Repurposing unwanted items

The Environmental Protection Agency says that 85% of all discarded textiles, which is about 12 million tons, end up in landfills across the country each year. Finding a way to reuse or repurpose these clothes, can help save landfill space. Of course, clothing is not the only thing we can repurpose. Objects made of metal, glass, wood and plastic are popular for repurposing as well. Some can be recycled if they are no longer needed, but others can easily be reused to make life easier.

Are you having a hard time getting rid of old clothing that has sentimental value? Turn it into something useful. A very popular crafting project is creating comforters from old clothing. Your teen’s favorite rock band or sports T-shirts can be made into a memorable blanket for college. Baby onsies can be sewn together for a receiving blanket. A favorite sweater than no longer fits, can be sewn into a decorative pillow or pillow cover.

Some of us do not have the ability to sew, but can still repurpose things. An old teapot or metal colander can become a planter. Planters can be made from a variety of metal or plastic containers. If you want to really get creative, try using broken crockery or China to create a mosaic from the pieces. You can both give your broken dishes a new purpose and cleverly make something beautiful.

If you are a wine drinker, saving the corks from special occasions is a popular habit. Glue all of the corks inside a frame and you end up with a useful bulletin board that is filled with memories of all of those great times.

Old silverware can become decorative hooks or handles. Metal racks can be used in a variety of ways to add shelving in places where you need it. They can also be used in your entryway to keep muddy boots off the floor.

Much easier ways exist to repurpose and help alleviate the overcrowded landfills. Everything from plastic coffee containers to decorative popcorn tins can be reused for storage of small items. Plastic grocery bags (if you don’t use your own bags at the grocery store) can be reused as small trash bags or doggie/kitty waste bags. Plastic or metal letter sorters can be used for lids in the kitchen.

Ice cube trays can be repurposed for all sorts of things. You can freeze small amounts of oil and spice mixtures so they will be already mixed when you need them. Another use of ice cube trays is storage in drawers for earrings or other small pieces of jewelry.

So many things can be repurposed to help you do your part in saving the planet while you are doing something that helps you at the same time. Look around your home in a new way with an objective eye. You will discover that you can save money on buying new things by reusing what you already have in new ways.

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