Recycling Tips: Old Socks? Corks? Cereal Box Liners?

If you’re like me, one reason for clutter in your home is that, on the one hand there are certain things you know better than to just throw away. (Your mother, who grew up in the Depression, taught you that to waste is bad; and the environmental movement has taught you that minimizing the amount of garbage that ends up in landfill is good.)

On the other hand, you don’t really know what to do with these things, either. So they stay in your house, cluttering things up, driving your family insane.

Well, it turns out you and I are not alone! I decided to do a little Internet search to see what kind of advice was out there for what to do with some of those items hanging around our house, starting with the first three that came to my mind (or crossed my field of vision): old socks; corks from wine bottles; and cereal box liners.

I found an abundance of sites where other ecologically-minded people are figuring out what to do with these pesky items.

Here are the ones I liked best:

What to do with old socks:

What to do with corks from wine bottles:

What to do with cereal box liners:

Also, here are links to a few of our past posts that deal with other categories of  things, and how to get rid of them responsibly:

What are some of the items YOU are holding onto because you don’t know what to do with them? We’d love to hear about them. We’d also love to hear your creative ideas for what to do with some of these pesky items, and we think our readers would too. We hope you’ll share your ideas for recycling/reusing pesky items in the comment space below!

Today marks the official beginning of summer: we’ll be on an every-other-week schedule until the end of August. Look for our posts every two weeks, on Thursdays. Happy summer, and happy downsizing!

Janet Hulstrand is a writer/editor,  writing coach travel blogger, and coauthor of Moving On: A Practical Guide to Downsizing the Family Home.

2 Responses

  1. Wow, I never knew how many ways socks could be reused! I am notorious for getting a run in a brand new pair of nylons/pantyhose/leotards – almost EVERY time I put them on.

    I started cutting up all of the damaged ones to make headbands for when I workout. I also started buying fewer pairs and investing in one good pair, so I can waste less packaging and material.

    Allison Tyldesley, Landfill Technician, Halton Region
    Blog –
    Twitter – @HaltonRecycles

  2. Hi Allison,

    Thanks so much for sharing yet another idea about a way to use (kind of) ruined stockings.

    I think the saying “where there’s a will, there’s a way” is quite apt when it comes to recycling/reusing, and even using/consuming less in the first place! It’s a question of developing a mindset that abhors the idea of mountains of garbage piling up in our landfills. Thanks for sharing.


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