“Reuse, reduce, recycle” is a mantra used by many eco-conscious individuals. It’s not just a way to conserve energy and natural resources, but reducing, reusing and recycling can also be an effective means to save money.
You may recycle items on a daily basis, but you likely have many other items around the house that you can reuse and repurpose. By doing so, everyone can help reduce the amount of trash sent to landfills and help conserve resources used to manufacture new products. The following are some common household items that can be reused.
Containers: Glass jars and coffee cans are two examples of containers that don’t have to be discarded once the pasta sauce or coffee grains have been used up. Foodies who like to make their own sauces or spreads can repurpose pasta sauce jars into storage for their homemade foods, while coffee cans may be upcycled in a variety of ways for organization and storage. There are endless crafty repurposing ideas for empty containers available online.
Plastic milk jugs/water bottles: Don’t just toss the bottle when you’re finished. Gardeners can turn gallon milk jugs into watering cans for their gardens or create a scooper from the empty carton. Whenever you need to melt ice on your steps, dig in the garden or clean up after your dog, just scoop and toss. Water bottles can be reused to water indoor plants or make plastic bottle
cases to hold pens and coloring supplies at home. Impress your kids with your sustainable efforts.
Takeout containers: Canadians produce about 3.3 million tonnes of plastic waste every year – equivalent to the weight of 25 CN towers. But plastic takeout containers need not be used once and discarded. Those that are sturdy and stackable are great for storing leftovers and travel snacks. They’re also handy in the pantry for storing dry goods such as beans and grains. Many such containers are microwave and dishwasher safe but that doesn’t mean you can use them like regular ceramic or glass, or subject them to super high heat. If you wash them in your dishwasher, they should go on the top rack only.
Toothbrushes: An old toothbrush is surprisingly useful for a lot more than just cleaning your teeth. In lieu of discarding your toothbrush once it’s no longer effective, repurpose it as a tool for cleaning small items or hard-to-reach spots. Toothbrushes can be used to spot clean fabric stains, between the keys of your computer keyboard, for jewelry, to clean around toilets or to scrub grime between bathroom and kitchen sink fixtures or tiles.
Many inexpensive items that people are accustomed to discarding can be reused and repurposed, which can help remove garbage from landfills and reduce the amount of plastics that find their way into the world’s oceans.