We all know it is an important part of the environment to recycle. However, please keep in mind that recycling, though a much better option than allowing items to find their way into litter and landfills, still repurposing an item is a more cost effective and environmentally beneficial option.
repurposing is using an item again, whether for the same purpose or a totally different use. There are many items we repurpose everyday without thinking about it. Reusable containers, refilling water jugs, and even using a zip top bag more than once, are just a few of the ways we put items back to use while saving the environment in unneeded burdens.
But there are several things we can repurpose that you probably give little to no thought to and I wanted to take a moment to help you think of a few extra ways that you can get at least one more use out of something before sending it back into the system.
2 Garbage Cans with Bags:
Use one for dry items only, empty boxes, paper, spilled rice or pasta, etc. This bag can be emptied without the need to throw out the bag as well. You can use paper bags from the grocery store or even no bag at all. Without wet items in it you won't have to hose it out or worry about it stinking up the house and attracting bugs. The truth is you will save money on bags while making continual use of containers. That alone will make a dent in the over 100 billion poly bags Americans dispose of.
Water Water Everywhere:
Did you know that water has amazing insulation properties? This is the reason a river or lake can be nice and cool on a hot day. You can put the power of water to use in many ways with a bunch of old water bottles and soda bottles. Fill the jugs with water and hide them throughout the house in areas you rarely go or people see. Under couches, behind furniture, behind curtains, etc.. By doing this you are helping minimize the amount of work your air conditioner has to use to keep your home at temperature. My wife even uses the largest vase she can and keeps it full of water with fake flowers.
Paper or Plastic? No Thanks
There is a lot of debate on whether paper bags or plastic bags are a better option for the environment. The truth is that each take their toll. For around a dollar you can find reusable cloth bags at most grocers and in many cases you will even receive a credit for your smart thinking. My store gives me a nickel for each bag they load my groceries in. That means in less than 6 months I will have more than paid for my bag and helped keep 20-50 plastic and paper bags out of landfills. Not to mention in a few years I will have made back enough money to buy a pizza from their deli. Yum Yum.
At least once a week in my neighborhood I see someone piling up items in front of their house for the county to pick up. The problem with these piles is that many of the items are actually in good enough to be donated to a local goodwill or charity rather than hit the landfill. If you don't have the ability yourself, call one of these companies and see if they offer pick up. You may not have a use for your old barbecue anymore, but for the low price they sell it for, you will help keep someone employed a few more hours.
These of course are just a few things you can do. You can use water bottles as planters, cans as storage containers, old towels to keep in moisture on a new garden, and many other things. Once you think outside the box, you may find hundreds of uses for that box.