Reducing waste is key, but sometimes even after reducing, there are still things that seem to have come to the end of their life. Recycling uses energy to transport the items and turn them into something new. Before you send them to be recycled into new products via your kerbside collection bins, take a look and see if they can be reused a few more times first.

How many of these simple reuse ideas have you tried?

Save plastic bags – ideally you won’t have any! But most of us do, hidden in a cupboard somewhere where they seem to multiply. Make the most of them and reuse them where you can. Don’t just throw them straight away to add to the plastic pollution. Once you have reused to the point of breaking, then find somewhere that takes them for recycling.

Toilet roll crafts – if you have kids this simple piece of cardboard can become a rocket, pen holder, binoculars or even part of a robot. Don’t spend money on fancy craft items, keep a box of toilet rolls, egg boxes or yoghurt pots for them to create their own imaginative crafts.

Tinfoil – if you just can’t do without this when cooking your roast, then make sure you rinse, reuse, repeat. Tinfoil can happily be cleaned down with hot water and used multiple times.

Say no to tupperware – controversial I know, but if you are still buying items that come in plastic containers or glass jars, then use these for storage instead. You are saving energy by using something that already exists. If you already have tupperware, don’t throw it away! Use it until it gets to end of life.

Make your own gift tags – if you are still receiving birthday or Christmas cards from friends and families these can be cut into beautiful gift tags to reuse. All the offcuts can go into your kerbside paper recycling as usual.

Buy second hand – reusing isn’t just about you reusing an item. That item may be perfect for someone else. It’s about others giving them a second life. Be that other person and buy second hand where you can. The quality of items in charity shops or online forums can leave you with fantastic things at amazing prices.

What other simple ideas to reuse household items do you have?

Caroline Talbot
Author: Caroline Talbot