Re-Purposing Everyday Household Items
“If it can’t be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled, or composted, then it should be restricted, designed or removed from production.”
~ Pete Seeger, Folk Singer & Social Activist ~
Most environmentally conscious individuals are aware of the basics of living green; refuse, reduce, reuse, repair, recycle, and rot. Keeping these things in mind when choosing products for your home will go a long way toward reducing your carbon footprint on our planet.
These principles can be applied to nearly every item in your home, but sometimes it can be tricky to find a way.
Below are a few creative ideas for re-purposing everyday household items:
There are many various craft options that one can use an empty tissue box for – they also make great storage containers.
- Cut the top off at the corners, wrap it in scrap-booking paper and embellish with ribbon or string to create beautiful containers for office supplies, recipes, seasoning packets, and much more.
- Be adventurous and glue a few boxes together to create a great storage display which you could even mount on a wall.
- Use an empty tissue box to store your plastic grocery bags… there’s even a way to make them pop up just like tissues! Slide the bottom of each bag into the handles of the next bag, then insert them all into the box.
- Use a tissue box as a trash receptacle in your car! You can either toss it out when it’s full, or empty it and reuse it again.
Cardboard Beverage Carton
Does your wine or cider/beer come in a handy carry-Pack? If so, instead of tossing it, use it creatively.
- The cardboard carrier can be used as a handy condiment carrier for your next picnic or outing.
- Decorate it with scrapbook paper or paint it, and store your tomato sauce, mustard, utensils, napkins, etc. in each slot.
- Use it to store and carry around household cleaning materials such as Handy-Andy, Jik and spray furniture polish.
Most of us like to enjoy the odd (or not so odd) bottle of wine, but what do you do with the corks?
- Pour Spouts. If you have a bottle of oil or vinegar that pours over-zealously, then slice a small wedge lengthwise out of a cork and jam it in the bottle neck. Now you can control your pouring!
- Cleaning Knives. High-carbon knives clean up best with a dash of cleanser and a cork instead of an abrasive cleaning pad.
- Trivets. Create a trivet to place under hot pots and pans – just glue halves of old wine corks onto a large cork circle.
- Floor Savers. Slice the cork into small disks and attach to the bottom of furniture, chairs, and other items that could scratch the floor.
- Garden Mulch. Grind your corks up in a food processor and add to your garden bed. The cork will retain moisture and mulch your garden effectively.
Newspapers, Magazines, and Paper Bags
Overrun by paper? We are consumers of a lot of things, and newspapers and magazines are among those. Do not just toss them all out though – there are lots of great ways to re-purpose all the paper in your life:
Boots & Shoes
When your shoes have served their purpose, why not give them a new green life as a planter? If your sole already has a hole worn through, the job may be done for you!
- Add a few drainage holes with a screwdriver for soft soled shoes and use a drill for leather ones.
- Just fill with potting mix and plant away.
- Cut pockets into the sides of cowboy boots to make the most of vertical space. Succulents are planted in the top and herbs can cascade down the sides.
- Take an old pair of work boots, remove the laces, fill up with potting mix and soften the edges with trailing plants.