If you are looking to reduce your family's impact on the environment, the simplest thing you can do is to follow the three R's of waste management: reduce, recycle, and reuse. Reducing your waste involves purchasing items with less packaging and avoiding disposable goods. Recycling involves sorting out recyclable materials and making sure they end up in your recycling bin. Reusing involves using items multiple times for the same purpose or for different purposes. Reusing is a critical part of waste management because it solves your need for material goods without producing extra waste or using energy to recycle waste into a new product, and it is easiest to do if you divide your reuse efforts into various spaces in your home. If you need some inspiration for the reuse of goods in your home, consider these ideas.
In the Craft Room
One of the easiest areas to reuse items is in your craft room. You should consider keeping one or two large bins somewhere in your home where you can put clean, used materials that you or your children may need for crafts. While you can think about separating items by type or use into dresser drawers, a large bin with mixed materials can be a good source of inspiration.
Everything from toilet paper rolls and cardboard boxes to old clothing and used wrapping paper or magazines should go in your craft room. These types of materials can be used to make dioramas and posters for school or for rainy-day projects. If you have difficulty coming up with a use for your extra supplies, consider keeping a jar with craft themes on a pieces of paper. For example, you can write, "dinosaurs", "make a concert", or "create a flower", on pieces of paper. When your kids are bored, have them draw out a slip of paper and create what is on it using only your craft bin materials.
If you notice that your craft pile is getting unruly, you should think about setting aside a weekend to do some crafts with your children. Alternatively, you can donate your craft bin to a local school for a craft project.
In the Garden
The garden also makes an excellent area to reuse items from your home. Plastic bottles make excellent bird feeders and gallon jugs can make an impromptu irrigation system. Newspaper or old clothing can be used to help keep seeds moist while germinating before you plant them, and toilet paper rolls can be turned into biodegradable seed pots that can be buried with the plant when you are ready to move the plant outdoors.
Once again, one or two large bins are sufficient for keeping your reusable materials contained in the garden.
In the Cleaning Closet
A small basket in the cleaning closet should be dedicated to old clothes that you can turn into cleaning rags. You can save money by not purchasing paper towels or dish clothes and instead reuse your cloth rags. You can throw them in the washing machine a few times before eventually throwing the soiled cloth away. Under the basket, you can keep a stack of newspapers, which are great for cleaning windows and mirrors without leaving streaks.
In the Kitchen
At least one shelf in your kitchen should be dedicated to reusable materials in your kitchen. On it, consider saving clean, used jars. You can either use them for canning or simply to store leftover meals. You can even freeze food in glass jars for easy reheating later. If the lid to the jar becomes unusable, you can recycle it and purchase a new lid or you can recycle the entire jar.
In the Baby's Room
Even your baby can benefit from reused materials. Cut up t-shirts make excellent baby wipes, especially if you are choosing to cloth diaper. Additionally, almost any clean recyclable material will be interesting for your toddler to play with for a few days before you throw it out. Just make sure there are no sharp edges or small parts.
Getting in the habit of reusing items before you throw them away or recycle them can help reduce your overall living costs while saving the planet. For more information on waste management, contact a company like B-P Trucking Inc.