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50 Things You Can Reuse

Updated on September 22, 2016

Recycling is very important, but even better is reusing. Recycling actually 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 less 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.

50 Ways to Reuse Simple Household Things

  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 seeds from fruit and vegetables and try to grow them!
  3. Reuse old plastic bags. There are 10 creative ways to reuse plastic bags here.
  4. Reuse paper bags as school book covers, or get a little more creative.
  5. Cut used pieces of paper into scrap pieces of paper (a message pad!).
  6. 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.
  7. Reuse coffee grinds by keeping them aside and placing them into your garden or soil.
  8. Reuse coffee that you don't drink by putting it over ice and placing it in the fridge for an iced coffee later.
  9. Reuse Christmas trees (not the fake ones) by putting them outside for birds and letting them naturally break down.
  10. 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.
  11. Reuse pens and art supplies by donating them to local schools.
  12. Reuse your old carpet. Even slightly dirty carpets can have a second life.
  13. Reuse your old food scraps by composting them.
  14. Reuse your used margarine and butter tubs by cleaning them and keeping them for leftovers (free ziploc containers!).
  15. Reuse old clothing by donating it to a local charity.
  16. Reuse the stuffing from old pillows and comforters into new items. Reuse the pillow covers for rags.
  17. Reuse used wrapping paper and save it for next year.
  18. Reuse newspaper, interesting magazines, and other paper products by using them as wrapping paper.
  19. Reuse kiddie pool water on plants and shrubs.
  20. Reuse your old paint by finding things to paint in your home, touch up, or donate it to a local charity.
  21. Reuse your old toilet paper rolls.
  22. Reuse old wallpaper and use it for decoupage or crafts
  23. Never throw away an old book, donate it to a library or to your recycling center, or a school! They can reuse it.
  24. Reuse old curtains as rags for cleaning your car.
  25. Reuse your old electronics by selling them on Craigslist or on eBay.
  26. Reuse old glass containers with lids and 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.
  27. Reuse your old sneakers by donating them to Nike's Shoe recycling program (okay, this is more recycling, but it's important!)
  28. Reuse greeting cards in craft projects.
  29. Reuse your old toothbrush and use it to clean hard to reach areas like around the sink, your drains, faucets, and grout.
  30. Save stale bread and give it to the birds in the backyard (be sure to rip it small enough so they can eat it!).
  31. Make a piece of artwork with your old metal cans.
  32. Make your own checker set by reusing your old bottle caps.
  33. There are over 20 ways to reuse your old furniture here.
  34. Sell or donate your old cellphone to the one of many companies out there.
  35. Sell old clothing and let others reuse it, provided it looks good still.
  36. For your next home renovation project, you might be able to reuse your old floor tiles.
  37. Reuse popsicle sticks in kid craft projects.
  38. Even bicycle tires can be reused.
  39. Reuse old seafood seashells by crushing them and using them in your garden as decoration.
  40. There are over 20 ways you can reuse your old drinking straws.
  41. Reuse insulation when building a home, or adding insulation. This will save energy and money!
  42. There are some creative things you can do with old metal pie pan plates.
  43. Reuse old aluminum foil by judging whether you 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).
  44. 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.
  45. Reuse your old CDs and DVDs with these tips.
  46. Reuse your old yard debris! Leaves, lawn cuttings, and wood chips naturally fertilize and add nutrients to your soil.
  47. If you receive a gift in a gift bag, save it for another occasion and reuse that bag!
  48. Is your old keyboard the perfect seedling starter?
  49. Reuse your old toothpaste tubes.
  50. Yes, you can even reuse your mattress.

Do you make an effort to reuse household items?

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    • profile image

      kid 12 A 2 weeks ago

      maybe I''ll try those stuff later

    • profile image

      ey 2 weeks ago

      ewwwww

    • profile image

      Mystery girl 7 months ago

      Very useful

    • profile image

      ty5yh 19 months ago

      hgere5h

    • profile image

      best 2 years ago

      good job

    • profile image

      Nadine 2 years ago

      Please do not follow #30 by recycling bread for any birds! It is dangerous to them as it does not contain the nutritional value of their normal food sources. It causes them to feel full, but starve from a lack of substantial nourishment. It's the equivalent of your parents feeding you chips for every meal as a kid. On a side note a lot of these are really great reuse and recycle ideas!!

