6 Household Items You Can Reuse To Reduce Waste

There’s a reason why “Reduce” and “Reuse” come before “Recycle”. And that’s because recycling almost always uses more energy than the former two.

One of the easiest things to do when you’re done with something is just throwing it away to the trash or recycling bin.

But sometimes there is a better option for the environment... because there is still energy involved in the recycling process. This is likely to produce emissions, so reusing is a far better option for the planet.

Not only that, but reusing can also save you money spent on new products, time spent in choosing them and it can even help you reduce clutter since you’re finding new uses for the things you already own.

So we’ve put together a list of what we consider to be the most common household items that just about anyone can reuse in multiple ways.

  • 1. Bags, Bags & More Bags

  • Even as it has become more and more widespread that plastic bags are a hazard to the environment (they never biodegrade and may harm animals) it’s still very likely that you may end up with some bags after shopping for anything from clothing to electronics.

    But instead of just recycling them, you can find alternate uses that extend their lifespan. The classics are lining trash cans with them, taking them as doggy poop bags when out for a walk, or containing messy foods that might spill.

    Other uses we have seen are wrapping a bag around sacks of flour, sugar and other baking ingredients, or giving them away to local businesses, thrift stores or even charity. That way they won’t need to buy brand new ones.

    Of course, the best option would be to eradicate or deeply minimize the use of plastic bags at all. For that, you need to bring your own bags, and that certainly comes with benefits such as less carrying to and fro and sending a green message to your children and friends.

    That’s why we created the Reusable Grocery Bag Set, which is a complete grocery shopping set. It includes 4 large bags and 3 mesh produce bags, all machine washable and conveniently packed in a zippered pouch.

    We also have a leak-proof car trash bag which provides a way of disposing of all the trash within your vehicle without promoting the use of more plastic bags.

    All The Bags You Need For A Complete Eco-Friendly Shopping Trip!

    You get 4 large reusable bags, 3 mesh produce bags and a bonus carrying pouch.

    [Now On Sale!] Use code REUSE995 at checkout to get your Reusable Grocery Bags for just $9.95 + FREE Shipping.

     

  • 2. Clothes, Towels & Curtains

  • For the last few years, the fashion industry has been exposed as one of the most damaging to the environment and that is only due to one thing: the mass production and improper handling of textiles as waste.

    But there are many things you can do to reuse any textiles you might have around the house before recycling them. For example, just about any cloth can be cut up and turned into a wash rag for the kitchen, the house or your car.

    Other ideas include turning old t-shirts into a braided rug, making your own duster or just about anything from this Pinterest board about upcycling old clothes.

    Among some of our favorites to watch out for are candle holders, homemade pillows, and DIY pet toys.

    Also, remember that it’s always a good idea to donate clothes, towels, curtains, blankets, and sheets to goodwill before recycling them.

  • 3. Glass Jars, Cans & Containers

  • Metal and glass are among the easiest items to recycle, but the same logic applies. Why not cut down on the energy placed into those processes by reusing whenever possible?
    The typical one is keeping glass jars for storing other foods, but check out these other ideas:
    Hanging them from the ceiling:
    Image via designsponge.com

    Mason jar oil lamp:


    Image via raisedincotton.typed.com

    Jar soap dispensers:


    Image via shelterness.com

    Jar speakers:


    Image via lifehacker.com

    Other ideas with jars and cans are to use them to sprout seeds or even as pots for flowers or herbs. They can also be DIY gift packages or desk supply containers.

    4. CD’s & DVD’s

    Now that most of us are living in the digital age, maybe you have a bunch of old CDs and DVD's that you no longer need or wish to keep.

    Don’t throw them away! They take ages to decompose, and even if you take the responsible route, they’re not as easy to recycle as plastic bottles and aluminum cans.

    Thankfully Hubpages has put together a whole list of possible uses for discardable CDs. Some of our favorites are making coasters with them, putting them above a lamp to magnify the light output, making lampshades out of them:


    Or cutting them up to decorate whatever you want:

    To cut them safely, you can place them in a pan with nearly boiling water (in a well-ventilated area) and just use scissors once they have cooled off.

