As the years go on society has become more and more wasteful. It’s easy to replace any belongings that show wear and tear. The United Kingdom alone is responsible for more than 170 million tonnes of waste annually. Only one third of all plastic produced is actually recycled. However, if you think hard enough, almost anything can be reused or recycled.
If you want to live a greener lifestyle, here’s a list of twelve household items that you can reuse or recycle:
• Coffee grinds – even after you have used them for your morning cup of java, coffee grinds are still good. Collect them in a container and use them in your garden. Your plants will love it!
• Leftover coffee – when there is extra coffee, toss it in an ice cube tray and use it later to create your own iced coffee.
• Old toothbrushes – Dentists recommend that you replace your toothbrush every three months. After its life cleaning your teeth is over, it can still keep cleaning! Use them to clean hard to reach areas like around the sink, your drains, faucets, and grout.
• Plastic straws – When you’re done with your drink, plastic straws, once sanitized, can be repurposed too. For starters, you can use them to make hulling strawberries a breeze. You can put straws around your necklaces and bracelets to keep them from tangling. Do you drink coffee in the car on your way to work? Put a bent straw in the opening of your cup so coffee won’t spill out while you drive.
• Keyboards – Bring your old keyboard back to life by using it as a seedling starter. Remove the keys, place paper and soil at the bottom and then sew your seeds. Pop the keys back in and water as necessary. You’ll have a lively keyboard in no time!
• Sneakers – If you have an old pair of shoes kicking around that you’re not using, donate them to Nike’s Shoe recycling program.
• Clothes, towels and bedding – There’s a few ways you can use old materials like cutting them down into washable cleaning rags. You can even up-cycle old clothes and give them a whole new life as something that’s even cuter than the original. Try cutting them down into strips and creating your own braided rug to keep your feet warm when you get out of the shower.
• Old furniture – If it’s not broken but not quite your style anymore, why not refinish your old furniture? You can use part of broken furniture for other projects. Extra drawers can be hung on the wall to be used as shelves, shadowboxes, or bulletin boards.
• Laundry waste – Used dryer sheets are great for dusting and picking up pet hair. They can also be used to tackle tough soap scum and to polish chrome. Your lint trap can be more useful than you thought. Collected lint can be turned into recycled paper, paper mache’, as well as compostable seedpods.
• Seeds – If produce is one of your staples, why not grow it yourself? Collect seeds from fruits and vegetables and keep them for next season to grow your own plants.
• Kiddie pool water – Once your little ones are done splashing around, don’t let all that water go to waste. Reuse it by watering your plants and shrubs to keep your garden looking green.
• Packing peanuts – If your last package came filled with packing peanuts, air pillows or bubble wrap, you can reuse them for your next outgoing shipment. You can even pack it in the same box. If you don’t send out a lot of packages you can bring shipping supplies to your local post office or recycling center so others can get use out of them.
Not only is reusing your trash good for the environment, it’s good for your bank account too. If you look hard enough you can find a way to reuse almost any household item. Waste management is easy. All you have to do is think outside of the box.