Even Better Than Recycling: Can Items be Reused Instead?

Even Better Than Recycling

Reusing is generally better than recycling because it saves the energy involved in dismantling and remanufacturing items. Also, it significantly reduces waste and pollution due to the fact that raw materials are not needed.

Lots of everyday items that are commonly thrown away or recycled can be reused in inventive ways.

Five Tips for Giving Used Items a New Life

Here are five tips for giving your used items a new lease of life.

1. Find New Uses for Plastic Straws

Although several countries have now banned plastic drinking straws, including the United Kingdom, Belize, Jamaica, Taiwan, and Bali, most countries have not banned them.

There is no nationwide ban in the U.S., but some places within the country have banned plastic straws.

The reason that plastic straws have been banned in many places is due to the fact that they endanger wildlife and contribute to the tons of plastic waste that harms the planet.

If you have old plastic straws lying around, consider how you could reuse them instead of throwing them in the trash.

One of the best uses of old plastic straws is for cable ties. They can easily be repurposed to organize your tangled electrical cords.

Another option is to use them as clips for things like food bags.

2. Sell Machinery to Be Used Again

If you have old machinery lying around that you no longer use, perhaps because you once owned a machine shop and have now retired, it is best to sell your equipment so that it can be reused rather than throwing it away and contributing to landfill.

If your machinery is in good working order, it is simple to sell. And if your equipment does not fully function, consider repurposing it so that it can be used again.

For instance, you could sell quality used plastics machinery, lathes, or grinders so that someone else can reuse the equipment.

3. Use Old Toothbrushes as Cleaning Tools

Toothbrushes should be replaced around every three months.

Unfortunately, most toothbrushes are made of plastic and, as you probably know, plastic is notoriously bad for the environment.

In the long term, you should consider going with a more eco-friendly option, such as a toothbrush made out of bamboo.

Find out more about the versatility of bamboo as a sustainable material.

If you still have old plastic toothbrushes, though, you can reuse them as cleaning brushes. In fact, there is no better tool for getting into small crevices, so toothbrushes are ideal for cleaning items with detailed features that are otherwise difficult to clean, such as jewelry or keys.

4. Repurpose Fabric

When clothes get so old that they start falling apart, your instinct may be to throw them away. After all, clothes in poor condition are not even good enough to sell secondhand or give as charity donations.

But wait! You can repurpose the fabric in various ways.

For instance, as long as you have basic needle-and-thread skills, you could turn old clothing into a quilt, just like they used to do in the old days.

Simply cut out squares of fabric from different items of clothing and then stitch them together.

You could also use the fabric to make cushion covers, create new clothes, or as cleaning cloths.

5. Use Mesh Produce Bags to Scrub Your Pots

You can also use mesh produce bags as cleaning rags. They make ideal pot scrubbers.

A lot of produce still comes in plastic mesh bags and, unfortunately, they are not recyclable. And if they are simply thrown away, they can be harmful to the environment.

Cleaning rags is not your only option. You could reuse plastic mesh bags as gift wrap or you could use them to store items like shoes.

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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