    • profile image

      shailvy baranwal 2 years ago

      fantastic ideas!!!!!!

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 5 years ago

      This info makes it easy for others to adopt money saving practices that also preserve our environment. Thank you for making this lens.

    • profile image

      poofpatch 5 years ago

      Great idea ! The links are helpful too.

    • profile image

      poofpatch 5 years ago

      Great idea ! The links are helpful too.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      well written and well done on awareness to recycling. I'm not as avid as I could be but I don't want to be so avid that I'm stupid about it. thanks for sharing and letter your readers read about this, it is important.

    • profile image

      leeleon 5 years ago

      Nice lens. Welcome to see recycling lens. Thanks.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 5 years ago from Ljubljana

      Astonishing lens with extremely useful list of resources. Bookmarked!

    • wolfie10 profile image

      wolfie10 5 years ago

      awesome lens. i like to reuse thing whenever i can

    • profile image

      Buchamar 5 years ago

      I love new recycling ideas! Thank you !

    • MoonMaa profile image

      MoonMaa 5 years ago

      I recycle too and it really cuts down on the amount of garbage that I have. Thanks for the tips!

    • profile image

      homerepellent 5 years ago

      I love the idea of using your old keyboard as a seedling starter. It's a great prank to play on your colleagues in a bid to encourage them to go green. I'll put it to good use.

      Cheers,

      Homerepellent

    • Bob Schroeder profile image

      Bob Schroeder 5 years ago

      I always like good ideas on reusing what I already have. Thanks for the 50.

    • Rankography profile image

      Rankography 5 years ago

      Great idea for a lens. Thanks for sharing these tips.

    • hsschulte profile image

      hsschulte 6 years ago

      Returning to bless. Thanks for a wonderful reuse lens.

    • profile image

      4StarCleaning 6 years ago

      Wow, who knew you can reuse all this. Now I feel bad for throwing a lot of this stuff in the garbage.

    • profile image

      EmpowerLiberty 6 years ago

      Rechargeable batteries are a great way to reduce waste and to save some $$

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 6 years ago

      Nice lens. Blessed! :)

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 6 years ago

      @deanna6812: Same here, I always take all the egg cartons back to the places where I buy local cage-free eggs. At one of the places I think I even started this custom and now more and more people are joining in... :)

    • profile image

      NZHarris 6 years ago

      I am huge fan of this lens!!

      When the handles off my coffee mugs break beyond repair, I used the mugs as a little plant potter!

    • deanna6812 profile image

      deanna6812 6 years ago

      One thing that I have learned can be reused are egg cartons. I have family and friends save them up, and we bring them to our local organic grocery store. This store buys flats of eggs, not in cartons, and you pay per egg, so they put out the egg cartons for customers to fill themselves with the eggs of their choice.

    • ForestBear LM profile image

      ForestBear LM 6 years ago

      Great tips! good to be reminded.

    • TIRMassageStone1 profile image

      TIRMassageStone1 6 years ago

      Great points!

    • profile image

      AigulErali 6 years ago

      Wonderful ideas! Thumbs up.

    • profile image

      Donnette Davis 6 years ago from South Africa

      Thank you, great information.

    • whOoper profile image

      Vishwa Perera 6 years ago from Colombo, Sri Lanka

      Hahahaha no i am also a rescurer

    • MarkBentley profile image

      MarkBentley 6 years ago

      It is always great to see more people reusing things rather than just throwing them way! Thanks for encouraging it!

    • pimbels lm profile image

      pimbels lm 6 years ago

      Great lens. Thank ou for sharing.

    • bames24 lm profile image

      bames24 lm 6 years ago

      great ideas... we try to re-use as much as we can at home and your lens gave me new ideas.. :)

    • FunkyJewelleryUK profile image

      FunkyJewelleryUK 6 years ago

      Great lens! I make jewellery using recycled products, so I am all for green living! Great stuff :)

    • tvyps profile image

      Teri Villars 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Interesting lens. I have one, a little more silly at times, DUMPSTER DIVING FOR FOOD AND PROFIT...ha!

    • pinkrenegade lm profile image

      pinkrenegade lm 6 years ago

      This is a good lens. It helps you to save money and save our environment.

