15 Ways to Recycle Used Milk Jugs

The next time you take a load of stuff to your community recycling station, leave your used milk jugs at home. If the SHTF, they could help you survive, and even if it doesn’t you’ll discover there are all sorts of different ways you can put your old milk jugs to work.

Makeshift Shovel

Leave the cap on a few of your old milk jugs and make a few diagonal cuts, and you’ll have a great mini-shovel you can use for digging shallow holes. The improvised shovel is small enough and light enough to go into your bug out bag. Even if you never have to bug out, you should keep a few of these easy shovels on hand because your kids will love using them. Here are some instructions on how to best cut your milk just to turn it into a mini-shovel.

Nurture Your Plants

Keeping young plants warm on cool spring nights can be a real problem. Instead of covering them with costly sheets of plastic, turn your old milk jugs into mini-greenhouses. All you have to do is cut the narrow side off the jug, turn it upside down over the young plant, and secure it to the ground. You won’t believe how well this works.

You can use your milk jugs for more than just a green house, they can also be turned into an affordable pot. It’s easy to do. Cut the jug in half. Poke about four holes into the plastic, fill the half jug with soil and add your plants. Just make sure you place the jug on a drain tray if they are staying indoors.

Instead of spending $10 on a water can, make your own. Use a nail to poke a bunch of holes in the top of your milk jug, fill it with water, replace the cap, and water your plants.

If you have extra fertilizer left over at the end of the growing season, pour it into one of your empty milk jugs, label it, and store it somewhere dark and dry so you can use it next year.

Fishing Bobbers

The next time your kids are looking for something to do on a rainy day, put them to work turning your old milk jugs into fishing bobbers. All they have to do is tie some line to the handle of the milk jug, than the next time they go fishing, they can use this line to fish. They’ll have a great time watching the milk jugs. If your kids want to get really creative, give them some markers or paint and let them decorate the jugs.

Mark Dangerous Water

It can be hard to remember which parts of a lake or pond have dense seaweed, sand bars, or sunken logs you’d like to avoid. Milk jugs can help. All you have to do is take some fishing line, tie one end to a rock and the other to the handle of an old milk jug, and drop the rock in the water. The milk jug will float in place, serving as a reminder of what portions of the pond or lake you should avoid while boating.

Create Outdoor Lights

Slice your old milk jugs in half, fill them with a little sand, add a short candle, and set them up in your yard. VOILA! You have the perfect lighting for a backyard party.

Emergency Ice

Keeping a few old milk jugs full of water in your freezer helps keep things cold if the power goes out and gives you another source of clean water in event of an emergency.

Blended Drinks

You want a smoothie or milk shake, but you don’t have a blender. Just pour the ingredients in an empty milk jug, cap it, and give it a vigorous shake. This is a especially fun when you have young kids who will enjoy shaking the milk jug almost as much as they enjoy the sweet treat they get afterwards.

Create Your Own Dustpan

Lost your dustpan? No problem. Just cut the bottom off one of your old milk jugs and use it instead. You’ll like your homemade dustpan so well, you won’t feel any need to go out and buy a new one.

Turn them Into Weights

If you’re working outside by yourself, holding down covers and tarps can be a major hassle. Filling a milk jug with rocks and placing it on the loose end solves the problem.

Food Storage

Make sure your milk jug is really clean and really dry, and fill it sugar, coffee, oatmeal, flour or dried beans. The milk jugs are easy to move, affordable, and it’s easy to see what each one contains. One word of warning, only use the milk jugs for food that you’re not storing long term. They’re not suitable for long term emergency supplies.

Organize your Work Space

Cut the top off your milk jugs and you can use them to get your workshop in order by storing your spare nails, bolts, and other tools in them.

This is just a handful of the ways you can use your old milk jugs. You’re bound to come up with several more! Share your best milk jug recycling tips with us in the comments.

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About Ms. Prepper

I’m Laura P, aka, Passion Prepper, aka, Storage Prepper! I’ve been homesteading nearly all my life and prepping for the last 6 years. I strongly believe our great country of America was built on self-sufficient families like mine and yours. Politics bores me, learning new stuff, getting outside and living life thrills me.

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