Empty Milk Jugs Are Full Of Possibilities
My mother and grandmother were experts at recycling and upcycling, and could find practical ways to use everything from food containers to zippers. I’m glad I had them to show me the way, because it’s given me an endless source of inspiration for blog posts!
Whether you’re looking to save money, help the environment, or use your resources more mindfully, upcycling (or “creative reuse”) is a great way to do that. I enjoy the creative challenge of finding ways to reuse things, but with plastic milk jugs in particular, the possibilities are almost endless!
Read on to learn 11 ways you can reuse empty milk jugs (and save money while you’re at it!)
11 Creative Ways To Reuse Plastic Milk Jugs
1. Ice Pack
Use a milk jug to make a giant ice pack for your cooler. Pour water into an empty jug until it’s just shy of full, then replace the lid and freeze until solid. It’ll stay frozen a lot longer than a bag of ice would, and you can drink the cold water as it melts!
2. Watering Can
A half-gallon milk jug makes a great watering can for houseplants, while a gallon-size jug is great for watering pots and other outdoor plants. Just poke a few holes in the lid to create a gentle sprinkling effect, and it’ll be ready to use!
A milk jug full of water makes an ideal lantern or nightlight for a camping trip. Simply strap a headlamp to the jug with the light facing in, and the water will give you a source of soft, diffused light.
4. Mini Greenhouse
Enjoy a longer growing season on both ends by using milk jugs to protect tender young plants from frost. Just cut off the bottom of the jugs and place them over your plants. (As an added bonus, they’ll help keep out hungry bugs and snails as well!)
Cut off the top part off of a milk jug while leaving the handle intact. Clean up any sharp or rough edges, and voila, you’ve got a handy scoop you can use for pet food, potting soil, or anything else, really! (If you keep the top part, you can remove the cap and use it as a funnel!)
6. Furniture Sliders
Cut the bottom surface off of four milk jugs using a utility knife and use them as furniture sliders. Just set each furniture leg on its own slider, and the plastic will slide easily against most types of flooring. Not only do they work as well as the ones you can buy, but they’re free too!
7. Grill Utensil Caddy
Remove the top section of a milk jug (keeping the handle intact), then fill it with your grilling tools like forks, tongs, and sauce brushes. The sturdy jug makes it easy to tote your cooking tools to where you need them, and it’s easy to clean up too, making it a game-changer for any grill master.
8. Exercise Weights
Keep your muscles strong by using milk jugs to do resistance training! Just fill a couple of plastic milk jugs with water (1 gallon = 8 pounds) to instantly step up your home workouts.
9. Plant Tray
Nothing’s worse than watering a houseplant and having dirty water leak everywhere. Prevent such leaks by removing the bottom 3″ or so of a plastic milk jug and using it as a tray for your thirsty plants. For plants that need to be kept moist, adding a layer of marbles to the tray can help slow down the evaporation of any water in the tray.
10. Piggy Bank
Place an empty milk jug somewhere it will be out of the way, but easily accessible, then fill it with any coins or small bills that end up in your wallet or pockets. Use it regularly to build up a nice little “Fun Fund” of money you probably won’t even miss!
11. Bird Feeder
With a milk jug, a wooden skewer, and a few simple tools, you can make a great DIY bird feeder that’s accessible from both sides. Just add bird seed and hang it near a window to enjoy hours of birdwatching pleasure!
Looking For More Ways To Reduce, Reuse, Or Recycle?
- Check out theses posts for tons of great ideas that will help you save money and do more with less:
- 11 Disposable Items That Are Actually Highly Useful
- 9 Unusual Ways To Solve Problems With Stuff You Have At Home
- 13 Useful Things You Should Do With Your Old Grocery Bags
- 9 Clever Ways To Avoid Wasting Your Perfectly Good Cereal Boxes
How do you reuse milk jugs at your house?