15 Simple Things That Could Be Upcycled Rather Than Trashed

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Do you find it hard to throw things away because they have special memories? Or do you like the idea of reusing things to create less waste? Repurposing your household items that no longer serve you is a great way to kill two birds with one stone, or as I like to say, achieve two goals with one go. 

Ultimately, you may need to let go of some items from your home. However, here are a few ways to give certain items a second life before you give or throw them away.

1. Empty Bottles

empty bottle flowers vases
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Wine bottles can be used for several purposes, including being turned into vases or similar décor items. You can turn wine or beer bottles into drinking glasses if you’re incredibly crafty. 

Plenty of DIY projects exist to upcycle empty glass bottles; what you choose to do with them will depend on your craftiness and personal taste.

2. Plastic Grocery Bags

Plastic Bags full of groceries
Plastic Bags full of groceries

Some people switch to reusable grocery bags to avoid collecting or wasting plastic grocery bags. While this is an excellent choice for some, it doesn’t work for everyone. 

So, the question remains—how can you use the plastic grocery bags you’ve been collecting? Instead of buying trash bags for your small cans, reuse the plastic bags you already have. Or consider using them to pack or protect items for shipping purposes.

3. Empty Egg Cartons

planting in egg cartons
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Easter is over, but you can still upcycle the egg cartons you’ve been collecting and swearing to yourself you’ll find a use for. They may not be an aesthetic decoration, but egg cartons can be easily repurposed. 

Use them to store your ornaments and keep them from getting smashed in storage, or start seeds growing inside each little compartment. 

4. Interesting Things To Do With Coffee Grounds

Burning coffee grounds for mosquito and wasp repellent
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Coffee grounds have quite a few uses even after you’ve brewed your daily cup. For example, incorporating them into your gardening can give your plants a helpful boost. Coffee is also thought to help eliminate pests that like to snack on plants.

In addition to using coffee grounds in your garden, consider learning how to use coffee in your beauty recipes. Many expensive scrubs and face masks use coffee, but making your own will be much cheaper. Did you know that Starbucks in some locations offers used grounds to customers? Even if you don’t drink a lot of coffee at home, you may be able to use this offering.
Here’s 16 Interesting Things To Do With Coffee Grounds Before Dumping Them

5. Broken Mugs or Cups

broken coffee mug plant holder
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Have no fear if you have a cup or mug that you love or was gifted to you but has been cracked or can no longer be used for its intended purpose. 

You can give new life to a broken mug in a few ways, as long as the crack isn’t too big. One idea would be to make a candle inside the mug or turn it into a terrarium or plant pot. You could also use a cup or mug as a pencil holder.

6. Empty Shampoo Bottles

Shampoo Stock photos by Vecteezy

Shampoo, soap, and other beauty product bottles can easily be used several times so long as they are adequately cleaned and dried. If you’re learning to make your bath and body products, you can wash them out and refill them with your concoction. 

Some stores even sell bulk products like soap or laundry detergent and offer discounts if you bring your own bottle.

Once a toothbrush has served its time, it could be sanitized and used to clean small areas, such as window sills, grout, or nooks and crannies. 

Some people use old toothbrushes to clean their computer keyboards or even remove dust from their vehicles’ hard-to-reach areas.

8. Old Bath Towels & Flannels

old worn flannels
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Need some new rags? Before you head to the store, check out your linen closet and see if there are old bath towels that you’re no longer using. 

Not only can this give a new life to an old towel, but it can also reduce your disposable paper towel use. 

9. Toilet Paper Rolls

Bird feeder made of a used paper roll
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You might have done crafts with old toilet paper rolls when you were a kid. If you’re not feeling like undertaking a craft project, don’t worry. You can still find a good use for your collection of toilet paper rolls.

There are other uses for these cardboard rolls besides crafts, such as seed starters, bird feeders, and fire starter material. 

10. Old Blankets or Fabric Scraps

dog blanket
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Depending on how crafty you are, old fabric or blankets can be used for numerous purposes. They can be used as animal bedding, turned into rags for cleaning, or turned into tote bags, headbands, or dog toys. 

Blankets that no longer serve you in your home could also be stored in the car for emergencies. Some animal shelters also take donations of old blankets or fabric.

11. Newspaper and Cardboard

newspaper crafts
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Both newspaper and cardboard can add up quickly and take up a lot of space, but throwing them away feels wasteful. You can recycle them, but what if you could find another use for them instead?

Depending on the box size, you could turn it into a magazine holder or storage in your kitchen or garage. Old newspapers can be used to clean things, for crafts, or line shelves. You can also use newspapers as packing material. 

12. Old Food Containers

Plastic Stock photos by Vecteezy

There are some containers you might get food delivery in that can be reused for their intended purpose: storing food. However, other plastic food containers aren’t going to hold up to another use, especially if they’ve been microwaved.

Instead, turn old plastic containers into planters or compost. You could also use an old Tupperware container as a drawer organizer if it is still in good shape. 

13. Empty Tissue Boxes

Hygiene Stock photos by Vecteezy

My favorite use for old tissue boxes is storing plastic bags under the sinks in my home, making it easy to grab just one when I need it. 

Tissue boxes could also store and organize small items like pens or jewelry. If you’re worried about the appearance, you can hide it out of sight or decorate it.

14. Buckets, Jars & Cans

upcycle cans
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If you frequently buy products in metal cans or hard plastic canisters such as buckets, there are many uses for these types of containers. 

Large buckets could be turned into animal feeders. At the same time, smaller containers like jars and cans could store small tools, craft supplies, or virtually anything you can think of.

15. Old Furniture

upcycle old furniture
Image Credit: Shutterstock

Do you have a piece of furniture that’s falling apart, but you can’t let it go? There are a few ways you can give your furniture a second life. 

Consider adding legs to a door and turning it into a table. Doors, ladders, and mirrors can be cleaned or painted and turned into garden décor. Drawers that are falling apart can become planter boxes or be used for storage.

This article originally appeared on Savvy Homemade

18 Kitchen Ingredients You Can Use As DIY Cleaning Products

Eco friendly natural cleaners
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Cleaning products occupy entire isles at the store. However, they are also full of harsh chemicals that can harm you and your kids or pets. If you’ve ever wondered what you could replace them with, we have put together a list of kitchen ingredients that can double as cleaning products.
Here’s 18 Kitchen Ingredients You Can Use As DIY Cleaning Products

15 Vegetables You Can Plant On Your Patio Or Urban Garden

woman is standing at her vertical tower garden
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Many herbs, food, and flowers can be started in small pots. In fact, you can even start some of these things inside and move them outside once they have begun to grow. These are a few of the easiest things to start a patio garden, even if you are a beginner and do not think you have a green thumb. 
Here’s 15 Vegetables You Can Plant On Your Patio Or Urban Garden

Author: Daisy Frisch

Title: Author

Daisy Frisch is an experienced writer and editor with nearly 15 years in the field, with a focus on long-form digital content. She specializes in medical and legal copy—think hospital and legal websites—but writes on many topics, from sustainability, crafts, and DIY projects to how to take care of seniors in a senior living home.

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