny buckets' for Easter; cut a large hole opposite handle. Use permanent marker to draw eyes, nose, mouth, Big Teeth, & whiskers. We used 'paper twist' for ears (use hole punch; insert length, un-twist, cut ears to taper)...crepe paper might also work.
    regular glue won't stick, so if you Glue anything on, it should be rubber cement or similar.

    w/hole cut opposite handle, a milk jug can hold Paint, or paint brushes and refinishing tools...use when harvesing flowers, fruits or vegetables ...seashells at the beach...'stuff' that's being pre-soaked on laundry gear for a trip. Decorate with Stickers and use a jug as a picnic container...use as a waterproof basket liner for flowers/plants. Really good for holding Canning Jar pieces/parts and ping-pong balls.

  • Michelle

    When I was a little girl, I would cut a "door" out on the side and make the milk jug a shower for my Barbies.

  • Dana

    Um, tying strings around plastic milk jugs and hook them to your child in the pool? This seems dangerous and a good way to strangle a child. Ack!

  • Carl

    Maybe your time would be better spent insulating your pipes so you dont have to let them drip all winter and waste water(and energy)

  • Sibyl

    My first grade students made an igloo out of empty milk cartons when we were studying Alaska...We pretended each jug was a piece of snow. We made a big circle and then stacked them on top of each other with the cap part pointing in. We used two sided tape between each layer to secure them in place. It was really neat....They loved crawling inside.

  • kAREN

    how about stringing lights thru a bund of them and hang them around your trailer---just need lots more for a double wide!!!

  • camcam

    Hey Paul Tomlinson....I have another one for you to add to your white trash list: I cut the jug on the opposite side of the handle so i can pick up my dogs crap (with tongs) and put it in there and use it over and over again till it is full of crap, then I throw it in plastic bag, and toss the whole thing in the garbage.
    How's that?

  • Jenny

    whoever wrote this is obviously white trash.
    and besides.
    thats seriously really really trashy.
    never in my life have i seen someone do that.
    and also.
    im sure if someone was willing to use milk jugs as arm floats
    they wouldnt even care about their kids wearing floaties in the first place.
    this is bullcrap.
    and a realllllllly stupid idea.

  • Jussi

    Two uses:

    1- Fill with water and freeze with approaching hurricanes. If you lose electricity will keep things cold and when they melt will flosh toilets.

    2- When marlin fishing and a shark hits your live bait, bring the shark to the boat, cut the line and tie the milk container to the line. The shark, when cut loose, will have the milk jug visible for a day or so and you can see him if he's feeding near your bait again.

  • daddygp

    I'm going to fill a bunch of them with rocket fuel, place a robot with a camera on them (made out of old aluminum cans, mind you), and send the whole thing to the moon to win the Google $20 million dollar prize for taking pictures on the moon. Can someone loan me a camera that'll beam a gigabyte of pictures back to Earth? I'll give it back when I'm done....

  • daddygp

    I'm going to fill a bunch of them with rocket fuel, place a robot with a camera on them (made out of old aluminum cans, mind you), and send the whole thing to the moon to win the Google $20 million dollar prize for taking pictures on the moon. Can someone loan me a camera that'll beam a gigabyte of pictures back to Earth? I'll give it back when I'm done....

  • jim girten

    i got to tell you back years ago nothing like this would be thrown away--- ,these are good for a couple of jugs but God this is a huge problem along with plastic bags etc. I heard on t.v. yesterday you could power your t.v. for an hour for each recycled bottle but we gotta get busy--put some real cash up for ideas cuz it will be hasardous as spilled chemicals and oil-- a multi-billion dollar problem already and doubling every year!!!!!??

  • Yen

    I cut off the curved portions of plastic milk jugs and use the flat sections when I need to make a durable shape for tracing. For instance, I have made heart shapes to trace around for Valentine decorations. Think stars, circles, leaves, etc. They never wear out or get bent. And the "flats" are also good for stencils of your own design.

  • Don

    To Paul T.---Couldn't agree more with your comments, particularly that there are inexpensive, durable, commercial products available for almost all of the uses discribed. Who in their right mind would use them for kids' floaties? And to TC, a "choking hazard"? My (butt)!!! How about they slip off, or break off, your toddler's arms, and suddenly you see two milk jugs blowing acroos the lake, sans your kid!!! Only a moron would think this is a good idea. Don

  • Millie

    Why not bring back the milk man? How many million times could the same jug be used? Not to mention giving a few jobs to some deserving people. Now wouldn"t that be 60's groovy?


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