12 Things We All Have at Home but Only Few Know How to Recycle
Every day, a single person can generate up to 5 kilos of waste, and if we add together what everyone on the planet produces, that would be 2 billion tons of waste every year. However, not everything that is discarded is garbage, as many of these things can be recycled, and others can even be turned into fertilizer for plants.
At Bright Side, we were amazed to discover that several of the objects we use every day can give life to totally new and, at the same time, cool things. So we’ll share some of these things and how to give them a second chance.
1. Old underwear
Old bras, panties, and general clothes that you would think aren’t reusable are useful as stuffing for fabric dolls or small cushions at home. Even if you have a pet, they can be used to make a toy ball that dogs and cats might really enjoy.
Another option to consider when giving old bras a second chance is to look for non-profit organizations that receive these types of garments as donations for people who do not have access to them.
Although traditional toothbrushes are difficult to recycle because of the variety of components in each toothbrush, there are recycling companies that separate all of these elements. Once the plastic and nylon parts are isolated, they can be turned into a variety of new items, from picnic tables to children’s playground equipment.
However, before we put our old brushes in the hands of these specialized plants, we can always use them as household cleaning tools for those hard-to-reach spaces or to clean jewelry.
3. Compact discs
Because CDs and DVDs are no longer as popular as they were a couple of decades ago, we may have several of them at home, taking up space. But before we throw them away, we might consider new uses for these items without them leaving our home.
They can serve as decorative bases for candles, help to scare away birds if hung on plants in the garden, or as dream catchers on the balcony. And if cut into small pieces, these can adorn a picture frame or mirror.
4. Spare paint
If you’ve done any home renovations that involved paint, it’s likely that you have some left over in a can. In order not to waste the paint, it could be used in small home decorating projects. For example, a chalkboard in the children’s room can be achieved by simply painting a boldly colored box on the wall.
On the other hand, doors, windows, chairs, or kitchen cabinets could perhaps benefit from a color change or touch-up with that leftover paint. Also, as an alternative, you can always look for someone among friends, family, or neighbors who could use the paint.
5. Coffee waste
Although the residue that is left over after preparing coffee as a beverage is organic, when it decomposes, it produces gas, like methane, which also increases the so-called greenhouse effect on the planet. However, nowadays, technology has been developed that converts coffee grounds into biofuel, capable of generating electricity or moving public service buses.
Of course, at home, we can also do our part to reuse what is left over after preparing a hot cup of bean juice. On the one hand, our gardens can benefit if we use that waste as compost after it has been used. On the other hand, if we rub those coffee grounds on our hair when we wash it, we can leave it clean of impurities and residue left behind by various beauty products.
6. Tea bags
As for the hot tea bags used to brew tea, they serve as a good mirror cleaner. When they are still wet, rubbing them on bathroom mirrors that have soap or toothpaste stains on them can make them shiny again. After that, they can be planted in the garden (just make sure they don’t have any metal components in them) and will add nutrients to the soil.
7. Sticky notes
Sticky notes that are often used in offices count among the things that can go into a compost bin. Although they are paper, they have a thin layer of glue on them, which might lead one to think that they are not compostable. However, that glue is non-toxic and decomposes quickly.
8. Old jeans
Jeans, jackets, and other denim garments can be given another life when we decide to take them out of our closet. If you cut them up and take the parts that are still useful, you can use them to make fun patches for other garments, bags, rugs, or even rags for household cleaning.
If those jeans are still in good condition, they can also be taken to a charity organization that accepts used clothing as a donation.
9. Used aluminum foil
To recycle aluminum foil at home that has already been used, you first have to gather it all together, crush it into a small ball, and rub it over any grill that has hard-to-remove stains. You can now use them as an abrasive sponge to clean some stains.
Another way to use them is to protect floors from scratches when moving heavy furniture. Just place the paper on the bottom of the furniture, and that way, when you drag it around, it won’t scratch the floor.
10. Hair accessories
If we look at our countertops or dressers, some of the accessories we use in our hair can also have other uses inside the house. Hair clips that you no longer use can perfectly hold back curtains, and old rubber bands can help to keep cables organized or hold branches of certain plants in the garden to prevent them from falling.
11. Waste water
The water we use to do various household chores can be reused. The water that children use to rinse paintbrushes while working on their art projects can be used to water plants. The water used to wash rice can also help you wash dishes and kitchen surfaces, or you can even mix it with fabric softener when rinsing sheets to make them softer.
12. Bread clips
From the bread packaging, both the plastic bag and the wire with which it is closed can be used. The bag, on the other hand, can replace the special bags to collect our dogs’ poop when we take them outside. Additionally, the tie is an excellent ally when it comes to organizing cables from small appliances and even headphones or chargers.
What other things from your home do you reuse? Share your recycling ideas in the comments.