Today I want to focus on something that I’m pretty passionate about: reducing waste, reusing things, and repurposing them into something else. Nope, I’m not perfect and sometimes I get lazy, but for the most part I try my best to do at least one of the above on a daily basis. I know it’s so much easier said than done, especially coming from someone who already does these things on a regular basis (and enjoys doing them, too!). And you can’t just add these to your life suddenly, they are processes, each their own, and they take time, effort and thoughtfulness. But, I can tell you, much satisfaction comes from following through with things that can change the way you live, for the better. And, hey, you might even enjoy doing them, too!
While all three are great ways to reduce what we throw in landfills, the latter two are the most fun! So let’s get down and dirty! Yes, reusing and repurposing both lend themselves, at some point, to getting your hands dirty, but that’s the fun of it, right? At least that’s what I love about repurposing. After a long day at work stuck in my chair in front of the computer screen, sometimes a fun creative project is just what I need to recharge.
I absolutely love turning everyday, take-for-granted things into wonderful and practical tools, or even just something other than trash. I think most of my joy from reusing and repurposing stems from my love of multi-use items. Even things thought to be single use, can really have a ton of uses if we think outside the box before throwing them away. And on top of the fun of creating, both reusing and repurposing translate into less things bought and less money spent. Now that’s something to celebrate!
What things do I reuse? Like I said, I have a desk job, and with that comes paperwork and a lot of it would normally go into the trash. So, I collect it and separate recyclable papers (like envelopes, double sided prints and junk mail) and keep the single side prints of computer paper and give it to my father-in-law who uses it for his business, printing on the blank side. Another thing I try to do regularly is de-label jars and plastic containers to use for them for future food storage.
And don’t get me wrong, not everything we reuse or repurpose has to become some miracle of a thing. Sometimes, it’s just fun to sit down and create!
Here are some of the things I’ve repurposed:
And some examples from the web:
While these things take that time and effort I mentioned, they are not art forms or science. Just ways of living. And even if you don’t reuse or repurpose things yourself, there are vast amounts of reused, repurposed and upcycled goods available for sale in stores and on the web. For starters, check out Etsy for some awesome ideas, inspiration and products for sale.
And last but most definitely not least, another thing to remember is the ultimate purpose for doing what we do. For me, doing these things reminds me of my respect for my Creator.
Have you ever repurposed anything? What’s the easiest or most fun for you: reduce, reuse or repurpose?