Last Updated on December 18, 2020Photo by Patricia Valério on Unsplash
If we want to preserve our beloved planet, some changes need to be made, especially regarding our levels of consumerism. Being conscious about the changes that need to be made is essential to start a more sustainable journey – simple things, like avoiding packaged foods, trying to reuse old containers, and even bringing our shopping bags to the grocery store. However, there are times where we can’t avoid certain purchases, and in that case, reusing and recycling is the way to go! Here is a list of 10 things you should never throw away – and what you can do with them instead!
Table of Contents
1. Binder clips
Binder clips are known for their strength, which is why if you ever come across a box filled with these seemingly useless office accessories, you should be aware of the fact that they are pretty useful. There is a huge list of life hacks that can be done using binder clips – hang your favorite Polaroids, glue a magnet to the back of a clip and create a magnet-clip, or use them to tidy up your loose wires.
2. Aluminum foil
Aluminum foil was commercialized for the first time in 1947, and the company who created it used to advertise it as the foil for “1,001 kitchen miracles,” and they weren’t lying. If you ever use a bit of aluminum foil to cover up a plate, do not throw it away. Instead, rinse it off and keep it in a drawer for future uses. In case you didn’t know, aluminum foil can be used for many different household purposes – you can ball it up and use it to scrub your pots and pans, use it to create a disposable funnel, or even to sharpen your scissors (it’s as simple as cutting through a sheet of this kitchen miracle.
3. Your old cellphone
Broken electronic devices should never be mixed with the rest of your household trash, and your used-up cellphone doesn’t belong in the garbage either. Recycling electronics can bring all sorts of benefits to the environment. Smartphone recycling alone can have a huge impact on our planet – 35,000 pounds of copper, 75 pounds of gold, 772 pounds of silver, and 33 pounds of palladium can be saved from recycling 1 million cell phones, which, let’s face it, is an easy goal nowadays.
4. Wine corks
If you are into arts and crafts, saving wine corks can be your new hobby from now on. Gather a couple of hundred of wine corks and create your DIY backing board, make some funny homemade stamps with your kids, or walk that extra mile and create a unique bathroom mat made from this versatile material. The possibilities are as huge as your imagination.
5. Squeeze Bottles
You don’t need to go out of your way to purchase squeeze bottles for your kitchen when you can reuse an empty mustard bottle instead. But why would you want squeeze bottles in the first place, you ask? Well, for a million different reasons. You can use them to store your homemade sauces, to add a dash of olive oil to your fanciest dishes, or even to create the perfect pancake by adding the batter to a squeeze bottle, allowing you to create perfect and even portions.
6. Plastic bags
Ideally, you should have a reusable cloth bag for groceries, but if you happen to have grocery bags made from plastic laying around your house, it would be a crime not to use it. Statistics show that as much as 1 million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals die every single year from plastic waste ingestion. If you don’t want to be part of this problem, do not allow your plastic bags to wind up on the ocean. Use them to make a nice, comfortable pillow for your furry friend by stuffing a series of plastic bags into a used-up pillow-case or fill a box with plastic bags to protect its fragile content. Whatever you do, avoid creating more waste and pollution. The planet will thank you!
7. Recycle eyeglasses
More and more people wear glasses nowadays, and even though glasses can be quite expensive, good vision is a must. Unfortunately, people in third world countries have a hard time accessing prescription eyeglasses, which is why you can always give a new life to your old pair of glasses or frames. Many charitable organizations are willing to accept donations of eyeglasses – one of them is the Lions Club International. So, if you have an old pair of glasses and you don’t know what to do with them, give them to someone in need.
8. Old clothes
Clothes that no longer fit you can fit other people. If you need some extra cash and have good clothes that you don’t wear anymore, you have many different online platforms you can use to try and sell them. Otherwise, there are a lot of charity institutions that would be more than grateful to receive those clothes. However, if the clothes are ruined for some reason, you can always cut them into pieces to create all-purpose rags, use them to make a bed for your dog, or reinvent them and turn them into something new.
9. Rubber Bands
Rubber bands always end up in junk drawers for some reason, but if you ever decide to clean your junk drawer, do not throw these tiny bands away. First, because you will need them at some point, and you will regret throwing them out. Second, because you can use them for so many different things that they do not deserve to be turned into garbage. Get creative – wrap a rubber band around a wooden spoon to prevent it from sliding into your salad bowl or do the same thing to the edges of your cutting board to create traction, for example.
10. Toilet paper tubes
Toilet paper tubes can be subject to a myriad of creative projects, and you are well aware of that. Do you remember using toilet paper tubes to make binoculars when you were a child? Or to connect two tubes through a string and pretend that you were talking on the phone? Well, you don’t need to tone down on the creativity just because you are a grown adult. Use toilet paper tubes to create a handy dispenser for your grocery bags or use the tubes to wrap your cables and to keep them organized, for example.