Recycling is outdated: its time has passed. I’ve been thinking about this recently. I know that might seem a crazy statement to some.
Yet we really have to encourage ourselves to reuse, and reuse again. Here are some creative and inspiring ways to do so:
1. Save To-Go Containers
I’m often surprised in my office when people get lunches to go, how many containers go in the recycling.
I quickly pull them out. Many of these are solid containers which can be used 100 times. We probably never have to buy Tupperware. These containers can be reused for a leftover, a half-eaten waffle from our breakfast, or a four-portion meal remaining from a dinner party. Many of them are durable, safe and strong enough to go in the dishwasher.
2. Bring Your Reusable Containers
I’d love to see this trend. We see it with coffee, why not other food? What if we trained ourselves to bring reusable containers or tupperware to all of our lunches or dinners?
We could halt the production of plastic containers.
3. Keep your Tinfoil 25x
I see the same thing with tinfoil. Sometimes when there’s a catered lunch at the office, large swathes of tinfoil cover the main entrée, or even a side dish. This aluminum foil can be washed down and dried, and reused multiple times. Depending on how clean you get it, it can be used 25x.
I’ve stopped buying aluminum foil.
4. Stop Throwing Out Water
Stop “throwing out” water.
In our kitchen at home, we have a hot pot which heats up our water. If it’s half full in the morning, I used to dump it out, and refill the whole container. And yet, I’m throwing away precious water. How many countries across the world—how many millions of children—would die for those two cups of clean water?
I’ll answer it for you: Two million people are dying annually due to lack of clean water. Most are children.
Drink it then, or save it for later. Or we can water our plants. Or we can use it to scrub down the basin, clean the bathtub, scour the shower, or dampen a cloth when we’re wiping down the kitchen table. Let’s not waste something that actually sustains other people’s lives.
As the expression says, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. I think we have to change our mindset completely…don’t throw out the baby…and don’t throw out the bathwater. Both represent life.
5. Rip Up T-shirts, Clothing, Towels
Does your t-shirt get too ratty to donate? Do you have an unbleachable spot on a shirt, pair of pants or towel? Cut them up. Use them as dishrags. We don’t need to buy rags.
Tell me how your life is not just useful — but “reuseful” – and I’ll post your ideas. Be sure to include not only the idea, but also how you use it at home or the office, and as well as your company name if you like.
We all need to learn from each other. Onwards to a more Reusable Lifestyle!
Here are some opportunities from UniversalGiving’s vetted NGOs to give and volunteer towards protecting our environment and resources.
Donate to preserve trees and traditions in Guatemala
Donate to preserve a biological corridor in Honduras
Give $22 to plant a tree in Haiti
Explore and protect the Amazon rainforest
Volunteer to conserve the New Zealand environment