Toilet paper and paper towels: great household tools, but there just really aren’t many desirable eco-friendly substitutes in a green living household, besides outfitting your bathroom with a bidet. It helps to be conscious of your toilet and paper towel consumption, of course. And forgoing the lotioned, cushioned, perfumed brands for unbleached and recycled paper will help. But you can also minimize your contribution to the landfill by recycling the rolls from your toilet paper and paper towel rolls. Here are some great, unconventional ways to reduce and reuse:

1. Cord Holder

Don’t buy plastic contraptions to keep your cords from becoming tangled. Make your own ridiculously easy recycled cord holder with the cardboard tubes from toilet paper or paper towels. And you can fancy it up with wrapping paper — perfect for saving those tiny leftovers not quite big enough to wrap a gift.  Use this trick for keeping string lights from becoming a tangled mess!

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2. Green Seedling Greenhouse

I love the idea of recycling products made from trees back into the garden. The diameter of a paper tube is the perfect size for sprouting seedlings! Why not make use of that leftover plastic produce container to make an ideal seedling greenhouse! You can just plant these Toilet Roll Seed Starter pots right into the ground. The cardboard will decompose as the plant grows.

3. Plant Protectors

Once those seedlings are growing strong in the garden, keep them safe from bugs and critters by making Plant Protectors. You can also place tubes around the base of young trees to keep them safe and provide support.

4. Bird Feeders

Don’t forget the critters who help with pest control in the garden! You can attract birds to your garden by keeping a source of food, like these awesome bird feeders made from toilet paper tubes, hanging on your trees during the lean winter months! 

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5. Napkin Rings

You may have already ditched the paper napkins for reusable cloth napkins, and now you can make them even prettier with these upcycled napkin rings made from leftover fabric scraps. Or, use up leftover yarn by wrapping the cardboard tube to make these cute napkin rings.

6. Art

You don’t have to spend a ton of money to redecorate your home! Get creative and make your own decor out of things you already have. Spruce up a boring old wall clock or make visually striking picture frames by adding scrolls made from recycledcardboard tubing, or make a faux iron gate to add interest to your walls. Better yet, make your own artwork by using foraged branches and cardboard tubes. Or just create cardboard tube art directly on the walls! How about a beautiful bouquet of cardboard thistles in a vase on your table? Let your imagination go wild!

7. Knitting

Got a knitting hobby and too many needles? Keep track of them all by storing them according to size in leftover cardboard tubes. Spool skeins into balls around tubes to keep yarn from getting tangled. You can even use the tubes and some popsicle sticks to make your own Spool Knitter!

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8. Gift Boxes

Never buy fancy gift boxes again! Make your own with this easy Cardboard Tube Pillow Box tutorial.

9. Tabletop Goodies

Protect your table tops by making beautiful and delicately scrolled drink coasters.  Or just cover the whole tabletop with this table runner.

10. Eyeglass Case

Cardboard tubing is the perfect size for one of the most important accessories for those of us who wear glasses: eyeglass case! Make your own fabric covered eyeglass case with this no-sew tutorial!

What ideas do you have for ways to reuse these little cardboard tubes?

Image source: Flickr