Help the Environment and Save Money

Re-Use and Re-Purpose Household Paper to Help the Environment and Save Money

According to the Clean Air Council, the average American throws away more than four pounds of trash each day and only about one-tenth of this waste is recycled. It makes sense, therefore, to try to re-use and re-purpose as many discarded household objects as possible. Not only will you help the environment, but you will also save money and, in many cases, develop creative skills.

Plastic-bottle-recyclingHere are some ways in which you can re-use and re-purpose grocery packaging, scrap paper, printed matter, and household linen. Step-by-step instructions for all of the craft projects can be found on the Internet, as well as additional ideas and inspiration.

Grocery Packaging:
Grocery packaging is the most common type of household waste, so it makes sense to re-purpose as many packaging items as you can. The good news is that almost all types of packaging can be transformed into practical items for the home. The ideas below can be used as a starting point.

Soak glass jars and wine bottles in hot water to remove the labels and use the jars and bottles as vases. You can decorate them with glass paint if you wish. An assortment of jars and bottles of varying sizes and colors can make an interesting display for your window sill. Another idea is to re-use small jars as tea light candle holders.

Remove the labels from tin cans in the same way and paint or decorate them. You can then use them to hold a variety of items, including pens, and cutlery. You could even make a stylish wine rack from several tin cans.

Scrap Paper:
Reasons to Buy Recycled PaperDo you generate lots of scrap paper when printing at home? If so, you are not alone —the Clean Air Council claims that, if the office paper thrown away by Americans each year was put together, a 12-foot wall stretching from New York to Los Angeles would be constructed. So, don’t throw away your scrap paper or even send it for recycling. Here are some ways in which you can re-use scrap paper, even if it is only blank on one side.

Select pieces of scrap paper that are blank on both sides and cut them down to a uniform size to create the pages of a simple notebook. To make a cover, re-use a piece of card and simply staple the paper and card together. Decorations can be added to the cover.

Advertising Brochures, Magazines, Calendars, Junk Mail and Other Printed Papers:
Each household throws away tons of printed matter, such as advertising brochures, junk mail, magazines, calendars, diaries and so on each year. Instead of throwing these in the garbage or recycling bin, why not use these ideas to transform them into something new and interesting?

– Cut inspiring designs from magazines or advertising brochures and use them as focal points for handmade greeting cards.

– Cut out the images from an old calendar or diary and make a unique collage.

Old Towels, Sheets and Bed Linen:
If your old sheets and bed linen have only a small tear or hole in them, you can transform them into new items for your home rather than throw them away and add to the waste piling up in landfill sites. Towels that are worn in certain places but are otherwise in reasonable condition can also be re-purposed. These suggestions can be used as inspiration for your creative efforts.

Use the material from old sheets or quilt covers to make new pillowcases or cushion covers. These can be made quickly and easily even if you have only basic sewing skills and do not own a sewing machine.