Earth Day is coming and we need to do more to save Planet Earth! Not just recycling, we all need to REDUCE, REUSE, AND RECYCLE. Last week I described some ways you can reduce waste. Today we’ll talk about how you reuse the things you have instead of throwing them away.
Think about everything you throw away today. There might be ways you can reuse them instead of throwing them away to end up in the landfill. Here are some things to try.
How to reuse: Here is one thing I did. I got a big stain on one of my cotton shirts and could seriously never wear it again in public, but it was still really soft and pretty, so I cut it up into 8-inch squares to use as handkerchiefs. I keep a little fabric square in my purse at all times instead of tissues. After I use it, I toss it in the wash and replace it with a clean one. You can do this with any fabric. Try worn out sheets, t-shirts, or even jeans! If you can sew, try hemming the edges and adding decorative details. Ooh, you should make a pretty set of napkins for your mom for Mother’s Day! Double bonus – reuse old stuff and save money on gifts!
Cell Phone/Computer/Electronic Devices
How to reuse: Like I said last week, the greenest choice is to use your phone/computer/camera/iPod/whatever for as long as possible before you get a new one. But if you do happen to get a new one for your birthday, what can you do with your old but still perfectly good iPod touch? Use it as an alarm clock. Install an Alarm Clock app and make a cute little stand for it by your bed. Another idea is to make alphabet magnets out of keys from an old keyboard. Pluck off the letters and glue them to a plain magnet. Spell out your name or whatever you want.
How to reuse: The hard-core environmentalists wear their clothes until they absolutely can’t wear them anymore. Fashion plays no part in their clothing decisions. But you *can* be environmentally conscious and fashion conscious at the same time. If you’re tired of a plain old t-shirt in your closet, don’t get rid of it! You can draw cool designs on it with fabric markers (They come in awesome colors!), or cut the sleeves off to make it a tank top. Cut the legs off too-short jeans to turn them into jeans shorts. Glue sparkles and beads onto your tired, old flip flops. Cut the arms off a sweater you never wear and turn them into leg warmers. There are millions of ways to be crafty and creative while reusing old clothes that would otherwise end up in the landfill. Of course, check with your parents first before destroying your old clothes!
How to reuse: For one day, try to go waste-free like Moderator Elise on the Save the Planet Board. Don’t bring anything for lunch that needs to be thrown away. See if you can do it. Pack your lunch in a thermos, or a reusable fabric bag. Bring a reusable water bottle instead of a disposable juice box. This one is not easy, I know. As I type this, I am about to throw away my chocolate bar wrapper, but at least I buy a giant chocolate bar and eat a little every day instead of throwing away mini snack size candy wrappers every day. That counts, right?
These are just a few ways to REUSE, but there are thousands more ways to reuse the stuff you already have instead of throwing it away and buying more stuff. What are YOUR ideas? Let us know in the Comments. And go read Part 3: RECYCLE!