How To: Live Greener By Reusing Everyday Items

One simple thing we can all do to be kind to the environment is reduce the amount of trash we produce. According to the video below, between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, American’s alone generate an extra 5 million tons of trash!

One way to reduce the amount of trash we produce is to reuse some of our everyday items.

It is easy to get overwhelmed and think that protecting the environment is difficult, but it isn’t. As a matter of fact, you can make a big difference by doing some very simple little things around your house.

Here is a list of ways we can make it happen. Please add your own ideas in a comment below so we can all learn from each other and make a real difference this year!

1. Plastic Bags from the supermarket or Target (it’s best to avoid using plastic, try carrying a reusable bag with you to the store next time) – Have you noticed that printed on the Target plastic bags are ideas on how to reuse that bag? It’s very helpful! You can use these bags to line your small bathroom garbage cans, to carry when you walk your dog to pick up doggie poop or to use as a trash bag in your car.

2. Used cooking water from boiling vegetables or seafood – Take the pot with the water in it directly outside to water your flowers or lawn instead of pouring it down the drain.

3. Junk mail envelopes – Cut them up and reuse them as scratch paper.

4. Glass jars from around the house – These could be spaghetti sauce jars, baby food jars, mason jars, etc… They can be reused for everything from planting flowers, to storing tools and toys, to using as a votive candle holder.

5. Old shower curtains – These can be used as a drop cloth when painting or as a play area for the children when they are having fun doing art projects.

6. Old dish towels, washcloths and t-shirts – Cut these into household rags.

7. Shoe boxes – These can be used as file boxes and be stored under your bed.

8. Old tires – These make great tire swings in the back yard!

9. Old toothbrushes – These can become great bathroom scrub brushes.

10. Plastic water bottles – Fill these with water and keep them in the freezer to be used as a first-aid cold pack.

11. Old sneakers – Did you know that you can send old sneakers to Nike and they will use the rubber soles to make new playgrounds?

12. Used coffee grounds – Reuse these by putting them into your garden as fertilizer.

13. Heat from the oven – Reuse this heat by opening the oven door after cooking and heating the kitchen in the wintertime.

14. Food scraps and leftovers – If you are unable to provide your leftover food to the hungry, please make sure to compost it!

15. Old clothing – Make sure your old clothing gets reused by donating it to a charity.

16. Leftover morning coffee or tea – Reuse this by saving it to make iced coffee or iced tea later in the day!

Once you get into the habit of thinking about what you are throwing away before you put it in the trash can, you’ll be surprised at all the creative ideas you’ll come up with to make sure you are able to reuse whatever you can around your house.