Are you throwing empty milk jugs into the recycling bin? DON’T! There are dozens of creative ways to reuse plastic milk jugs around the house. From easy DIY bird feeders to homemade weights for your next workout, here are a few ways to use repurposed milk jugs to reduce your carbon footprint.
Table of Contents
I have WAY too many plastic milk jugs!
Since my daughter has a near obsession with milk, the one thing I am always recycling is plastic milk jugs. There are days I think I would be better off just buying my own cow but until my home owners association is willing to overlook livestock in the back yard, I am stuck buying milk in jugs from the store.
I decided to start doing a bit of research on creative ways to reuse plastic milk jugs. If I could keep just one or two out of my recycling bin a month I think it is a step in the right direction on my ‘going green’ journey. If you find yourself drowning in plastic milk jugs like I am, here are a few creative ways to reuse them!
10 Creative Ways to Reuse Plastic Milk Jugs
There are dozens of uses for one gallon milk jugs, however, make sure you clean it out thoroughly before you try them. Wash with soap and water, then rinse and let dry completely before attempting any milk jug recycle projects . Otherwise, the odor might be very unpleasant!
Thaw your driveway with salt
Slice the bottom off a capped milk jug and fill the top with driveway salt. Hold on to the handle and flick your wrist to throw salt over your icy driveway.
Protect seedlings in the garden
How do you reuse plastic milk jugs in the garden? Use them to protect delicate seedlings from frost. Cut the bottom off a gallon jug and set it over your seeding in the garden to act as a mini greenhouse. Remove the cap as needed to control temperature and humidity.
Pantry Storage for grains, rice, oats, beans, popcorn
It is vitally important to make sure that your old milk jugs are thoroughly washed with soap and dried before storing anything in them. But, once they are dry, empty plastic containers like this are a great pantry storage idea.
Chill out a large cooler
Fills your plastic jugs three-quarters full with water and freeze. Place them in a large cooler for a back yard BBQ or in the living room for your next football party!
Repurposed Milk Jugs as Driveway Luminaries
Use empty milk containers to light the sides of your walkway. Cut off the top, put an inch or two of sand inside and add an LED light or candle. DO NOT use real candles in there! You will melt the plastic and have a very large mess.
Frugal Craft containers
Use a sharp knife to cut the top portion of the plastic milk jugs off. Fill bottoms with crayons, markers, pompoms or whatever other craft supplies you need to store. You can also try a few milk bottle crafts if you are creative. They make great DIY bird feeders or try painting milk jugs to make a piggy bank for kids.
For particularly tiny craft supplies, or to make your own glitter sprinkle container, upcycle an old spice bottle. They have handy little sprinkle tops and tight-fitting lids.
Gallon Sized Hand weights
Need a little resistance training? Just fill plastic milk jugs with water and start working out. 1 gallon of water equals 8 pounds. Work it into your next workout routine!
Make a watering can or sprinkler
Turn your plastic milk jugs into a sprinkler or watering can with a sprinkle spout. Keep it out on the patio and never again forge to water your plants!
Slug trap in your garden
Cut the bottom off your plastic milk jug about 2 or 3 inches from the base. Sink it into the soil so the top rim is level with the soil. Fill with beer (slugs love beer…just don’t use your pricey microbrew). Wait for slugs to drown and discard. Repeat as needed to protect plants.
Make a Plastic Milk Jug Berry picker
This is one of my favorite uses for one gallon milk jugs. Cut the top off the milk jug at an angle to widen the opening but leave the handle intact. Slip your belt through the handle to free up your hands for picking.
Tray under house plants
Cut the plastic milk jugs so that only the bottom 3 inches remain. Place under plants to catch over-watering.
Family vacation fund bank.
This is similar to the milk jug craft I mentioned above about making a piggy bank. Place your empty milk container in an out of the way corner and fill with coins/dollars as you find them in your wallet. Come summer vacation, you will have a nice savings to spend on yourselves and you probably didn’t even miss it from your budget!
A game for your kids:
Cut off the bottom of the jug (just the bottom inch or two.) Decorate the jug with stickers, markers,etc. Using old tennis balls, you now have a ball catcher game!
Turn your empty milk jug into a DIY Dustpan
A plastic milk jug can make a great dustpan. Click here for detailed instructions.
Whatever You Do DON’T THROW THEM AWAY
Plastic pollution is a huge problem in this country. While not everyone has access to a Local Food Co-op or Farmers Market for local milk in glass bottles, we all need to do our part to reduce our carbon footprint. Start recycling your empty milk jugs if you can’t find a way to reuse them. Have any other creative ways to reuse plastic milk jugs?
Like these creative ways to reuse plastic milk jugs? Try these upcycling tips, too:
- Creative Ways to Reuse Mint Tins : Asking yourself ‘What can I do with empty mint tins?’ Or ‘Can mint tins be recycled?’ Well, this is the post for you!
- Ways to Reuse Coffee Grounds Around the House: While you could always reuse coffee grounds to make another cup of coffee, it isn’t always quite a tasty. Here are a few ways to reuse coffee grounds around the house that won’t leave you feeling unsatisfied!
- How to Recycle Gift Cards and Other Ways to Reuse Them: Repurpose your gift cards to keep them out of our landfill.
- Check out my post on how to cut a glass bottle in half with string!
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire and has worked in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging and freelance writing to share this knowledge with others. Learn more about her HERE.