Last night, I tried some Vitamin Water (a beverage somewhat similar to Gatorade). When I was finished, I sat there looking at the empty plastic container, thinking that it was rather ridiculous that millions of these were filling landfills, especially when I could think of so many uses for them. Here are ten of the best ones – perhaps these will help you get extra use out of the plastic container of your favorite beverage.
Use it for drinking water Just refill it from the tap and carry around some water with you. I often do this with plastic containers, using it to store a beverage for the road. I regularly put iced tea in it, too.
Make homemade barbecue sauce It’s a perfect storage container for homemade barbecue sauce. Here’s a good recipe:
In a small pan, combine:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 tablespoon chopped green bell pepper
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons mustard powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon celery seed
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Cook while stirring over medium heat until it’s near boiling, then let it cool for a bit while stirring, then pour it into a storage container
This will nicely fill a beverage bottle, preferably one with a wider mouth (like a Gatorade or Vitamin Water bottle).
Make an old-fashioned hot water bottle – with a twist Take the bottle, fill it with tap water, add a pinch of salt and some very dark food coloring. Then sit this bottle on a windowsill on a sunny but cold day. In the evening, check the bottle – it’ll likely be quite warm. I used to do this when I was a kid to make a warm bottle to store under the blankets on a cold night.
Save pocket change The wide mouth of the bottle will fit change of any denomination, so it’s a great way to store pocket change. I keep one in my vehicle for this very purpose.
Go bowling with your toddler son We’ll set up several bottles and then toss a ball at them to knock them all over. We’ve done this for hours in the living room.
Store paint This is a perfect container for paint storage for detail work, especially when multiple people are splitting a can. Just cut the top off of the container and use the main body for storage – it’s a great little container for trim work and other smaller tasks.
Plant a small plant One of these containers with the top chopped off is a perfect container to grow a green onion, a scallion, or some herbs. Several of them on a windowsill can provide an interesting little garden for an apartment.
Store golf tees I use one to store golf tees. Tees usually come in a bag and thus when you open one, the other tees spill all over the place, making a mess and causing you to lose some of them. Instead, I open the bag and put them in such a container before I ever even head to the golf course.
Collect drained oil Wide-mouth beverage containers are absolutely wonderful oil collectors, for times when you’re changing oil on a riding lawnmower or such. They’re small for using on cars, but perfect for lawnmowers, tillers, and any other motorized device you may use at home.
Make homemade salad dressing Much like the barbecue sauce, it’s a perfect storage container for homemade salad dressing. Here’s a good recipe:
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed mint leaves
1/4 cup wine vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
Mix these all in the beverage container and shake well. A larger container can hold a double batch!
The next time you go to throw out a beverage container, think about it for a minute and ask yourself if you might have a better use for it.