Thursday, April 27, 2006

Holy Recycling, Chapman!

The end comes suddenly: one minute you're absently twisting off your chapstick cap and the next you're scraping cold, hard plastic across your lips. That sad little stick poking out of the middle of a once-proud chapstick is the end of the line. But before you toss out the empty tube, you should consider the numerous ways you can recycle these uniquely-shaped containers.

First and foremost, there's the EcoLips Recycle for Free program, in which the much lauded organic lip balm makers offer to send you a free EcoLips lip balm of your choice for every five empty tubes you send them. Considering that one EcoLips is basically worth five of any other brand, that's a pretty sweet deal. Plus you can feel good about yourself, you tree-hugger you.

Second and secondmost, you can simply refill them with lip balm you make yourself. There is a myriad of DIY chapstick recipes and kits online and in craft magazines, and you can be as creative or as decadent as you'd like. Personally, I'd skip the garlic chapstick, which promises to cost "about two bucks, plus the friendship of anyone you try it on", but then again I'm not a sadist.

Third is a totally rad suggestion from Craftster.org's 13bodies, who writes, "I've made sewing kits out of some of mine: I wrapped different colors of thread around a piece of drinking straw cut to fit in the tube, then stuck some pins and needles on a piece of pretty paper and put it inside; finally I added a couple of small safety pins. My mom claimed the original and travels with it to this day."

You can take this idea and run with it: why not turn your empty tube into a pocket-sized pill carrier or a rubber band case? You never know when you'll need to fend off bad guys with medicinal projectiles, a needle, and a rubber band.

Speaking of MacGyver, another intersting non-crafty use is hack that uses a chapstick tube to help you pump your gas. I can't promise that it's safe, so you know, don't try it at home. And it's probably better to use an empty one, right? Unless you like your Lipsmackers laced with gasoline.

Lastly (for this list, anyway) and most hippy-dippy, you can turn give your sad, empty tubes a new life as an aromatherapy inhaler. Just clean one out, remove the plastic stick and insert a cotton ball infused with your favorite essential oils. Lavendar for relaxation? Peppermint for a pick-me-up? It's up to you.

So, just like the elderly, don't toss out your tubes just because they've outlived their usefulness. Give them a new purpose so that their memory can live on.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Jo said...

I like the aromatherapic idea! :)

10:00 AM  
Blogger vanillapopcutie said...

your blog is very interesting i was looking for this kind of information and what to do with empty chapsticks.

6:35 PM  

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