Recycling for the Hobbyist
The good news is that there are ways to recycle for yourself- if you have time, tools, and know- how. In other words, if you are a hobbyist. Most things that can be recycled, can be recycled at home.
Most shipping materials can be re-used. If you receive things in the mail, save all bubble wrap, packing peanuts, , and the box or envelope itself (if it can be saved). You can use this material to ship things that you have sold, presents, and anything else that needs to be shipped. I have been shipping on Ebay for over a year now, and I have yet to buy anything more than tape. Some people have even used packing materials in crafts with their kids.
Some people have done some crazy things with aluminum cans. As long as you avoid covering your whole house and yard with cut up soda cans, you should be able to avoid the “crazy” stigma attached to them. There are many crafts to do with cans. These crafts include windmills, bird feeders (make sure that you have turned in the sharp edges so that the bird cannot hurt itself), and chimes. In addition to the not covering your whole house with cans, you can also paint them to get rid of the logos, so that no one knows exactly what you drank.
Many plastic bottles can be turned into vases or rain gauges. You just have to cut off the top and weight down the bottom. For a rain gauge, it is best to fill it with either concrete or sand (if you fill it with sand, wet the sand down so that the water is read accurately).
All glass can be recycled. Some bottles and other things can be re-used just as they are. You can turn bottles into vases and rain gauges like you can with plastic bottles. Broken or cut up glass has been used in the construction of some homes when the owner wanted it. Broken glass can be used in crafts. And a person with experience and the right tools can melt down glass and turn it into something else. Working with glass can be dangerous, especially if you are melting it down. Do not work with glass unless you have experience in the matter.
Most plastic can be worked with like glass can. If you melt it down, you can create anything you want, like toys and other things. Melting down plastic can also be very dangerous, so do try to be careful if you undertake the challenge.
All candles have leftovers when they are finished melting down. Use the leftover wax to help make new candles. You can re-use the wick holder if the candle had one. You can use the colored wax as a coloring agent in new wax. Just put the melted wax in a mold and insert the wick, let it cool, and you have a brand new candle.
There are many more possibilities for recycling for yourself. All can be done by hobbyists, many are dangerous, but with the right precautions, you can create neat stuff for yourself or a nice little business for yourself and help the environment at the same time.