Many have adopted recyclable waste management systems since the introduction of the EPA’s Reduce, Reuse, Recycle campaign. People remember to bring reusable bags on their trips to groceries as more places adopt plastic bag bans. Many are becoming aware of their ecological footprint. However, the Earth Day Network’s Footprint Calculator shows we can always do more to consume less. Also, you’ll save money by reusing items in your home. Here are some home items you can collect from trash and give a new lease of life and purpose many times over.
Glass Jars, Containers, or Cans
Many have been throwing glass and metal into the recycle bin, but we can do more if we cut down on excess packaging and waste by reusing them. Old coffee canisters and glass jars make excellent containers for bulk pantry items, bathroom containers, or desk organizers. There are virtually limitless ways to reuse mason jars beyond food canning. Even some pasta sauce brands use jars that are perfect for food preservation. Narrow necked beer bottles can be used as a set of drinking glasses. Coffee cans can make a good wine rack or display shelves.
Takeout Plastic Containers, Plastic Soda Bottles, and Gallon Jugs
Jugs and bottles are often used to store homemade natural cleaners. Still, with a bit of modification, you can turn those plastic containers into household items like this plastic bottle broom. Old soda bottles can make bird feeders. Plastic jugs can be modified as food bins, shoe cubbies, and dustpans. You can also make a reusable cell charging station or self-watering seed pots out of a shampoo bottle. Most takeout containers are sturdy and can be reused as dishwasher safe.
Paper Bags, Magazines, and Newspapers
There are tons of ways to repurpose all the paper in your life. Magazines and newspapers can be used as woven baskets and trays. Recycle magazines, grocery bags, and newspapers as wrapping paper. You can turn outdated calendar pages into compostable seed pots or DIY envelopes. And if you got the skills, make a great wood-like flooring with paper bags.
Clothes, Towels, and Bedding
Turn old bedding, clothes, and towels into washable cleaning rags. Or you may upcycle old clothes like turning torn t-shirts into great braided rugs. With necessary sewing skills, you can turn old flannels into reusable dusters.
Old dryer sheets can make excellent dusting rags, especially for scrubbing off soap scrum and polishing chrome. They work great for sucking up pet hair too. If you’re determined, you can even make them into a dress. Lint from the dryer can be turned into compostable seed pots, paper mache’ or even recycled paper.
Save the inner bag when the box of cereal is empty. Wash, dry, and cut to wrap sandwiches. Plastic bags can be reused as trash bins or pet waste bags. Better yet, upcycle those plastic bags into beautiful, sturdy reusable grocery totes.
Old toothbrushes you no longer use can be used to scrub hard to reach places, such as grout and underneath the fixtures on faucets. Or clean old toothbrushes and reuse as cleaning tools for your electronics or other hard to clean items. Repurpose empty toothpaste tubes as a funnel by cutting off the bottom. Or use it as a frosting tube for icing cakes.
Repair or refinish old furniture rather than tossing them. The wood of broken furniture can be used to do a lot of things. You can hang drawers on the wall to make shadowboxes, shelves, or bulletin boards.
You can cut down on your ecological footprint, save money, and repurpose your trash with just a little ingenuity.