by Texas Homesteader ~
My eco-friendly self loves to repurpose items from their original use to fill yet another need. It prolongs the time it takes to throw something away, and it often eliminates the need to buy what you repurposed it for.
Below are simple ways we’ve repurposed containers such as glass or plastic, holy socks, old jeans and more!
Here at our homestead we don’t use many disposable items. Paper towels were eliminated years ago and we simply use washable rags instead. Paper plates certainly have their uses and we use them from time to time when it makes sense. But even for a moderately-large gathering my preference is to use real dishes.
I’ve written about how we’ve kept our landfill-bound trash down to a bare minimum with the elimination of most disposable goods and utilizing both composting and recycling.
But what about repurposing? There are items that have lived past their current uses that can still be used for other purposes before they hit the trash.
Glass Jars For Many Uses
Glass jars almost always receive a second life around the ranch. Especially the wide-mouth ones. There are many pantry uses for them of course. They’re great for holding bulk foods or some of my dehydrated produce.
Jars are also better for keeping pantry pests out of items you used to store in boxes or bags – such as pasta or rice.
But one of the most beneficial second uses for glass jars for us is for storing leftovers.
If you haven’t already read it, I encourage you to read my informative post about Using Glass In Our Refrigerator. There are many benefits besides the obvious repurposing benefit.
These days almost all of my leftovers are placed in the fridge in these glass jars.
Since the jars are see through we don’t fret over something delicious being moved further and further to the back of the fridge until it grows into a science experiment gone wrong!
Plastic Jars Are Helpful Too
Here’s another jar repurpose example, this time plastic jars. You see, RancherMan LOVES peanut butter. And for us it almost always comes in a plastic screw-top jar.
Although I’m not a big fan of plastic, I’ve never been successful storing glass in the freezer.
Cute Homemade Christmas Gifts
And when we were looking for a festive (yet edible) gift for our grandchildren, we considered many different empty plastic jars.
In the end we used the jumbo-sized peanut butter jars. They were perfect for our Snowman Treat Jars we made for them.
We simple made up some Christmas Trail Mix to go inside and decorated with a repurposed strip of flannel. They turned out super cute and the grandkids loved them! Yet they cost almost nothing to make.
Entertainment For The Grandkids
Here’s another repurpose for regular-sized empty peanut butter jars. Our younger grandbabies love to catch ladybugs with them.
I had Rancher-Man drill holes in the tops of different colored lids. Then I printed each grandchild’s name on a lid with a permanent marker. This is by far my favorite use for these jars!
When they come to grandma & grandma’s house, guess what ‘toy’ they grab first? Yep, they love these jars.
Repurposing Plastic Jars For Watering
I stand firm on watering plants outside with only Captured Rainwater. But when the rain taps run dry I need to go into water conservation mode.
I take wide-mouth plastic bottles and have RancherMan drill small holes in the lid. Then I fill them from my rain barrel and turn them upside down at the plant’s base. Gravity causes that water to drip slowly instead of just running off.
I do the same thing in a larger scale in my veggie garden. Only this time I’m using those handy coffee canisters that I seem to always be accumulating.
I’ve written about the many Different Ways To Use Coffee Canisters. But this tip really helps conserve water in the garden.
I simply fill the coffee can with rainwater, snap the lid back on and flip it on its top at the base of my plant. The water drips slowly from those holes and waters the plant deeply and thoroughly without wasting water on runoff.
Repurposing a Parmesan Cheese Lid
This is one of my most popular tips! Although not all brands use the same lid, my sister offered me her Empty Parmesan Cheese Containers. I use the lids on regular-mouth canning jars. It has a shaker side and a spoon-measuring side.
SO perfect for RancherMan’s BBQ Rub Seasoning!
I also have these same handy lids on my jar of baking soda (which I use for cooking AND for cleaning) and more. They’re so handy, and they’re FREE because they’re repurposed from an empty jar that was just destined for the recycling bin. (or the TRASH!)
Repurposing Holey Socks
What to do with holey socks when they are no longer useful as socks? I’ll cut off the elastic, toe and heel and split the remaining band in half for a square-ish piece of very absorbent fabric that can be used to clean.
When these rags are too far gone for cleaning I send them to the shop. There RancherMan uses them with his grease gun or to wipe down something incredibly grimy. They finally hit the trash after he’s through with them.
And how about this – I even use the elastic band for a hair tie. That’s quite a few extra repurposing uses for a simple sock!
Heck in a pinch, I’ve even used a clothespin and a piece of that terrycloth from a sock-rag and made a craft paintbrush.
Use Whatcha Got, y’all. #UseWhatchaGot!
I’ve even made a nice Dish Carrier so I can take my own leftover’s dish into a restaurant instead of using those blasted styrofoam clamshells to bring home leftovers. I love the way it turned out! I’m constantly getting compliments on it.
See what I mean? There are many ways to repurpose things that are no longer fit for their original purpose. And those repurposes fill another need for you too.
What’s your favorite repurposing tip before something hits the trash?
Links In This Post
- How We Reduced Our Household Trash
- Using Glass In Our Refrigerator
- Easy Homemade Broth
- Homemade Ranch-Style Beans
- 3 Rainwater Catchment Systems We Use
- Repurpose Plastic Bottles To Water Potted Plants
- Different Ways To Repurpose Coffee Canisters
- Repurpose Empty Parmesan Cheese Container
- BBQ Mop Sauce & Rub Seasoning
- Elastic Band Repurposed For A Hair Tie
- Make A Quick Craft Paintbrush w/Clothespin & Cloth
- Different Ways To Repurpose Denim
- Denim Pocket Coasters
- Repurposed Denim For Backyard Game Bags
- Dish Carrier Made With Repurposed Denim
Other Budget-Stretching Articles
- Do You Get What You Paid For, Or Pay More For Nothing?
- Buying Products Used: Good For Your Budget
- 12 Easy Ways To Save On Groceries
- Homemade Meals Every Day – The EASY Way!
- MYO Pet Stain Carpet Cleaner
- Saving Money On TV
- Easy Ways To Save Money On Electricity
- Our 3 Favorite Rainwater Catchment Systems
- Easiest Self-Sufficiency Steps To Take NOW!
- Repurposing An Empty Coffee Canister To A Cute, Country Breadbox
- Repurposing Items To New Life
- …And MUCH More!!
Other Low-Waste Stories
- Buying Products Used: Good For Your Budget & The Environment
- Closing The Loop In Charitable Giving
- Our Low-Waste Coffee
- No-Waste Citrus Juice For Recipes
- Don’t Waste Those Onion Trimmings
- Ditch The Plastic – Using Glass In The Refrigerator
- 5 Zero-Waste Products We Love
- Food Waste in America: What Do Those Dates Mean?
- Zero-Waste Hygiene – Using A Safety Razor
- Eliminate Plastic Produce Bags
- How I Got Cute Gingham Napkins For Only $1
- How To Host A Low-Waste Party
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