Reusing Items Around Your Home

Reusing Items Around Your Home

When we think of recycling, we think of taking out the trash and putting it into the recycling bin rather than just throwing it away – and this is what it means to go green. However this is only one small part of recycling, and the term could be used more broadly to describe the way you treat all of your materials after you’ve used them. Recycling and going green doesn’t just mean letting other people worry about recycling your old left overs, but also thinking of it yourself and asking how you can be more efficient with the materials you use.

If you really want to go green then, better than throwing your old cardboard in the designated bin – which still required money and energy to recycle and which will still result in your buying more items – is to find ways to recycle them yourself and to re-use them.

What do we mean by this? Well think about the things you throw away, and then think about what you could have done with those raw materials. For instance, something as simple as newspaper that you’ve used up can be re-used as lining for an animal’s hutch or as padding for a present or a parcel. For someone who wants to go green this will prevent you from having to buy new papers or foam in order to pack your parcels which will mean that you have caused fewer trees to be cut down. Sticking with the idea of presents and parcels, someone who wants to go green can likewise reuse old wrapping paper from presents by taking it off carefully while opening gifts and then storing it somewhere folded.

Likewise you can re-use old bottles if you want to go green, and an old bottle of water can easily be re-filled for your next journey rather than you buying a new one. Again on a similar note if you wanted to re-use old jam jars etc you could do easily, or could even re-purpose them as plant pots or as mugs.

You can get creative with the way you re-use things around your house too, and you can make cards and presents for people out of left over materials. This has a very organic collage feel to it and as well as saving new cardboard you will also be spreading the message of going green.

This can also be a fun way to teach your children to go green – and by getting them to join in in making old wood into picture frames, or old cans into space rockets you can show them the value of all materials and why nothing should be thrown away where possible.


  1. I am a big advocate of recycling. But I like to get many uses out of items as well. I do line my kitty litter boxes with newspapers to not only save me money but to help the environment. Another thing I do is use the plastic bags I get at the grocery store for a liner in my bathroom trash can. There are always ways you can reuse an item.

  2. I reuse items around my house all the time. I am all for getting several uses out of something. I use old holey socks to dust with. I line my garbage cans with plastic grocery bags as well. I save my cardboard boxes and let my kids build with them before we recycle them. There are several uses for all sorts of things in life.

  3. Reusing items is a great way to recycle. I have been finding ways to use many items. I use plastic butter bowls for storage containers when I need to put food away. I use a coffee can to keep my spare change in. And I do dust with an old sock.

  4. I try to reuse everthing. I think that everthing has a second purpose. I reuse plastic bags like crazy. I use them to line my garbage containers and put my recyclables into them as well. I use old towels to scrub my floors. I think that if you reuse things you get your moneys use out of it.

  5. I will buy a Gaterade bottle and then refill it several times with water or powdered gaterade before I recycle the bottle. I do this with water bottles as well. I do not like the idea of them being thrown in to the landfill so if I can get a couple of uses out of them that is great. I also have saved them for my cousin and her class did a group project for art with all the water bottles they collected.

  6. I think that it is great when people reuse items. The daycare where I take my kids is asking for plastic bottles right now that they are going to use for the summer months for water play. today I took in a bag full of BBQ sauce and ketschup bottles. This is a great way to reuse and then at the end of the summer they will recycle them.

  7. I never use to reuse anything. I would just toss it out. But I have learned that it makes no sense to throw things away because almost everything has a second use. I will use plastic bags to line my small garbage cans and have used old shirts for dusting. I figure any little bit helps.

  8. I recycle everything and do not really reuse anything other than plastic containers. I will save those to put leftovers in and then recycle them when I can. I have found that the yogurt containers make great ice makers if you need to fill a cooler though. I guess that is a good tip for someone.

  9. I reuse items all the time around my home. My kids love making crafts so I save my toliet paper rolls for them to do crafts. I also never throw away wrapping paper that is in good condition. I will reuse this as long as I can.

  10. Recycling saves me lots of money. I have to buy my garbage bags from the city for $2 a bag. If I recycle more, I have to pay less in garbage fees. I can use whatever bags I want for recycling so I am more apt to recycle.

  11. Everything has more than one purpose is what I think. I like to reuse whatever I can. I saved a bunch of my kids baby food jars and use them for nail holders. I made my wife a small necklace holder out of a piece of scrap wood. My kids peel the wrappers off old crayons and then we make new ones by melting them all down.

  12. Here is an idea for your young kids. Instead of throwing away old puzzle pieces, then save them. You can paint them any color you wish. Make a picture frame or a picture out of them. It is a great way to reuse and recycle.

  13. I do not really reuse any items. I do use grocery sacks as garbage bags but that is just because I figure why buy when I get for free. So I guess in a way I do reuse them. But other than that I really need to reuse things more.

  14. I am not really good about reusing items around my house. But does this count? I wear jeans two days before washing them. I only do it if they are not too dirty. It may sound gross but i have to pay for my laundry and it adds up so if I do this I save money. And in the long run water and electricity as well.

  15. I reuse everything I can around the house. I make my own baby wipes with old receiving blankets. And the best thing is that they are reusable. So I just toss them into the wash when they are dirty and then get many uses out of them. One should really try this as it will save you lots of money and make the Earth a greener place.

  16. I never used to care about reusing anything until I moved out on my own. Now I try to save as much money as I can. I reuse everything. I have got rent to pay and it helps me save money by lining my garbage baskets with plastic bags instead of buying them all the time. It is little things that really do add up.

  17. I haven’t thought to reuse items. I want to go green and I care about recycling. Though, I don’t see how I can reuse items. And I don’t really like your ideas. For example to re-use newspapers for lining animal’s hutch is for those from countryside, not for us. So, I will try to go green just with recycling what I cannot use any more.

  18. Some of your ideas to go green reusing items around home are great. For example the one with the bottles. I have the possibility to refill water bottles. But I haven’t thought to reuse them this way. From now on be sure I will do this.

  19. I’m not really a creative person. I don’t see how I can go green reusing items. I don’t have any ideas. And you’re ideas don’t fit with my necessities. Even so, if someday I will come with an idea, be sure I will follow it and I will reuse that item, because for me it is important to go green.

  20. I don’t understand something. We reuse some items once but someday we must throw them anyway no? Because we cannot reuse them infinitely. So, why to struggle? I am interested in going green and recycling so I will continue to recycle items, but reusing them is useless in my opinion.

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