    5. Bottles, Bottle Caps & Corks

    If you frequently have parties or small get-togethers, or even if you’re just accustomed to stocking soft and alcoholic drinks, chances are you have tons of bottles, caps, and corks to recycle.

    Before throwing them away, consider making bohemian candle holders or flower vases out of wine bottles, a shoe scraper out of bottle caps, or the many things you can do with corks

    Corks are amazing because they’re practically raw material that is given to you with every bottle of wine or champagne. They're also easy to cut and make stuff with.

    You can make a non-slip mat for the bathroom...


    Candles…


    … or glue pieces of cork to the bottom of your furniture to prevent scratching on the floor.

    Also, glass bottles from certain brands of water (Evian, Perrier or other sparkling waters) can be used as your refillable water bottle for quite some time. Glass doesn’t release unwanted toxins into the water when exposed to sunlight, as with plastic.

    6. Coffee Grounds & Tea Bags

  • Whether you’re a coffee addict or a tea person, the leftovers from making each cup can be used for several things.
  • For example, both tea bags and coffee grounds can be great fertilizer for your yard or plants (so are eggshells).
  • Coffee grounds can also absorb food odors when washed down the sink or placed in the back of the fridge. They can also exfoliate skin and even restore the natural shine of your hair. Just fill one of those reused jars with a couple week’s worth of coffee grounds and keep it by your shower.

  • Don’t Throw It Away!

  • So there you have it! There are many items we use in our daily lives that tend to get thrown in the trash or recycle bin without any second thoughts. Hopefully, those will be less and less for you now. 

  • As honorary mentions for reusing, we suggest using a cleaned-out toothpaste tube as a funnel, or our insulated grocery bag

  •  

    Keep Your Food And Drinks Hot Or Cold!

    The Busy Life Insulated Grocery Bag lets you carry a wide variety of items within insulated 3-layer walls that will keep your items at the desired temperature for hours. You'll also avoid using bags at checkout! 

    Get Your Insulated Grocery Bag Here.

    Want to discover other tips and ideas on how to live a more organized and Eco-Friendly life? Join the Busy Life Club by clicking on the green button at the top or bottom of this page to get our weekly newsletter. PLUS you’ll get 10% off your first order!


  • Older Post Newer Post


    Hello From The Owner

    Why Buy From Us


    What People Are Saying About Us

    "A Real Auto Trunk Organizer!"

    "Have a new car but I like to have windshield washer fluid, a funnel for same, a roll of paper towels, a window scraper in the winter, a car vacuum, a bottle of Rainx and several other small items in the car trunk for stops at gas stations on the highway, etc.
    This came and I was able to get rid of my cardboard file box and use this with multiple dividers and it is very sturdy, looks a lot better and works much better for my needs. Could not be happier with my purchase."

    - A Satisfied Customer

    Click here to learn more about our Trunk Organizer

    "Outstanding Insulated Bag"

    "This is a well-made insulated bag. I use it to keep the cold groceries cool until I get home and refrigerate. It would also be a nice cooler for travel or picnics. The handles make it easy to tote and it is a generous size."

    - Michael J.

    Click here to learn more about our Insulated Grocery Bag

    "Excellent!"

    "Bought these as Christmas presents for my 2 best friends. They both were thrilled. Great quality. Would recommend them to anyone. Received them earlier than expected. Very pleased."

    - A Happy Customer

    Click here to learn more about our Trunk Organizer

    "Terrific Value, Useful, Convenient!"

    "Great Value, Great Price! I leave it in my passenger seat with just one compartment open and put my purse, prescriptions, small items I pick up on errands in it to keep everything in one place. I'm really enjoying it. Heavy duty and I know I will also use it for beachy things!"

    - SassySunshine

    Click here to learn more about our Insulated Grocery Bag

    PLUS hints, tips, discounts and more…