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Summer's over. You probably have a pair or two of worn rubber or foam flip flops headed for the trash. Before you toss them, though, think about clever ways to reuse and recycle them.

Okay, okay, no-one is suggesting you go overboard with complicated, yet eco-friendly, craft ideas a la UniquEco, a Kenyan non-profit that gives villagers work making abandoned flip flops into all manner of arts and crafts. After all, you'd need a heck of a lot of old flip flops to make a nifty flip flop basket or flip flop doormat, right?

On the other hand, old flip flops can be used for various simple around-the-house projects. For example? Cut them into small rounds and use as furniture leg floor protectors, keeping your hardwood floors scratch-free.

Jiggly clothes drier? Cut flip flops into largish squares and place under the feet of this (or other large appliances) to reduce vibration noise and movement. Other small pieces can be used as homemade fishing floats, gaskets or draft stoppers.

The suggestions above come courtesy of the Green Living Tips blog, but my favorite suggestion from that site has to be ... drum roll ... free cold weather house shoe/slipper. Stuff an old pair of flip flops into a pair of cozy socks. Voila! Instant winter footwear. Definitely not stylish, but – hey – you cannot beat the price.

Crafters: old flip flops can be washed, shredded and used to stuff homemade toss pillows and stuffed toys. Lightly used or unused flip flops lying around? Be a clever crafter and turn them into a whimsical flip flop-wall mural.

Have kids? Here's a fun rainy day activity: cut old flip flops up into interesting shapes (wash first!) and let the little ones use them as stamps, with an ink pad or paints. Or don't cut them up into shapes: let kids make cute flip flop paintings.

None of these ideas float your boat? Well, your flip flops might be of use to others. That amazing African company, UniquEco, mentioned at the top of the post? You can donate old flip flops to UniquEco via Hansen Surfboards of San Diego. How cool is that?!


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