10 Sustainable Ways to Reuse Wine Corks

April 30, 2012

We have made it our mission here at Planet Forward to bring you new and fresh green ideas that are easy to implement. Over the past few weeks we’ve put together some great lists for how to reuse many things in your house including bread bags, old toothbrushes, mint tins, plastic cups and bread tags. Today we’ve got another great repurposing list. Everyone has corks left over after a bottle of wine and you never quite know what to do with them. Well consider that problem solved with this list of 10 sustainable ways to reuse your wine corks and give them a new life. These are also simple DIY projects that craft lovers will enjoy.

(image credit: patriciakaegi.blogspot.ca)

1. Corkboard: this is a fun a kitschy way to have corkboard in your kitchen. Simply remove the glass from an old picture frame and hot glue corks to the backing and you have a corkboard. Depending on the frame you use, you can hang it on a wall or stand it up on a counter.

2. Trivet: Cork absorbs heat well and makes perfect trivets. You can style corks in any size or shape you need and then hot glue them together. You can then place hot serving dishes on the trivet.

3. Garden labels: If you’re sick of your garden tags blowing away or withering when rain falls, use cork. Place a skewer in the end of the cork and it will help you mark your herbs and vegetables.

4. Place card holders: Corks make for a fun and inexpensive place cardholder. Simply cut them in half using a utility knife and then slice a small slit in them for the card. Another method you can use, is to cut a little off the bottom to make them stand upright and then cut the little slit in them for the card

5. Buffet or platter labels: Using the same method as the place card holder you can easily and inexpensively label any dish on a buffet. This is a great tip if you are having a wine and cheese party as it continues the theme into the décor by labeling the cheese with the wine cork.

6. Filler for shipping: instead of using packing peanuts or paper to protect items you are shipping, use cork. A bonus to cork is that they are lightweight and won’t add a lot of extra postage when shipping.

7. Floor saver: using a utility knife, slice the cork into rounds and place to the bottom of furniture so it won’t scratch your floors. This can also be put on the inside of cabinet doors to stop them from slamming. Great sustainable alternatives to store bought felt pads.

8. Pin holder: whether or not you make the corkboard on the list, a cork is a great way to store pins near your board. By placing the pins in a cork they won’t scatter if it drops as they would in a tin and they aren’t taking up space on the board.

9. Knife cleaner: instead of scrubbing with a sponge use a cork to clean your knives.

10. Table décor: Use your favorite vase to collect corks, it makes for an interesting decorative piece and give you a place to keep them until you have enough to choose a project.

These are some fun and crafty ideas to reuse cork while embracing a more sustainable lifestyle. If these suggestions don’t appeal to you, remember that cork is natural and can be recycled. But even recycling has an environmental cost just to conduct the process of recycling – it’s always better to repurpose and reuse. Anytime you find a way to repurpose something you already have on hand, you’re reducing your household’s carbon footprint and contributing to a healthier planet.
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