5 Easy Ways to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

We live in a world with a ‘throwaway’ culture, influenced by consumerism and excessive production of short-lived or disposable items- I’m talking plastic bags, plastic drinking straws, packaging- you name it, we throw it. Plastic pollutes every corner of the earth, damaging the world we live in, and tainting our seas with masses of waste. It is important that we put into practise reduce, reuse, recycle, in order to do our bit to help the planet!

I want to share with you some great tips to help you reuse products, which in term reduces waste and minimalises consumption!

1. Glass packaging: Many sauces, jams, spreads are sold in glass jars with lids. There are many ways to reuse them! From storing pantry items such as seeds or nuts, to using them as desk organisers, or even as drinking glasses! Here is a way I have reused some cute glass dessert pots which contained tiramisu from Aldi- we now use these containers for dips and sauces- not only do they look cute, they are super handy!

2. Plastic bags: If you’re already upping your eco-friendly game, you most likely already use a tote bag, or a reusable shopping bag for doing your weekly food shop. However, pesky plastic bags can also sneak into our shopping baskets inside items such as cereal boxes! Don’t fear- you can reuse these too! Neatly cut the top of the bags and use to store seeds. You can also use them to store sandwiches in to keep them fresh for work. If none of these appeal to you, then you can recycle these (most of these types of plastic bags are #2 plastic (HDPE), and are often accepted at many recycling areas.

3. Toothbrushes- If you’re a savvy eco-warrior, then you already are kitted up with a recyclable bamboo toothbrush! If not, there are ways you can reuse plastic toothbrushes instead of throwing them away. Here are some ways I personally use them! Old toothbrushes are great for cleaning hard-to-reach areas- wash your toothbrush with a cleaner first, and go get scrubbing! You can also use toothbrushes as eyebrow brushes, and even an as applicator when using hair-dye.

4. Plastic bottles: Try to buy drinks in recyclable carton packaging to do your bit. If you buy milk or juice in a plastic bottle, don’t throw it away! There are many ways you can reuse plastic bottles. Use them for storage, or pop the lid back on, wash the bottle, and cut away the bottom half of the bottle on the handle side (leaving the handle intact) to make a scoop looking tool. This can be used as a garden scoop! You can also turn the bottle upside down, leaving the lid on and cutting it in half, to make a herb pot!

5. Old furniture- Instead of letting an old piece of furniture go to waste, reuse it for something different! Here is a wooden shoe rack from bedroom- it was taking up too much space and looked a mess. We now reuse it to store plants and pots in our conservatory- and it looks super cute!

Check out these cute pots we use in the kitchen also to store flowers- they were once used to store mixing spoons, and the other is a sangria jug we bought from a restaurant in Spain!

I hope some of my tips gave you inspiration and inspire you to live an eco-friendly lifestyle!

Emma x

Instagram: @apathtovegan (& @emmapowelldesign)
Twitter: @emmapowellart

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