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Old 01-05-2009, 07:41 PM   #41 (permalink)
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New reuse: Batteries...

Wait for it.. wait for it... wait for it... wait for it... Ok.

My dad was about to toss out a cordless phone - which I neglected to take pics of - that has been sitting around for about 2-3 years, unused, but it was fully charged when it was disconnected 2 years ago.

I showed him something that I consider a "life hack": The battery packs in cordless phones are ALWAYS multi-cell Ni-MH packs... meaning they can be broken into AA or AAA or 1/2AA or LR3 battery parts.

That said - he told me that if I wanted the batteries, I should keep them, as he was just going to toss them out. So, I now have 3 AAA "Green" Batteries, two of which are powering my DVD remote. They still showed 1.12V each after sitting for 2 years... now THAT is a shelf life, considering they're only 1.2V fully charged. (3.6V pack/3AAA cells).

Pics attached.

PS MPaulHolmes - that ohmmeter you see there is the one I finished the job with... it cost me $24 about 4 years ago I think.

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Last edited by Christ; 01-05-2009 at 08:13 PM..
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Old 01-05-2009, 08:17 PM   #42 (permalink)
Moderate your Moderation.
 
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There are many many batteries out there that if you'd look around - you could get alot cheaper... like watch batteries.

Check out an LR6 battery some time... it's a stack of 4 1.5VDC button cell batteries in a foil wrapper, which equals 6VDC.

Just about every Ni-MH battery pack I've ever taken apart has had a series of standard-cell batteries in it. it's only a "pack" because they're wrapped up and have tab-leads soldered to them, which is quite easy to take care of.
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:08 PM   #43 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christ View Post

Does anyone take their plastic grocery bags back to the store?

I often shop at Aldi, where I don't use plastic at all.
Plastic supermarket bags are being phased out here and replaced with "green bags" so named because of the colour.
They are woven fabric and cost less than one dollar.
They are sold at cost price by the supermarkets who charge a fee for plastic bags. The fee is donated to an eco group on a state by state basis.

The uptake of green bags is fairly successful with around 75 % using them "every time they shop" and around 90% using them "most times" according to surveys done by the supermarkets.

Pete.
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:18 PM   #44 (permalink)
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I see lots around here who shop at ALDI and similar places re-using the more durable bags that cost $0.15 each to buy, and I see very few who bring fabric wal-mart bags back to the store with them.

I think what you've mentioned would be a great idea over here as well, but I'm not sure if the people in this country can be "bothered" to remember to bring the stupid bags back - which means they'll buy more of them, and end up either throwing them away, or get upset and complain about the "new" stuff, until companies falter and reinstall the old ways. It's happened to several stores around here.

I honestly think that plastic bags should have a deposit on them... or at least a tax. Even $0.01 per bag for a tax... $0.50 if it's a deposit (obviously more than the bag costs.)

I love paper bags, because they're so reusable, and they make great fire starters for wood stoves and such.
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:23 PM   #45 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piwoslaw View Post

My brother-in-law's friend ordered a printer, but it didn't work, so he called the company. They sent him a new one and didn't want the old one back. So my brother-in-law took the busted one. It didn't work because a piece of packaging styrofoam was blocking the carriage. He took it out and now has a new printer/scanner/copier.
Speaking of printers...the replacement cartridges from my antique Hewlett Packard printer are more expensive then a new printer / scanner / copier / fax machine also from HP.

Grrrrr.!

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Old 01-05-2009, 09:30 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Printers use the razor blade strategy - They take a pay cut on the printer itself, knowing that you'll have to buy ink and other supplies for it, which are normally severely over priced.

As of the advent of refilling ink cartridges, and recycled cartridges, etc, prices have balanced out quite a bit though, so the cartridges and printer both tend to represent a standard mark-up from invested/production costs.

I believe our printer/flatbed scanner/copier cost about $40, and it's a great quality piece. I also believe the ink cartridges (two of them, black/color) cost around $15 each. I'll definitely be refilling them, as my wife makes several copies of certain things for school study sheets and work sheets.

I'll buy her the color cartridges though, since color is only used for photos, and the refilled cartridges are normally less vibrant.

I guess this substantiates another re-used item - black ink cartridges.

PS - I refill with soy-based inks.
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:42 PM   #47 (permalink)
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I do pretty well with refilling the black cartridges, but the colors don't work so well. Also, some of the later printers apparently need a little pressure/vacuum to work right, and sometimes the colors end up being a mess.

We recycle the grocery bags, along with a lot of other stuff, but my favorite reuse is the peanut butter jars used as nut/bolt/small item holders. I probably have 30 in use out in the shop now, and 10 more in waiting.

You can see into the jars (labels are removed) as you walk up to them; the lids keep stuff in and out; and the bigger ones work well as "job jars!"
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:52 PM   #48 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christ View Post
I see lots around here who shop at ALDI and similar places re-using the more durable bags that cost $0.15 each to buy, and I see very few who bring fabric wal-mart bags back to the store with them.

I think what you've mentioned would be a great idea over here as well, but I'm not sure if the people in this country can be "bothered" to remember to bring the stupid bags back - which means they'll buy more of them, and end up either throwing them away, or get upset and complain about the "new" stuff, until companies falter and reinstall the old ways. It's happened to several stores around here.

I honestly think that plastic bags should have a deposit on them... or at least a tax. Even $0.01 per bag for a tax... $0.50 if it's a deposit (obviously more than the bag costs.)
One of the supermarket chains in my area offers a 5 cent discount for each reusable bag you bring with you to bag your items.
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:59 PM   #49 (permalink)
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Coffee Cans FTW!

Peanut butter jars are great - you nail/screw the lid to the bottom of a cupboard, and put something in it.

Babyfood jars and small glass (matching) jars with metal lids are great as well, you can use them in the kitchen to organize bits of spices and such.

Beer bottles - Clean them up good, like you're going to take them back to the distributor for your deposit - but instead, let it dry, twist a cap back on that has 4 or 5 holes drilled in it (salt/pepper shaker)

cardboard beer can/soda can cases - make awesome material for making templates and mock-ups, easy to manipulate, easy to cut, free if you mess up.

And here's today's longshot reuse:

If you have a can of peanut butter that sits in the heat for too long, it may separate partially, and you'll end up with oil on the top.

First of all - don't throw it away, it just became slightly healthier for you.

Second of all - drain that oil into a container. The next time you're polishing your car, and you notice the graying rubber trim on your car, remember where you put that peanut oil - it will recondition the rubber and make it black again!
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Old 01-05-2009, 10:00 PM   #50 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Formula413 View Post
One of the supermarket chains in my area offers a 5 cent discount for each reusable bag you bring with you to bag your items.
It's not price chopper is it? They did that when I lived in NY.. but I think it was 3 cents each.

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