REDUCE > REUSE > REPAIR > RECYCLE > RECOVER > DISPOSE!
If you have the opportunity to upcycle your regular waste, do it! It will help the environment, make for some family fun and maybe even save you money! Recycling is good, but upcycling is even better!
Upcycling: also known as creative reuse, is the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless, or unwanted products into new materials or products perceived to be of greater quality, such as artistic value or environmental value.
Being heavy consumers of canned corn and canned black or red beans (for some reason, I fail at being able to cook "gallo pinto" or black beans in general! A sin being married to a Tico/Costa Rican), we regularly are left with empty aluminum tin cans. Since I spend a big time gardening and growing grains into veggie plants or flowers, I started using my aluminum tin cans as flower pots! Looks and works just great, while reducing my consumption of plastic. My goal is to be able to grow a salad in a tin can!
Now, make sure you actually make holes for water drainage at the bottom of your tin can if you are going to use it as a flower pot. If you forget about it and water your plant too much, the roots will start to rot, and eventually the plant will die. The other option is to put just the right amount of water each day, so the earth retain moisture for your plant but dries out before you put more water to it.
I am actually growing right now several basil plants in upcycled tin cans in order to give them as gift to friends and family for their kitchen. A great gift idea as well!
If you use many tin cans like me, remember to mark your cans, or you will lose track of what is growing in each pot. Some plants need more water than others or special care.
Now, there are really a million ways you can reuse your aluminum cans! From wall decor, pencil holders and piggy bank, to communication system, metallic lamp or hanging lanterns! You imagination is the limit!
What's your favorite upcycling idea for aluminum tin cans!?