Most of us had a parent or grandparent who would often say, “Well, you can still use that—it’s perfectly good.” Or, maybe you are the one who reminds others to keep using things that are “perfectly good.” When you extend the life of an item, use it over and over again, or find a new and novel use for it, you are reusing, which keeps perfectly good stuff out of landfills.
If reuse is new to you, be creative! Who knew you could use old light bulbs as hanging vases for outdoor decor! Here are more easy ways to reuse.
• Instead of disposable containers or plastic bags, choose reusable containers for leftovers and lunches. Washable containers can be used for years without being replaced—saving you money and reducing your waste!
• Fix broken items. To make many repairs, a small tool kit, some wood glue, or a needle and thread may be all you need.
• Rent what you will need for only a short period of time. Whether you need tables for a big party, a chipper-shredder for limbs you pruned from your trees, or a carpet cleaner, renting is a great way to get what you need when you need it without having to pay the full purchase price or find space to store it while it isn’t in use.
• Borrow books, movies, and other media from your public library. Or start a “Little Free Library” in your front yard.
• Set up a neighborhood “swap meet.” This is a great way to meet your neighbors and trade what you don’t need for something you do need.
• Sell working and usable items that you no longer want or need at a garage sale, through classified ads (in the newspaper or online), or to a secondhand store. Don’t want to bother with selling items? Give them away through an online program like Freecycle or donate them to charities, such as Goodwill, the Salvation Army, or the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
• Buy from resale stores, such as thrift stores, antique shops, and used bookstores.
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