I want to help readers reimagine and reuse old things to help save the environment.
Recycling is very important, but reusing is even better. Recycling uses energy, transport time, and fuel to get the items to where they need to go. If you can reuse an item yourself, that's more energy, time, and fuel saved, as well as fewer emissions produced. From your old metal cans, plastic bags, bicycle tires, packing peanuts, and computer keyboards, there are many ways to find a second life for simple items around your home by reusing them.
60+ Ways to Reuse Simple Household Things
Here's a simple list of 60 ways you can reimagine and reuse items around the house instead of throwing them away!
Sell or Donate
1. Reuse your blankets and towels. Bring them to a local shelter that will be glad to put them to good use and give animals a soft, warm place to sit.
2. Reuse your old electronics by selling them on Craigslist or eBay.
3. Sell old clothing and let others reuse it, provided it still looks good.
4. Sell or donate your old cell phone to one of many companies out there.
5. Reuse your old sneakers by donating them to Nike's Shoe recycling program (okay, this is more recycling, but it's important!).
6. Never throw away an old book; donate it to a library or your recycling center, or a school! They can reuse it.
7. Reuse old clothes by donating them to a local charity.
8. Reuse pens and art supplies by donating them to local schools.
9. Reuse packing peanuts, air pillows, bubble wrap, and boxes for your own eBay shipping, or bring them by the local post office or recycling center for others to use.
Other Items to Sell or Donate
Bags and purses
Toys and board games
(Unused) hygiene essentials
Diapers and baby formula
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10. Reuse newspaper, interesting magazines, and other paper products by using them as wrapping paper.
11. If you receive a gift in a gift bag, save it for another occasion and reuse that bag!
12. Reuse wrapping paper and save it for next year.
Artwork and Crafts
13. Reuse your old toilet paper rolls.
14. Reuse old wallpaper and use it for decoupage or crafts.
15. Reuse greeting cards in craft projects.
16. Make a piece of artwork with your old metal cans.
17. Reuse popsicle sticks or egg cartons in kids' craft projects.
18. Make a wreath with sticks, flowers, and other items from around your garden or yard.
19. Use old magazines to create artistic collages.
Food and Kitchen
20. Reuse old aluminum foil by judging whether it is clean enough to use again. If you're using it for bread or dry goods, you should be able to shake it off and set it aside for next time (provided it is clean).
21. Reuse old glass containers with lids; save them for leftovers, or make your own jam or jelly. Food-safe airtight glass containers would be great for storing rice, pasta, sugar, and flour.
22. Reuse your used margarine and butter tubs by cleaning them and keeping them for leftovers (free Ziploc containers!).
23. Reuse your old food scraps by composting them.
24. Reuse coffee that you don't drink by placing it in the fridge for an iced coffee later.
Household and Cleaning
25. Reuse insulation when building a home or adding insulation. This will save energy and money!
26. Reuse stove heat by opening up the stove once you are done with it and letting the warm air into your home in colder weather.
27. For your next home renovation project, you might be able to reuse your old floor tiles.
28. Reuse your old toothbrush; use it to clean hard-to-reach areas like around the sink, your drains, faucets, and grout.
29. Repurpose the stuffing from old pillows and comforters into new items. Reuse the pillow covers as rags.
30. Reuse your old paint by finding things to paint or touch up in your home, or donate it to a local charity.
31. Reuse old curtains as rags for cleaning your car.
32. Paint old cans and use them for storing household items, such as pens or thumbtacks.
Gardening and Outdoors
33. Reuse kiddie pool water on plants and shrubs.
34. Reuse old seafood seashells by crushing them and using them in your garden as decoration.
35. Reuse old spray bottles by first making sure they are okay to reuse (see the back of the bottle) and filling them with water to spray plants.
36. Reuse your old yard debris! Leaves, lawn cuttings, and wood chips naturally fertilize and add nutrients to your soil.
37. Reuse Christmas trees (not the fake ones) by putting them outside for birds and letting them naturally break down.
38. Is your old keyboard the perfect seedling starter?
39. Save stale bread to give to the birds in your backyard (be sure to rip it small enough so they can eat it!).
40. Reuse coffee grinds by keeping them aside and placing them into your garden or soil.
41. Use a shower caddy as a vertical planter.
42. Reuse old plastic bags. There are many creative ways you can reuse plastic bags.
43. Reuse paper bags as school book covers, or get a little more creative.
44. Cut used pieces of paper into scrap pieces of paper (a message pad!).
45. Make your own checker set by reusing your old bottle caps.
46. Reuse your old carpet. Even slightly dirty carpets can have a second life.
47. There are over 20 ways to reuse your old furniture.
48. Reuse your old toilet paper rolls.
49. Even bicycle tires can be reused.
50. There are over 20 ways you can reuse your old drinking straws.
51. There are some creative things you can do with old metal pie pan plates.
52. Reuse your old CDs and DVDs with these tips.
53. Reuse your old toothpaste tubes.
54. Yes, you can even reuse your mattress.
55. Use an old cardboard box as a makeshift playground for your cat.
56. Repurpose old socks as toys for your pets (sew a ball inside for your dog or catnip for your cat.
57. Use broken glasses or dishes to make a key fob.
58. Turn broken furniture into a kids' entertainment center (if able to do so safely).
59. Reuse plastic bottle caps.
60. Use old cereal boxes to store important paperwork.
Looking for Other Ways to Go Green?
- 12 Small Changes To Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly
Single-use plastic and CO2 emissions are the biggest sources of pollution. Not everybody can afford solar panels or Energy Star appliances, but we can all make smaller changes in our own homes.
- What it Means to Be Eco-Friendly
Do you want your lifestyle to be more natural? Read on for tips on how to be more sustainable in using resources.
- Go Green With Wax Paper Instead of Plastic Wrap
Discover or re-discover wax paper for your kitchen, in place of plastic wrap. Using wax paper reduces the use of plastics, conserves resources, and helps the environment.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.