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Creative Ways to Reuse Soda, Beer Cans

Beer can lantern

If you follow my blog regularly, you know that I’m a big fan of offbeat holidays and an even bigger fan of finding creative ways to save money by reusing stuff that most people just throw away. And I may have also mentioned once or twice that, on occasion, I enjoy a nice cold beer. So you can imagine my excitement when I recently discovered that Jan. 24  is officially “National Beer Can Appreciation Day.” (I kid you not.)

In fact, National Beer Can Appreciation Day has actual historical underpinnings, commemorating the very day – Jan. 24, 1935 – when the Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company became the first brewer to sell beer in cans. Perhaps you were out sick the day they taught that fact in 10th grade history class?

WATCH: Jeff’s YouTube show ‘The Cheap Life.’

Of course the most practical way to reuse beer cans or any aluminum cans is to simply make sure they get recycled. Recycling cans requires 95 percent less energy than manufacturing them from virgin ore, and an astonishing 105,784 cans are recycled every minute here in the U.S.,  according to the Can Manufacturers Institute. Curbside recycling is now available to the vast majority of American households, and you can also sell your aluminum cans to some recyclers (check the Yellow Pages under “recycling,” “scrap metal,” and/or “salvage”). Selling your aluminum cans won’t make you rich – you’ll currently earn only about fifty cents for every thirty or so cans you sell for scrap – but it’s one way to generate a little extra beer money!

Then there are the more creative ways some people repurpose beer cans and other aluminum beverage cans:

Coming of age in the 1970s, “beer can hats” were fashionable (well, at least if you grew up in rural Ohio), and today if you search online you’ll find that crotchet enthusiasts are still using aluminum cans to make not only hats, but purses, tote bags, and a host of other aluminum-clad items. (NOTE: Be extremely careful when cutting aluminum cans as the edges can be very sharp, so always wear work gloves and take other safety precautions.)

So on Jan. 24, raise a glass … er, can… and toast National Beer Can Appreciation Day.

Photo credit: Jeff Yeager