Repurposing and Reusing

Reusing, repurposing and recycling – three R’s that can be applied to many purchases we make and that contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle.

So many things we buy can be repurposed or reused. You might even be pleasantly surprised by some hidden gems that have, in fact, been hidden amongst your existing belongings!
 
Reusing and repurposing is, in some sense, better than recycling. It saves the energy that would be used in breaking down and remanufacturing products. It also reduces the amount of waste by reducing the need for new raw materials.
 
Next time you have something you’re about to chuck, ask yourself:
1.     Can I reuse this? This would be reusing it in the form it is in.
2.     If I can’t reuse it, can I repurpose it? This would be reusing it for a different purpose.
3.     Would it be useful for someone else? Can it be donated to charity?
4.     If I can’t do any of the above, can I recycle it?
 
Below are some examples of things most of us typically have around the home that can be either reused or repurposed once you’re done with their original purpose:
 
·      Household cleaning bottles – nip these to your local zero waste store, Nothing but Footprints, in Castle Quay for a refill
·      Gift bags – leave the tag blank or remove it and these can be reused by everyone
·      Toothbrushes – repurpose them as a cleaning tool for the grout on any tiles you have
·      Ice Cream tubs – perfect for lunch boxes or freezer storage
·      Candle jars – these make pretty little storage jars after the candle has burnt down
·      Clothes – cut the legs off jeans, rip the arms off t-shirts, cut into strips to make a rag rug or get creative with dyes and embroidering new colours onto old clothes. If none of this is suitable, use as cleaning cloths.
 
Incredibly, it is thought that only 1% of the stuff we buy is still in use 6 months later (https://www.storyofstuff.org). This mean a whopping 99% of things we think we need ends up being thrown away before long. We all have a role to play in changing this.
 
Below are a few tips on making reusing and repurposing fun for everyone:
 
·      Go shopping in your own home! Move things around, really appreciate what you already own, look for what is stored away that could be better used or have a new use.
·      Trade with family and friends – temporarily or permanent, this is a great way for you to get new items.
·      Be creative – turning chair legs into picture hanging rails, painting boring items bright colours, an old suitcase can be a coffee table, old cupboard doors can be new chopping boards, rummaging through forgotten draws – the possibilities are endless!
·      Mend things – there’s a real satisfaction to fixing things rather than binning them. Get handy with basic sewing, nailing, sanding and gluing.
·      Get outside – nature has a whole superstore of things for sustainably decorating items and bringing things to life! Twigs can make home décor items, shells and sea glass make beautiful decorative jars or jewellery, wooden chunks make great hanging hooks and dried flowers and leaves make lovely decorations.
 
We hope this has given you some inspiration for repurposing and reusing – let us know how you get on and tag us into photos of your creations @lock29.banbury.

For more inspiration check out these great TED talks: https://www.ted.com/playlists/740/reduce_reuse_recycle

 

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