January 24th, 2012

3 Creative Ideas for Reusing and Repurposing

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Repurposed toilet paper rolls

The saying goes: “One person’s trash may be another person’s treasure.”  We live in a use-and-toss society where most of the time we don’t give a second thought to using an item once and then tossing it. If we stopped before tossing we might realize that some of those items that seem ripe for the trash  can be repurposed into something completely different for our own use. That trash could become our own treasure.

Why repurpose or reuse?

Repurposing something is different than recycling. Recycling is the process  by which old goods are re-manufactured, allowing them to be turned into new products. Reusing or repurposing is taking a product that’s already in existence and lengthening its life by using it for something new.

Reusing can help keep our earth healthy and green.

  • Reusing something keeps it out of an overflowing landfill.
  • Reusing conserves natural resources.
  • When you reuse a product you consume less. This will ultimately save you money over time.
  • Reusing a product reduces your health risks. In most cases, an item already in circulation has  off-gassed its harmful VOCs (that “new” smell).

Many of us are already in the habit of using reusable bags when we head out to the market. This is a fantastic step in the reusable direction. There are many other ways to reuse a product. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Toilet paper rolls for planting seedlings

repurposed toilet paper roll

No need to buy peat pots when you can make your own biodegradable pots out of something you already have in your home — toilet paper rolls. Cut the rolls in half and fold in the bottom of the roll as shown above. Add soil and seeds and you have your very own peat pot.

Wooden clementine box for stuffed animal or doll bed

repurposed clementine box

We go through a lot of clementines in our house and they usually come in a wooden crate to prevent the fruit from being crushed. If you have a few of these crates lying around they can be repurposed into an adorable little stuffed animal or doll bed.

Empty glass jars repurposed for storage

repurposed glass jarsEmpty glass jars can be repurposed into storage containers for nails, screws, bolts and other hardware. Different sized jars can also work well for food and spice storage.

What have you repurposed?


[Photo used under Creative Commons from Girl in Gear Studio, How Can I Recycle This/Flickr]



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