To save money and leave a smaller carbon footprint behind, it’s wise to look for ways to recycle things we already have into something useful. For example, liquid laundry detergent jugs can be recycled into numerous useful things after they are thoroughly washed. If everyone recycled those common empty jugs into things like containers for dry pet food or used insulin needles, think of how much less plastic would end up in landfills. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ways we can recycle things. Ask yourself these questions before tossing potentially useful things away.
Can it hold something? An old laundry basket with a few broken slats can be recycled as a shoe or toy holder. An empty coffee can (plastic or metal) can be recycled into a pen and pencil holder, spoon holder or sewing thread holder. Everyday we throw things away which could help us keep smaller objects corralled and at our fingertips if we only look at the object in a new way.
Nothing beats recycled pantyhose in the flower and vegetable gardens for support. Use strips of old pantyhose to tie up tall plants – the flexible nylon won’t cut into tender plant stems. An old iron headboard or metal box springs make perfect garden plant supports, as does used fence posts and curtain rods. Your climbing vines and tomato plants will reward you for supporting them with an abundant harvest.
If it can hold soil, something can be planted in it. We’ve all seen old toilets and bathtubs recycled into flower planters – that’s garden recycling at it’s finest. Start smaller with an egg carton. It makes a perfect recycled container to start flower or vegetable seeds. A leaky 5 gallon bucket can grow a tomato plant, and a forsaken charcoal grill can become home to colorful annuals.
Can it be transformed? A sturdy nightstand can become an extra seat when a cushion is added on top. Two nightstands stacked on top of each other and placed in the bathroom instantly become a mini linen closet. An old wood door or other large flat object like a garden gate can be transformed into a new headboard. If you need extra storage or serving space in a kitchen or dinning room, consider recycling an old dresser or desk, and a chest of drawers works great in the entrance way. A little paint and new hardware can transform most any furniture piece from it’s original use into something totally different.
A dining room table can become a porch table. Saw a few inches off a small breakfast table and chairs and create a child’s work table. Multi-shelved entertainment centers can be recycled for storage in the garage, pantry or any other room of the home. Depending on how it’s made, it may be possible to cut the entertainment center down to a smaller size and extend its usefulness. Old towels and shower curtains find new life in the garage for wiping greasy hands and nothing picks up household dust better than an old T-shirt.
Becka O’Grady writes about interior design. home-making and home improvement. Her most recent work is about choosing the best vacuum cleaners.
TheHomesteadSurvival.com is all about preparedness through self reliance.
Our mission is to inspire and encourage you to live a simple, joyful life, no matter where you live. If you want to learn homesteading skills, like raising chickens and preserving the harvest for winter, you’ve come to the right place.