Monday, July 16, 2007

Day Twenty-Two - The Lint Trap

Finding a Second Use for Lint

Yeah, that's right. I'm following up yesterday's BIG IMPACT tip with "things you can do with lint". What can I say, sometimes you thinks big, sometimes you thinks small. The important thing is to keep on thinkin'.

I have a trash can in my laundry area that accumulates a surprising large amount of lint. The only reason I notice it is because lint is usually the only item in that trash can. You just don't generate a lot of trash in the laundry room. Anyhow, it's been bugging me because if I could just find a use for that lint, I wouldn't even need a trash can in there. Well I hopped on the ol' information highway today and lo and behold, there are quite a few uses for it! Do a google search and you'll be amazed. And possibly a little wierded out.

Anyhow, the use I've decided to try first is "Lint Makes Good Kindling". Apparently, what you're supposed to do is take an empty toilet paper tube and keep stuffing it with your dryer lint. I guess you can pack quite a bit of lint in there. Once it's 80% full or so, fold over both ends of the tube to keep it in there. **The only caveat being that you want to make sure you're not saving lint that comes off plastick-y items (like waterproof mattress pads) as they might give off nasty fumes.

The next time you need to build a fire, use it, instead of small twigs or paper, for kindling. Supposedly it lights right up, even when it's wet, and will burn long enough to get the fire going. We go camping a lot so I thought this would be a fun one to try. They'll definitely be easy to store and take with us.

There were a lot of other ideas out there for your lint. Put it outside for birds to use in nest building, Use it to stuff dolls, toys, pillows, etc. Use it as a packing material for shipping breakable stuff. Use it to make paper mache or clay. Compost it. Stuff it in an old sock to make a draft stopper (or dog toy). The list literally goes on and on. What can you do with your lint?


I average one load of laundry per day. That creates one handful of lint (no idea how to better quantify that). That means I produce 365 handfuls of lint per year. Even compacted, that's still gotta fill a trash bag. So, big pat on the back for saving one more bag of trash. Woo hoo! Every bag counts!

Difficulty Level 1 out of 5

This one's been fun. I look forward to letting you know how it works too. Do you have any kooky uses (or re-uses) of odd household items? If so, post them here so we can all see!


Mary Elizabeth said...

I have an old grocery bag (separate from the trash can) in our laundry room specifically for keeping lint in to be eventually carried out the compost pile. I do shudder to think how full the bag will be before it is carried out, though;)

Mary Elizabeth said...

Also, a long time ago I know I saw a "recipe" for making home-made paper out of lint. It might be a fun exercise in recycling with the munchkins!

Brian said...

Yes! Our compost bucket is right next to our washer/dryer (since it's in the kitchen)...don't forget, you can compost your vacuum cleaner dirt as well!!

Anonymous said...

If you don't have room to do the traditional compost pile, look into vermiculture. It can be done in the smallest of apartments and can compost nearly all organics(meats, dairy, cheese, oils excluded). Cotton T-shirts, toenail clippings, hair, rotten veggies and fruits...all that and more.