Day Six: Re Use

by Josée

It’s already day six of the Household Waste Challenge. I’m sure people are getting ready for Easter so I’ll make today and tomorrow’s post a little shorter. Don’t forget to enter the giveaways from the last few days.
                                                                       — o O o —

In the past, reusing items was the norm and very little went to waste. Useless scraps of fabric were made into beautiful quilts and old clothes were sewed into new clothes. People saw worth in what would have probably appeared worthless to the most of us today.

Household Items

Before you throw anything ask the question: Can this be reused? Once a household items is no longer serving it’s original purpose don’t automatically trash it. First, consider any other functional uses it may have. If nothing comes to mind check the internet for suggestions. Here are a few ideas:

  • Use old toothbrushes as (non-dental) cleaning tools.
  • Make old towels into rags or even a toddler bib.
  • Cut an old mouse pad into shapes for art stamps.
  • Use toilet paper rolls for art projects or to start growing seeds.

If you can’t find another way to use the item – don’t throw it out! Perhaps someone else could use it. Clothes, shoes, furniture, toys, art supplies, books… can be donated to a thrift store. If you don’t think the item is thrift store worthy bring it to a landfill swap shed. You’d be surprised what people are interested in taking home to use.

Get It Used

Before you buy something ask: Can this be bought used? Buying or getting free used items is a great thing! Think of all the planet’s resources that are saved even by buying one used shirt. Don’t be scared away by thrift stores and swap sheds. Be brave and step inside. You might be pleasantly surprised. I know that I was surprised when I made the effort to enter and browse our local swap shed for the first time.

Also, it’s good to know that thrift store have sales, like Value Village’s 50% of sales. This is great time to stock up for certain items like children’s clothes. is another great place to find used items.


Upcycling is taking something that’s headed for the trash and making something functional or better out of it. I’ve seen some pretty amazing stuff made of out upcycled material. But upcycling can take time, energy and a little creativity. If you’re curious has a few good upcycling suggestions.

In the spirit of reusing I have a lovely giveaway for today:

The giveaway item was hand made by Sew North Gifts. The creative Tamara used 27 different pieces of fabric, second hand thread, a remnant of upholstery and a reused button to make this one-of-a-kind ragamuffin bib. When I received the bib I wanted to keep it (it’s so cute!) but of course that would be so unfair.

Thank you Tamara for creating this wonderful bib for today’s giveaway!

Enter the Giveaway:

1) Leave a comment below about how things you reuse (or plan to reuse) in your household. Please leave an email address if you do not have a link on your name so I can contact you if you win.

2) Visit Sew North Gift then come back here and tell me that you did.

3) Facebook, blog or tweet about this giveaway and link back to this blog. Leave a separate comment for each thing you’ve done telling me you’ve done so.

4) Become a follower of my blog. Only if you want to of course 🙂

So there are multiple ways of entering this giveaway with a potential of six entries per person!

The giveaway ends Sunday, April 24, 2011 at midnight.
The winner will be announced on April 25, 2011.

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Chantell April 23, 2011 - 2:25 am

I am using my plastic yogurt and applesauce containers that were headed to the recylcle bin as mini planters to start my seeds off in.

Nicole April 23, 2011 - 4:52 am

We reuse a lot! Food storage containers, diapers, jars, thrift shop clothes, toys, etc.

You might like this product, for those who are trying to get away from plastic wrap: – Made in Victoria, they're hemp cloth coated in beeswax!

Nicole April 23, 2011 - 4:55 am

I love Sew North Gifts! Tamara is so creative – each of her items is a unique and functional work of art! We actually sell her bibs, so I don't think I should win it – just wanted to post. 🙂

Anonymous April 23, 2011 - 7:43 am

This reminds me of a project I'd like to do with a pair of old, worn jeans…make a bag out of the upper end by cutting off the legs and sewing it closed along the bottom; then make a carrying strap out of the leg pieces that are still intact! ~christine (you know who :>)


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