Ok, I've become a bit nutty about blog surfing.. but seriously, I find lots of cool stuff! One of the sites I found this morning is called Food As Medicine which is maintained by "Enviroman". In his bio, Enviroman states : ... recycling greeting cards may be a good practice, but recycling uses lots of water and energy, produces secondary pollution like ink in the wastewater, etc.. Directly reusing greeting card is more desirable Read the full bio Here Enviroman has a few different blogs ; I just happened to stumble upon Food as Medicine first! So, this blurb in his bio got me thinking (and pulling that file folder out of the trash.. we don't use them in this office, but I'll bet some animal rescue group could use them for theirs) Right.. back to what I was thinking... what do I do to re-use things? The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I re-use a LOT of things.. mostly as dog toys. Here are a few things that I do that re-use something I would otherwise toss or recycle. By the way, like any other toys, your dog should be supervised when then are playing.
- Cardboard egg cartons: drop a few cookies inside, tape closed with a small piece of tape (or just snap shut). Shake infront of your dog and toss! Something worth destroying! You can also use the tubes from papertowels, toilet paper, wrapping paper etc. The advantage of the tubes is the make a great noise when you tap your dog with them!
- Soda Bottles: Ok, I know the deposit law will get you a nickel back in your pocket when you return them. But I can't beat a nickel for a dog toy. Am I harming the environment by not bringing them back? I don't know. What I do know is that if I take the label and cap off, my dogs will entertain themselves for hours! These bottles go right in the recycling bin when they are done trashing them. This also works well with plastic milk jugs. All of these bottles make a fun noise when you tap them into your hand.. great for throwing!
- On the topic of bottles: For hot days at dog events, we freeze a plastic bottle filled with water. Since our dogs are pretty good at not eating non food items, we are ok with leaving the "sports cap" on them. The dogs lay on the bottles and will suck on the cap to get a small amount of water throughout the day as the ice melts. And then guess what happens? Yup, instant dog toy.
- Cardboard boxes: For puppies, oh my! These were a blessing... just like children, our puppies played with boxes for hours! And when they are done and the boxes are pretty well trashed, they go right in the recycling bin.
- Old Socks: Old socks make great tug toys, as do old t-shirts etc. Be sure to tie a knot in them so your dogs see them as different from socks and shirts you still wear!
- Quart sized lids: You know the ones from yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream etc? They are useful as targets for agility training. (The idea is you put it at the end of the obstacle, put a treat on it, show it to the dog, bring them to the beginning of the obstacle, give the command and let the dog go! That way you don't have to get there to treat them and they associate the treat with the obstacle, not you! )
- Take out containers: great for freezing their dog food or storing homemade yogurt. Cheaper than tupperware any day.
- Italian ice cups: I love italian ice and the storebought ice comes in these little plastic cups. We use these to freeze individual portions of our version of "Frosty Paws " (which are loaded with carcinogens by the way). We also use them as special treat cups for a yogurt snack at night. The kids love to eat out of them!
- Old Towels: Save them for drying off the dog or for bedding. If you are crafty, sew two together and stuff for a homemade washable dog bed.