Reduce-Reuse-Recycle: The Art of Repurposing

Today’s post is on the second item in the Holy Grail of sustainability—reusing. For many Americans the default action for fulfilling needs has been “buy it new”. For some, it has been look for it used, which is an improvement. But—it may be unnecessary to buy anything at all. Why not look around at what you already have and repurpose something?

In the home it may be using empty jars for food storage, a rock as a doorstop, or a wheelbarrow as a planter.

In clothing it could be cutting a dress in half and making a skirt, or using a big scarf as a beach cover-up. There are things all around us everyday that could be used for something else if the need arises. All it takes is some ingenuity and a desire to live frugal and green. What have you repurposed? How did you get the idea? Share your stories here!

As inspiration I suggest the following links:



4 Responses

  1. Years ago, a friend of mine taught me to make toddler pants our of adult pants. Get an elastic waist toddler pants pattern, and place it so that the bottom of the pants leg is on the bottom of the leg of the adult pants. (You will not be sewing any leg seams, only the curved crotch seam. You are just going to use the leg “tube” of the adult pants for the leg “tube” of the kids pants.) Depending on your pattern, you might have to fold it in half, so that you are only cutting one curve for the crotch seam on each leg. I am not sure if it will make sense unless you are a sewer; I should make a video. Sew up the crotch seam, and then fold down the elastic casing at the top for the waistband elastic, and put in the elastic. Voila!

    • Good idea! Kids clothes can break the budget when they grow so fast. Anything you can do to make instead of buy is all to the good.

  2. Hello!

    What a fun article topic.

    First thing that comes to mind (as I use it daily) is an egg carton where I keep my jewelry. Necklaces in the little egg dishes & earrings pinned through the top of the carton (poked sets of holes initially with a stick pin). I rotate jewelry on a seasonal basis : ))

    Thanks for the inspiration! Now I can feel my little wheels spinning… : )

    • Thanks for commenting! I like the reuse of egg cartons. Storing jewelry can be pricey without a little ingenuity.

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