I picked up these two discarded items from my void deck :
(top) the crockery jar pot still has its “$19.90” price sticker intact, so my guess is that it’s brand new.
(bottom) this Pyrex brand beaker is actually a carafe dismantled from a poorly maintained french press coffeemaker. The “plunger” component is missing, all that was left was a badly stained plastic frame and this glass carafe. After a 30-second soak in hot water, the beaker slides out from the frame easily. Another 30-second scrubbing with baking soda, the glass beaker starts to look pretty and new again. Open terrarium, anyone?
While it’s not every day that I can find free usable things on my walking path, here are 10 almost-free items that pop up occasionally in my kitchen:
++ 001. FREE! BODY SCRUB – from used coffee grounds after a morning cuppa. After I posted this idea on my FB, someone alerted me that the caffeine is great for banishing cellulite too. Although most recipes I found online mix coffee grounds with oil to make body scrub, I am simply too lazy to wash up a greasy shower area after my home spa sessions, so I stick to just plain old coffee grounds. If you don’t drink coffee at home, try requesting used coffee grounds from cafes, a tip some home gardeners share as they use the coffee grounds from cafes as fertilizers.
++002. FREE! CUTTING BOARD CLEANER – Most instructions like this and this ask for freshly cut lemon halves which are used to rub salt into the board. I use only lemons that have their juice squeezed out to make lemonade. I don’t have extremely strong arms, so there is always residual juice left in the pulp, not a lot, but somehow enough to cover the entire chopping board. Great for freshening up boards that are starting to transfer too much garlic smell onto any food that it is in contact with.
++003. FREE! FOOD SAVERS – Reuse glass jars as tiny food savers. See though means I know exactly what’s inside my fridge, and what I need to clear. No food wasted.
++004. FREE! TEA LIGHT HOLDERS – Tiny glass jars are the perfect size for this project. More glass upcycling ideas here.
++005. FREE! WRITING PAPERS – End of the school year means that the kids will be back with half used exercise books, I have been doing this with my limited book binding skill when I accumulate enough sheets.
++006. FREE! MESH PRODUCE BAGS – I asked for these from the vegetable stall holder who throws them away anyway. Great replacement for plastic bags.
++007. FREE! TRASH BAGS. Anything that comes in a plastic bag can become a trash bag.
++008. FREE! SHOPPING BAGS – These 10kg rice bags with handles can carry up to 10kg loads of shopping items, open up the sewn rice bag like this to do the least damage to it and start reusing these tough bags!
++009. FREE! KEEPSAKE BOX – Upcycled from fanciful mooncake boxes.
++010. FREE! RUBBER BANDS – Why buy these anyway?
++ 011. FREE! DESICCANT – These little sachets are in every individually sealed mooncakes. I also found them in groundnut snacks. I throw them inside any airtight containers that could do with a little less moisture, e,g, cookie jars, coffee grounds, tea leaves etc.