Learning to reuse, repurpose and upcycle items extends the lifetime of those things and cuts down on creating waste.
Reuse (also known as repurposing or upcycling) is one of the three R’s for the environment: reduce, reuse and recycle. The goal of the three R’s is to protect the planet by eliminating waste.
Using something multiple times in a variety of ways reduces the amount tossed into landfills and decreases manufacturing needs. Reusing also conserves resources and decreases harmful emissions— both good indicators that you’re shrinking your carbon footprint.
Do your part by reusing, repurposing and upcycling. Get creative when it comes to items you want to toss.
- Donate. When pairing down anything from your home—towels, appliances, furniture, clothes, décor—be sure to give someone else a chance to put it to use.
- Be crafty. Broken crayons can be made into candles (great teacher and family gifts during the holidays).
- Paper smart. Used paper is good for art supplies, making lists and leaving notes for your family.
- Nix plastic wrap. It can only be used once, so hard containers are the way to go.
- Rechargeable power. Single-use batteries are quite wasteful, while rechargeable ones can be used over and over.
- Storage ideas. Old jars and containers can be helpful when it comes to loose cords, small toy collections or craft supplies.
- Afterlife for tires. You won’t believe how many ways you can put old tires to use.
- Extending the life of wood. If you’ve replaced a deck or torn down a fence, you’ve got a good pile of firewood or supplies for a backyard fort.
- From the bathroom to the driveway. When bath towels lose their absorbency, give them a second life as car-washing supplies.
Being resourceful helps find ways to use items multiple times. Reusing, repurposing and upcycling gets easier and easier the more you do it.
Find other easy tips for leading a green lifestyle in the blog “7 Ways to live greener.”