What have you re-used around the house?

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What have you re-used around the house?

This is a discussion on What have you re-used around the house? within the Recycling, Composting, Reducing, Reuse, Environment forums, part of the Off-Grid Lifestyle category; I'm looking for ways to increase my re-use of things around the house. Any ideas appreciated. It would be good to cut down on waste, ...

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Thread: What have you re-used around the house?

  1. #1
    ZGF is offline

    Join Date
    May 2012

    What have you re-used around the house?

    I'm looking for ways to increase my re-use of things around the house. Any ideas appreciated. It would be good to cut down on waste, and spending!

    Most of my re-use lately has been focused on the little container garden I've set up. I now have things growing in empty protein powder canisters, milk jugs that have been cut down, and a cracked casserole dish. (Which actually seems to suit my salad leaves perfectly, they've really taken off.) Also made a pretty decent "watering can" by just punching some holes in the cap of a milk jug. Saved myself about twenty-five quid all in I figure.

    We had a couple of crappy wooden folding chairs break recently, I'm thinking of making a laundry maiden from the pieces. We'll see how it works out.

    Need a new bath mat, so I'm going to turn a couple of baggy t-shirts into Tarn and knit a nice cushy one up from that.

    Other suggestions?
    Pain is the feeling of weakness leaving the body.

  2. #2
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Central New Mexico

    Re: What have you re-used around the house?

    I save all my coffee containers for either planting or food storage. I save all my jars for water or food storage. I am saving all old clothes for the time I can make quilts from them. We save all the left over electrical adapters and cords for solar projects. My neighbor just gave me some old 55 gallon drums. We are going to use them for a passive solar greenhouse. We have stacks of used lumber, pvc pipe and old windows and doors. I have plans for all of it. Now all I need is time. 50 - 60 hour work weeks take most of my time. I am not complaining. I am very thankful to have a steady job.
    By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. ~ Benjamin Franklin

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    I use all my jars for things like pasta and rice storage. Old towels get saved for dirty jobs I might have grabbed paper towels (wiping out the litter pans) for or to clean up spills. The plastic that wraps toilet paper...I open it from the side and then use it as a trash bag in the bathroom trash can. Plastic grocery bags are cut up and used to crochet totes...they are really sturdy and you can just hose them off if they get dirty. I use them a lot when I'm gardening to carry around all my stuff. I cut the legs off old jeans and sew up the bottom, add a strap using the seams on the legs and have great reusable shopping bags. The material from the legs I make into quilts...and they are warm, instead of batting I use old pantyhose. I make Christmas ornaments out of old light bulbs. Empty cat litter buckets are great containers for growing herbs. Newspaper gets shredded, mixed with leaves and turned into a "logs" that can be burned. TP rolls are stuffed with dryer lint and used for fire starters. Cat food bags become garbage bags. Old plates, saucers and cups get used for crafts and sold.
    Eisregen and Burnt_Cigarettes like this.

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  5. #4

    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    I make my own laundry detergent, fabric softener, dish powder, liquid dish soap and deodorant. I've reused all my old containers to store my homemade stuff in. Now I'm not buying those products anymore, so there are no containers to dispose of. I repurposed a food grade 5-gallon bucket to make laundry detergent in.

    Most of our wood ash goes into the garden, but some is saved to make homemade lye for making soap.

    We repurposed a 55 gallon juice drum into a rain barrel and repurposed another, smaller plastic drum to grow strawberries in. Then another became a composter.

    We made a raised bed garden/greenhouse with discarded cement blocks and PVC pipe. We had to buy PVC elbows and the plastic sheeting, though.

    We made a composter out of discarded skids, and we use skids to stack firewood on.

    I reuse old newspapers as a weed block for the raised bed garden and in the "regular" garden, then repurpose leaves on top of that to block weeds. Old newspapers are good for starting fires, as are toilet paper cores.
    Burnt_Cigarettes likes this.

  6. #5
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    DC Metro/Virginia
    2 liter soda bottles - I clean/dry them out, toss in an O2 absorber and fill them with rice, pasta or beans.

