It’s embarrassing how much we discard in a day. So much, that I’ve had it up to here with throwing out so much – just because we’re a nation of consumers and discarders.
Looking to save the environment and live a healthier life, I looked online to educate myself about reusing everyday household items.
Interestingly I find that, industries and manufacturing units have also opted the green way – refurbishing & reutilizing almost 90% of the original material. That is going to save cost and our non-renewable sources. Isn’t that good?
Here are a few life “hacks” you can start using today at home.
1. Dish Soap Bottles
You’ve probably heard of this one before, but it’s so benefitting to saving the environment (and your fridge) that it bares repeating:
Using old dish soap bottles (thoroughly cleaned out) to sore ounces of pancake batter. Yum yum! Or, if you’re not in the pancake-breakfast mood, you can refill the bottle with plain old-fashioned, nutritious water for all your gardening needs.
2. Share Leftovers
If you’re like me, the idea of leftovers is repulsive – there’s nothing notoriously wrong with leftovers, of course. Except the name, leftovers; makes me think of a lion who can’t devour an entire gazelle and it sits there for days on end, collecting flies, mosquitos, and thousands of diseases and bacteria.
It makes sense to give leftovers to neighbours – especially if your neighbours are your family. My aunts live next to me and across the street and I made a habit of sharing my leftovers with them. Because we live so close to each other, I just pick up the Tupperware/containers the next day. No food wasted.
A lot of my shirts and t-shirts have holes in them. Although I still love them, a part of growing as a human includes getting rid of old things that have passed their expiration date.
A few cool, useful ways to reuse old t-shirts include..
- Sewing them into a pillow
- Quilting a thin blanket
- Using them for layering in an animal’s crate
- Or, if you plan on moving, wrapping them up around fragile objects.
4. Banana Peels
Yes, banana peels. One way to make the use of old banana peels is using them to shine your shoes. Honestly, these do a wonder of cleaning your shoes.
My old lady and I have also had a wonderful time whitening our teeth in a day or two, using banana peels. Simply cut apart a few slices to however wide your teeth are then apply the banana strip for a few minutes. You will notice a difference in less than 5 days.
Other uses for banana peels include removing warts, splinters, and gardening. There are a ton of uses for banana peels you won’t believe.
5. Egg Cartons
I love eggs. When the old lady and I go grocery shopping every 2 weeks, I make an executive decision to pick up 3 cartons of 12 large eggs (total $7.50). Each of those 36 eggs is gone by the next time for groceries. At least 4 eggs every other day for breakfast, an egg salad sandwich for lunch and 3 eggs before bed (which the protein keeps me sated and full during sleep – preventing my stomach from eating itself alive)…
Yeah, eggs are my life.
One example of ways to reuse egg cartons is using them as a freezing tray. Think about it: it’s spaghetti night and you made one too many meatballs. The noodle-to-meat ratio will be askew if you pile them all in there.
Solution? Store those meatballs in your thoroughly-cleaned egg cartons!
You can even use them to store loose change, golf balls, etc. Go crazy.
6. Old Socks
Are you terrible with socks? I’m terrible with socks. One half goes missing, I spend two minutes (if that) looking for it, then give up, go out and buy a package of 6 more socks.
The process repeats itself. It’s insane!
Not only does it make me feel like an idiot (at the time), but it wastes money. That’s without considering the fact that, during laundry time, at least half of those lost halves pop up.
And, you guessed it, I throw the newly-found half away. Why shouldn’t I? There’s no need for them with these new socks.
Luckily, I’ve found out new uses for old socks that include:
- Using them as dog/cat toys (or catnip for the cat – be sure to sew catnip socks shut)
- Wearing them over dirty shoes when you’re inside the home
- Use them as containers for paper clips, screws, bolts, hair ties, etc.
7. Shoe Boxes
My old lady loves shoes. There’s no reason to blame her – people want what they want. We’re both guilty of having too many shoeboxes pile up in the storage room, though, she wears those new shoes every time, she had to go hospital for a check-up, just so that she can look down on her feet and forget the miseries she is going through. There I saw a microscope having a tag “refurbished – saving planet!” Wasn’t that interesting?
My crime is the Well I’ll use it for later syndrome. My logic is storing handwritten notes and manuscripts and what not in the shoeboxes. It seems smart, right?
One way to put those boxes to use is by using them as storage bins for the closet. How convenient! All it takes is wrapping paper and scotch tape to hold the paper together. How much money will you save by doing this, instead of buying $15-25 storage bins?
True, those store-bought bins let you store more… but (if you’re like us) you might end up chugging a whole bunch of unrelated/found “junk” in them and make another mess. Shoeboxes gives you chances to store your similar items in manageable boxes – each for exactly what you need.
8. Milk Jugs
Along with eggs, I love milk. It is a personal struggle to make one jug more than a week; I have to force myself not to drink the entire jug that day. This like, shoeboxes and egg cartons, creates a huge quantity of tossed away gallon jugs.
One way to deal with empty jugs is to poke small, tack-sized holes in the bottoms of the jugs and bury them in your garden or planting pots. Wham! Instant watering jugs, providing a slow and steady irrigation for your lovelies. This is a GREAT way of going green and saving the environment.
Have the same problem with 2-liter bottles? (We do – we can’t get enough of 2-liter Ginger Ale. At $1.59 per bottle, you can see why.) A simple way for reusing those cleaned-out bottles, that helps the environment, is to transform bottles into bird feeders.
9. Coffee Grinds
I’m starting to feel self-conscious. This is why: I love coffee! Eggs, milk, coffee? Yes, I’m the trifecta. But, doctors have reported that coffee is actually healthy for you.
If you’re like me, enough is never enough – I personally can plow through four mugs before noon.
So, what to do with all those used coffee grounds? Rather than throw them out (where they’ll be sent to the landfill), place them in a jar and set it in your fridge. This little hack is phenomenal for obliterating odors!
Another trick is a bit simpler and gardeners swear by it: use coffee grounds around garden plants to keep plant-killing ants and slugs at bay. I don’t know why this works, but people swear it does.
Bonus tip: my old lady swears that using coffee grounds removes old, dried skin from her face. Every morning she grabs several scoops and slathers it over her face – and you know what? She looks absolutely beautiful whenever I see her. Maybe there’s something to this.
10. Reuse Toilet Paper Rolls
There’s no going around it, everybody goes through toilet paper like no tomorrow. There’s no shame in it – we eat a lot, we drink a lot. Going to the bathroom frequently is a sign of a healthy digestive tract.
Still, rather than sending all those toilet paper rolls to the garbage can, reusing them for DIY projects is pretty cool – and a far more healthy alternative.
Some awesome things you can take a stab at are:
- Toy race cars
- USB cord containers (this one I personally tried and absolutely LOVE!)
- They can even serve as cable cord holders
There’s no shortage of toilet paper craft projects you can try on for size.
Going green isn’t a difficult choice – it’s just a matter of applying it yourself and thinking outside the box. Start making a difference today; for yourself, the future of your planet, and hopefully your children.
Featured photo credit: pixabay.com via pixabay.com