You’ve heard the saying: reduce, reuse, recycle. And I’m here to break it down for you. As I have shifted myself to a more conscious consumer, I constantly think about these three little words.
Reduce, reuse, recycle. Did you know that they are in that order for a reason? It shows us the best option first, then leads us down the line to less effective means of reducing our waste.
In this three part series, I will break down what each word means to me, as well as give tips that I have personally learned on my journey to consciously consumer. So let’s take a closer look:
Single use isn’t sexy, and should be avoided at all costs.
And when I mean cost, it means that sometimes you’ll have to pay a higher price point up front, but it’s about INVESTING. An upfront cost may be higher than single-use items, but if you expand it past one use, you’ll learn it’s much cheaper.
My kitchen tips:
I’ve mentioned it before, and I’ll say it again. SAVE STUFF. Okay so don’t be a hoarder, but keep bread bags, nut tins, salsa jars and other items that may be labeled as single-use. See some of my notable kept items below, as well as the second life I give them:
Salsa jars, Vegenaise jars, jam jars
—-> bulk dry goods jars adds a little quirky dysfunction to your cabinet aesthetic
Bread bags, tortilla bags
—> bulk bags before transferring to glass jars use on any dry goods, so you don’t have to worry about weight measurements of the glass containers at checkout
—> sandwich bags for hikes takes up less space/weight than Tupperware, but also helps you reuse
Glass alcohol shooters
—> salad dressing container for work lunches you can also just refill them for on-the-go tequila¯_(ツ)_/¯
—> cups when we lived in an older house, we bought some little IKEA candles and we got about two weeks of fresh-smelling house and ended up also getting little whisky glasses
My Living Room Tips
—> centerpieces, decorations okay one day before I got hired I was sitting around and wanted to make our house look more home-y one a budget. Before I knew it, I was washing and de-labeling wine bottles and putting tree branches in. Basically could be sold at TJMaxx for $24.99, and I got it for $10.99, wine night included.
—> throw pillows this takes a little more work, but if you start switching out older synthetic pillows, it’s easy to grab an old shirt, old tablecloth, curtain, etc and sew it into a little couch pillow. Don’t waste that batting (it’s expensive at craft stores and also is made of plastic materials).
Thrift store pictures
—> frames or just hang it right back up on your wall why pay for totally new frames when there’s some that are in a good condition at your local thrift store. Big ones, small ones, medium ones, sometimes they even come with already rad pictures that you can just hang right back up on your wall
My Everything Else Tips
Anything from a thrift store
—> Anything you want it to be buying secondhand has become my go-to. Especially for clothes and home decoration. It’s super easy to reuse something that doesn’t need to be altered (except for a quick wash and dry). Pretty much all of my closet has been bought second hand, and I’m proud of it. One’s trash is literally another’s treasure.
These are just an example of the small things I do to take a step towards reusing the materials around me. It takes a little shift into thinking more creatively, but after that, it’s all smooth sailing.
What unusual things do you reuse around your home?
Your full-time plant eater,
[…] mentioned above, recycling should be a last resort. Steps should be made to reduce and reuse items as much as possible before […]