The Best Ways to Reuse Items That Aren't Plastic Bags

We talk a lot about reducing, reusing and recycling as part of creating a holistic space, and I know we're not the only ones encouraging that green behavior. A quick Google search can return tons of suggestions for keeping those plastic bags, water bottles and cardboard items out of landfills. But what about other items made from recyclable material? What can you do with them once they've served their original purpose? We've got a few creative ideas on how to keep those items useful for a little longer!

Turn Wine Into Coasters

Well, sort of. If you enjoy a good glass of wine from time to time (guilty!), you've probably seen your fair share of corks, maybe even wondered what to do with them. There are places you can recycle them, but you can also use them to save a little money and your good furniture at the same time! Check out one of the many online tutorials, like this one, for turning old corks into coasters!

Give Your Plants a Little Tea

Likewise, if you're an avid tea drinker like me, you probably go through a teapot or two over time. Some pots make it longer than others for various reasons, but you don't have to throw that pot with a small crack or chip to the curb! Instead, use it to add a little nature to your home! Find a small plant that brings you joy and doesn't need much drainage, and create a new home for it in your old teapot!

Brush Outside Your Mouth

A toothbrush only lasts so long for its purpose, typically about 3 months with regular use. After that, it's not really hygienically safe for scrubbing your mouth. But its scrubbing power may still be strong! Instead of tossing it, put an old toothbrush (or two) to use in your home. Toothbrushes are great for scrubbing tile, small surfaces, shoes, even inside bottles, and they're much more cost effective than buying a single purpose brush!

Wash With Mesh

If you're a fan of fruit, you likely know it's often cheaper to purchase it in bulk. Many times, that means buying a red or green mesh bag full of lemons, oranges, and the like. Forget tossing that mesh in a recycling bin, since they can often get tangled during the sorting process, and don't even think about trashing it! Instead, use that material to make your own bath loofahs or pot scrubbers! It can be as easy as wadding up the mesh and securing with elastic or something similar. 

Let in Light With Newspaper

This reuse idea may not be quite as creative, but it's still super useful! Instead of buying paper towels for cleaning your windows, thus adding to the demand for paper products, keep a hold on old newspapers and use them! Newspaper is actually some of the best material to use for cleaning windows, which you should be doing often to make sure you can be seen and heard!

Do you reuse your recyclable materials? What are your favorite ways to breathe new life into old items? Share with us, so we can all take steps to be a little greener each day!

by Anjie Cho