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Although aluminum cans might not be the most convenient type of packaging if you are on the go, it can often be one of your best options for storing different foods and drinks. Unfortunately once the can is empty it becomes an issue for most people, so to be self-sufficient you need to learn ways to reuse aluminum cans.
Cans provide durability in the sense that you can just toss an aluminum can in your bag, it will stay intact, survive most rough handling and not spill. The best quality of a sealed can is that it provides the extra benefit of a much longer expiration.
However, empty cans simply take up a lot of space. Even when using can crushers to compress them can cause inconvenience. The crushed can will still take up precious storage space. Thankfully there are other ways how you can utilize your empty cans that are extremely useful. Particularly to those who are interested survival preparedness or who want to adopt the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
Amazing Ways You Can Reuse Aluminum Cans
Soda Can Dish
One of the simplest ways to reuse aluminum cans, especially in survival conditions, is to make these cans into dishes. You can turn an aluminum can into anything from a cup, to a dish or bowl. You just need to know how to do it. It is easy to make a cup; all you need to do is to take off the top of the can. You may want to sand the edges down a but after that! 😉 But making a bowl includes a few more steps.
- Make a hole at the top of the side that will allow you to easily cut off the top of the can.
- Cut off the top of the can
- Bend the top slightly so there are two small folds on the sides of the can. These should be directly opposite each other. These bends become a guide for you to cut straight lines down the sides of the can.
- Cut a few more straight lines so you end up with 8 or more strips that can be folded down.
- Carefully spread out the strips into a rough fan shape.
- Fold each of the strips down and over the one next to it so the sharp edges of the can are all gone.
- Now you can safely use your new aluminum dish.
- What this video for a visual instruction:
Soda Can Stove
For those who aren’t satisfied with simply using their can as a dish can try turning them into a soda can stove. It is quite easy to make a stove out of empty soda can. This is also one of the most fun, and useful, ways to reuse aluminum cans.
There are thousands of different tutorials and how-to’s on the internet. Just search and find the one that best suits your needs and craftiness skills. A soda can stove can easily rival those store-bought camping stoves. You will to pay much less to make one and they weigh far less than traditional camping stoves.
Soda Can Battery
You can even make a soda can battery from any aluminum can.
- First empty the can and cut off the top of the can so it forms a kind of glass shape.
- Use either wire wool or one of those non rusting metal pot scrubbing sponges (like you use to scrub your pots and pans clean) and wrap it into a piece of paper towel and place it inside the can.
- Take small crocodile clips and fasten the positive end of them to the wool or the metal sponge you stuffed inside of the can.
- Pour some water inside of the can so it is filled to the top, clip the other end of the crocodile clips to a multimeter and you will see that the can is producing electricity.
- If you want to increase the voltage just pour some 20% sodium hydroxide in to the can as well and you will be able to light up at least multiple 4 watt LED lights.
Think of the possibilities if you make several of these types of soda can batteries.
This article was graciously submitted to us by Jeremy Collins. Jeremy is the owner of dorecycling.com, a website about green lifestyle, recycling and more particularly about tools that make recycling more effective.