Upcycle and Reuse

Upcycle and Reuse
May 31, 2016 Paul Woodruff

We all know the slogan: “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” but what you might not realize is that the three R’s can help you save money and stick to that monthly budget. Additionally, reducing your consumption, reusing items that might have outlived their original purpose and recycling what’s left will help keep unnecessary waste out of our landfills. Sounds like a win-win situation, doesn’t it?

Many people today often have a bunch of stuff hanging around that they’re no longer using because its worn out, broken or has lost its luster. You don’t want to throw it all away, but you have no idea what else to do with it, so it just keeps cluttering up your house or garage. Here are some ideas to upcycle common items found accumulated around your family’s house.

1. Repurpose old furniture and appliances: Furniture can last a long time, but if its damaged or has outlived its original purpose, you don’t have to get rid of it. There’s still plenty of life in it if you’re willing to get creative and do a little manual labor. Plus, the repurposed item will save you from having to buy a brand-new, more expensive item.

2. Give old clothes a new life: if you don’t wear certain items in their current state, a little refashioning can help bring them back into your wardrobe rotation. If your T-shirt collection is getting a little out of hand or your favorites are starting to look a little worse for wear, you don’t need to donate them or throw them away. Get creative and you could have some new skirts, a reusable grocery tote, or a nice warm quilt, for example.

3. Put cardboard tubes to work around your house (such as toilet paper rolls): Yes, toilet paper rolls. Use them to wrangle your cords. Simply wrap some of your smaller chords around your hand to keep it neat, slip it off, and place then in a toilet paper roll. Toilet paper rolls also make great colored pencil or marker organizers for your kids.

4. Revive glass jars and bottles: If you buy items in glass jars (spaghetti sauce, for example) you can reuse them as a glass vase or for a variety of other purposes. You can also spray paint the the top of them and slap a label on there. Use them to help organize the garage by separating your nails and screws in to different jars.

When it comes to making the bottom line for your business or household, every little bit helps. Reusing and upcycling old items around your house can help you save money in the long-term. Upcycling is a trend that’s been popular over the last few years as our population has grown more and more concerned about protecting the world around us. The great thing about upcycling is that in addition to being a little greener, you can actually save a lot of money too.


By Ellen O’Neill, Practicum Student