Beyond Debt Blog

Reusing and Upcycling

Posted by Kristin Perissinotto on 7/08/18 5:20 PM
Kristin Perissinotto
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This month we're talking about sustainability and how it can save you money as well as save the planet. Last week we gave you a list of eco-friendly purchases that will save you money, but ultimately the best way to save money and the planet is to reuse items as often as you can!

recycle upcycle

The zero waste lifestyle has shied away from the age-old 'reduce, reuse, recycle' slogan, and has extended it to 'refuse, reduce, reuse, repair, recycle'. Environmentalists encourage the community to throw away as little as possible, as even properly recycling takes a toll on resources and therefore the planet. It can seem a little daunting to adhere to these eco-friendly 'rules', but the good news is that the smallest changes on your behalf can make a huge difference, and will save you a great deal of cash each year!

jar upcycle recycle

Jars

Lots of grocery items come in jars - from coffee, to jam, to pasta sauce, so you probably throw a lot of these away! You can use a sturdy jar for years and years before having to dispose of it! Here are some things you can do with old jars:

  • Turn them into a vase or planter pot - instead of creating rubbish, plant a flower!
  • Use them to take your coffee to work - this will save you lots on takeaway coffee!
  • Store brushes, pencils, or cleaning supplies - no need to spend money on jars when you have them laying around!
  • Take them to a bulk food store and refill them with grocery items
  • Use them to take snacks or salads to work
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Boxes

So many things come in boxes! And while they are much easier to recycle than other materials, try to put them to use before throwing them away. DIYs with boxes can also be a great way to entertain your children!

  • Turn them into desk organisers - you can use crayons, paint, or wrapping paper to upcycle an old tissue box into a customised desk organiser
  • Larger boxes can be turned into all varieties of storage - for example a place to keep your toilet rolls in
  • You can cut thick boxes into strips to make draw separators to keep your clothes organised
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Clothing

There are endless possibilities when it comes to upcycling clothing and other textiles. Before you throw things away, see what you can do with them!

  • Turn old t-shirts into cleaning rags - you'll never have to buy a cloth again!
  • Cut off the legs of old or ripped up jeans to make a new pair of shorts
  • Use old denim (or other hardy materials) to turn into reusable bags - you can find lots of simple instructions online!

These are just a few ideas to get you started - the possibilities are endless when it comes to upcycling! Before purchasing new items, take a look at what you have at home and try to make your own!

Tags: Affordable Living, Personal Finance Basics, Everyday Expenses, Handle Money

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