Be Smart…Do Your Part.
The media has done a wonderful job of selling us on the attractiveness and benefits of buying "new", "improved", "special" products. However, we already collectively own so much that we could all survive for quite a while on the existing products - if we just reused them a few times! 

Reuse is an efficient waste management technique that includes shopping at thrift stores, trading online, or something as simple as washing and reusing a container, instead of throwing it away.  Check the phonebook for thrift stores in your area, or have a yard sale; many unwanted items still have a lot of life left in them.  Listed below are some great Reuse ideas:

Making use of your mountain of plastic bags:

  • Use them as bin liners.
  • Place them in the bottom of plant pots and hanging baskets - they act as great drainage systems.
  • Children can use them for carrying PE gear to school.
  • Scrunch them up to surround items when you're packaging as an alternative to bubble wrap.
  • Use them in the garden to hold your grass cuttings and hedge trimmings before transfer to a compost bin.
  • Use them when packing for a holiday to keep dirty/wet clothes and shoes away from dry clothing.
  • Use them as 'doggy doo bags' when out walking your dog!
  • Some supermarkets recycle plastic bags, so you can return plastic bags to them.

Making use of your mountain of paper:

  • After children's drawings and paintings have been displayed for a while they can be used to wrap presents - this also makes the present special.
  • 'Use the envelopes you receive in the mail a second time by placing a new address label over the last address.  Old envelopes can also be used for scribbling down shopping lists, to-do lists, and notes.'
  • Old calendars, colorful pictures, etc. can be used to make your own envelopes. You can unstick a used envelope and use it as a template for making envelopes.
  • Old rolls of wallpaper can be used for children’s drawings.
  • Junk mail can be used as scrap paper, or as bedding for pets.
  • Pet shops appreciate old newspapers.
  • Toilet roll centers can be recycled - they're made of cardboard. 
  • Old magazines are appreciated by:
    • Doctor and Dentist Office
    • Motels
    • Friends

Making use of household waste in the garden:

  • Aluminum trays from pies and cakes make ideal 'drip saucers' to put under pot plants.
  • The following waste items can be modified and used for planting seedlings:
    • Egg cartons
    • Plastic bottles
    • Plastic containers for cherry tomatoes
    • Old boots and shoes
    • Plastic containers for takeaways
    • The cardboard centers from toilet rolls
  • Lawn clippings can be used to cover weeds and keep from growing in the garden through winter.
  • Broken crockery can be used as drainage at the bottom of pot plants.
  • Old newspapers (including those gathered from your friends) can be used to mulch and weed control the garden. Wet newspaper and place thickly on the garden. Cover with bark or stones.
  • Plastic milk bottles can be used to hold snail bait and are pet proof.
  • Old stockings can be used to tie up plants in the garden.