REUSE, an Earth Month suggestion!
Following up on Reducing, we have suggestions for reusing.
One of the best ways to reduce your waste and ultimately your carbon footprint is to reuse! With a number of ways to reuse items in your everyday life, this is probably much easier than you might think. Here are some suggestions!
- There are tons of ways to lessen our textile waste; one very popular way is to ‘reuse; your clothing! One really neat way to keep an updates wardrobe without breaking the bank OR creating unnecessary waste is to use a rental clothing service. A very popular company for dressy occasions is Rent The Runway; I’ve had many friends rent gowns for proms, recitals/concerts, weddings and/or work functions. It’s a great way to rock a stunning style for less money and less waste. Another option for renting everyday looks is Le Tote. This clothing subscription service sends you hand-picked styles for you to use for as long or as little as you’d like with an unlimited number of boxes per month! You can purchase items you LOVE or send it all back every month. Some other fashion subscription boxes include Gwynnie Bee for plus size fashion, Stitch Fix, Golden Tote, Rocks Box for jewelry, and more! Just find the right subscription for you.Shopping at and selling to thrift and consignment shops not only saves you money but also helps the environment. By providing clothing with a second life, the opportunity to be reused, you keep it out of landfills. ThredUP is a great online thrift store that provides you with the opportunity to both sell and buy amazing brands! Poshmark is another very easy way to buy and sell used clothing through a mobile app; to date, I’ve made over $700 selling old pieces on Poshmark and narrowing down my closet! If you’re looking for outdoor clothing and gear stop by an REI Garage Sale for great deals on lightly used gear instead of purchasing brand new. If all else fails, donate your textiles to the salvation army, religious affiliations and/or schools! There is always someone who can use your extra and unwanted clothes more than a landfill.
- Reusable UtensilsThe options for reusable utensils are plentiful these days! Gone are the days of paper-bagged lunches full of plastics that would only be thrown away. Start with an insulated, reusable lunch bag. Although glass is the most eco-friendly substance for reusable items, I am too rough and tough for glass items! Many of my suggestions here will include items that I personally use and love! Every day, I use two 32oz. Hydroflasks throughout my day, these are great because if I were a coffee drinker I would be able to use this same container for both hot and cold liquids! When I’m hiking I tend to use Nalgenes because they are much lighter than their Hydro Flask brethren. My favorite Tupperware for transporting all of my snacks and meals to and from work are Lock & Locks of all sizes and LunchSkins Reusable Sandwich Bags. Never any spills, easy to use and clean, and there is so much variety in size and color. Straws, cutlery, and dishware are other important items to keep in mind when trying to use less waste; reusable options are always best! If reusable items are out of your budget, don’t fret; reusing the ‘disposable’ items as many times are you safely can makes a difference as well!
- Reuse your Scraps
This might sound a bit strange, however, there are multiple uses for your food and kitchen scraps. There are many ways to reuse your scraps to create a stock or broth. Currently, I have a gallon size freezer bag filled with vegetable peels and scraps just waiting to be made into broth! Take your frozen veggies (3-4 cups) and throw them in large stock pot on high with some olive oil for 4-5 minutes; from here add 8 cups of water, reduce heat to low and let it simmer; the final step is to strain the solids out (to finally, throw away or compost) and upon cooling pour the stock/broth into a container to freeze for future use. I suggest using two or three small containers to get the most out of your stock. You can also do this with large meat scraps as well! Use leftovers/ bones to create a broth in the same way as the vegetable broth is made. And if you have leftover fruit and fruit peels throw them into refrigerated water for added flavor and vitamins and minerals! When all else fails use your kitchen scraps to compost! If you don’t have a personal compost pile, consider a worm composter or a neighborhood/community compost; creating nutrient-dense soil for your garden has never been easier and you lessen the landfill waste in the process. This is a great resource for beginners in the composting world with both an article and video: https://www.bhg.com/gardening/yard/compost/how-to-compost/!
Don’t feel limited by my suggestions, I hope they inspire you to creatively reuse your ‘waste’ in the future! Garage sales, DIY projects, and refurbishing are all ways to continue the life of an item you might have thought was waste.
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