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Uses for plastic straws

By on June 2, 2012
uses for straws

Plastic drinking straws are a popular summer product. Kids love them. But they’re a single-use product, which is incredibly wasteful. So when the kids are done sipping, rinse off their straws and use them around your home.
Here are a few suggestions:


Some assembly required:

When putting together a project with small screws, use cut sections of straws and push them onto the screws to make finding them easier once they’ve been set down.

Keep things from tangling:

String necklaces or ear buds through a straw to keep them from becoming tangled.

Yogurt on the go:

The yogurt in tubes can be costly. You can cut an X into the plastic lid of a yogurt container or press a hole into the foil that tops some yogurt cups and let kids sip their yogurt through a straw.

No-tangle yarn:

Reader D. Merrel from North Carolina shares: “Insert yarn into one end of a wide straw and suck the yarn through to the other end. Pull until you have a 12-inch “tail.” Go back to the other end and begin winding the skein of yarn around the end of the straw while turning the straw frequently, slowly forming a tight ball of yarn. When the skein is completely wound, use a crochet hook to pull the last bit of yarn through the wound yarn. Pull out the straw, and the yarn will feed untangled from the middle of the ball you have just made. The yarn can then be stored in individual Ziploc bags, which will also keep the yarn clean. When you’re ready to knit or crochet, just unzip a small opening to feed the yarn through and it will be ready to use. This also keeps the yarn from getting entangled with other colors in a handwork bag. You can even place the Ziploc bag on the floor if you prefer to work with the yarn at your feet. An added advantage is that the wound balls require much less space to store than the original skeins.”

Quit-smoking helper:

Hold a straw to mimic the holding of a cigarette. One reader, Suzanne from Oregon, shares: “I quit cold turkey a little over nine years ago. The straw method is the only one that ever worked for me, and when I decided I was ready, I really didn’t have a lot of cravings for them. When I did have a craving, I would either chew gum or chew on a straw until the urge passed.”

Hull strawberries:

If you don’t have a melon baller or a strawberry huller, use a straw to push out the center.

Straw necklaces:

Cut the straws into smaller pieces and let kids string them onto yarn or pipe cleaners to make straw necklaces or bracelets.

Outdoor pillows:

Another reader, Denise from Illinois, shares: “When we go camping and backpacking, we use two-gallon Ziploc bags for pillows. Just insert a straw and blow air into them to sleep. Let the air out to pack.”

Freezing foods:

If you don’t own a vacuum sealer, you can use a Ziploc freezer bag and a straw when freezing foods. Close the bag, but leave a drinking straw sticking out of the corner. Use the straw to suck out as much air as possible from the bag, then remove the straw, zip the bag closed and freeze.

photo by horia varlan

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