No promises about the Elmer’s Glue

24th September 2008

This morning I used the last of some deodorant, and I felt victorious, like I had bested corporate forces that were waiting for me to buy another pack before it was time. I should have left this fateful stick in my gym locker, or dumped it from my bag in a hotel room, or found it dried and crunchy in a drawer crammed with confusing hair products.

For my next feat, I shall use the last of a bottle of honey before it becomes a bear-shaped crystaline brick, or perhaps consume an entire bag of ground-up coffee beans before they start tasting like dirt.

Then we’ll have a party. You bring the coffee.

17 thoughts on “No promises about the Elmer’s Glue

  1. Allison

    I feel the same way about my chapsticks. I use each tube down to the last waxy smear. Then as I toss the container in the trash I feel quite self-righteous. No chapstick maker is profiting from *my* sloppy chapstick habits!

  2. Avery Jones

    I totally agree. Once I learned that I can squeeze all of the product from the end of the tube, I found myself standing on my “almost” empty tube of favorite face cream to maybe get a small drop out before I purchase again.

    Let’s all band together to throwing away “almost” empty tubes!

  3. Erin

    A friendly (and/or high) guy at Peet’s once told this exciting fact about honey: it never goes bad. If it crystallizes, you can heat it to make it return to its former state. This gives me that special victorious feeling (like when I’ve scooped the bottom out of a lipstick, or burned a candle to the very bottom).

  4. jessica

    My favorite “down to the last drop” is lotion. Somehow I have a huge collection of lotions, basically all of which were gifts, and I can’t bear to throw them away. My ongoing project is consuming them one by one, going so far as taking the lid off in order to stick my finger into the bottle.

  5. elayne

    Because I am a bad mother, my son and I have chocolate milk every morning at breakfast. (I don’t do coffee or tea, and regular milk, early in the day, tastes off to me. He doesn’t like juice, so chocolate milk it is.) When the bottle of chocolate syrup is almost empty — when it starts making that farting noise no matter how long you’ve held it upside down and swung your arm to create a ?centrifugal? pull — I unscrew the cap and pour about a halfcup of plain milk into the bottle, recap it, shake it all up, then pour the chocolatized milk into our glasses, to dilute as necessary.

    My son, on the other hand, throws the container away when “it feels like it’s almost empty.” AHGHH!

    Jessica: I had a huge collection of lotions too, so much so that it was taking up too much space. I noticed that I usually used the one in the biggest bottle, leaving the smaller containers to … do whatever old lotion does. So, a few weeks ago I took the smaller bottles and, over the course of two days (lotion flows slowly) emptied them into the biggest bottle. I now have only three large bottles of lotion, all of which are the perfect texture (not too watery, not too thick, not too greasy or slimy), and smell HEAVENLY. The problem, of course, is that when I empty these out, I’ll have to go buy 48 lotions to mix together, to have any hope of replicating the scent and texture I’m enjoying now.

  6. sarah von

    Same! I am bound and determined use up (come hell or highwater) anything consumable that has come to a rest in my home. This currently includes:
    *a giant bottle of rum given to us by a girl from craigslist when we bought her mattress
    *two large tubes of curl-enhancing gel, despite my hair being patently opposed to curling
    *a can of lychees
    *a can of ‘grass jelly’ I bought in Chinatown to bring to a sushi party

    I fully intend to mix them together to create a signature cocktail.

  7. boredmando

    I have never finished a bottle of facial cleanser stuff. I always buy it thinking I will use it, but then I feel like it just makes me break out even more so I stop using it. I’m currently attempting to finish my bottle of Boire face wash. I’ve seemed to hit a plateau, but hopefully this post will put me back on track.

  8. Sarah

    I completely agree! As a consistently-in-debt undergrad student, I find myself using pens, highlighters, pencils, and even erasers far past the point in which most people would tolerate them- but at the same time, throwing out something that still has some use left to it just feels increasingly wasteful.

    This week I’ve finished off an entire tube of toothpaste and a stick of deoderant, and not only do I feel like my dollar has gone farther, but can feel extra-motivated to do it again.

    My next mission: use all of a coil-bound scribbler. (I always seem to abandon these around halfway through)

  9. Shevon

    You know, I combined the dregs of several shampoo bottles, and the result was really stinky. Maybe I need to learn the art of combining complimentary scents.

  10. Tori

    I made a new rule for myself last year, “To The End” rule. I use everything TO THE END! This was prompted by a spring cleaning upon which I discovered i had no less than 15 bottles of Bath and Body works lotion, 4 containers of floss, umpteen half-used conditioners and shampoos, etc. Needless to say, I haven’t had to hit up Rite Aid in a while. Saves money, space, and then I usually follow up by recycling the containers.

  11. The Scarlet Pervygirl

    It’s true about the honey. I read in a book about honeybees that a jar of honey has been found in an Ancient Egyptian tomb and the honey in it was *still good.*

    Honey doesn’t have enough moisture to foster bacterial growth, and, in addition, researchers are discovering that it has antibiotic chemicals in it. Derma Sciences, Inc., has made a bandage with honey in it that they say helps wounds heal faster.

    Also, my dad has found that sonogram-lubricant heaters hold round honey bottles perfectly and heat crystallized honey up to a warm and liquid temperature without making it runny.

  12. Sandy

    Same here. I had five half-used bottles of shampoo in the linen closet, just sitting there. Of course, each one had been tossed aside for a specific reason, but I made a commitment. It took four months, but they’re all gone, and I’m down to a new bottle of Pantene. I even used the Dove shampoo, which had developed, over time, the color and consistency of snot. That’s commitment to waste free living there, friends.

  13. Amber

    At my house that feeling is common but no less satisfying. My fiance and I use everything down to the last available iota. It’s like some kind of sick contest to see who finally caves and opens the new tube of toothpaste. (Meanwhile, the old tube could probably be used for breaking and entering. You know, if you didn’t have a credit card on you.) I haven’t decided if we do this because we’re so very frugal or severely mentally ill.

  14. Monkeysmom

    It is a strange satisfaction to finish off a product and place that container in the recycling bin without throwing any away!

    My weaknesses:

    I found that those semi-hard plastic tubes still hold a lot even when you can no longer squeeze stuff out of them. I always cut them in half so I can get all the stuff out, and keep the top (bottom?) slipped just over the other half to keep it closed. This can last for an extra couple days or even a couple weeks.

    I’m the same way with baking ingredients. We hate the cherry jam we got as a gift, so it went into coffeecakes donated to the school bake sale. Natural peanut butter that was rendered unspreadable by a houseguest (they poured off the oil instead of mixing it in) was made into cookies. Sticky marshmallows go into rice krispy treats. Nothing goes to waste if I can help it!

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