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Happy National Recycling Day! Surely it’s no secret as to why we love this holiday. We enjoy the celebration every year, and every year the cause becomes a little more dire as well. According to National Geographic, Americans send 64 tons of waste to landfills during their lifetime. That’s 246 million tons of waste each year. (Yowza!) National Recycling Day aims to encourage Americans to purchase recycled products and recycle more.

This year we are focusing on ways to reuse what we have. Not only does repurposing items keep them out of our landfills, but we believe it contributes to a more creative and healthy home as well. (Fun fact: Did you know that the “dustmen” of Victorian era England went around and collected coal fires to help with brick making? Recycling and reusing is not a new concept!)

Here are some items that, while possible to safely recycle, we believe deserve a second life in your home.

 

 

Glass Jars

Everyone’s favorite millennial has a cupboard full of glass jars. We’ve all seen them. Here’s a few things you can use them as:

- Drinking glasses

- Saving leftovers, especially soups and sauces!

- Propagating plants

- Gathering and displaying memorabilia like seashells, rocks, etc

- Tea light holders, which are great for dinner party decorations!

 

Paper

Many of us are overrun by paper, whether it’s newspaper, mail, catalogs, homework from your kids school, or what have you. Let’s get creative with it! Here are a few things you can do:

- Create a woven basket or tray!

- Use the materials as wrapping paper (and if you don’t like the aesthetic, feel free to paint it or otherwise decorate it first! 

- Wrap sandwiches and other food for taking on a picnic (which avoids the use of plastic bags too!)

 

 

Cloth 

Everyone has old clothing, towels, or bedding laying around that they aren’t sure what to do with! If you have items that are too damaged to donate, please don’t throw them away! You can:

- Cut them into rags for cleaning

- Save the bedding to use as a drop cloth when you paint or do other messy household projects!

- Turn t-shirts into beautiful braided rugs

- Turn old flannels into reusable dusters. (Admittedly this one does require some sewing!)

- Use any of these ideas for old sweaters!

 

 

Cardboard Boxes

This may be the category you have the most items in, especially if you are an online shopper! Are they piling up in the garage? Larger boxes can be used for packing, creating fun forts or costumes with the kids, laying down on floors before a messy project, and so much more. For smaller boxes (like our Dropps boxes!) Check out this list!

 

 

Plastic bags

We know. They are the bane of our existence. Even the best earth warriors end up taking home a plastic bag from time to time… they are everywhere! Plastic bags can be used for: 

- Pet waste bags

- Smaller trash bins. 

- An upcycled, sturdy reusable grocery tote!

- A shower cap (if you dye your hair at home)

- Food storage (wash and reuse any ziploc bags you may have!)

If you use any of these suggestions (or come up with your own), we’d love to see the results! Tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok with your savvy reuses! 

 

Sources:

https://www.onegreenplanet.org/lifestyle/home-items-you-can-reuse-over-and-over-again/
https://nationaltoday.com/national-recycling-day/

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