thrifty thursday–a weekly list of whimsical and useful ways to repurpose and upcycle
thrifty thursday–a weekly list of whimsical and useful ways to repurpose and upcycle

thrifty thursday–a weekly list of whimsical and useful ways to repurpose and upcycle

Ok, someone suggested to me that I need to include something catchy in my blog that would be of interest to people and keep them coming back on a regular basis.  Clearly, the person who made that comment didn’t find gardening, homesteading, or farming interesting enough to keep coming back, BUT she did have a point.

So, because I am interested in recycling, upcycling, and repurposing (and a recovering Pinterest addict), I’m thinking Thursday nights will become “Thrifty Thursday!”  Each Thursday night, I’ll list a few ideas for taking things around your homestead and reusing in creative ways to save money.  Who doesn’t like that, right?

This week’s topic:  Paper towel and toilet paper tubes

Did you know that every year in the US, it is estimated that 17 billion paper towel and 26 billion toilet paper tubes are thrown away.  YES, thrown away.  Seriously?  According to Scott Paper Company (and a math teacher who had his class prove them right), 17 billion paper towel tubes would fill the volume of 2 Empire State buildings.

So what can we do to eliminate that much waste (and that doesn’t even include the 26 billion tp rolls being trashed as well)?

1.  Garden:  Ok, gardeners and farmers, here’s the easiest one.  Cut them in 1-2 inch width circles and sprout seeds in


them.  You don’t even have to pull the see out.  Simply plant in the ground, as these tubes are thin cardboard which will decompose.

2.  Compost:  Which brings up the next suggestion:  Compost them.  I tear mine up in several pieces and put them right in the bucket with veggie/fruit scraps in my kitchen.  They seem to break down pretty quickly in my compost pile.

3.  Donate:  Face folks, besides having limited funding, teachers are merely pack rats in disguise (I can say that bec/ I was one once–a teacher that is).  Paper towel tubes make some cool telescopes, kaleidoscopes, tunnels for cars, maracas, rain sticks, etc.

4.  Holding plastic grocery bags:  If you are still using them, that is.  Stuff several down in a paper towel tube and keep in your car for trash bags.

5.  Use them for storage:  Fold up cords and put inside or wrap cords around the outside so they don’t get tangled (same goes for holiday lights).  Tape one end shut and use them to carry wet paint brushes or sharp utensils.  Store candles in them so they don’t get scratched or nicked.

6.  Make kindling bundles:  Stuff sticks inside the tube then light the tube.

7.  Call your child:  No, silly, not like playing “telephone” with tin cans.  Paper towel tubes make nice megapho

naturalhome andgarden.comnes when your tween has a terminal case of selective hearing.

8.  Feed the birds:  Instead of making the homemade suet I posted, take your shortening/peanut butter mix, let it cool a bit and dip the tube in it.  Roll the tube in a tray of birdseed then hang outside.

9.  Use for sewing: Wrap smaller pieces of fabric or ribbon around tubes so they don’t get wrinkled; makes for easy storage.  I’ve also been known to use them for my quilting pins so I can grab more easily.

10. Create: Between Google and Pinterest, there are thousands of beautiful and cute projects for the young and young and heart.

One comment

  1. I think your blog is always fun and interesting, no weekly ‘catch’ needed. I used toilet paper tubes for keeping the tangled mess of cords behind the computer tidy. Great post! I love reusing things in weird ways…it releases my inner-hippie.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: