Did you know that 75% of America’s waste is recyclable, but we only recycle around 30% of it. And that every year, an average American throws out about 1,200 pounds of organic garbage that can be composted. Pretty sad right? But the good news is that it is much easier to recycle and reuse waste today than it was before. Turns out, there are a few easy steps you can take to start recycling better and reuse waste at home. And there are loads of new products that make composting easier and fuss-free, right at home.
Even though the concept of recycling sounds pretty confusing as there are a lot of rules & regulations on how to recycle correctly, we make sure GoodGuilt does the research for you and brings forth simple, ingenious ways to start reusing and recycling waste at home.
How To Reuse Plastic Waste?
Before you hop on to start recycling waste at home, we recommend doing a simple waste audit. Check out our Instagram post on “How to do a waste audit at home?” A waste audit will help you sort out waste that can be composted, recycled, or reused in the future.
1. Turn plastic bottles into water filters
For every 6 plastic bottles we buy, only 1 really gets recycled. One way to stop adding plastic bottles to landfills is by purchasing an eco-friendly refillable water bottle. Another way is to reuse plastic waste at home. Here is a homemade, plastic water filter, made with reused plastic water bottles.
2. Turn plastic bottles into trash cans
Landfills in the U.S. are overflowing with 2 million tons of discarded water bottles. What can you do while sitting at home to help reduce this? We should cut back on our consumption of bottled water (often advertised as sparkling water or spring water). Or we can reuse plastic water bottles creatively. Here’s a quick way to turn your old plastic bottler into a handy trash can for your study table, car, or work desk.
3. Reuse plastic bottles into an outdoor broom
Every second of every day, 1,000 people open a plastic bottle of water in America, is a mind-numbing statistic from Peter Gleick’s, Bottled and Sold, which was written in 2010. That is a LOT of new bottles to open up and throw away. So, here is another useful thing you can make from your plastic bottle waste – turn them into an outdoor broom.
Some other ways to recycle and reuse plastic waste at home:
5. Reuse plastic take-out containers to keep your chords, chargers, or all your receipts organized (just in case you need something to return or exchange).
6. Reuse plastic water bottles as planters or as bird feeders.
7. Got lots of plastic bottle caps? You can be crafty here and turn those bottle caps into wall decorations.
8. Reuse takeout soup containers to store dry goods such as beans, rice, and pasta.
How To Reuse Paper Waste?
9. Reuse newspaper as gift wrapping
You don’t have to break your budget on gift-giving when you save with this inexpensive gift wrapping idea. Plus, you are not adding more waste to the landfill. And what’s more, this idea can work for all occasions, any time of the year.
#HolidayTip: Reuse newspaper or paper bags in place of wrapping paper, which can be recycled afterward! In most circumstances, if wrapping paper is metallic, has glitter on it, or has a texture to it, it is not recyclable. #BeRecycled pic.twitter.com/1wM2WrnBX4— Keep America Beautiful® (@kabtweet) December 12, 2019
10. Reuse toilet paper tubes into toys for your pet
It is pretty much impossible to live without toilet paper. And we are left with huge amounts of toilet paper tubes that keep adding to the waste. But, there is a way you can put them to good use. You can turn them into toys for your small fluffy pets. Check out the DIYs in the video below.
11. Reuse old newspapers under the table cloth to avoid further spills
Here is another ingenious way to reuse your old newspapers. Use your old newspaper underneath your tablecloth to protect your table against spills.
Some more ways to reuse and recycle paper at home:
How To Recycle Food Waste?
15. Used coffee grounds in your garden to keep the ants away
The smell of the coffee grounds confuses worker ants, as they lose their scent trails due to this. Spread used coffee grounds around the garden or anywhere in your home where ants live rent-free. This will take a few weeks, but you will notice that the ants have gone away. You can also reuse your coffee grounds in your garden in other ways – use it as a slow-release fertilizer, to feed worms, as a compost companion, or to deter bad bugs.
16. Turn used wine corks into floating key rings
Did you know that harvesting corks to make them profitable is a 25-year-long process? And wine corks cannot be reused as wine corks? However, you can recycle corks at home by tossing them into your home composting bins. Or chop them into small pieces and use them as mulch for your plants. You can also simply turn your used wine cork into a floating key ring. You’ll never have to worry about losing your keys the next time you’re having a beach day, kayaking, or enjoying other water activities.
Some more ways to cut down food waste at home:
17. Donate your leftover food. You can even share your food through the food-sharing app Olio, where you can match with people and share.
18. Cook in proportion. And if possible, eat your leftovers the next day (Pro: you get a day off from cooking).
19. Make sure to store your food properly.
How To Upcycle Old Clothes?
20. Turn old jeans into cool cocktail napkins and potholders
Many of us don’t want to throw away that old denim, we no longer use. But we can’t let our wardrobes overflow with old jeans. Here is another way to keep your favorite old denim at home by putting them into some good use. Turn them into a cool cocktail napkin or a cute potholder.
21. Turn your sweater into a mitten
Have a sweater that is too ugly to wear, anymore? Well, here is something you can do: turn it into mittens.
Some more ways to upcycle old or worn-out clothes:
Often in the process of cutting down their waste, people get confused about whether to recycle an item or reuse an item. Because not everything is recyclable, and not everything that can be recycled, gets recycled. So we have made a handy list of items that you can recycle and reuse:
Let us know when you try out any of our recycling ideas waste listed above. And if you’re new to zero-waste living or trying to cut down on waste, read this Beginner’s Guide Of 10 Epic Tips To Switch To Zero Waste.