Green Gleam Project: 5 Recyclable/Reusable Oddities

Posted: August 4, 2010 in Green Gleam Project 8/4/10 - 8/11/10

Green Gleam

This week, I’ve decided to start a project, called the Green Gleam Project. It will last 8 days, and each day I’ll uncover a few oddities that you can recycle/reuse, cast my opinion on various organizations: what to toss in the blue bin? What to donate?, and various things you can do at home to reduce landfill waste. Of course, you don’t have to go out of your way to recycle the weirdest things out there, but this project is almost a log, since I’m recycling half of the things on the list below.

Today, I have a brief list of five things you can reuse that can be easily overlooked.

1. Hotel Soap Slivers + other toiletries

One habit of mine (and my family’s) is to keep all the soap, shampoo, body wash, mouthwash, and whatever else the hotel staff throws at us in the bathroom. After all, it would be a waste if all these products were just thrown out! Most of the liquids and gels are travel-size, and are great for sleepovers because of their small size: no one wants to lug around a foot-long pack of toothpaste when most hotels provide packs that are an inch long and can last a few days. You can also bring them to school, work, or just leave them in your purse so that you’ll have them on hand whenever you–or a friend–needs them.

2. Perfume Bottles (when they’re empty!) 

I love perfume bottles because of the creative shapes they’re in, so why throw them away or leave them lying around the house? Unscrew the cap, fill it up with liquid, and it makes a great spray bottle (that’s what it was built for, right?) that looks good. Make sure to wash it thoroughly, however. The only con I can find is that glass bottles break easily.

Body mist bottles are even better, since the majority come in plastic bottles.

3. Trophies

I haven’t asked my parents what they’re going to do to my room once I leave for college, but I doubt that they would want my cheaply made “Second Place in Casting, Girl’s Division” trophy. And I’m sure you don’t want that “First Place in Hot Dog Eating” cup lying around the house when the guests visit. Or maybe you just want to do spring cleaning, or pass it off to others when you don’t need it?

Nowadays, there are lots of recycling plants for trophies, or you could go to your local trophy shop, and ask if they could take the trophies from you. Most children’s charities accept gently used awards, too. The trophy recycling plant/shop will likely take off the engraved plates on the base of the trophy or simply melt all the trophies down into material for new ones.

4. Hair

Don’t associate the comb and scissors with negativity the next time you head for them: think of it as sending a cancer-afflicted patient some hope. Many organizations like Locks of Love accept donated hair and turn it into quality hair prosthetics for financially disadvantaged people suffering from longterm medical hair loss, regardless of diagnosis. It’s a choice more popular than you think it is: many of the teachers I’ve had in the past who used to have hair reaching nearly to their waist often mailed their hair to organizations like these. Your lovely mango shampoo-scented hair won’t go to waste, and you’ll be helping others too.

5. Candle [Containers]

There are lots of ways to recycle the candle jar, but what about getting to the empty part first? Just like peeling frozen gum off your shoe, putting the jar in the freezer is a good idea: an hour later, you can knock the leftover wax out by rapping at the bottom of the jar. Jars in good condition can be reused as candle containers, regular containers, paint jars, watering jars, and various craft materials.

Melted wax can be used to sculpt or  made into those fancy seals on envelopes. Since it’s soft, you can write in it, or add pebbles/shells/whatever strikes your mind.

Tea lights are candles usually with aluminum containers. If you’re sure if they’re aluminum (check first!), you can recycle these just like you recycle soda cans or foil.

We’ve only got one planet.

We’re not living in a Super Mario Video Game, where you can get an endless supply of 1-Up Mushrooms.

Don’t blow it.



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