Basic Reuse Ideas to Green Up Your Life

May 2, 2009 by  
Filed under Reduce, Reuse & Recycle

Reusing items is one of the easiest things that anyone can do to live a green lifestyle at home. Most of us do it without even thinking about it. We save Christmas gift boxes to reuse next Christmas, we reuse coffee cans as a container for nails, cardboard paper towel holders and egg cartons for children’s craft products, plastic containers to hold leftoversÂ… the possibilities go on and on. Even those leftovers are one night’s dinner reused as another meal or snack. When you find a new use for something that would otherwise be thrown out or redevelop it to be used again, you save waste and conserve energy.

Reuse might seem like a trivial idea, but it can make a huge difference. Landfill space is quickly running out. Our planet doesn’t need any more trash. Anything that we can keep out of landfills is beneficial to the environment. Reusing items rather than buying new also saves natural resources and energy.

Here are some methods of reuse that anyone can take advantage of to help the environment:

Recycling for Money

Some areas actually allow you to put down a deposit on plastic or glass containers, which is refunded when the container is returned. There are also places where you can turn in aluminum cans for a small reimbursement without any deposit required. This can be a great activity for kids to get involved in. If there are children in your home and a program like this is available, encourage them to collect as much as they can to make a little of their own spending money. It’s a great way to teach them about earning money and also helping the environment.


Regiving is a form of reuse that you’ve probably been doing for years. It’s been around for a long time and is now considered green living. If clutter has built up in your home, try to identify items that aren’t being used but can still have use for someone else. Chances are there are items that you own and no longer want or need that can be a blessing to someone. If you don’t have any friends or family members that can use them, there are charities and thrift stores that take donations.

Conversely, when you need an item, try to find a reused product before buying new. Check out a website like, where people grouped by location can list items they no longer need, so that all takers have to do is reply and arrange to pick them up. Sites such as have local listings of resale items that are usually great bargains. Or if you love bargain hunting, make a hobby out of local yard sale or consignment shop prospecting.


Many items can be remanufactured or refurbished for resale and are just as good as new. Consider buying remanufactured items such as cell phones, disposable cameras, or toner to save money and reduce environmental waste.

Reusing is a great way to help the environment. Not only do you keep waste out of landfills and save energy and resources from the manufacturing of new products, but you will be living green and saving green too.