I have often thought that the items in a typical kitchen trash can would be very useful on a desert island or in a catastrophic disaster. Much of what we throw away has more life in it – we just don’t need it generally, so it’s easier to throw it out. But if we were in a pickle, here’s a few ideas.
Those coffee filters offer grounds that can deter insects by being sprinkled on the ground or rubbed on your skin. The paper can be reused as a filter for water or juice.
Soda or beer can pulls can be snipped into fish hooks (see photo) and cans can be turned into small stoves (I have one, courtesy of the Boy Scouts!), or just used to store fluids. How to make a soda can stove can be seen in the video.
Glass is useful for refracting light to make fire by directing the sun’s rays at kindling. Or when broken for cutting things up, or for attracting attention by flashing a piece toward the sky, or in water.
Egg cartons are great for making small fire starters if you have lint and wax. Otherwise they make excellent seed starters. Just add dirt and moisture. If there’s lip balm anywhere, remember it’s a great source of fuel as it’s made from wax.
Used dental floss is gross but soooo useful. Tie your hook to some kind of fishing line with it. It’s strong and waterproof.
Batteries: they’re probably not totally dead so they and light a fire by using tin foil to make a spark and ignite your kindling.