5 Items to Repurpose to Help Reduce Waste

Sharing 5 Items to Repurpose to Help Reduce Waste with items most of us throw away and their uses are surprisingly helpful.

It’s amazing when you realize just how many common things we throw away every single day that can benefit us. As I become more aware of my impact, I have come across some disturbing statistics. Although it’s no secret that American households have become a major place for consumption and waste.

If you think tossing something into the recycle bin is helping, just think about this. Out of the 267 million tons of trash, we made as Americans in 2017 we only recycled 67 million tons of it and we composted only 27 million tons of it. So basically over half of all our waste was and is placed in a landfill. 

Some time ago, I began composting. If you have ever wondered how to do this, you can find a step-by-step How to Make Compost you may find helpful. For smaller spaces, this Bokashi Composting is a great alternative. But compost aside, it got me thinking, what can be done as individuals? Surely there must be something we can do and the good news is, there is! We can reduce waste with these simple tips I have for you today.

Orange Peels

Now we have an orange tree in our yard but it’s a common fruit that most people purchase so even if you don’t have a tree this is a tip for you. In a jar of any sort, you simply feel it up with orange peels. So instead of peeling the orange and throwing it away, you can place the jar by your sink and fill it as you eat the oranges.

We like to make orange juice so I do large batches at a time but anyway, you use your fruit just remember to save the peel. Once the jar is filled, pour in some white vinegar to fill it and place the lid on top.

In about two weeks you can pour the mix into a spray bottle and use it for an antibacterial cleaner in your home that not only works well, but also smells good,  and is cheap to make. It’s also healthier than using store-bought chemicals. Which for me is the biggest bonus of it all. If you are interested in natural ways to clean the home, be sure to check out my Natural Home Page.

Coffee Grounds 

coffee grounds in a bowl being saved to be repurposed to reduce waste

If you’re anything like me, you look forward to that first cup of coffee each morning. But instead of tossing out those used grounds, you can place them in another jar or upper ware and add them to your garden directly or even your roses or household plants.

I like to work them into the top couple of inches of dirt around the plant or you can simply place them right around the base of the plants. The coffee grounds will slowly release nitrogen into the soil giving your plants and flowers a boost of free organic fertilizer. Used coffee grounds are neutral in PH so they shouldn’t cause concerns about acidity. 

Brown Paper Bags

folded brown paper bags to be repurposed to reduce waste

Of course you can just reuse this bag as a bag however, they work amazingly well on our landscapes and gardens.

Now where we live we are supposed to bring our reusable bags for shopping but some of us forget. And when this happens I always ask for brown paper bags. They are cheaper than the thick plastic ones they sell and they are biodegradable. But they are also actually useful in the garden too. I take a few out when I have collected several and I cover weedy patches of soil in my yard.

The paper acts as a weed barrier and actually is good for your soil. It’s worked wonders on a few of my planter beds that have been plagued with weeds. The brown paper bag will break down over time and rot into the soil giving the soil a good boost. 

Toilet Paper Rolls

toilet paper rolls to repurpose

Yes, you can repurpose toilet paper rolls. They work well for the garden. Just cut them in half or even in thirds so they are the size of toilet paper rolls. I use these to seed start. I line them up in a large Tupperware, fill them with dirt, and add my seeds. I label them on the side with a sharpie so I don’t forget what they are. Plus I don’t have to buy any additional tags to label.

Once the plant is ready to transplant into the garden you stick the entire tube directly into the ground. It’s biodegradable, a free way to start seeds and reduce the waste in your home. This is also carbon to add to your compost as well.

Food Jars

Food Jars being repurposed to reduce waste

I know this may at first seem to be a funny one to mention. But I think it’s worth mentioning. Now I am not talking about the country crock plastic butter tubs here, although those are useful. I am talking about the glass ones. Pickle jars, salsa jars, jelly jars, mayo jars, etc. These are so cute when you remove the labels.

Hot water seems to work best for me to remove them completely or lemon essential oil if you have it. But you can use these just as you would a mason jar without the cost. I place them around my house with small flower arrangements, use them as storage containers, and have even spray-painted a few to add pops of color to shelving decor. They make great candle holders for tea lights on the table.

I make the orange peel cleaner in these jars, tie a cute big of twine around it, and give them out to people. But you can reduce a lot of your waste by doing this and even save a few dollars.

So there you have it. 5 items to repurpose to help reduce waste in your home.

I hope you find this post helpful. If so, leave a comment and I am happy to do more like this. 

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orange peels on a countertop

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  1. Wow Roxanne this all of these tips are quite informative .i enjoy reading your blogs.especially because they are so resourceful ,creative and useful.i can’t wait to try some of these out.as you know I’m quite the avid reader and I enjoy reading your blogs so keep them coming! And Thankyou again for all the information 🤗

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