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
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.
Have a Green Tip of your Own to Add?
Khushi Oraon on September 20, 2020:
image directories is a water resources upon your school which have been polluted with gun with plastic bottles and tin can write a paragraph on your ideas how you can contribute in the cleaning of the water searchftps draw a picture of a point which is polluted forward by the paragraph.
Meera on June 25, 2020:
It was good but whatever I wanted to find I didn't get it. Actually I found some of the points informative. Nice post! Should be appreciated
Ethan on April 22, 2020:
Thank you for your help
bianca on March 24, 2020:
Jacob holder on March 01, 2020:
too good and thanks for the information
juma mbeleci on February 19, 2020:
thank you it help me at school
BODY SHAPERS from usa on November 22, 2019:
The information you shared with us was very helpful, thank you very much. Great post,
mark1234567 from india on November 16, 2019:
The information you shared with us was very helpful, thank you very much. Great post, Thanks for providing us this great knowledge, Keep it up.
barbiesmith99 on November 14, 2019:
This is one of the best blog I have read. Thanks for making my day :)
camilajohnson from India on November 13, 2019:
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raj12 on November 12, 2019:
this is very nice blog its very useful thanks for sharing
ikka singh from london on November 06, 2019:
nice post !
herrysing on November 02, 2019:
It was very useful. Thank you so much!!!
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Big Smoke on April 27, 2019:
follow the damn train
Sisters on January 06, 2019:
Thanks ,it was very helpful
JonesMalik on December 21, 2018:
Anonymous on September 08, 2018:
It was very useful. Thank you so much!!!
rosa on April 16, 2018:
i would do it
Jahniya on February 21, 2018:
this was very helpful thank you so much so many good ideas i would never think of
Noah on February 19, 2018:
Asma on February 02, 2018:
This was not much helpful.
kid 12 A on August 30, 2017:
maybe I''ll try those stuff later
ey on August 30, 2017:
Mystery girl on January 27, 2017:
best on May 07, 2015:
Nadine on February 25, 2015:
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!!
shailvy baranwal on February 06, 2015:
SteveKaye on February 23, 2012:
This info makes it easy for others to adopt money saving practices that also preserve our environment. Thank you for making this lens.
poofpatch on February 22, 2012:
Great idea ! The links are helpful too.
poofpatch on February 22, 2012:
Great idea ! The links are helpful too.
anonymous on January 26, 2012:
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.
leeleon on January 21, 2012:
Nice lens. Welcome to see recycling lens. Thanks.
Tolovaj Publishing House from Ljubljana on January 08, 2012:
Astonishing lens with extremely useful list of resources. Bookmarked!
wolfie10 on January 02, 2012:
awesome lens. i like to reuse thing whenever i can
Buchamar on December 06, 2011:
I love new recycling ideas! Thank you !
MoonMaa on October 26, 2011:
I recycle too and it really cuts down on the amount of garbage that I have. Thanks for the tips!
homerepellent on October 08, 2011:
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.
Bob Schroeder on October 03, 2011:
I always like good ideas on reusing what I already have. Thanks for the 50.
Rankography on October 02, 2011:
Great idea for a lens. Thanks for sharing these tips.
hsschulte on September 18, 2011:
Returning to bless. Thanks for a wonderful reuse lens.
4StarCleaning on September 14, 2011:
Wow, who knew you can reuse all this. Now I feel bad for throwing a lot of this stuff in the garbage.
EmpowerLiberty on August 25, 2011:
Rechargeable batteries are a great way to reduce waste and to save some $$
dahlia369 on August 11, 2011:
Nice lens. Blessed! :)
dahlia369 on August 11, 2011:
@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... :)
NZHarris on July 22, 2011:
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 on July 11, 2011:
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 on July 03, 2011:
Great tips! good to be reminded.
TIRMassageStone1 on June 28, 2011:
AigulErali on June 26, 2011:
Wonderful ideas! Thumbs up.
Donnette Davis from South Africa on June 23, 2011:
Thank you, great information.
