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Proper Green: Now there's an attractive idea!

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Household magnets aren’t recyclable, but with these ideas for repurposing, you’ve hit the lodestone!
Dear Proper Green,

Over the years old roommates have left behind magnets whenever they move out. At this point I have everything from mini calendar magnets to hideous magnets from places I’ve never even heard of! Can magnets be recycled, or do they have to go into the landfill?

-Sid K., Pigeon Forge, TN



Dear Sid,

At a loss for what to do with all of those magnets you’ve been collecting from old roommates, the dentist, and your local pizza delivery place? Don’t want to look at that “I went to Alaska and all I got was this lousy magnet” magnet any longer? Unfortunately you can’t recycle them, but they don’t have to go to the landfill. Instead, you can certainly put them to a number of other uses — like making better magnets!



Cut up thin flexible magnets and glue pieces to the back of interesting items:
  • Bottle caps
  • Coins from international travel
  • Rock pets
  • Old keyboard keys, for a do-it-yourself magnetic alphabet
  • Your favorite family photos or wacky pictures from the internet



Reuse your more powerful, but plain, magnets to repurpose other items:
  • Glue magnets to the lid of a small jam jar to make magnetic spice holders — these will stick to the front of the fridge, or even your oven door if it’s metal
  • Turn a tic tac box into a pen holder to keep a pen close to the grocery list
  • Turn a wine or champagne cork into a tiny planter for succulents
  • Keep a small LED flashlight close at hand

Not the arts and crafts type? Not to worry, you can take magnets to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army; you may not have need of them, but someone else may!

Do you have additional ideas for repurposing magnets? Let us know in the comments below!
About Proper Green

Proper Green is Recyclebank's green advice column. From promoting good manners in a green world (because ideas about what constitutes proper behavior and the environment are still evolving) to providing easy ways to make your every day more sustainable, Proper Green aims to help smooth the way with answers to questions that are important to you!

Do you have a question for Proper Green? Send inquiries to propergreen@recyclebank.com. Please note: Questions may be edited for clarity and length.


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Proper Green
Proper Green

Proper Green is Recyclebank's green advice column. From promoting good manners in a green world (because ideas about what constitutes proper behavior and... more