When it comes to living the country life, or beginning a homestead, one of the beliefs you quickly take on is that anything can be reused. Though that means that you often have to alter the way something is used, you will find that it makes life much easier. Plus, you are able to live with little to no waste and save money in the process. That’s what we wanted to take some time and put together a list of common, everyday items that can easily be changed into something useful once their original purpose is gone.

  1. Turn an empty Milk jug into a garden scoop.

This is one area where the debate between 1% or 25 ends; all plastic milk jugs a created equal. Cutting the handle side, as shown in the picture, makes for a scoop you can use to pour salt on an icy sidewalk, put soil in potting plants, or even put in the bag with the dog food. Whatever the purpose you create it for, it makes for an easy DIY scoop.

  1. Turn Large plastic bottles into a watering can

This works for any large plastic container, from milk jugs, juice bottles, or laundry detergent bottles. Thoroughly clean the bottle, drill several small holes in the lid, and you are set. But you might want to take the labels off. After all, you don’t want your neighbors or family thinking you are pouring laundry soap on the flowers…they might see your beautiful flowers and think they’ve learned your secret ingredient.

  1. Start an Herb Garden with Empty 2-Liter Bottles

This project gets you extra green points. These can be cashed in for absolutely nothing. Well, maybe to feed your eco-soul. Regardless, upcycling 2-liter bottles into sub-irrigated planters is one of the more creative plastic bottle projects. Follow these steps to create an herb garden from a recycled bottle:

  1. Remove the label from the bottle and clean the inside.
  2. Take a sharp object and poke drainage holes in the top third of the bottle.
  3. Poke a hole in the side of the bottle about half-way down.
  4. Wrap a piece of paper around the bottle.
  5. Take a marker and trace a cutting line around the bottle.
  6. Cut along the bottle on the line.
  7. Flip over the bottle top and insert a strip of fabric.
  8. Make sure the fabric is in contact with the soil.

  1. Paper-towel tube as a bag holder

When has there been a day go by that you don’t need a bag for something. Thankfully, if you don’t have your own re-usable grocery bags, you have a steady supply of plastic bags. The key is to store them without making a mess. You could purchase a specially made bag holder, or you could transform something you have plenty of into one, allowing you to have limitless storage for those useful bags, as long as you have a steady supply of paper-towel tubes.

  1. Use open end of bottle to seal bags

This one will work exceptionally well in the country, not only to keep the bag from spilling but to keep little critters out. The picture explains it…cut the mouth side of the bottle off, slide the open in of the bag through, and place lid on the bottle. It will be a tight fit getting the lid on but that’s what makes this idea so great.