A reader left a comment recently on my original (March 31, 2011) Keep It Out of the Landfill post, asking whether I can suggest any ways to recycle old refrigerator magnets. Great question, and one I wish I’d thought of myself.
Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:
- If they’re the flat, flexible magnets, cut them to whatever size you need and glue photographs or other scrapbook-y things to them. Keep them to use on your own refrigerator, or give them to family and friends.
- If you have a small business, cut them to business-card size and glue your business cards to them for distribution to customers and prospects. (I’ve bought business-card size magnets to use for this purpose. That’s why I wish I’d thought of the question myself.)
- Attach a magnetic strip or small magnet to the side of your desk to control stray paper clips.
- Keep one in your sewing kit to clean up needles and pins.
- Keep a couple in your tool box to hold screws while you’re taking something apart.
- Glue one to the end of a ruler — better yet, a yardstick — to retrieve small metal things that fall into awkward places. Keep one of these in the car to pull small objects out from under the front seat or the corner of the trunk.
- Use them for crafts: use the back pocket from an old pair of jeans to turn one into a notepaper holder or make a photo-frame magnet. (Check out this YouTube video.)
And if you exhaust all your own crafty ideas:
- See whether a local preschool/daycare center can use them. I recycle some weird household discards that way, and the daycare folks are delighted to have them. (See my July 26 blog post.)
- Offer them “free to a good home” on Craigslist or Freecycle.
- Get really good at reusing them, and you can probably teach a class on things you can do with them.
You may have been told to keep magnets away from your computer because they’ll erase your data. In the days of floppy disks, this was an issue, but evidently it’s no longer considered a serious problem. Check out this post from Greg Keizer of PC World. (Personally, I still don’t keep magnets near my computer. But I’m getting old and set in my ways, and I’d rather avoid problems than solve them.)
Anyone have more ideas about what to do with refrigerator magnets? Let me know, and we can share them.