I often cut off the bottom of the gallon jugs I mentioned yesterday and use them to root plants. Four years ago I bought an impatien plant at a plant sale in my son's preschool. Since then, every spring I cut a whole bunch of pieces off the big plant and root them rather than buying new ones every year. Once the rooted pieces are established, I transplant them outside and they provide a durable, shade tolerant burst of color most of the summer. If you've never done this before, I think impatiens are the best plant to start with. They are very forgiving.
Unfortunately, I encountered a little problem with my rooting plans this year. I forgot to punch holes in the bottom of the container and I'd forgotten them outside in a downpour. My solution was unorthodox but it worked really well and the only tools it required were a candle, a nail and a pair of pliers.
First, I lit a candle. Then I placed the nail in the jaws of the pliers and heated the pointed end of the nail in the flame of the candle. After a few seconds of heating, I was able to push the nail through the plastic easily and create the misssing drainage holes! Water poured all over my kitchen table as I repeated this process with two other containers but I didn't mind at all. Its the little things that make me happy. BTW, my sister used the bottom of soda bottles similarly and you can punch holes in them the same way.
Newspapers (black and white pages only, not the pages with color), toliet paper tubes and dryer lint become fire starters for the woodstove. We are also going to give newspaper logs a try this year to augment our wood pile, although these will use wire to hold them together rather than toilet paper tubes. Since we don't get the newspaper everyday, I've enlisted the help of my extended family that does.
I've found ketchup bottles to be very useful. Old bottles from dishwashing detergent would work as well. We've also used these filled with water when we have a campfire. They are great for putting out stray embers.
There are trash items that I just haven't figured out a use for yet. Broken kids toys make up a large part of this category around here. Every few months, a purge takes place and I remove all the broken bits and pieces. I strongly suspect that the only toys young kids really need are a bicycle, a ball, blocks, books, paper and crayons.