One of the biggest problems that our society is facing at the moment is our obsession with consumption. We buy and waste hundreds of millions of items every year that could be easily reused and repurposed, extending the lifespan of the item, and allowing us to create less waste and use fewer resources.
With that in mind, there is a variety of household items that can be readily used for a range of different purposes. Not only does this allow you to do your part to save the planet, but also means you will be saving more money in the long run. Try out these different ideas for those times when you save a bit of money and time for other hobbies, such as video gaming or playing NRL Premiership odds.
1. Cans, Containers, and Glass Jars
Cans and glass jars are items that we would usually reserve for the recycling bin, they can just as easily be reused for a multitude of purposes. Glass jars make perfect receptacles for preserves and meal prep, bathroom containers, desk organisers – the possibilities are almost endless.
Coffee and tin cans also have their own uses. In fact, it’s possible to create a small and cheap mini-forge, melt tin cans down, and turn them into just about anything you can imagine.
2. Paper Bags, Magazines, Newspapers, Envelopes
Paper is another material that tends to find its way into the recycling, because it’s hard to imagine what you can paper for on a practical level. But paper is a versatile material that can make life much easier.
Old magazines and newspapers can be reused as wrapping paper or made into woven baskets or trays. Creating compostable seed pots is another great idea, allowing you to use old paper to create a new garden of herbs, food, and flowers.
Continuing on from the last point: it’s a good idea to allow some of the vegetables, herbs, and fruit you grow go to seed so that they produce enough seeds for the next season.
It’s a detail that new gardeners sometimes miss, and can mean saving you a trip to the store to buy new seeds.
4. Laundry Waste
It can be difficult to figure out what to do with old blankets, sheets, and clothing that no longer serve their original purpose.
Cutting them up into rags is a good way of having a large amount of old rags that can be used around the house for cleaning, polishing, and soaking up liquids. Old laundry waste is also a cheap way of acquiring materials to learn how to sew.
5. Old Plates/Dishes
Old plates and dishes that break tend to go straight into the bin – it never seems like they can be used for much else. But most of these items are made of ceramics, which makes excellent material for tiling.
Breaking up the plates and using the individual pieces for outdoor tables, paths, and flowerpots is an inventive way to kick-start your creativity and learn how to work with ceramics and glasswork.