Do you fight over who has to change the toilet paper roll in the bathroom? What do you do with that little roll when it has outlived it's life on the spindle? Did you know that the average American family uses 119 rolls of toilet paper every year? That's a lot of Charmin! Up until 1890, toilet paper was sold in flat sheets but nowadays, the only way you find it in the US is in traditional roll form. So, since the average family has 119 empty cardboard rolls to deal with, here are a few suggestions as to what you can do with them!
1. Kids crafts are the most obvious choice in my house. They can be made into binoculars, toilet paper people, the turrets of castles, musical instruments, or the body of an animal. The possibilities are only limited by your child's imagination!
2. Use it to make homemade chalk. Mix plaster of paris, powdered tempera and a some water to make chalk. Pour the mixture into the rolls to mold. Let dry. Leave the roll on as a wrapper and peel as needed.
3. Fill it with rocks and wrap in pretty material to make a paperweight.
4. If you are a gardener, use them to start seedlings or protect young plants from damage when you transplant them into the garden.
5.Preserve your child's artwork by rolling it and gently inserting into the tube. It will keep it contained and you can label the outside with the child's name and date.
6. Make a fire starter for camping. Pack the inside with dried leaves and roll it into newspaper. Twist the ends tightly and place in the fire pit then light.
7. Use it to entertain your bird, hamster, or cat! You can stuff it with catnip and sew it up into material for your cat if he needs a little bit of encouragement.
8. Keep your old grocery store bags contained by stuffing them inside the paper tubes.
9. Check with your local preschool or daycare...they are always looking for donations of craft supplies!
10. Use them to organize your extension cords when not in use. Just fold the cord back and forth on itself a few times and slip into the paper tube. No more messy cords!
11. Add it to the compost bin...remember, your compost needs both 'green' and 'brown' things to be successful!
If you absolutely cannot find a creative use for it, try and recycle it! Many communities offer paper and cardboard recycling. You can find a location near you by checking out Earth 911. Remember, one paper tube isn't a big deal but 119 paper tubes per family really adds up in the landfill!
I love the fire starter idea! I also think storing your child's artwork is a great idea too. I have so many of these tubes saved up left over from our Easter crafts. I can't wait to use some of these ideas on ours.