Ripe for reuse

Get ready to MacGyver old household items for everyday living

With a little creative repurposing, you can breathe new life into many common household items – including those destined for the trash. These clever recycling tips, as shared in the upcoming MacGyver School summer experience at Veterans Oasis Park, are good for the environment and your everyday life, too.

A timely emergency kit

When emergencies strike, your first concern is usually not the time of day. But, your timepiece can certainly help. Use an old watch as a handy, emergency kit by removing the inside gears and filling the empty space with first aid and survival tools. Consider stuffing it with items such as aspirin, bandages, dental floss, foil, magnets, paper clips and anything else of survival value that can fit into a compact space. You might not know what time it is but you’ll surely be prepared for anything.

An uncanny heater

Heat up your survival skills with a coffee can, roll of toilet paper and a pint of isopropyl alcohol. This makeshift heater packs enough jolt to heat a single room, and since it does not require electricity, it’s ideal for power outages or outdoor activities. Remove the cardboard from the roll of toilet paper, and slide the toilet paper bundle into the empty 1lb. coffee can. Be sure the bundle is just below the top of the rim of the can before pouring in the alcohol. The toilet paper roll will serve as a wick, soaking up all the alcohol. Drop in a lit match and your heater is ready to go. Now the next time your power goes out, you can just head to the pantry for an uncanny replacement.

A minty fresh snare

Good dental hygiene has more benefits than you thought. The same sturdiness that often makes dental floss uncomfortable on tender gums comes in quite handy in the great outdoors. Instead of using floss to get food out from between your teeth, it can actually be used to put necessary nourishment in you stomach. With a little science, and guidance from a City of Chandler environmental education instructor, floss can be turned into a snare for catching small animals. Bonus, mint flavoring is like candy to tiny game.

Ready to learn more? Check out the MacGyver School experience through the City of Chandler’s Parks and Recreation program at