Flashback Friday: 128 Creative Ways to Upcycle Your Trash

Before you head over to the trash can, take a moment to consider if that empty can or citrus peel in your hand can be put to good use. Believe it or not, you might be able to save tons of cash by upcycling your garbage and turning it into something useful. Here are 128 creative ways to make your trash work for you.

25 Beautiful Things You Can Make With Paint Sample Cards — Once you’ve chosen the right color paint for your office, you no longer need the paint sample cards you were using, right? Wrong! Those colorful swatches can actually turn into beautiful home decor.

7 Ways to Reuse Clothes That No Longer Fit — Rather than tossing or donating those clothes you know you won’t wear, see if you can use them in other ways. You…

Clever Strainer Gets Rid of Food Debris Without You Having to Touch It

Doing the dishes can be a pain, but the real agony comes at the end when you have to clean out the sink. Dishwashers and garbage disposals have solved these woes for some, but if you don’t have those luxuries, there are still some affordable gadgets out there to help. Tweak is a special rubber strainer that makes chores just a little bit less gross. It keeps bits of food out of the drain and then shoots them right into the trash with…

People Waste More Food If They Have the Option to Compost It

We throw out a lot of food in the U.S.—an estimated 30 to 40 percent of our supply. To prevent uneaten meals from ending up in landfills, some choose to dispose of scraps by composting them. However, as Co.Exist reports, this well-meaning approach can backfire: According to a new study led by researchers at Ohio State University, diners who know their leftovers will be turned into fertilizer don’t try as hard to reduce their food waste during a meal.

Led by Brian Roe, an agricultural, environmental, and developmental economics professor, and OSU graduate student Danyi Qi, the experiment observed 266 participants as they ate a self-serve meal of sandwiches, chips, and apple slices. They were allowed to take as much food as they wanted, but they weren’t allowed to share meals or save any leftovers. At the meal’s end, researchers weighed diners’ trays to measure how much food they left behind.

Before the meal, subjects were given some reading material, either educational pamphlets about the environmental harm of food waste (this made up the “educated” group) or information about financial literacy (the “uneducated” group). However, around half of the participants in both groups were informed that their waste would be composted, while the rest were told it would end up in a landfill.

Diners who didn’t…

Can Pine Needles Be Used to Create Sustainable Plastic

A team of scientists at the University of Bath in England is looking to pine trees to make the world’s plastic a little bit greener. As Seeker reports, the researchers have developed a way to swap the nonrenewable crude oil used in plastic production with a waste product derived from pine needles.

Pinene is the chemical compound that gives pine trees their unmistakable fragrance, and it’s also a common byproduct of the paper-making process. Instead of allowing the resource to go to waste, the University of Bath chemists lay out how it can be…

A Company Creates Ethical Fabrics With Trash From Haiti

The global fashion industry has a major pollution problem, thanks to the rise of fast-fashion apparel. Cheap, low quality items can be bought, disposed of, and bought again, but at an environmental cost—large quantities of water that become contaminated with bleaches, dyes, and more during the manufacturing process, for one thing. But one company is trying to make fashion a little more environmentally friendly, as Co.Exist reports. A Pittsburgh-based company called Thread International recycles trash collected from streets and canals in Haiti to create thread and fabric that puts plastic bottles to good use and provides jobs.

The company estimates that its trash-centric…