Homesteaders are notorious for finding ways to repurpose items. Nothing gets thrown away without it being thoroughly evaluated for other uses.
Consider, for example, milk jugs. There are plenty of ways you can use those milk jugs that don’t include storing drinking water.
Check out these 12 uses:
1. As a weight. Fill the jugs with water and use them to hold down a tarp. Put a rope through the grommet on the tarp and run it through the handle on your milk jug. They can help hold down a tarp or tent that is threatening to blow away.
2. As a mini-garden. Fill the jug with potting soil. Drop a tomato, cucumber or pepper seed in the top. Poke a few holes in the bottom for drainage and use the jugs as containers for your patio or window garden. It helps if you add a layer of gravel to the bottom of the jug and then add the soil. It makes it easier for the soil to drain. You also can cut off the top half of the jugs and use the bottom halves as basins for your potted plants.
3. As a mini-greenhouse. Cut off the bottom inch or so of the jug. Place the jug over newly planted seeds or plant starts. The jug will act as a mini greenhouse and give you a jump start on spring planting. They can also be used to protect plants from freezes in the spring or fall.
4. As an outdoor organizer. Cut off the top few inches at a diagonal angle, leaving the handle intact. Cut a small section off of the bottom of the handle to create a hook. Fill the jug with clothespins and hang it on your clothesline.
5. As seed markers. Cut the jug into strips and use a permanent marker to mark on them. Use them to mark seeds in potted plants or the garden.
6. As a candle holder. Cut off the top one-fourth or so of the jug. Fill the jug with sand or gravel and pop your emergency candles into the center of your filler. The sand or gravel will hold your candle upright and protect it from breezes that would blow it out. Place the jugs around your campsite or inside the house to use as pathway lights.
7. As a scoop. Cut the top at an angle, leaving the handle intact. This creates a scoop. You can use the scoop to get water from a river, barrel or your pond. You could also use the scoop for animal feed.
8. As food storage. Use the jugs to store dry goods like rice, beans and oatmeal. This gives you an easy way to pour out exactly what you need and seal the rest up for later use. Make sure you label the contents and the date on the outside of the jug. Store the jugs in the pantry and out of the direct sunlight.
9. As a wall. If you have a plethora of jugs, you could fill them with sand or gravel and make a wall or even a shelter! The filled jugs would act as insulation. They could be used to make a mini-root cellar or even a small barn for chickens or rabbits.
10. As a greenhouse heater. Paint the jugs black. (If you can’t, that’s OK — it will still work.) Fill the jugs with water. Place them in the greenhouse. Throughout the day, the jugs will heat and warm the water. At night, the warm water in the jugs will release some heat and help keep the temperature warmer in the greenhouse.
11. As fishing bobbers. Throw out your line with your milk jug bobber and get busy building your shelter, chopping wood or foraging. A milk jug bobbing up and down is much more obvious, and you will be able to see it from just about anywhere along the bank.
You can probably think of hundreds of other ways to use those old milk jugs. Think outside of the box and you will come up with some pretty clever ways to keep the plastic out of the landfills.