Repurposing Household Items: A Free Way to Help the Environment

These days there is a big push to be eco-friendly. Unfortunately, most of us do not have the funds to buy all new appliances, put in solar panels or to buy a Prius. However, there are ways to help the environment by using household items that you thought you were done with in new ways. Some of these ideas may be new, and some are ones that I have read about or just bear repeating.

As most of you are aware, a baby requires all lot of little gadgets, that once the baby is a toddler, become unnecessary. The first item that I repurposed was the bottle brush. Even though our baby no longer uses a bottle, instead of throwing away the bottle brush, I now use it to clean glasses and some other dishes. Not really a stretch, but the bristles hold up better than most of the dish brushes that I have tried and it didn’t end up in the garbage. Another item, the freezable teethers that your child needed as a baby, can be reused as ice-packs to put on the several boo-boos that she will get as a toddler. Baby food jars can be rinsed out and used to store small items such as nails, tacks, or in my case, the small brads and adornments that I use for scrapbooking. The small finger brush that you use to introduce your child to clean teeth and gums can now be used on your pet. After all, cats and dogs need clean teeth, too. Formula sorters can be used for snacks like Goldfish Crackers or Cheerios, and infant girls sleeveless dresses can sometimes double as toddler girl shirts. Finally, when decorating your toddler’s room, a pop-up hamper that coordinates with your theme can double as a holder for the obscene number of stuffed animals that she has undoubtedly accrued by this point.

Some grocery items are packaged in a way that the containers can be reused. Butter tubs can be reused for left-overs or to store things like measuring spoons and cups that clutter up a drawer. Some deli meats come in plastic containers that we now use to keep our cat’s moist food in. We simply close and refrigerate the uneaten portion and we do not have a plate or bowl to clean. Child-size plastic juice bottles, while handy for tucking into coolers on a road trip, can be refilled with water and frozen to reuse in coolers to keep food cold without taking up the space of a regular ice pack. Regular water bottles are washed and reused on walks and hikes (Hint: fill with about Ã?¼ water and freeze beforehand and you will have built-in ice to keep your beverage cold). Plastic baggies can be washed and reused, although anything that had raw meat gets thrown away. If you do not feel comfortable putting food in a recycled baggie, keep one in your diaper bag or vehicle for soiled clothes or garbage.

Other common household items have new life as well. Toothbrushes can be used to clean grout, jewelry, or around faucets. Old holey T-shirts can be cut up and used for rags for dusting or checking your oil. The dish brush with the smashed bristles can be used to brush mud off of boots and shot glasses can be used to hold toothpicks while entertaining.

These are just some of the things that we do in our house. Get creative and see how many things that you can repurpose in your own daily life, it’s a free way to help the environment.

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