Empty cans...

Britesea

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I was thinking that I might be able to use some to warm up my garden beds a little faster in the spring, by spray-painting them black and partially burying them in the soil and filling with water (maybe with a bit of clear plastic on top to stop the water from evaporating away.) The heat from the water would radiate out into the soil, I hope. They would also work a hedge against late and early frosts.
 

Cindlady2

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The problem with using steel cans in the garden or with water... steel + water = rust!
 

Britesea

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well, that was partly why I thought of painting them... and the iron oxide wouldn't be such a terrible amendment to the soil either, would it?
 

Marianne

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~gd said:
Marianne said:
You need pop or beer cans (aluminum) for the can solar heater, not food stuff cansWhy is that? Sure aluminum Is a great conductor but food cans made of steel conduct pretty well. I can get paid for aluminum but steel cans can be hard to get rid of because of a the inside coatings that aare used to make them safe for food use. ~gd

You can use some of your cans as filler in large planters. I saw some pics a long time ago where someone made 'rocks' using cans wrapped in a couple layers of chicken wire, then coated a few times w/ lightweight concrete. On the same note, you could use them as filler for a concrete edging around your drive or flower bed, too.
Our local recycle center takes both types of cans. If you're going to take the time and trouble to make a passive solar heater, you might as well make one that performs well. http://builditsolar.com

Adding some iron to our soil here is a good thing!
 

Denim Deb

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Marianne, that looks like a neat site! When I have the time, I'm going to have to check it out.
 

Daffodils At The Sea

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Food cans corrode and aluminum doesn't, food cans expand and contract too much in cold and heat creating cracks and openings, aluminum cans are lighter and when you use several hundred you don't have to build a complicated support, the openings in soda cans are small so sealing them up to hold the hot air is easier. aluminum soda cans are seamless, food cans have seams that will eventually have small openings and let out heat. Soda cans are all one height and depth, so the finished heater size is easily contained.
 

mobius

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I take both ends off and use them around seedlings...easy to water that way and protects the seedlings in my garden...
 

milkmansdaughter

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I save the cans and sell them to recycle the metal. It doesn't bring in as much as aluminum but it adds up. It's a great way to teach kids to save and earn money.
 

sumi

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When I was in high school we used to collect empty cool drink cans and sell them for scrap metal. My dad made us a "crusher" so we could flatten the cans, which made storing them until we had enough for the trip much easier!
 
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