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30 ways to re-use waste

Recycling is very important, but even better is reusing. Recycling actually uses energy and transport time and fuel to get the items to where they need to go. If you can reuse an item yourself, that’s more energy, time and fuel saved, as well as less emissions produced. From your old metal cans, plastic bags, bicycle tires, packing peanuts and computer keyboards, there are many ways to find a second life for simple items around your home by reusing them.

  1. Reuse your blankets and towels. Bring them to a local shelter that will be glad to put them to good use and give animals a soft, warm place to sit.
  2. Reuse seeds from fruit and vegetables and try to grow them!
  3. Reuse paper bags as school book covers.
  4. Cut used pieces of paper into scrap pieces of paper (a message pad!).
  5. Reuse coffee grinds by keeping them aside and placing them into your garden or soil.
  6. Reuse coffee that you don’t drink by putting it over ice and placing it in the fridge for an iced coffee later.
  7. Reuse Christmas trees (not the fake ones) by putting them outside for birds and letting it naturally break down.
  8. Reuse packing peanuts, air pillows, bubble wrap and boxes for your own ebay shipping.
  9. Reuse pens and art supplies by to local schools.
  10. Reuse your old food scraps by composting them.
  11. Reuse your used margarine and butter tubs by cleaning them and keeping them for leftovers containers.
  12. Reuse pillow cases for rags.
  13. Reuse used wrapping paper and save it for next year.
  14. Reuse newspaper, interesting magazines, and other paper products by using them as wrapping paper.
  15. Reuse your old paint by finding things to paint in your home, touch up, or donate it to a local charity.
  16. Reuse your old foil, wrapping and toilet paper rolls as seedling pots.
  17. Reuse old wallpaper as book covers or as drawer liners or to re-style old flat picture/mirror frames.
  18. Never throw away an old book, donate it to a library or to your recycling centre, or a school! They can reuse it.
  19. Reuse old curtains as rags for cleaning your car.
  20. Reuse your old electronics by selling them on eBay.
  21. Reuse old glass containers with lids and save them for leftovers, or, make your ownjam or jelly. Food safe airtight glass containers would be great for storing rice, pasta, sugar and flour.
  22. Reuse your old toothbrush and use it to clean hard to reach areas like around the sink, your drains, taps and grout.
  23. Save stale bread and give it to the birds (be sure to rip it small enough so they can eat it!).
  24. Sell or donate your old mobile phone to the one of many companies out there.
  25. Sell or donate old clothing and let others reuse it, provided it looks good still.
  26. Reuse old seafood seashells by crushing them and using them in your garden as decoration.
  27. Reuse old drinking straws as support for seedlings.
  28. Reuse old spray bottles by first making sure they are okay to reuse (see the back of the bottle) and filling them with water to spray plants.
  29. Arrange the CDs on a stack with some LEDs and you have a lamp.
  30. If you receive a gift in a gift bag, save it for another occasion and reuse that bag!