Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
by Tabi Falcone
When an item in your home has run its course, what do you do with the item? Do you donate it, give it to a friend, or even throw it in the trash? Instead of getting rid of these items, have you ever considered keeping and then updating them for another purpose? The art of being thrifty is something that our grandparents embodied due to necessity, but that has been lost in more recent generations. By repurposing and recycling items that were originally purchased for one purpose, and using them for another purpose, you not only cut out waste being added into a landfill, you are also reducing your out of pocket costs. Below are a few examples of ways to find new uses for things you would otherwise throw in the trash.
You can easily make reusable bags (for shopping / groceries) out of old tee-shirts that you may not be wearing anymore but still hold a special place in your heart. Simply cut the sleeves off ½” from the seam, and turn under this edge to stitch a hem. Then turn the shirt inside out, and sew the bottom hem together. Voila, you now have a one-of-a-kind reusable shopping bag.
While you may not be putting them out for guests, even the dingiest of towels can have a new life as a cleaning or dusting rag. Because of their texture and original purpose of drying people off, they work great for cleaning up spills, and getting all the dust off your shelves and knick-knacks.
An Old Skateboard
Did your kid destroy the wheels on his favorite skateboard? You don’t have to throw it out! Flip it upside down and add a pair of furniture legs to it (which can be found online or at any local hardware store) to make a unique table. Depending on the size of the legs, this can be used for a mini desk, a plant stand, or even breakfast-in-bed table.
Empty Spaghetti Sauce Jars
Wash them out thoroughly, including the lids. Take the lid and find cute little plastic animals (either from your kids’ pile of unused toys, or the Dollar Tree) and super glue it to the top of the lid. Spray paint the lid/toy when the glue is completely dried, and then you can use these as adorable storage containers for anything from quinoa to cotton balls.
Old Pill Bottles
Prescription pill bottles are the perfect size for storing many things, such as bobby pins, batteries, headphones, and more. Soak them in hot soapy water to easily remove the labels, and then decorate to your liking with washi tape.
Wine or Liquor Bottles
Bottles that have a twist-off can be reused as soap containers. Clean off the glass first, then decide if you want it to be clear or spray painted. If you want to get really fancy, you can add designs on the glass with a hot glue gun which will make it look sculpted after it is painted. Then simply add soap and a dispenser top.