Friday, September 06, 2013
By Angela Colley, MoneyTalksNews.com
Americans consume an average of 44 gallons of soda, 27 gallons of coffee, 7 gallons of tea, and 20 gallons of beer per year.
The problem is, if your house is anything like mine, not every beverage you buy ends up being consumed. I’m always finding half-full cups of coffee, watered-down tea, or unfinished beer in my house. In a perfect world, that wouldn’t happen, but I’m a realist. Sometimes there’s going to be a little left in the bottom of the cup (or leftover grounds in the pot).
But rather than waste it, I reuse it. I like to think of it as upcycling. Here are some examples:
- Stain wood. Dab a washcloth in coffee and run it over a scratch in your wood furniture or hardwood floor. The coffee will stain the scratch and help blend it in.
- Kill the garlic and onion smell. After cooking with garlic or onions, rub used coffee grounds on your hands and wash with soap. No more smell.
- Keep bugs away. Used coffee grounds act as a natural barrier to insects. Line your garden or potted plants and keep pests out.
- Fertilize plants. A friend once told me to mix coffee grounds in the soil for tomato plants. I tried it and grew a crop of gorgeous tomatoes.
- Stop fridge odors. Coffee grounds act like baking soda in the fridge. Pour a cupful into a bowl, stick it on the top rack, and the grounds will absorb odors.
- Soak pots and pans. For grease and burnt-on food, fill the sink with warm water, drop in two used tea bags and soak the pan overnight. In the morning, the pan will scrub clean easily.
- Reduce under-eye circles. Pop leftover tea bags in the fridge. After they’ve completely cooled, place the bags over your eyes for 10 minutes. The cooled tea will reduce puffiness.
- Shine your shoes. Gently rub a used tea bag on your dark-colored shoes in a circular motion, then buff with a dry towel. The tea will clean your shoes and add a little shine. Warning: Liquid can damage suede. Use this trick only for leather or imitation-leather fabrics.
- Clean glass. Fill a spray bottle with half leftover tea and half water. Spray the mixture on windows and wipe off with old newspaper. You’ll get a streak-free shine without all the chemicals.
- Soothe skin. Tea can soothe irritation from poison ivy, sunburns, razor burns or bug bites. Just soak a cotton ball in cool tea and dab on.
Read more: RECYCLE BEVERAGES