Friday, April 11, 2014

(Re)use it or lose it

By now you know that we are all about repurposing items around our home.  Not only is this green because it keeps it out of the waste stream, but it often keeps us from having to purchase something new.  This means that there's more money in our savings account.  Here are a few things that we've repurposed recently.

Spray bottle:  Rather than purchasing one for our homemade shower cleaner, we repurposed one from some laundry stain remover we had used up.  This has been great!  We use it daily, and it's held up well.  When you repurpose bottles like this, it's important to relabel them clearly so that everyone in the house knows what they're now used for.

Mason jars:  We use mason jars (or large spaghetti sauce jars) for storing all kinds of items.  They're great for storing grains in the fridge that we don't use as often, and we use them for storing brown sugar, dried beans, and other pantry staples.  I'm really digging the old vintage blue glass ones right now, so I'd love to find a few of those at garage sales or thrift stores.  They make pretty casual summer time flower vases too.

Plastic food containers:  We often repurpose plastic sour cream containers and the like for lots of things.  They are great containers for holding water for painting projects.  The larger ones also make good containers for holding paint if you're painting trim in your house.  We also use them to start seeds for the garden, by poking holes in the bottom for drainage.  Lately, though, we've found that our little one loves the small ones.  He's got a drawer in the kitchen dedicated to his kitchen things, and these are perfect for him to throw around and play with, and it saves our regular ones from getting as beat up.

Paper bags:  We rarely use paper towels, but when we finally ran out of a roll this week, I used a piece of a brown paper bag to drain bacon on.  It worked great, and it saved a trip to the store for a roll of paper towels.  The larger ones also make fun gift wrap if you cut them apart, and of course you can use smaller ones for lunch sacks.

Rubber bands:  We save our rubber bands from produce.  These get used to seal all sorts of things, but they also make a good makeshift child lock if you have a kid who doesn't yank too hard on the cabinet doors.

Produce bags:  The plastic bags from produce purchases get reused in our home for storing our homemade bread.  We used to purchase bread bags, but we've started using these instead because they're free and generally pretty clean.  Usually we can reuse them a few times before they get a hole in them and have to be tossed.

What about you?  Anything you reuse that others might toss?  I'd love to hear from you!

1 comment:

  1. We reuse many of those items too. After working at the Conference Center for seven years, it is very depressing to see how much reusable stuff goes to sit at the landfill for multiple lifetimes.