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10 Easy Ways to Reuse and Recycle at Home

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Published September 2nd 2013
More ways to keep waste out of landfill
We are all aware of the basic ways we can recycle our paper and food packaging at home, such as placing aluminium cans, cereal boxes, newspapers, junk mail, bottles and jars in the appropriate recycle bin.

Recycle Bin
Recycle Bin

There are, however, other ways we can reuse waste around the home, keeping unnecessary plastic, paper and material out of landfill for at least a little while longer, at the same time saving money and resources.

The following ideas are fairly simple ways to reuse otherwise wasteful matter into something useful, some of which may involve a little art and craftiness on your part (tutorial links are provided):

1. Small juice or water bottles make great little ice blocks to keep your lunch cool and fresh in summer. Simply refill with tap water, freeze, and add to your lunch box straight from the freezer when needed.

2. Don't throw out ice cream containers, they make the perfect reusable food storage tubs.

3. Unwanted magazines, comics, maps, newspapers or even your child's art work can be used as gift wrap gifts for your loved ones. If you are feeling creative, you can make bows from recycled paper, such as these ones made from recycled magazines (tutorial found here)

Recycled Magazine Bows
Recycled Magazine Bows

4. Rather than print up business cards, it is possible to make your own by cutting up tissue boxes, cereal boxes, greetings cards or even discarded paint sample cards. Simply stamp with your business logo/website on the black side (tutorial here):

Recycled Business Cards
Recycled Business Cards

5. Greeting cards and tissue boxes can also be reused as gift tags. Simply cut the front of gift cards to your appropriate tag shape, punch a hole and add string/ribbon. (Tutorial here)

6. Empty aluminum food cans make simplistic plant pots. Even better with Andy Warhol artwork tribute cans.

Food can plant pots
Food can plant pots

7. Cut an old t-shirt into strips, stretch out, and use to wrap opened packaged food.

T-shirt strips
T-shirt strips

8. Instead of using cling wrap, emptied plastic bread bags can be reused to freeze meat, cookie dough, muffins etc in the freezer.

9. Roll-on deodorant tubes can be reused. The 'ball' can be eased out gently with the tip of a rounded knife. They can be refilled with sun screen for an easy sun protector applicator that you can carry in your handbag. Another idea would be to fill roll-on tubes with paint for children's paint pens.

10. If you own a pair of old jeans that you really can't wear any more, keep them. They can be cut up and used as sew-on patches on other more wearable jeans. (tutorial here)

Denim Hole Repair
Denim Hole Repair

Do you have any further suggestions for fun, easy and useful ways we can re-use and recycle at home?
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