I try to buy in bulk, we get a CSA box, shop at farmers market and I am learning to make bread, etc. All of these things help reduce the amount of wasted packaging that we bring home. However we still get a considerable amount of empty bottles, plastic containers and cardboard boxes. So I started a new bag of stuff that can be washed and reused, here are some of the things we have reused so far.
Medicine bottle: Small soap container for camping or milk container for kids kitchen
Plastic fruit container: storage container, snack container, kids craft: www.notimeforflashcards.com/2010/08/aquarium-kids-craft.html
Cardboard box: Kids toy, packing box, storage
Water bottles: Lady bug carrier (to bring lady bugs home from camping to our garden).
Egg Carton: Kids craft or seed starter
Many containers also make great sand, dirt or water play toys.
This blog post was inspired on this weekends camping trip. We went car camping with friends in the Sierra Nevada's. It was tons of fun and the kids had a blast. We camped by a creek but it was not at a campsite with amenities, so we had to bring all our water and pack out our garbage. So we brought reusable plates, water bottles, etc. Our friends (who are great people just not so good at the 3 R’s) brought a huge thing of plastic water bottles, paper plates, etc. and completely did not understand why we would spend a few minutes washing the plates in the creek rather than throwing paper ones away. So at the end of a two day trip we had 2 bags of garbage, which we had to pack out in our cars. I don’t like to be wasteful at home, but when I am camping and enjoying nature with my family I feel even more guilty.