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Recycling in Boise - Making Boise Greener One Step at a Time

Posted by Hughes Group Blog Team on Tuesday, September 13th, 2016 at 6:27pm.

Part 3 of 3: Upcycling Continued

Here it is, the 3rd and last installment of our recycling in Boise series. In the previous articles, we talked about Boise’s recycling system ‘Curb It’ and gave you all some suggestions on how you can upcycle some of the things you might simply throw away. In this article, we will discuss some more upcycling ideas that just won’t fit in the last article.

Toilet Paper and Paper Towel Rolls for storage

Now, this is a really cool trick because the toilet paper and paper towel rolls are usually something that gets through away without second thought. Depending on the person, each of us probably throw one of these away every two days. That adds up to quite a few cardboard tubes.

One of the tips and tricks that is floating around the internet these days for upcycling these tubes is to use them for more organized storage. Now, you aren’t limited when it comes to storage, but here is our favorite idea: using these cardboard tubes to store rope, extension cords, bungee cords, and other long rope like items. All you need to do is to wind the cords up so that they aren’t thicker around the middle than the cardboard tube is. Then, all you need to do is slip the cord into the tube and set it in a drawer. This will keep it from unraveling and getting tangled up with other cords.

(They can also be used as tinder if you need to start a fire).


Jars are another very abundant resource in our society. Whether they are empty jars of jam, mason jars for home canning, or just the plastic jars from peanut butter, you can have quite a bit of fun coming up with uses for these things.


One idea that you see a lot when it comes to upcycling jars is turning them into cups. Now, this is normally with just the glass jars, but you could use the plastic ones as well if you wanted to. There are several ways to turn them into cups. You can first simply punch a hole in the lid and put a straw through it. This makes it mostly spill proof and also make it so you don’t need to worry about the threads on the mouth of the jar. If you want to make it a traditional cup, and not one that requires a straw, you can get thread covers that are sold at some stores, or simply drink straight from it.


Another really popular idea for a jar upcycle is to use it for storage. This can be as simple as putting your nickels and dimes into it as a bank or loading it with homogeneous knickknacks for more contained storage. However, you can also turn a set of jars into a hanging storage device for underneath a hanging cabinet or shelf.

All you will need to make the hanging jar storage device is a long magnet that is strong enough to hold several pounds and small magnets that will cover 2/3 of the lid of the jar that are equally as strong and some superglue. All you will need to do is attach the long magnet to the underside of the hanging cabinet or shelf with short wood screws (be careful on this step not to hurt yourself or puncture through the bottom of the surface). Next you will glue the small magnets to the lids of the jars so that they can stick to the magnet you just attached to the underside of the cabinet. Once the glue has cured, you can then put the lids back on their jars (firmly) and then hang them from the magnet strip for easy access.

-Other Jar Ideas

There are thousands of ides for jars online. Search “ways to upcycle jars” and you will find more than you could imagine. There are even accessories being sold so to further enhance the use of your jars.

Towels into Bags

We all have that one towel that has overstayed its welcome. You know the one, that towel that has a few holes in it, or the one that has a bleach stain etc. Well, here is an idea for you when it comes to those trash bound fabrics. Why not turn them into a bag? It is a simple procedure, all you would need to do is fold it in half and sew all but one of the ends together (preferably the one that is pointing away from the fold in the towel) and then you just need to sow a couple of handles to the bag’s mouth. (Be sure to follow any and all safety instructions when sewing).

After that all you need to do is pull it inside out and you have yourself a bag for the next time you go to the beach, the pool, or for a picnic.

Cork Trivet

Now, you may be wondering, ‘what is a trivet?’. Most of us know trivets as potholders or hot pads. Whatever you call it, their purpose is essentially the same, keep hot things from damaging the surface of a table or counter. Now, traditionally, a trivet would be made of metal, but for our sake, all things that you put between a pot and a burnable surface we will call a trivet.

Now, a cork trivet is a pretty simple thing to make. All you need are about 10 - 15 corks from wine or sparkling cider bottles and some superglue. What you will do is glue all the corks together in whatever design you want. They can be standing tall or lain on their sides, it all depends on what you like.

So, there you have it, the last part of our Boise recycling series. These ideas are for you to use as long as you do so carefully. Never do any of these projects without the proper safety precautions and safety knowledge. Especially when cutting, sewing, or using superglue.

If you want to know more about Boise, contact one of our great agents. They are licensed real estate agents with years of experience and training under their belts. They can help you buy or sell a home easily. So, if you are interested in Boise real estate, give us a call today!

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