  7. #6
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    I reuse newspapers in several ways; Weed barrier in my flowers, to make flower pots with. (simple) and I even use newspapers instead of paper towels when lining pans to catch fried foods. Newspapers also get used to roll out bread, biscuits and cookies on,..or to even make sandwiches/toast etc..and toss it when I get done. I will even spread out a news paper for craft projects. (I'm cheap aren't I? lol)

    Plastic grocery sacks get reused as trash can liners. And I have even made Mummy Halloween Costumes out of the white ones..lol

    Plastic bowls with lids that you buy salads, lunchmeat, cheeses, hamburger in get reused, I'll wash them out and use for left overs or a container for my husbands lunch. They are even great for storing homemade cookies/candies in.

    Plastic Coffee Cans, Cocoa cans, etc...get reused for this and that.

    I've reused those plastic med containers (the weekly one that says Mon-Sun on) they make great storage containers for bead, needles, loose buttons.

    And oh yea...Hand Soap in the bathroom, purchase the first bottle with a pump, then just buy a cheap bottle of antibacterial dish liquad and refill, add just a little water to it. Saves money big time...$3 bucks should do enough hand soap for 4-6 weeks...

    Old Toothbrushes become a scrubber...

    I've kept the lens end off of an old scope that screwed out, makes a great magnifying glass...lol

    Old Clothes are reused for car rags, quilt material, or patches.

    Leaves outside, I have them in every flower bed around on top of the newspapers...they'll break down and I'll add more.

    Used laundry bottles get reused for lint trash from the dryer. Just loose the lid (unless you use them for jugging), and poke the lint down the hole..takes quite awhile to fill up, once it seems filled, just poke some more in there...and once it's full, it will still float to use for jugging. It actually adds some stability to the jug.

    Old pool noodles have been reused for "noodling", just tie line and hook on, once finished it'll roll up and store in a handy tote bag.

    Feed sacks get reused as trash bags for the yard, house..dog pens, hog pens...etc.

    Used spray bottles get reused for refills on more cleaner, or homemade cleaners. I make my own fabric freshner, just add a few cups of fabric softner and water to an old spray bottle and works just as well.

    If we go thru a drive thru, I'll usually get extra napkins..lol, and leave them in the truck for emergency pits stops. I just put them in the glove box and they are there for potty breaks, runny noses or cleaning up spills.
    Last edited by Kidzthinkimahoarder; 02-18-2013 at 01:14 AM.

  8. #7
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Just about everything besides toilet paper and facial tissue.
    oswegoscott likes this.

  9. #8
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Quad Cities Iowa
    We just had our first kid, so baby jars make awesome JAM jars!
    Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of men who follow and of the man who leads that gains the victory.
    George S. Patton.

  10. #9
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    I wash any freezer bag that hasn't had meat in it.

    I'll use plastic jars (peanut butter, coffee, mayo, etc) for canisters if they're clear and the lid fits tightly. I shop a lot at the Bulk Barn and none of that stuff comes in containers so having a good collection of jars the same size is pretty useful.

    I'll reuse bread tabs on soda cracker bags. Keeps them from going stale.

    I buy oil in large jugs and refill a small bottle for everyday use.

    Parchment paper, when used for cookies can be wiped down, folded and stored in a ziplock bag for use over and over again.

    Pickle jars can be reused for pickles but as long as the lid isn't rusted, save the jar and use it for canning your own. Something I have not tried, but want to, is reusing the pickle juice. Cut up a cucumber (or even cauliflower) and put it in the juice, leave in the fridge for a week and you have pickles.

    Our bath towels are turned into clothes used on cars or dirty jobs. We reused our towels and turned them into our baby diapers for our first child.

    I store flour in ice cream tubs in the freezer. A full freezer uses less power and it kills any little insect eggs in the flour so it'll keep longer.
    Annie and Burnt_Cigarettes like this.

  11. #10
    Super Moderator

    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    New Jersey
    Dryer lint and yard waste are great for fire starter kits. I put these materials into old coffee tins for campouts under the stars.

    Last night's leftovers (sauces and gravies, etc) can often become the basis for great flavor in the next night's meal. They can also just be thrown into the soup pot to create broth..

    Old, unserviceable clothing gets cut up and used as cleaning & dusting rags.
    If there's no second amendment, they'll be no first amendment for very long either.


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