Monday, July 29, 2013

Things that do other Things

     Today, I was cleaning in a well stocked home.   I tried to get a single roll of paper towels off the top shelf when a pile of coffee filters came tumbling down.  The homeowner's mother said not to worry, just throw them out as they were from a large bulk purchase and now they had hit the floor, they were tainted.  Well, I had mopped that floor and they were not tainted and I do believe the five second rule applies!    Even if I never make a pot of coffee, I can find a use for a large lot of coffee filters.

Coffee Filters
Coffee filters are lint free, so, they are great for wiping glass like your eyeglasses or for cleaning small parts like jewelry or watch crystals. 

They are a filter and you can use them to filter loose tea from hot tea, to filter gravy, you can filter oil (either frying or motor oil)  and reuse it.  

Put a filter in the bottom of a plant pot to keep the dirt in and let the water drain.  

Put a spoon of baking soda in a filter, gather the filter and secure with a rubber band and place in smelly shoe.  

Put a good sized glob of yogurt in a filter then gather and secure it with a rubber band and hang it in the fridge to let the moisture frip out to make greek style yogurt or hang longer to make a soft cheese.

Use a filter to separate china in a stack or to separate iron skillets as they absorb moisture, they can reduce rust.  

Here are some other things that do Other Things:

Egg Cartons

Separate nuts and bolts or sequins and pins to unclutter your workbench or craftbench or desk.
Paper cartons buffer sound.  Staple them to walls before recording your music or just to keep the noise next door, next door. 
Start seedlings in a carton, if you use paper cartons, dampen the carton well then plant the entire section when transplanting the saplings.

Paper cartons filled with dryer lint then drizzled with wax make a great firestarter.  You can also use sawdust instead of lint.

Use styrofoam egg cartons as shipping and packing material instead of peanuts.

We cut the sections into flowers and used them to warn of kids that the Spanish Bayonet was a dangerous and spiked plant!

Make paper logs.
Make fuel briquettes.
Make degradable plant pots for starting plants.

Make dark paper.  You can bleach it back to lighten the ink, but dark paper is paper, too. 
Soak the paper in water, add some starch or glue and use as clay to make paper sculpture, to fill in cracks in windy walls, to fill holes in drywall before painting, or as a substitute for wall paper.

Use as insulation against cold inside coats or clothes, to line a worn pair of shoes in the field.
Use as a table or work space covering to protect the surface.

Make a basket. Check the site at the right to see other things even a child can make from a bit of newsprint.

As an educational tool.  Have the child with the lazy eye color in all the letter 'a' in an article.  Then, on another day the letter 'e'.  They get better and they learn to focus on the tiny letters.  

As an educational tool, find a word that only appears once on the page and give a reward when the child finds it, you will be surprised how much they read! (treat at my house was, possession of the remote control or choice of dinner entree).

Pipe cleaners 
Okay, I will grant you that pipe cleaners clean pipes, but there are other things that are cylindrical.  

Pipe cleaners are a must have for weapons cleaning, take a piece of cotton, twist the end of a pipe cleaner around it's middle, then add more pipe cleaners to add length.  

They are a great substitute for that missing twist tie! 

You can use them to organize that jumble of wires behind your computer. 

You can use them as you would a zip tie to make a bamboo trellis.

They can be used to bunch and gather crazy stuff in the junk drawer.

Look through your trash.  What could you make with the things you toss out every day besides the thing they are supposed to do?  In my trash right now is a blown out sock.  That is a cleaning cloth, a rag doll body, a weapon when filled with rocks.  I am from the south.  I have actually suggested someone should be struck with a sock full of rocks!  Yeah, I said it. 

Lots of things do other things.  What were you going to throw out that had another purpose?

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