If you read our last blog post – “The First ‘R’- A Lesson in Waste management”, you know that reducing the amount of waste we create is the first (and most crucial) step in targeting waste management. Now we will take a look at the second ‘R’ in the hierarchy, Reuse. Before we dispose of items we no longer need, it is important to first consider whether or not they can be reused. In some cases, items can no longer fulfill their original purpose, but with a little creativity, we can find new and unconventional ways to reuse old materials. This is often referred to as repurposing or upcycling old items.
Repurposing or upcycling your old materials is easier than ever now that you can search the web for millions of great ideas. Simply using terms like, ‘repurpose’, ‘reuse’, or ‘DIY’ (Do It Yourself) can provide you with hundreds of ideas on how to make you fall in love with your old stuff again. Here are some ideas on how to reuse common household items.
Use old pop bottles as small garden planters by cutting off the tops. Fill with soil and plant your seeds!
Paint old glass bottles or jars and use as decorative vases around the house.
Use old ice cube trays to store tiny items like buttons or jewellery.
Use bread tags to label wires behind desks or TV units.
Repurpose old dressers into media units, hutches, or shelving units.
If you cannot find a new use for your old belongings, be sure to donate them before throwing them out. Check to see if local thrift shops or charity organizations will take your belongings. And last but not least, if you must throw something away, check to see if there is a recycling program that will accept it first.