29 Creative Ways To Give Kitchen Trash A Second Life

Meal planning and smart shopping goes a long way toward reducing food waste. Kitchen hacks for extending the lifespan of fresh food help too. But what about the peels, stems, and wrappings we throw away without a second thought? Well those can be upcycled too!

1. Coffee Grounds

1-Coffee-GroundsSource: downtoearthstyle.blogspot.com

Once a week, mix grounds in your conditioner for smoother, shinier hair.
Sprinkle damp grounds in your fireplace to reduce flyaway dust while cleaning.
A bowl full of grounds in the fridge will eliminate nasty odors.
Mix grounds with coconut oil for an effective facial exfoliator.

2. Celery and Lettuce Stumps

2-Celery-and-LettuceSource:  earthgivenkitchen.com

Both of these delicious foods can be regrown from their stumps. Just add water!

3. Sprouted Potatoes

3-Potatoes-CollageSource: yougrowgirl

White and sweet potatoes that have sprouted eyes can be planted in soil (or water!) to regrow new veggies. Source: botanus.com

4. Egg Cartons

4-Egg-Carton-CollageSource: recipris.com

These oddly shaped containers have lots of uses: keep ornaments safe, store golf balls, start herb seeds, use as disposable paint pots for little ones…

5. Citrus Peels

5-Citrus-PeelsSource: realfoodchronicles.com

Add fresh peels to smoothies for extra fiber and nutrients.
Insects hate citrus. Chop and place around the house and garden as a deterrent.
Put them down the garbage disposal to deodorize the drain.
Put peels in a bag of brown sugar and store in fridge to keep soft.
Dry, grind up, and mix with salt or pepper for DIY lemon seasoning.

6. Milk or Juice Carton

6-BirdhouseSource: kiwimagonline.com

These wax covered cartons are hard to recycle, so why not make a little birdhouse?
Cut the bottom half off and use as a planter.
Transform it into a piggy bank.
Reseal with tape and use as building blocks. Source: chasinggreen.org

7. Onion and Garlic Skins

7-onion-and-garlic-skinsSource: grassfood.me

Did you know onion and garlic skins actually hold more nutrients than the flesh? Get the most from these aromatics by using them to make homemade soup stock.

8. Watermelon Rinds

8-melon-rindsSource: nonrecipe.blogspot.com

Watermelon rinds can be made into delicious preserves as well as pickles.
Rubbing watermelon rinds on your skin can also help clear up acne.

9. Celery Leaves

9-celery-topsSource: recipesfornaturalhealth.com

Eat them just like you would the celery! Add tops to soups, stews, or smoothies or use as an edible garnish.

10. Banana Peels

10-Banana-PeelSource: wikihow.com

Wrap banana peels around tomato plant stalks for fertilizer.
Sprinkle chopped up peels throughout the garden as a pest deterrent.
Rub them on your skin to relieve the itch of rashes, psoriasis, and insect bites.
Add them to the roasting pan to keep boneless meats from drying out.
Rub the pithy side on shoes and silver to polish naturally! Source: ecowatch.org

11. Broccoli Stalks and Leaves

11-Broccoli-Stalks-and-LeavesSource: bonappetit.com

Eat ’em! Raw, chopped stalks make a great addition to fresh salads, while the leaves can be cooked and eaten like cabbage.

12. Scallion (Green Onion) Stubs

12-Green-OnionsSource: theburlapbag.com

These can easily be regrown in a jar of water. Snip just the tops for an endless supply!

13. Butter Wrappers

13-Butter-WrapperSource: racheerachheats.blogspot.com

The little bit of butter still clinging to the wrapper is perfect for greasing your baking pans! Just fold and keep in the fridge until needed.

