The usual protocol after drinking a can of pop (if you’re American, a can of soda) is to throw it in a bin and then go on about your day without feeling guilty because you couldn’t be bothered with trying to recycle. In today’s society, we should ALL be trying to reduce our carbon footprint where we can and simply finding new uses for your empty drink cans is a great way to do it. Not only are you helping the environment, but you are actually being creative by doing so.
10 – Make Clothes Using Can Pull Tabs
Above is a poster that was used for Aveda’s environmentally friendly solution to Fashion Week in New York City. The campaign consisted of dresses that were made by using sustainable and recycled materials; one of them being a dress made entirely out of 3000 can ping-pulls by the designer/illustrator, Alexis Chong. Why not take a leaf out of her book and create your own clothes using soda can tops, or even try to incorporate them into your pieces of clothing?
9 – Create Your Own Herb Garden
The next time you reach for that jar of mixed herbs in the cupboard…stop! How about going to your newly created herb garden that you recently created instead? Oh, you can’t as you haven’t got one have you? Well, why not create one! It’s the perfect project for one of those lazy Sunday afternoons that usually consist of flicking through the TV channels.
If you have children it is also a perfect excuse to teach your child about reusing and recycling and is exactly what Mummy Blogger Angela did (the person who made this). With a few bare essentials such as empty tin cans, potting soil, herbs and a little imagination, not only will you create a learning and bonding experience – which is rare on its own – but you will create a mindset for your child to become more creative and green in everyday life.
8 – Stove Made Using Empty Cans
The next time you go camping with friends or you have a few friends around in the garden, why not amaze them with your very own stove made out of two empty cans? Not only do the can stoves look great, they are inexpensive and have the potential to save lives. The video I have used explains how to make a can stove properly and shows the best way to go about making one.
7 – Create Beer Can Lanterns
Scented candles and oil burners are a thing of the past. What you want is your very own Beer Can Lantern, which will not only help brighten any room, but they give any room a unique ambience.
As one wrong snip could turn your newly beloved Beer Can Lantern into trash you need to be really careful when planning and creating your own. Unfortunately, there are no plans to follow, but with a little research and some trial and error attempts, you should be able to create a lantern that resembles just about anything.
6 – Handmade Handbag Made of Used Coke Cans
This handmade handbag that is created entirely out of coke cans is only a project for you hardcore innovators out there. Cutting corners and applying a half-assed and mediocre mindset will result in your finished project suffering and there may be the chance of slicing your finger clean off due to poor craftsmanship.
Don’t like Coke-Cola? Don’t worry, how about creating a handmade handbag out of Fanta cans, Coke Zero cans or even beer cans (now that’s an idea)? If you don’t want to go through the effort, you could always buy one which will help the environment also.
5 – Create Funky Can-Do Robots
Just like the herb garden above, these tin can robots are a great weekend activity for you and your kids to recreate with a hands-on approach. And again, teach your child how to make new crafts out of old things at the same time. Soon your children will see how fun recycling can actually be and they will recycle on their own.
This project is also great to test your creativity. As there are no guidelines apart from making your tin can resemble a robot, it is really up to your imagination how your final Can-Do Robots will look.
4 – Recycled Aluminum Pull Tabs Jewellery
Do you drink a lot of cans of pop (cans of beer)? If so the chances are you come into contact with a lot of ring-pulls then. These little pieces of aluminium have other uses than opening drinks and with your help, you can control their destiny. So instead of living on a tip site for eternity, they can go towards creating something unique and creative, such as jewellery.
So awaken your creative side and start collecting pop pull-tabs today. Not only will your new aluminium jewellery be a great fashion statement, it’s also light as a feather, tarnish free and you could also fool your friends and say you bought the jewellery from your local clothing store! You may be also quite surprised to learn that actress Kristen Stewart wore bracelets made out of ring-pulls and apparently still has it! If more celebrities did the same maybe we would all recycle and reuse more.
3 – Wall Art/Storage Units
How about gathering a bunch of these usually useless tin cans, cleaning them out, spray painting them (with truck-bed liner), fixing them together and then attaching them to a wall to create a twist on modern day art? Pretty cool, huh?
New Yorker, Harry Allen — who built up his own design studio in 1993 — is a product designer that creates unique pieces: from rollerskate doorstops and pig banks for Areaware and is one of only three American designers working with the Italian furniture brand Skitsch. Allen, who has always been a fan of the tin can created this one-off piece as shown above.
2 – Create a Solar Heater
Do you go through quite a lot of cans? Why not put them to good use and create your very own solar heater that has the potential to increase internal temperatures by 15+ degrees? There are slight variations in design, but a basic one should only take a day or so to build.
1 – Beer Can Sofa
OK, a couch made entirely out of beer cans isn’t going to go down well with the family and will no doubt look out of place in the living room, but it would sure go down a treat in “that spare room” you were allocated when you first moved in.
I cannot place my hands on the original creator of this beer couch or instructions on how to make it. However, the final version will not only make any man-cave complete, it will earn you a well-deserved beer.
As you can see, my list is pretty diverse, which means that recycling and reusing empty cans is possible and you can’t use the excuse that there isn’t much more they can do after they serve their initial purpose. With just a little creativity you can make some pretty amazing things with them.