Most environmentally conscious individuals are well aware of the basics of living green; refuse, reduce, reuse, repair, recycle, and rot. Keeping these things in mind while choosing products for your home goes a long way toward reducing your carbon footprint on our planet. You can apply these principles to nearly every item in your home, but finding a way is tricky sometimes. If you find you have some of the following products lurking around your home, below are 9 ideas for repurposing everyday household items you probably haven’t considered!
1. Butter Wrappers
Keep those wrappers from your sticks of butter! Store them in a container or Ziploc bag and pull one out to grease your cookie sheets and pans instead of using cooking spray.
Approximately 2 billion disposable razors are thrown into our landfills every year according to the EPA. Do your part to cut down on this by increasing the shelf life of your razors. After each use, rinse your razor and give it a quick blast with your hairdryer. A dry razor will stay sharp longer and avoid rusting; giving you up to twice as many shaves from each blade. Once your razor has passed it’s prime, use it to shave pills from your sweaters.
3. Tissue Boxes
There are hundreds of clever ways to reuse a tissue box! If someone in your home is sick, you know you will have used tissues scattered about. Avoid the mess (and sharing germs!) by tying an empty tissue box to the new one with a piece of twine or string. This makes a handy place to dispose of used tissues as they are used. There are endless craft options and they make great storage containers. Just cut the top off at the corners, wrap it in scrapbooking paper and embellish with ribbon or string to create beautiful containers for office supplies, recipes, seasoning packets, and much more.
4. Vegetable Bags
Stuff those nylon mesh vegetable bags with natural fibers and cloth such as cotton and wool and hang from a tree to supply birds with great nesting materials. You can also include items such as string, cloth batting, feathers, and animal hair.
5. Shower Curtains
Whether you are updating the décor in your bathroom or you have a shower curtain that has seen better days, that old shower curtain still has a lot of use in it. Shower curtains are a great way to think outside the box when it comes to repurposing household items. They can be used as table coverings for picnic tables, or as drop cloths while painting. In the winter, skip scraping your windows by cutting the curtain down to size and placing it on the windshield overnight. Peel it off in the morning to instantly clear your windshield!
There is an estimated 13 million tons of clothing in our country’s landfills. A staggering amount of donated clothing items wind up there as well. Instead of throwing away old t-shirts, repurpose them. Cut the fabric into squares the size of baby wipes to make reusable cleaning wipes and dryer sheets. You can also cut the sleeves and neck out of the shirt, and cut strips along the bottom hem and tie together to create reusable shopping bags.
7. Sock Singles
No one knows where the mates to socks mysteriously disappear to, but it’s an epidemic that invades every home. You may be tempted to throw the loner away, but there are many uses for it around the house. Socks make great rags that you can fit over your hand to clean your blinds, ceiling fan blades, toilets, floors, and more. Socks are also great for storing pieces to games and other small items that are easy to lose.
8. CD Spindles and Cassette Cases
Reuse old cassette cases and CD spindles to store rolled cables and to make clever gift card holders. Make a decorative insert and place it in the cassette with a gift card inside. You can skip the expensive greeting card and create a memorable and unique way to package your gift.
9. Cardboard Beverage Carton
The cardboard carrier that holds a four or six pack of your favorite beverage can be used as a handy condiment carrier for your next picnic or outing. Decorate it with scrapbook paper or paint it, and store your tomato sauce, mustard, utensils, napkins, etc., in each slot.
While we try to avoid using single use plastic, sometimes it may be necessary. Always stretch the life of these things to their limits and get as much out of them as possible. Most disposable items can be used multiple times if cared for properly. When it comes to household items, their lifespan is only limited by our imagination. Look for creative ways to re-purpose items for storage, gifting, and decorating. By using these tips for re-purposing everyday household items and creating your own, you can dramatically cut down on your family’s contribution to our nation’s landfills.