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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

    To CamCam: I dunno, let me see... storing milk jugs w/ dog poop in them until they're full of dog poop... is that white trash?

    Hmmm... I mean, sure, it smells great, and the flies have an excellent place to plant their larvae, and when you ultimately throw away the milk jug containers full of poop instead of recycling them you fill up precious landfill space... but is that really white trash?

    Ding ding ding! We have a winner. Yes, Mr. CamCam, you ARE indeed white trash. Not only that, you're witty to boot! Thank GOD you're 're-using' the container for such a purpose i/s/o recycling them or creating a compost heap. You're making me wonder if anyone has ever seen your wife and your daughter in the same room at the same time.

    To Smarteepantz: I don't understand your logic. What do you mean 'double the trash?' If you recycle all the milk containers you buy, where's the 'trash' aspect come in. I'm all in favor of child creativity, and if you think decorating a milk jug enhances such creativity, God Bless Ya. I'm just off the opinion that they're a lot more creative ways to get you kids brain firing on all cylinders than slicing and dicing a milk jug to create - what else - a friggin' piggy bank.

    To Karen: Not that was funny!!! :) Very cool.

    Bottom Line: Just recycle them. All the other 'uses' I've heard, ESPECIALLY THE DOG CRAP ONE FROM CAMCAM, are obviously a cry for help from a certain segment of the population.


  • cruiser

    you can turn milk jugs upside cut a small hole in bottem center just large enough to plant a sweet one hundred or cherry tomato let root in than turn right side up and hang from handle plants will try to grow up towards sun fun and yummy

  • George P.

    I don't advocate reusing milk jugs for any use which involves food or drink because you don't know what carcinogens may be leaching into the food or drink from the plastic itself, especially in the presence of sunlight or moderately or elevated temperatures...

  • Jayne Tingley

    Fill 3/4 full of water put top on get a string and tie your pool cover down with the jugs, if the water freezes the jugs don't freeze. I used this last year on a fluke, remembering how much trouble we had with the pool cover growing up and the jugs worked great. The even weight kept the cover up so the snow did not accumulate in the center.

  • L


  • Depity Dawg

    For shame for shame:

    To denigrate a person for expressing creative solutions reveals the limited thinking capacity of the person casting the insults.

    Additionally, if anyone thinks that any type of "floater" is safe beyond the arm length of a watchful adult, they have another thought coming. These comments against milk jug floaters seem to imply that the writers of those comments think you can float a kid and leave the kid alone that way. That's just plain stupid.

    I'll float my kid on a raft of peanut butter jars if I want to because I'll be right there in the water next to her the whole time.

    Some people can't think beyond the hairs in their own nose, so they spend their time pointing out phantom flaws in others.

    To them I say... pfffft!

  • Paul Tomlinson

    Hey Deputy Duh-dawg,

    So I want to float my kids on, say, a rusty metal board, that's OK, b/c I, as the Parent would be right there w/ them?

    Using your logic, why not let your infant children play w/ sharp objects near electical outlets. I mean, after all, I'd be right there w/ them, what's the worst that could happen?
    Heck, why not encourage my teenage kids to have as much sex as they want, as long as it's under my roof. I mean c'mon, it'll be OK, b/c I'll be so close by. I'll even provide the music, low lighting, and condoms, etc.....

    And while we're at it, why don't I let my kids bike near an interstate. No doubt my mere presence will prevent any undue harm, right?

    Heck, let you kids hang out w/ pedophiles while your at it. Just keep'em w/in earshot, eh?

    DeputyDawg, you're do you understand why your logic is so flawed? You don't respect an opinion merely b/c it fell out of someone's mouth who's well intentioned. The article's ideas were ludicrous, and people rightly pointed out the dangers associated w/ some of them. Get it?

    Now back to the real world - I'm not denigrating creativity. But lemme ask you, can you think of any LESS creative than using those friggin' milk jugs as piggy banks... or bird feeders... or, God forbid, a friggin' toilet bowl brush.

    Bottom line, there really isn't much you can do w/ these. The fishing ideas were the best I heard, but once again, that's, what, about .00005% of the population who'd use'em that way? Just recycle the damn things and be done w/ it.

    Pfffft indeed!

  • Wooden toys

    Yes, I know that there are tons of billions of garbage in this world...!!! and I keep on thinking why people can't even throw their garbage on the right place even the smallest candy wrapper!
    Some cities put their garbages in landfills and is very helpful but it takes a lot of time,money,and space...and I'm very much thankful for those people who wants to save the earth!!
    My homepage

  • Doris

    I use milk carten with the side opposite of the handle for toliot brushes. They don't fall over for me.

    We drink a lot of milk around here, so have a lot of jugs (twice that many when it is cheaper to buy half gallons instead of gallown.) Just the effert of transporting them to the recycler took time -- until I grabbed the retractable dog leash. Now I drop the handle on the floor and stat threading the jugs on the leash. When I get to the last jug-I snake it through the handle and hook it on the leash. When I get to the recyclers, I drop the line in the ben, unhook the leash and pull it out --leaving all the jugs in the ben.

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