Of the three “Rs” in “Recycle Reduce Reuse,” reusing is probably the least thought-of action for sustainable living. However, “rethinking” used household items is great because it allows people to convert something that they were going to throw out into something that they can use. They can have a natural household and save money at the same time by rethinking something rather than purchasing a new product. According to the North Somerset Council, the reuse of products leads to people reducing their consumption as well, as they will not need to buy what they can reuse.
Save the Planet by Reusing Old Clothes or Towels
When people grow out of clothes or replace a wardrobe, there is no need for them to throw the clothes out. Not only can people donate clothes to family members or donation centers (like the Salvation Army), old clothes and towels can be reused.
Old towels and old clothes too ragged for donation can be used for cleaning rags. Reusing clothes and towels in this fashion reduces waste in landfills because the textiles are being used in place of one-use towels and wipes. This type of reuse is good for green sustainability because the reused items can be used over and over again. Old clothes are also more durable than one-use cloths, so they can make cleaning up messes easier.
Old towels and clothes can also be used for a pet’s towels or blankets. Pets are generally perfectly content with old rags. In addition, some pets may feel comfort smelling their owners through old clothes.
Clothes with nicer fabrics can be used for sewing projects. An inventive tailor or seamstress can turn old, destroyed clothes into nice, new clothes. Also, old clothes can be used to create push pins, pillows, pajamas, and other revamped versions of their former incarnations for more sustainable living.
Plastic Bottles and Jars: Reusable Containers
Though plastic bottles and jars can be recycled, recycling does require energy. Thus, the reuse of recyclable materials can be part of green sustainable design. Also, if people utilize reusable containers like plastic bottles and other containers instead of throwing them out, they will save money by not having to purchase new containers at a store.
Because plastic bottles should not be reused for drinking purposes, people can get creative with them and use them for crafting. Fun crafts for kids include filling plastic water bottles with colorful sand, reusing plastic bottles for science experiments, and reusing plastic bottles by covering them with colorful paper and glitter for a pretty container.
Glass jars are great for a wide variety of uses. Once they have been cleaned out and the tags have been removed, people can store just about anything in them. They are thus key components of a natural household.
Just about any type of food can be stored in a glass jar. People can help to save the planet by using a large jar to store meals that would otherwise be stored in plastic containers. Glass jars are perfect for storing soup, sauces, dry baking ingredients, candy, and dry pasta or rice.
Glass jars are also perfect for storing all sorts of household materials. Craft items, like buttons, paint brushes, and beads, can easily be stored in glass jars. And construction materials like nails and screws can be stored in these reusable containers for much easier access and sustainable living.
Reuse Junk for Green Sustainability
Some stuff is simply junk. It never has and never will serve an important purpose in its pure form. Materials in this category are the types of objects that no donation center will accept, and no one will want at a garage sale. Other junk materials include those that can be reused but are thrown out instead. However, instead of dumping these objects people can help to save the planet by getting creative with them.
A piece of artwork is more about the creation than the materials used to make it, but artists who reuse old objects can help to promote green sustainable design. Many objects that people throw away or recycle, such as aluminum cans, wrapping paper, cheap toys, and cardboard boxes, can be incorporated into artwork. An artist can take one person’s junk and turn it into a professional sculpture, a collage, or an accessory.
A person does not have to be a professional or hobby artist in order to reuse junk. Crafts for children and adults can incorporate it as well. For instance, children can decorate egg cartons to create caterpillars, or they can use strawberry crates to build a structure. Both adults and children can use “unusable” objects to create a fun or historical diorama.
Thus, the “reuse” part of “Recycle Reduce Reuse” is not only great for green sustainability, but it is also easy to do and budget-friendly. There are many more ways to rethink used household items: people only need to get creative.