1.5 lakh metric tonnes. That’s how much solid waste India produces on a daily basis. You don’t need to go check out an overflowing landfill to get proof of that – just take a look at the garbage bin in your PG near Electronic City. Because the truth is that we’re all guilty of wasting more than we need to. And it’s not always our fault. You don’t really know what you can do with plastic wrapping or vegetable scraps. Those definitely belong in the trash, right? Well, it turns out there are ways you can repurpose some everyday items that you’ve been in the habit of tossing out.
And that’s awesome. Because the longer you’re able to reuse or repurpose something, the more value you’re getting out of it. Plus, you’ll save quite a bit of money, and the good vibes you’ll feel for taking care of the environment shouldn’t be ignored either. So, if you’re ready to maximise some of these regular items and help the earth and your wallet, let’s jump in.
You know when you reach the end of a bar of soap and you’re left with a tiny sliver that’s difficult to hold? Well, you don’t need to throw that soap end out just yet. There’s plenty of ways for you to use up the entire bar of soap.
The easiest way is to simply dampen the soap end and place it on a new bar. It will melt onto the new bar, making it easier to hold and allowing you to get the most out of it. Or you could also save up your soap ends in a jar to melt into a new bar later. Finally, if you’ve got a mesh bag or a soap-saver cloth at home, you could place your soap ends inside it to DIY a washcloth that’s preloaded with soap.
Take a leaf out of the books of Indie restaurants and store your jam jars and wine bottles for future use. You can take the lids of your jam jars and use them as glasses for a great Instagram aesthetic or use them to store spices, snacks or granola. A little hot water and elbow grease will help you remove any existing labels so that you can see into the jar clearly or even stick your own label onto it.
If you’re looking for an art project, you could also get your acrylics out and turn your jar into a bespoke pen stand, candle holder or vase. And your wine bottles can be reused even after you run out of vintage. Clean and use them to replace your plastic water bottles or wrap one in clingfilm and use it as a rolling pin in a pinch.
Fruit and vegetable tubs
When you’re bringing your shopping home from the grocery store, you’re also bringing home plastic tubs and packaging. And while your first instinct could be to chuck them straight in the bin, there are actually ways for you to recycle and reuse these too.
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Vegetable tubs, especially the ones with ventilation holes are great for storing your greens in the fridge, or you could even clean them and use them as drawer dividers. If you’ve got a bit of a green thumb, you could also use them as starter pots for your plant babies. Ice cream and yogurt cups can also be repurposed into popsicle moulds or mini planters to make them last for more than a single use.
Okay, you’re probably thinking that you’ve got this one sorted. But we’re not just talking about the polythene packets that you carry things in. We’re talking about the small produce bags or the bread packet that you’re left with after you’ve finished consuming the food. You don’t need to stuff these in the trash can, because you can actually use them to line the trash can instead. Yes, these bags may be too small to collect all your household waste but they’re a great way to line your waste paper basket or collect kitchen scraps.
If you’ve booked your accommodation on stanzaliving.com, you’re probably sorted when it comes to managing waste, thanks to their chef-cooked meals and professional housekeeping services. But there’s still your personal items to consider. And clothes make up a large percentage of landfill composition. That’s why repurposing your old t-shirts, even once you’ve outgrown them, can be a good idea. There are tonnes of ways for you to do this.
You can use an old t-shirt to dry your hair and prevent frizziness or turn it into a dusting cloth for your room. If you’re artsier, you could also DIY a tote bag or a canvas from one of your cotton t-shirts. The options are as endless as your imagination.
These are only some of the everyday items that you can maximise and repurpose. By pushing yourself to reuse as much as you can, you’re doing your bit for the environment and saving yourself some cash at the same time. So, the next time you’re thinking of throwing something out, stretch your imagination and see if it can have a second life.