Vishwa Perera from Colombo, Sri Lanka on June 11, 2011:
Hahahaha no i am also a rescurer
MarkBentley on June 03, 2011:
It is always great to see more people reusing things rather than just throwing them way! Thanks for encouraging it!
pimbels lm on May 28, 2011:
Great lens. Thank ou for sharing.
bames24 lm on May 27, 2011:
great ideas... we try to re-use as much as we can at home and your lens gave me new ideas.. :)
FunkyJewelleryUK on May 18, 2011:
Great lens! I make jewellery using recycled products, so I am all for green living! Great stuff :)
Teri Villars from Phoenix, Arizona on April 27, 2011:
Interesting lens. I have one, a little more silly at times, DUMPSTER DIVING FOR FOOD AND PROFIT...ha!
pinkrenegade lm on April 23, 2011:
This is a good lens. It helps you to save money and save our environment.
mattseefood lm on April 19, 2011:
Very informational! I'll try to use some of your tips for myself :) Thanks a lot
OrganicMom247 on April 01, 2011:
I always bring my old towels, sheets and blankets to the animal shelters, oh my gosh they are always so thankful
kimbesa from USA on April 01, 2011:
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 on March 29, 2011:
Bunch of really good ideas :)
I'm turning plastic bottles into flower pots.
golfspice on March 08, 2011:
Great topic - The only way to go is GREEN!
jackieb99 on February 27, 2011:
An excellent site, you certainly deserve the purple star!
SolutionInYou on February 15, 2011:
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 on February 14, 2011:
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 on February 08, 2011:
cherangelry lm on January 21, 2011:
Very nice lens, thanks for the great ideas!
JoyfulPamela2 from Pennsylvania, USA on January 07, 2011:
What wonderful ideas! Thanks for sharing them. =D
GrinningFool on January 04, 2011:
Always good to get more ideas on things to reuse!
College-Girl on January 02, 2011:
Very innovative ways to reuse different stuffs. Nice useful lens.
pearlSKY on December 31, 2010:
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 on December 27, 2010:
Great stuff - we all have to do our bit - consumerism and waste are out of control.
bluestonesolar on December 18, 2010:
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.
leathersleepersofa on December 12, 2010:
JennySui on December 08, 2010:
Wonderful Lens! i will try to follow your tips.
gods_grace_notes on December 05, 2010:
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
manndtp on December 04, 2010:
reallly nice list.
ZazzleEnchante on December 01, 2010:
Great tips, doable and meaningful. Blessed by a SquidAngel.
dreameater on December 01, 2010:
very cool ideas! we need to take more responsibilities for the earth right now.
Rod505 LM on November 30, 2010:
artgoodman lm on November 24, 2010:
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 on November 14, 2010:
Love this. I will reuse anything as much as I can!
Asinka Fields from Los Angeles, CA on October 28, 2010:
Super presentation and great lens!
Tarra99 on October 15, 2010:
back to bless this RRR lens...and feature it here: http://www.squidoo.com/100-blessings (under green) ;o) Well done!
anonymous on October 11, 2010:
Time to clean up the house and see what I can reuse!
SofiaMann on October 08, 2010:
Thanks for all the tips.
WriterBuzz on October 02, 2010:
Nice idea for a lens. Very informative. Gave you a quick thumbs up.
gogy on September 25, 2010:
If everybody would do at least 10 tips through the life, everything would be better.
kt_glasses on September 25, 2010:
cool ideas! Saving earth by doing small good deeds, and that's something more people should know!
anonymous on September 24, 2010:
Love this lens! Great Job!
myraggededge on September 20, 2010:
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.
squid-pinkchic18 on September 16, 2010:
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!
axus_auto on August 28, 2010:
pretty cool. but i don't think one should reuse greeting cards!! recycle them. the rest are good though
RichardAlvarenga on August 25, 2010:
Really didn't know that you could donate old pens to schools. Totally did this yesterday at the local elementary school!
anonymous on August 24, 2010:
Great Lens! These tips not only save the Earth, they also help save money!
DongMei on August 16, 2010:
Lots of ideas I had never thought of. Excellent!
david2viya on August 12, 2010:
@Income4life: I think this site is very helpful because reusing is very important.
4WallsRentals on August 06, 2010:
Extremely useful listing. Can't wait to follow some of these examples!