When you change your perspective of throwing things away (where is “away” anyway?)… you’ll find yourself looking at everyday objects in a different light.
We’ve highlighted 10 everyday items you can breathe new life into…
Plastic Water Bottles
- For starters – reduce your use of water bottles by installing a water filter or a water purifying system. Carry a reusable water bottle for water on the go.
- Replace the water-displacement brick in your toilet cistern with a plastic water bottom to bring down excess water flow.
- Cut off the bottoms of water bottles and plant seedlings in them.
- Check Pinterest for upcycled bottle craft ideas.
- If you have to use a plastic water bottle, make sure it ends up in the recycle bin.
- Place foil behind plants in the shade to reflect light on them.
- Place a vessel with water and food over a foil platter in a sunny spot. Keep some foil at the back of the vessel as well and you have your own solar cooker.
- Use leftover foil to pack any item that needs waterproofing, such as photos, old film, seeds and such.
Old CDS, DVDS, VHS Tapes
- Make a creative scarecrow using CDs. The light reflected will keep birds and critters away from garden.
- Recycle them at a local arts and crafts center, where they use them to make gift bag bases or drop spindles for spinning wool.
- Create a collage of reflective CDs for your wall or ceiling.
- Use old VHS tape to bind posts together in your garden instead of buying plastic rope.
- Line your wastebaskets instead of buying plastic bin liners.
- For projects like painting, slip a plastic bag over the paint can lid before replacing it so dirt or flakes of dried paint on the lid’s underside won’t fall into the liquid.
- Save them to wrap fragile items for storing or shipping.
- Recycle them at supermarkets and at certain curbsides.
Old Cell Phones
- Check Earth 911 for how to recycle a cell phone in your area.
- If it’s still an in-demand model, sell it on eBay.
- Clean up your old phone, get a new cover, and gift it to someone who needs it.
- Disassemble the phone. Recycle the battery and other parts at computer or electronic recycler units.
- Use the manufacturer’s Take Back program when you upgrade to a new phone.
- Decorative keys can be shined up and used as pendants, earrings, and belt danglers. You can even use a set of keys to create metal belts.
- Donate your keys to a charity such as the Keys For Kindness in America.
- If you have too many keys, donate them to a metal recycling unit.
- Donate the jeans you no longer wear to a charity or consignment shop so someone else can use them.
- Create bags, aprons, skirts, patchwork quilts and such items with old, unwearable jeans.
- Donate torn jeans to the rag bin at your local household waste site. The cotton in the jeans will be reclaimed for industrial use.
Junk Mail & Envelopes
- If reply envelopes are in good condition, reuse them to send your own mail. Cover any logos or return address with your own return address labels.
- Keep used envelopes on hand to keep garden seeds, or tape them below drills to catch dust.
- Shred the envelopes and use them to create organic mulch in your garden or to fill pillowcases to keep outdoor pets warm in the winter.
- Be sure to recycle all paper you aren’t repurposing.
- Cut wine corks to make notice board trivets out of them.
- Decorate your fridge with cork magnets.
- Use them to cork bottles of homemade sauces, oils and preserves.
- Cut wine corks into circles, color them and thread them, interspersed with other beads, into necklaces and belts.
- Prop up garden pots with wine corks to aid drainage.
- Wash, dry and use soft plastic scrunchies to bind creepers to support poles in your garden.
- Use plastic scrunchies in place of rubber bands in your kitchen
- Use hair bobbles to hold back curtains
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