14. Wine Corks

14-DFY-Tiny-Gardens-Wine-CorkSource: inheritingourplanet.com

Use them as tiny succulent planters.
Glue many together for a DIY corkboard. Or bathmat.
With a little shaping you can also combine into coasters.
Add a hook and ring on the end for a neat upcycled keychain. Source: redesignrevolution.com

15. Kale Stems

15-Kale-StalksSource: food52.com

Pickle them.
Add to smoothies or juice for added nutrients and fiber.
Dry them, then grind up and combine with salt for a unique seasoning.

16. Apple Peels

16-apple-peelsSource: thewondrous.com

Dried apple peels can be used to make a delicious autumn tea.
The acidity in apple peels can remove stains from aluminum pots and pans.
Place fresh apple peels over your eyes for 5-10 min. to reduce dark circles.

17. Almond Pulp

17-Almond-PulpSource: themamasgirls.com

If you’ve been making your own almond milk, you may have wondered what to do with all the leftover pulp. Simply spread out in a thin layer and allow to dry. Then grind into almond flour for gluten-free baking! Additional ideas at the link below. Source: themamasgirls.com

18. Pineapple Tops

18-pineappleSource: hpsgarden.com

It’s true! With a little patience you really can regrow a pineapple from the crown, which is typically discarded. Even if you don’t live in the tropics.

19. Fruit and Veggie Pulp

19-veggie-and-fruit-pulpSource: plantoeat.com

The by produce of fresh, homemade juice is lots of pulp. Don’t throw it away!
Mix it into smoothies for added nutrients.
Use it to make delicious breads.
Spread and bake into Raw Juicer Pulp Crackers.
Mix it into batter for savory dinner pancakes.

20. Coffee Filters

20-coffee-filtersSource: auntpeaches.com

Use damp coffee filters to shine your shoes.
Cut and use as emergency muffin tin liners.
Rinsed and dried coffee filters can be used as dust wipes.
Dry and use as DIY facial oil blotters. Source: care2.com

21. Egg Shells

21-EggshellsSource: originshobbyfarm.wordpress.com

Crumble and mix with gardening soil for added calcium.
Add to the bottom of potted plants that need extra drainage.
Grind and add to pet food as a calcium supplement.
Add finely egg shell powder to your coffee filter to make cheap coffee less bitter.

22. Meat Bones

22-Bone-BrothSource: fitfastandpaleo.com

Steep in a crockpot overnight for delicious homemade broth full of healing nutrients.

23. Pickle Juice

23-Pickle-JuiceSource: housewifehowtos.com

When the last pickle is eaten, simply refill the jar with fresh cut veggies and wait a few days. Instant pickles!

24. Mesh Fruit Sacks

24-Pot-ScrubbersSource: auntpeaches.com

With a few tweaks, these mesh sacks become DIY pot scrubbers.

25. Paper Towel Rolls

25-Paper-Towel-Tube-OrganizerSource: clippergirl.com

These rolls have a plethora of uses around the house. The cord organizer just happens to be my favorite! Source: frugalvillage.com

26. Parmesan Cheese Container

26-Parm-CheeseSource: accidentallygreen.com

Wash and dry these containers, then fill with any seasoning or product (like Borax or baking soda) that needs to be sprinkled.

27. Onion or Potato Sacks

27-Onion-SackSource: kristentriestoblog.blogspot.com

Use as a unique gift wrapping, a sack for kids toys (like blocks), or a DIY laundry bag.

28. Apple Cores

28-Apple-CoresSource: lynettefisk.com

These and other fruit cores/rinds can be used to make delicious fruit scrap vinegar. Recipe in the link below. Source: thenourishingcook.com

29. Carrot Tops

29-Carrot-TopsSource: projectfidgetyfingers.com

Add to soup or stew.
Blend the greens into homemade pesto.
And yes, you can even regrow them from the stumps!

Source: Distractify

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Author: MMK

Architecture & Design was started by an Afghan entrepreneur, he believes that wellbeing is affected by the spaces we spend our time in and that their design is an important notion to consider with regards to our personal comfort and happiness – whether we are at home, at work or at play.

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