    • mattseefood lm profile image

      mattseefood lm 6 years ago

      Very informational! I'll try to use some of your tips for myself :) Thanks a lot

    • OrganicMom247 profile image

      OrganicMom247 6 years ago

      I always bring my old towels, sheets and blankets to the animal shelters, oh my gosh they are always so thankful

    • kimbesa2 profile image

      kimbesa 6 years ago from USA

      Thanks again...also angel blessed! Earth Day is coming, and we all need to know these things, so we can integrate them into day to day life!

    • Tiggered profile image

      Tiggered 6 years ago

      Bunch of really good ideas :)

      I'm turning plastic bottles into flower pots.

    • profile image

      golfspice 6 years ago

      Great topic - The only way to go is GREEN!

    • jackieb99 profile image

      jackieb99 6 years ago

      An excellent site, you certainly deserve the purple star!

    • profile image

      SolutionInYou 6 years ago

      I like your lenses because they promote the only effective way we can improve our environment--one individual at a time choosing to do things more wisely. Your lens is full of great ideas about how to do this. Thanks!!!

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 6 years ago

      I just created a lens about "Repurposing Books". Check it out and let me know what you think, Dan.

      FYI Blessed your lens on 2/14/2011

    • WebIsFun profile image

      WebIsFun 6 years ago

      great ideas!

    • profile image

      cherangelry lm 6 years ago

      Very nice lens, thanks for the great ideas!

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      What wonderful ideas! Thanks for sharing them. =D

    • profile image

      GrinningFool 6 years ago

      Always good to get more ideas on things to reuse!

    • profile image

      College-Girl 6 years ago

      Very innovative ways to reuse different stuffs. Nice useful lens.

    • profile image

      pearlSKY 6 years ago

      I love your lens... I recycle or reuse or breath new life into everything... my friends and family say that if I throw away anything, it is not worth looking at! (I learned a lot of my tricks from my parents, who were immigrants and did the same.) My father even reused bent and rusty nails... I think that in today's society most people are too eager to discard and buy new... rather than buy quality and make it into a "future antique".

      Recycle your old Bread - when it is no longer edible, put it outside for the birds! (they will keep coming back for more and you will have just adopted your own new pets!)

      Old Glass & Plastic Jars - Make great containers for keeping nuts and bolts, nails and small tools in full view and protected from moisture in the Garage.

    • ChrisDay LM profile image

      ChrisDay LM 6 years ago

      Great stuff - we all have to do our bit - consumerism and waste are out of control.

    • profile image

      bluestonesolar 6 years ago

      Thanks for the cool tips! We ought to all be doing our bit, whether or not it be recycling our trash, walking or using public transportation more repeatedly or trying to be more economical with the power we consume.

    • profile image

      leathersleepersofa 6 years ago

      thanks,Nice lens

    • profile image

      JennySui 6 years ago

      Wonderful Lens! i will try to follow your tips.

    • profile image

      gods_grace_notes 6 years ago

      I'm an avid recycler myself, so I appreciate all the green ideas I can find. You have done a great job of sharing your expertise... I love your use of the green and blue fonts! Connie

    • profile image

      manndtp 6 years ago

      reallly nice list.

    • profile image

      ZazzleEnchante 6 years ago

      Great tips, doable and meaningful. Blessed by a SquidAngel.

    • profile image

      dreameater 6 years ago

      very cool ideas! we need to take more responsibilities for the earth right now.

    • Rod505 LM profile image

      Rod505 LM 6 years ago

      Great tips.

    • artgoodman lm profile image

      artgoodman lm 6 years ago

      I reuse everything I can. I haven't found anything yet that I haven't been able to find a second life for. Great lens

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 6 years ago

      Love this. I will reuse anything as much as I can!

    • Asinka profile image

      Asinka Fields 6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Super presentation and great lens!

    • profile image

      Tarra99 6 years ago

      back to bless this RRR lens...and feature it here: http://www.squidoo.com/100-blessings (under green) ;o) Well done!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Time to clean up the house and see what I can reuse!

    • profile image

      SofiaMann 6 years ago

      Thanks for all the tips.

    • profile image

      WriterBuzz 6 years ago

      Nice idea for a lens. Very informative. Gave you a quick thumbs up.

    • profile image

      gogy 6 years ago

      If everybody would do at least 10 tips through the life, everything would be better.

    • profile image

      kt_glasses 6 years ago

      cool ideas! Saving earth by doing small good deeds, and that's something more people should know!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Love this lens! Great Job!

