Bright Side

20 Clever Ways to Give New Life to Things You No Longer Need

According to scientists, traces of microplastic pollution have been found literally everywhere, and we are already consuming plastic particles in our water and food. To change the situation for the better, more and more people think about reducing their waste and recycling it in a proper, eco-friendly way. Using old things for new purposes is one of the core ideas behind responsible waste handling, and it’s easier than you think.

Here at Bright Side, we support the idea of wise recycling, and we’ve found tips that can help to repurpose old items. And don’t miss our bonus paragraph at the end that shows what results you can achieve if you reduce, reuse, and recycle.

1. Turn an old T-shirt into a reusable shopping bag in just a few minutes following the instructions given in this post.

2. Toilet paper rolls can easily turn into biodegradable seed starter pots. See this video for details.

3. Don’t throw away an old tire. In a few simple steps, turn it into a comfy bed for your cat or dog...

4. ...or make a nice pouf for yourself!

5. A scratching post for your cat doesn’t have to be costly. Just cut a carton box into strips and roll them tightly while adding some glue.

6. Lego bricks that your kids are scattering all over the house can become key holders and key fobs. Now your keys will always be in place.

7. Many of us turn old jeans into shorts, but pant legs are usually thrown away. Why not try and make a pair of nice slippers out of them? See this video for details.

8. An old jacket or coat can serve as eye-catching upholstery for your armchair, just use your imagination.

9. Old wooden pallets can cover your breaker box and serve as a coat rack at the same time.

10. Smaller wooden cases can turn into an improvised bookcase.

11. A few plastic milk bottles placed on a rail will help your kids sort and store Lego bricks and other small toys. No more bulky toy containers!

12. Who knew skateboards could be so multi-functional? A skateboard can turn into a shelf, a shoe rack, or even a table.

13. Organize your garden tools with the help of wooden pallets placed along the wall.

14. Use a mobile phone box, a carton, and wrapping paper to make a DIY earring organizer.

15. Don’t have a shoe rack? Use a few tubes or metal cans of the appropriate size, and organize them in a pyramid.

16. Old cartons can easily be used instead of drawers and even make up for a full-scale cupboard.

17. Cans organized in a V shape will serve as a magazine holder or an umbrella rack in your entrance hall.

18. Don’t throw away an old wooden table. Place it in your garden, make a hole in the table top, fill it with soil, and plant veggies and herbs.

19. Old clothes deserve a second chance too. Use old jeans and shirts as upholstery for a DIY pouf...

20. ...and turn old sweaters into cute, warm mittens as shown here.

BONUS: Lauren Singer from New York switched to zero waste living several years ago, and has achieved incredible results. In the picture below she shows a mason jar that fits 4 years’ worth of trash that she had. She manages to repurpose and recycle the majority of old things and opts for reusable items whenever she can.

Do you recycle and repurpose old things? Do you have your own upcycling tips to share?

Preview photo credit familia.mullers / Instagram