Of dustpans, and detergent

My absolute favorite dustpan I’ve ever owned … Is made out of a plastic detergent jug! You can see how I cut it. I used sturdy scissors. A sturdy pocketknife or other knife would also work.

I love the fact that it is made out of a sturdy plastic container that someone was throwing away. Yes, depending on where you live, these containers might actually get recycled. But all too often they seem to just end up in landfill or in the ocean. And there are so many of them. Think how often most people buy detergent.

Another thing I love about this dustpan is that it’s stored on the broom. Look how neatly it stows! Right there over the handle. It stays on better than the typical dustpan, which just clicks onto the broom handle. (That might sound really picky to some people but I find it very helpful.)

But most of all, what I love about this dustpan is that it just plain works really well. And fortunately it is extremely durable; has lasted years. But even if-when it breaks I will know how to get another one for free: I’ll just walk down the street the night before trash collection and I’m sure to find one in somebody’s recycling bin.

Some green-minded people who abhor the growing mountain of huge thick tough plastic detergent jugs are latching onto an eco alternative product: detergent sheets that come in a compostable wrapping or paper box. These are available from various companies online. I have read positive reviews of them. However, I prefer not to spend that money, and not to have to order from afar.

Speaking of packaging, I remember when laundry detergent used to be in powder form more often, so it just came in thin-walled cardboard boxes.

By the way, I haven’t actually bought a jug of detergent in years. Some years ago, I noticed (as many of you probably have too) that a so-called “empty” bottle of detergent still contains a significant amount of product. Enough that, after adding water to the bottle and shaking up the bottle, it can be stretched for several rounds of laundry.

So, when I need detergent, I just grab an “empty” jug from a curbside recycling bin, add water to dilute, and voilà, instant several rounds of detergent. Over time, as I’ve gotten more and more sensitive to artificial smells of detergent products, a little goes a long way. All it needs to be is strong enough to clean my clothes, and that happens at a surprisingly dilute strength.

Have you ever tried any of the above domestic thrift tricks? If so, how did it go for you?

#homeec #domestic #thrift #upcycling #plasticjugs