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What are some ideas for re-purposing common disposable items?

There are many items that are disposable that we now recycle. However, it takes energy to recycle things and I was wondering if some of this energy might be saved by re-purposing the items to a second functional need with no real treatment. Examples of disposable items that might be re-purposed include soda bottles, car tires and cardboard boxes. One example of a re-purpose is car tires being bound together and turned into reefs for sea life.

I am sure there are many items and uses. What are they?

I am mostly interested in functional uses rather than artistic ones.


Closing Statement from Robert Galway

Thanks everyone for providing ideas.

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    Nov 1 2013: Some excellent ideas here:


    (love the TV aquarium)

    Old radiators, painted matt black, behind glass, turned into solar panels for hot water.

    Old louvre doors on the wall as slot-in message boards.

    Liquid detergent bottles with small holes in the lid as small watering cans...
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      Nov 1 2013: Oh my goodness.....very clever Allan! I love the TV aquarium too....also, the plastic spoon lampshade is exquisite! And.....I have a couple old wooden tennis rackets in the barn that have been waiting for a repurpose for years....love the mirror idea!

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