Recycling in Cuba. 10 things that Cubans never throw away

Cuba is an oasis of an ecological lifestyle. Not because it came to the Caribbean fashion of being eco. In Cuba, everything is missing and there are really few things that will go away without thinking “what can you do about it?”.

We are used to throwing away unnecessary things. We produce tons of harmful plastic, which we just as thoughtlessly throw away. Cubans are experts in fixing (eg 70-year-old American cars), but also from doing something out of nothing. They are forced by everyday life. The food is completely natural, because there is no chemistry. Vegetables and fruits are “ugly” but tasty because they ripen naturally in the sun. Whoever ate the avocado in Cuba probably spoiled the culinary reality of guacamole forever. Nowhere tastes as good as there. Let’s learn recycling from Cubans! See what you do not throw away in Cuba.

1) Plastic bottles

Crushing and throwing out a plastic bottle in Cuba is not a big scandal. It is advisable for tourists to drink bottled mineral water, so we produce a lot of these bottles. However, they should not be thrown away. Just put it next to the basket (at home) or completely throw it in the trash can, and someone with such a bottle will definitely take care of it. There are people who live from the sale of such bottles (for 1 Cuban peso).

And what about Cubans doing with bottles? Oh a lot! Here are some examples:

– Poured water with treated water is poured into plastic bottles every day and stored in the fridge for drinking. Cubans do not drink shop mineral water.

– Cubans take take-out food from state restaurants (if they do not eat everything). Such a cut bottle is then a container for food. If they used a box diet – or any diet;) – they would probably also use plastic bottles. Though … plastic boxes for food storage are becoming more and more popular, but only in more developed cities and towns.

– Empty bottle is used to sell coffee (by weight, in beans), or to sell yoghurt, which is a real rarity

– Beans in Cuba are bought just like potatoes in Poland once a year. In homes, for everyday use, it is stored in plastic bottles.

2) Glass bottles

It’s no secret that Cubans drink a lot of rum. It is popular in cartons, but above all in glass. Many people will never throw such a glass bottle. Cut off will serve as glasses!
3) Cans

The cans, like ours, are resold. Many people are living off such gathering. However, the inventive Cubans make souvenirs, jewelry and even purses from cans!

4) Plastic bags

Whoever was in Cuba knows perfectly well that plastic bags are a scarce commodity. Ordinary bags are washed and hung for drying. They will serve for many weeks. Black boss bags are a real rarity that will serve you for years!

There are also no garbage bags in Cuba. If they were, they certainly would not be thrown away! Street trash cans are emptied by throwing all the content onto the street, then someone who sweeps it and throws it in a bigger basket comes.

5) Tube from Pringles chips!

Ever since the island has been imported chips in tubes, Cubans have gained another container to store all sorts of things. No one would have thought of throwing a tube like that!

6) Food

Of course, you do not throw out food. First of all, there is no such thing as the expiration date, so the food has to be really broken so that the Cuban will find it unfit to eat. Secondly, the remains of food are collected as slops and fed to animals.

7) Clothes

Old clothes must be really old to get rid of them at all. However, if this happens, then the material will not end up in the trash can. It will serve as a washing rag or … padding for furniture. Patchwork fabrics are a Cuban specialty. Families, by any means 😉

From old clothes and shoes, every year, on New Year’s Eve, a doll is prepared, which symbolizes the old year. Almost in full (without shoes, of course!), The doll is solemnly burned as a symbol of forgetting everything bad in the past year.

8) Toothbrushes

When the toothbrush is really VERY worn, it will find its application for shoes. Not only for cleaning, but also for pasting.

9) Tube of toothpaste

The situation is similar with toothpaste. Worn out tubes are used to make a lamp during hurricanes, when power is often missing.

10) Newspapers

What can you do with the daily edition of a paper newspaper? This is probably not a difficult question. Newspapers land in the bathroom as toilet paper, which is still a scarce commodity.