There are a lot of things we can do without, but toilet paper is not one of them. Maybe you're one of those rare people who have made the switch to recycled TP (if you haven't we highly recommend it), but at the end of the day, we use a lot of it.
The New York Times reported earlier this year that Americans use 23.6 rolls of TP per capita per year—which, when you do the math, totals 7.2 billion rolls! And presumably this staggering number doesn't include commercial uses in places such as restaurants, hospitals and schools.
So with all those TP tubes just rolling around, Naturally Savvy got to work thinking of ways we could upcycle TP tubes. Sure you can save them for crafts with the kids, but there are tons of other practical uses we want to share with you!
1. Organize cords I have to give credit for this one to my aunt who has been using TP tubes to keep her hairdryer and curling iron cords in order for a long time now. She simply folds the cord into about six- to eight-inch lengths, then slides the bundle through the tube and tucks it into the cupboard to keep everything neat and tidy.
2. Organize ornaments A while ago a designer on a TV show recommended using polystyrene cups glued to a board for organizing and protecting holiday ornaments. I was pretty much turned off at the first mention of polystyrene, but the concept must have stuck in my mind because I recently realized TP tubes are the perfect alternative. Simply glue tubes side-by-side to a piece of cardboard pre-cut to fit in a storage box. When the glue is dry, set your new "organizer tray" in the box and your ornaments will stay safe and sound throughout the year. For smaller ornaments or a shallow box, just cut the tubes in half.
3. Gift tube When you're giving small gifts to friends and family, why not package them in a TP tube? Small baubbles, earrings, little toys and even gift cards or cash are all the perfect size for a tube. To make it special, wrap the tube with a piece of fabric or make it into a memory collage. Added bonus: the tube will help protect the gift.
4. Packing material When you're sending items by mail or simply packing for a move, nix the packing popcorn and bubble wrap for TP tubes! Just flatten them and then place them around the object you want protected. They'll try to expand back into a tube form which will provide stability for your breakables.
5. Tea Light Organizer Do you ever get annoyed with bags and oddly shaped packages of tea lights? Then we have an organizing tip for you! Take TP tubes and arrange them in a drawer or storage box, then drop in stacks of tea lights. It's a great way to keep different (natural) scents organized without becoming a slave to awkwardly stacked packaging.
Cara Smusiak writes on behalf of Naturally Savvy.com about how to live a more natural, organic and green lifestyle.