Single-use? Not a chance! Dip into our bag of tricks for using that “disposable” plastic stuff again and again.
By Teddy Willson
Plastic bag–Household Hero
The bottomless bag of bags under your kitchen sink? It’s time for a new home–in your closet! Scrunch up the bags and stuff them into boots and handbags to help hold their shape. Outside: deter frost by tightly tying bags over your car’s side mirrors and windshield wipers (just remember to remove them when you hit the gas). And if you’re tackling a doozy of a paint project that’ll span a couple of days, you don’t have to clean your wet brush each day. Just stow it in a grocery or zip-top bag and keep it in the fridge to help prevent the paint from drying.
Produce bag–Scrubber Sponge
You know the netted bags that hold onions, oranges, and other produce? Instead of ruining another dish sponge for your grimiest chores, give these bags a second life as a scrubber. Smooth them out and make a stack of about four, then fold them into a rectangle. Wrap another netted bag around the rectangle and thread a piece of yarn along the edges to hold the makeshift sponge together. If you only have one bag on hand, cut it into a rectangle, fold it to your desired size, and secure a zip tie to the middle, creating a bow-tie shape. Squirt on some cleaner and have at that soap-scummed bathtub!
Padded Envelope–Sideline Seat
If your two-day shipping habit has left you with a pile of bubble-lined envelopes, don’t hoard them for a move or worse, doom them to the dump. Bring them along to your kid’s next sporting event as lightweight stadium seats. Perfect for rain-or-shine matches, the plastic envelopes can be wiped dry and tossed into the car for many more uses. Play ball!
Produce Bag–Flower Arranger
Those netted produce bags can also be turned into a kind of flower frog, the tool florists use to hold arrangements in place. Set the mesh over a vase and cut out a circle, leaving about half an inch of overhang. Secure it with a rubber band. Add stems to the netting, including cascading greens (like string of pearls or coral fountain) around the edges to hide the rubber band. Voila–you have a nifty little grid to stick stems into, creating a bouquet that will impress even your most Pinteresty friends.
Resealable Bag–Garden Helper
Rather than buying outdoor-grade garbage bags for yard work, try reusing resealable food packaging, like your dog’s kibble bags. Rake leaves right into them before emptying at the dump. You can also use the thick zip-top bags to dispose of thorny weeds, which you may not want in your compost bin.