    • myraggededge profile image

      myraggededge 7 years ago

      Well we reuse old greetings cards for gift labels and recycle the leftovers. Brilliant suggestions here. I'm glad to say we do many of them already.

      Blessed :-)

    • squid-pinkchic18 profile image

      squid-pinkchic18 7 years ago

      FABULOUS lens. I absolutely being able to minimize waste but putting things into use again. I always wash my butter containers and reuse them for leftovers. So what if we all open it for putting it on toast every now and then ;) Great job!

    • profile image

      axus_auto 7 years ago

      pretty cool. but i don't think one should reuse greeting cards!! recycle them. the rest are good though

    • profile image

      RichardAlvarenga 7 years ago

      Really didn't know that you could donate old pens to schools. Totally did this yesterday at the local elementary school!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Great Lens! These tips not only save the Earth, they also help save money!

    • profile image

      DongMei 7 years ago

      Lots of ideas I had never thought of. Excellent!

    • profile image

      david2viya 7 years ago

      @Income4life: I think this site is very helpful because reusing is very important.

      Thanks.

    • profile image

      4WallsRentals 7 years ago

      Extremely useful listing. Can't wait to follow some of these examples!

    • profile image

      Lydsquid 7 years ago

      I love to reuse as much as possible-I always get ice cream in the plastic oval tubs, they are great for when I have to freeze things or store baked goods because they have such a good seal.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 7 years ago

      Wonderful innovative ideas for the environment and to save money. *-*Blessed*-* and featured on Sprinkled with Stardust and on Save Planet Earth

    • profile image

      Fedeprezzemolo 7 years ago

      Great ideas, all the world need to reuse... Let's start all together...

      Keep suggesting...

    • kohuether lm profile image

      kohuether lm 7 years ago

      I live in Germany now and it's very fascinating. We separate our trash completely - including compost. All packaging, paper, glass, and compost gets divided out. I just recently learned that the rest is compressed down and burned - but not just burned randomly. They burn it for fuel!snugmoo

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      This is a great lens, I also try to recycle everything possible. From wood to paint to plastic, we save and reuse it all!

    • profile image

      TriCandy 7 years ago

      Good ideas, our family has begun to reuse numerous items, saves our environment also.

    • profile image

      martialartstraining 7 years ago

      Its funny I do a lot of these reuse things just to save money. tough yes they are very good for the Earth too. Another thing to do is save gift wrappings and reuse them, gift bags are easy to do this with you just have to change the tag.

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 7 years ago from Croatia

    • LauraHofman profile image

      Laura Hofman 7 years ago from Naperville, IL

      Great ideas on how to reuse and recycle! This week I donated old blankets and towels to our local animal shelter. I also like to give books, magazines, and puzzles to retirement homes and assisted living facilities. It's a great feeling to help out others - both 2 legged and 4 legged. I will link my Earth Friendly Purses and Compost Bin Marketplace sites to you. Thank you for the inspirational suggestions!

    • profile image

      Vinduespudser 7 years ago

      Nice list. I might just try to reuse some stuff now.

    • profile image

      alb3rt1 7 years ago

      Well done, great tips mate!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      great ideas.. thanks

    • profile image

      parttimejobs 7 years ago

      Save the world by planting trees.

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 7 years ago

      These are great ideas. I do try to reuse, and when that isn't possible, recycle as much as I possibly can.

    • profile image

      Leanne Chesser 7 years ago

      I just wanted to let you know that I'm reviewing this lens, as well as 50 Things You Can Reduce and 50 Thing You Can Recycle, on Squidoo Lens Reviews tomorrow.

    • hlkljgk profile image

      hlkljgk 7 years ago from Western Mass

      really great tips!

    • profile image

      christian-book-man 7 years ago

      Wonderful Ideas ! Glad you shared these tips , it will surely come in handy !

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 7 years ago from Australia

      Great lens. I have been learning how to reuse a lot of things while working in my vegetable garden. I also love to reuse materials in my crafts e.g. using evelopes to make iris folding cards.

    • profile image

      Obscure_Treasures 7 years ago

      Thanks for sharing the green living tips. These tips not only save the Earth, they also help save money!

      Great Lens. That is about every great green gift on the planet. Awesome!

    • profile image

      AshestoAshes 7 years ago

      Good work, others care

    • VarietyWriter2 profile image

      VarietyWriter2 7 years ago

      Great tips!

    • Airinka profile image

      Airinka 7 years ago

      Great job!