My mom is the ultimate recycler. She would recycle stuff around the house that I would have never thought twice about throwing away. I am not wasteful, and in fact, I try to find more uses for stuff before getting rid of them but my mom somehow ends up finding even more ways to transform ordinary household stuff into other more useful things. For example, when we were growing up, she wouldn’t throw out test papers or our notebooks from school until every blank square inch of the papers was put to good use.

Here is an 8List of some extreme recycle-till-you-no-longer-can tips.

8. CDs make great home accessories

School projects, music compilations, movies, and for bloggers like me, lots of press materials, have been burned into CDs. Before you toss them into the trash can, here are some ideas. Get some permanent glue and stick together two CDs back to back, attach some felt to one side cut to the shape of the CD and you’ve got a modern, shiny glass coaster! Let your kids run wild decorating them with colored pens. I’ve even seen CDs get a makeover as bedroom art or hanging mobiles.

7. Don’t rip wrapping paper!

Unless you are strongly superstitious about ripping presents open, don’t! Wrapping paper, most especially those used to wrap huge gifts like toys or appliances, can be used to wrap smaller items. Carefully peel off all the tape then cut away all the folded sides, leaving a smaller but very usable area. You can actually keep going and recycling them into even smaller pieces of wrapper. Why cut up a large piece of brand new wrapper for, say, a tiny perfume bottle?

6. Used or new greeting cards can evolve into gift tags

I sometimes get really beautiful Christmas cards, including embossed ones and I really hate just throwing them away. Mom gave me an idea when, one Christmas, she gifted me with an item wrapped in recycled wrapping paper and her gift tag was an embossed cutout from an old Christmas card! Feeling creative? Indulge and use colorful cutouts from Christmas cards as Christmas tree ornaments or tabletop décor.

5. Shredded paper gets a second life

I have a personal shredder at home for confidential files, bank statements, credit card statements, etc. But shredding creates a huge mound of spaghetti-like shredded paper. If you also shred documents, gather them up in large trash bags or boxes and donate them to recycling centers or packing centers. Keep some for yourself as they are great substitutes for bubble wrap. Delicate china or breakable items can be kept in boxes with shredded paper serving as padding. If you decide to move houses, they make great packing material.

4. Let toilet carton rolls help you organize

Probably the best free organizer I have ever seen is a carton roll left over after all the toilet paper is gone. Get a box or plastic case, stand these rolls on one end, decorate them if you are in a creative mood, stick labels on them (or write directly on each roll with a marker) and they transform into organizers for just about anything—your chargers, pens, scissors, and more. Keep unsightly and unruly cable and appliance wires in order by rolling up the excess length and inserting them inside a carton roll. Wrapping paper can also be kept crease-less in these rolls.

3. Jewelry organizers straight from the kitchen

Why buy an expensive jewelry case when you can find inexpensive ones right in your kitchen? Carton egg trays can serve to hold your rings, earrings and necklaces. Short on space? Stack them one on top of the other on your dresser. And guess what else you can use for little items—cracked ice trays.

2. Empty vitamin bottles can now hold cash

I’ve always hesitated to throw away huge plastic vitamin bottles. Now, they hold all our spare change, sorted by denomination. Every so often, before the bottles fill up, I send batches of them over to a nearby sari-sari store in exchange for bills. It’s amazing how much money these coins can bring in! It’s also a great way to teach my kids that coins are important enough not to be left just lying around, that each coin is valuable.

1. Trash bags other than trash bags

Look around your home and see what else can double as trash bags before you throw them away. I’m pretty sure you have a lot of them lying around—cereal boxes, grocery bags, tissue boxes, shoe boxes, and boxes of old mobile phones and electronic devices.

What’s your recycling style? Share your tips in the Comments Section.

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Jane Uymatiao blogs at
She’s a member of Mommy Mundo SoMoms.

Jane Uymatiao

Jane Uymatiao blogs at and Jane is a member of the Mommy Mundo SoMoms. Read more about the SoMoms here:

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