The day begins to wane as you watch the vibrant sunset from the comfort of your trusty canoe, allowing the sun’s fleeting rays to warm your soul. As you paddle along you take note of the tiny turtle family sunbathing amidst a floating log on the nearby bank, and the rhythmic lull of the flowing river as the bow of the canoe bisects the current. You begin to comment on the perfection of the pristine panorama you are beholding, but what is that in the distance obstructing your view…a pile of tires? Unfortunately this has happened to me and many others across the world as we face an epidemic of illegally dumped tires in our lovely waterways, parks, roadsides, and just about anywhere imaginable. As un-anesthetically pleasing as this may be, abandoned tires cause far worse problems to our environment and health. With a little education and effort we can eradicate-or take steps to prevent- the tire pile-up by recycling, re-purposing, or reusing these tires in new and innovative ways.
When it comes down to it, there are numerous items we can construct with recycled materials instead of spending money on new, packaged products. Recycling is usually the best option, but sometimes it is even better to reuse things like toilet paper rolls or bread clips. Team Green Adventures and Urban Green Lab have used their Engage Green series to introduce you to some common practices of sustainability, but here are 9 easy re-use hacks you can try at home!
1. Cut off the tops of beer bottles for a vintage, trendy drinking glass.
2. This one may seem a little complicated, but makes a fun project. Use a wheel and bike chains to build a creative chandelier.
3. Don’t toss your old college mini fridge! Use the fridge to organize DVDs or video game controllers.
4. Tape rollers make a great holder for headphones to prevent them from getting tangled.
5. Cyclists who keep their phone on their bike can simply add a plastic bottle to be worry-free in the rain.
6. Try this tip for camping, eating on the boat, or for tailgating this fall.
7. For the audio geeks in Nashville: use toilet paper rolls to organize the enormous amount of cords we know you have.
8. Never lose track of wires behind your computer with bread clips.
9. When you end up with more muffin tins than muffin mix, use the leftovers for anti-drip popsicle holders.
Not enough for you? Join us for our Engage Green Workshop Series, where we partner with Urban Green Lab on the first Wednesday of every month to bring you a different sustainability-related topic. On October 1st, we’ll be working with Green Fork Academy and Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee to teach you how to make some delicious seasonal fall recipes, right at home!
– Kate (Team Green’s Summer Intern)