How to Reuse 10 Common Household Items by Shannon L. Buck

Photograph by Earl53 on many things can be reused, saving money. Previously published to Y! Contributor Network.)

How to Reuse 10 Common Household Items

As a society, we tend to throw out a lot of things that could be reused in one way or another. We send numerous items to landfills, where they take up precious space and sit for decades or generations. This practice is not environmentally friendly. It is wasteful.

Even when we send items to a recycling center we are using a variety of resources. As an example, fuel is used to power the large trucks that pick up and transport recyclable items. More resources are used during the recycling process. Because of these reasons, we can see that recycling is not the best method of disposal, either.

But, what other choice do we have?

We can reuse as many items as we can in order to lessen our negative impact on the environment. Many items that we use within our homes can be reused. Here are 10 ideas to get you started:

1. When you shop a farmers market, you may purchase jams or other preserved foods. The jars, lids and rings used during the canning process can be used to store other (unprocessed) foods, buttons and scraps from projects. Purchase new lids in order to reuse the jars and rings for processing your own foods.
2. Worn out and stained towels, and dish and wash cloths, can be used as rags for cleaning. The towels can also be cut to fit mop heads. Rags and mop pads can be reused numerous times.
3. Clothes can be used to make quilts. Cut 8 or 10 inch squares of fabric from the clothes, sewing them together, and then attaching them to a backing such as a used sheet. Use quilt batting for a thicker quilt.
4. Broken plates, bowls and coffee mugs can be used to create mosaic sideboards and table tops. Planters and frames can also be decorated with the broken pieces.
5. Old sheets can be used to back existing curtains, providing an extra layer of insulation during the winter moths.
6. Blankets that are no longer needed can also be reused. Use them in place of batting to make a thicker quilt.
7. If you tend to receive coffee cups every year at the winter holidays, you can easily acquire too many to reasonably use. Place one in the bathroom for each person to use when brushing their teeth, use some for pencil and pen holders, and use one in the bag of ice melt for clearing ice that accumulates outside.
8. When installing a microwave above a stove or under a cabinet, reuse the stand for other appliances, such as the juicer and slow cooker.
9. When the slow cooker stops working and cannot be fixed, reuse the crock and cover. Use as an extra container for storing hot foods at a get-together, or as a vessel for cold lemonade or iced tea at the picnic table.
10. Old cookie sheets can be painted and hung on the wall. Use them to display the over abundance of magnets that your children make for you.

These items all have other uses. You are limited only by your imagination when thinking up new ways to use old items.

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