Turning Trash Into Treasure

on July 15 | in Eco-Friendly | by | with 6 Comments

So, my friend Erika sent me this video. It’s twenty-one minutes long, which in mommy land is time for me to get a shower (including shaving my legs), brush my teeth, do my kegels AND transverse abdominal exercises for my diastasis. Since I rarely do all of these things in the same day (yes I skip the shower A LOT), it seemed like a really good idea to pass on the video.

But I didn’t. Because Erika is not the type to send me a montage tribute to puppies, no matter how cute they are. She is a woman of substance. The last time we had dinner she had just returned from living in a war-torn section of the Middle East. Her more recent adventures? Bangkok and a strip club (no, it’s not how it sounds).

So I watched the video. If you have the time, you should to.

Isn’t that just amazing? Stuff is designed to wear out, break or become obsolete so that we, the consumers, will never run out of shopping errands.

To be perfectly honest, I could do with a few less shopping errands. I would also be more than happy to live without the guilt of what my $5 radio is costing some six-year old factory worker in South America. Like, their childhood.

In the hopes that someday soon (this year would be nice) we’ll have a new home to decorate I’ve been looking into ways to repurpose trash into treasure. I’ve found some great ideas, like this cupboard door Monica at Crafty Nest found at a salvage yard and turned into a serving tray.

I’ve also run across some small but really practical ideas, like:

  • Egg cartons-perfect to start seedlings in (we actually give ours back to the farmer we buy from, but I might keep some in the spring)
  • Kitchen waste and yard waste – compost bin or vermicomposting
  • Worn out socks and t-shirts – rags for cleaning
  • Envelopes from junk mail – scrap paper for grocery lists, keeping track of coupons, etc.
  • Glass jars – replacement for tupperware

For some kitchen ideas that will inspire you, check out the photos at Re-Nest.

What do you repurpose at home? Share your ideas here!


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6 Responses to Turning Trash Into Treasure

  1. Julie says:

    Repurposing can be fun. We definitely save the envelopes of junk mail and use it for scrap paper and grocery lists. Also, if anyone has an “only cat”, meaning one cat, it’s a good idea to make them a wrestle buddy. Do this by taking one old sock and stuffing 1-2 old socks inside it, then tie it at the end. Of course, if you have more than one cat, they wrestle with each other and this is not necessary. Worn out toothbrushes are great for cleaning. Another way to turn trash into treasure is to turn your trash into someone else’s treasure by having a garage/yard sale. We’ve had 2 in the past 3 years, and they’ve been great successes all around. Bake some bread or cookies the night before, and put “FREE FOOD” signs around your neighborhood when you advertise. People stop for the food and usually end up buying something!

  2. Heather says:

    Julie, I love your “free food” idea for garage sales! We’ve had a couple in the last few years to make some extra money and get to know our neighbors a bit. I bet the food would help us get to know them better!

  3. Mae says:

    We have complete replaced our tuperware with spaghetti jars and water bottles with Santa Cruz juice jars. We even used old drawers from a run down dresser we had for shelves in our living room. There’s all kinds of stuff like that around our house!

  4. Crystalyn says:

    I get paper sacks at the grocery when I forget to bring my fabric bags (it happens.) So, when Harper (18-months) needs an activity, I open the bags and let her color the inside. I then save them and use them as wrapping paper when I need to wrap a gift.

    I also made most of her baby food, but did have to buy a few jars to supplement when I just didn’t have energy. I kept the jars and now use them to store my knickknacks AND homemade deodorant. And on the subject of deodorant – my husband hates the feel of oils or goopy stuff on his hands, so since I’ve been making his deodorant, he keeps it in a metal tin and uses one of my old make-up brushes to apply it. Works great!

    • Heather says:

      Crystalyn – I love the gift wrap idea. We get paper bags through our co-op and usually just recycle them, but Katie’s art is a big hit with her grandparents so I think I will start keeping them!

      My husband hates goop, too ; – )

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