Reusing items is a better environmental choice than just recycling to reduce waste.
We live in an age of convenience and as a result, we are a trash producing, throwaway society.
Sure, single-use may be easy, but how healthy is it for the planet? You totally want to “keep up with the jones” but do you really need to replace your cell phone, computer, or wardrobe every year?
All this waste is harming the planet.
To have a positive impact on the environment, reusing the same item many times rather than just once will cut down on your use of energy and natural resources.
When you choose to reuse, you are making a conscious choice to make your life greener and more earth-friendly.
Yay! You are wanting to take steps to make better environmental choices.
So, what exactly is reuse and why is it important?
What Is Reuse?
Reduce, reuse, recycle.
I am sure you have heard that before.
Three Rs of living a green lifestyle and are effective ways to reduce waste.
Reuse is the practice of using something again. Whether for its original purpose or to fulfill a different function.
Reusing items helps save money, energy, and resources.
Recycling gets the most attention of the three Rs but there is much more you can be doing to help the planet.
Recycling takes energy and produces pollution.
The process of recycling breaks down unused items to make raw materials for the manufacture of new products. Plus, it’s really only effective if you close the cycle by buying recycled products.
The most effective way to lower your waste habits is to not create any in the first place.
Reusing and repurposing are important steps of a low waste lifestyle to save natural resources and to protect the environment.
Why Is Reuse Important?
Reusing helps keep waste out of landfills and slows down the need for manufacturing new materials.
This helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Reusing items and reducing waste will go a long way in reducing global warming. When you reuse items instead of tossing in the trash you will help reduce carbon gases emitting from landfills.
Reusing instead of wasting will help conserve natural resources and protect the environment.
Benefits Of Reuse
- Reducing the need to harvest new raw materials helps prevent pollution
- Saves energy
- Saves money
- Reduces greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change
- Helps sustain the environment for future generations
- Reduces the amount of waste that will need to be recycled or sent to landfills and incinerators
- Allows products to be used to their fullest extent and cuts down on over-consumption
- Energy and raw materials savings as replacing many single-use products with one reusable one reduces the number that needs to be manufactured.
- Cost savings for business and consumers as a reusable product is often cheaper than the many single-use products it replaces.
Ways To Reuse
If you are new to the idea of reusing, start with a few that are easy to do and take baby steps to others that take a little more effort.
Here are 10 ways to reuse to help have a positive impact on the planet:
1. Garage Sales
Shop at and hold garage sales. This is a great way to reuse products.
Purging and have items you no longer need or want? Don’t throw away. Have a garage sale so they can be reused by someone else.
Or, if you are needing something, look at your neighborhood garage sale or estate sales before buying new.
2. Switch From Disposables To Reusables
Ditch disposable and swap with reusable products.
Start switching to reusable food and beverage containers, cups, plates, writing pens, razors, diapers, towels, shopping bags, napkins, etc.
Want room by room checklists for reusable ideas? Lucky for you, I have made some that you can download for FREE. Get your Eco-Friendly Reuse checklists now!
Donate any household items you no longer need to charities, second-hand shops, homeless shelters, schools, and organizations.
Also, always look for used first when you are in the buying mood.
4. Share With Friends And Neighbors
The power of community, am I right?
Join in with neighbors to purchase infrequently used products such as lawnmowers, ladders, hardware, etc.
Check-in with your friends for book swaps, unused toys, and clothes. Set up a community swap to reuse what others no longer need.
5. Replace Plastic Bags
Plastic bags are gross. Yuck. Don’t use them.
Instead, swap with reusable options such as glass, ceramic, or metal storage containers.
Use reusable bags for shopping and storage. There are many options for you never to have to use plastic bags again. Seek out reusable bags.
6. Give Shipping Supplies To Local Packing Stores
Have packing peanuts and supplies? Donate to your local packing stores.
Don’t trash shipping supplies, drop off packing peanuts, boxes, and shipping supplies at a local packing, shipping or moving store.
7. Buy Durable Products
Skip buying “new”, “improved”, “special”, etc. products that aren’t durable. These ‘deals” won’t last very long and you will end up creating waste and needing to buy new items.
Buy products that will last a long time and take care of them.
Buring durable products that will last will cut down on your contribution to waste.
8. Read From Library Or Used Book Store
Instead of buying new, pick up books from your local library or used book store.
The library is also a great place to find magazines, audiobooks, and movies.
Look for little free libraries in your neighborhood, or if there isn’t any, make one.
9. Buy Refurbished
If you are in need of a new computer or phone, look for refurbished.
Shop for smartphones, laptops and desktops, tablets, home and kitchen appliances, game consoles, office products, and more.
Many of these items may be unused customer returns that are essential “new”, or they may be items that were defective that were returned under warranty and resold by the manufacturer after repairing the defects and ensuring proper function.
10. Use Rechargeable Batteries
Purchase rechargeable batteries and a battery recharger (some battery rechargers will also recharge regular alkaline batteries).
Also, solar-powered battery rechargers are available online.
Cut down on waste by using batteries over and over again.
Conclusion Of Reuse, One Of The R’s Of A Green Lifestyle
When you make an effort to reuse, you help stop waste from clogging landfills that emit harmful greenhouse gases.
Using a product over again doesn’t produce pollution, use natural resources or energy. Reusing cuts down on waste and helps protect the environment.
Now that you know what is reuse, you can start to take steps to cut down on waste. Even small changes can make a big difference.
Repurposing For A Low Waste Lifestyle Is A Smart Choice
What do you reuse? Share in the comments. Let’s get ideas from each other.