Photo by Mike Martin Wong
How many of you have expired credit cards that either sit in your drawers, or you have cut up and thrown in the trash? These plastic wonders that allows us to say “charge it” can sit in our landfills for a very long time. Is there another way to reuse them rather than throw them out?
I was faced with this very situation with two weeping credit cards that had passed their useful lives. They begged me not to shred them, and they knew their pleas would be heard. They of course were dealing with an old green softie like me.
I promised them that I would rack my brain to see if I could reuse them in some way. “Don’t give up hope,” I assured them. Unfortunately, my clever hat was on the fritz that day, and I turned to the internet to see what others were suggesting. Here is what I found:
1. Use your credit cards as an ice scraper. A little small but could do the trick if you don’t have a scraper available. I would imagine this would only work with a thin layer of frost.
3. Use the corner of the credit card as a guitar pick if you can’t find your pick. See this article on The Plastic Spork Blog, The Internet’s Most Popular DIY Site For Plastic on how to make your own pick. (Who would imagine a DIY plastic site?)
4. Clean you nails with the edge of the credit card.
5. Use your credit card as a straight edge like a ruler.
(Tips #1-5 are from The Frugal Law Student)
6. Make your credit cards into a small planter. See the following tutorial on Instructables. (Via Jenny up the Hill) I wonder if you can use those magnetic cards you get from business for the back of the planter to secure it to a refrigerator?
8. Use the credit cards to scrape gum off floors, or remove dried glue and hardened candies.
9. You can punch holes in the credit cards, and use them as large tags to identify your belongings such as luggage, briefcase, or kids’ coats. According to the commenter, you could sand the credit cards to make them paintable. I love this idea; however, does anyone have an idea how to degrade the numbers?
10. They are also good for scraping off wallpaper.
11. Use a credit card to scrape off old paint after you have applied a paint remover. Consider using a soy-based paint remover. (My suggestion after reading the wall paper suggestion.)
12. Give your expired cards to your children to use to play. However, scratch the numbers off for security purposes.
13. Use as a scraper to apply wood filler, spackle or grout.
14. Use the credit cards as a shoehorn.
15. Use them for making clay sculptures. You can use a credit card as a tool to smooth down a clay surface or cutting grooves in the sculpture to make a textured surface.
16. Use a credit card as a knife to cut food. (Wash it first…)
17. Use them to make a house of cards doll house. ( Via Connie Prater in her article on Taking Charge, a CreditCard.com blog) She concluded such a house “would be expensive real estate when you add up how much you spent on the credit cards.” How true.
Finally after reading about all of these suggestions, a light bulb went off in my head. Here is my suggestion:
18. Use them as either seedling or plant markers. I made two different markers. One I cut into a flag and put the name on the flag part with a marker. The second time, I just cut ¼” strips, which was more efficient than making the flags. I wasted less credit card material. I also wrote the name of the plant on the strip.
In both case, I cut a “v” at the bottom so that the marker would stay in my small seedlings balls. You can make the strips as big or small as you need. My seedling starters are very small. Since I basically grow the same vegetables year after year, I can reuse the markers.
Do you have any suggestions to add?
- Plastic Gift Card Recycling: Convenient but Reduce the Enviro Impact
- How to Recycle, Reuse or Cash in Your Gift Cards
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- How Would You Reuse Articles That Would Ordinarily go into the Trash?
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