Successful recycling requires two important parts. The first is decycling. That’s where you put your cans and paper in the bin that the garbage man hauls off each week. The items get broken down into their component parts. Glass bottles become more glass bottles. Rubber tires get shredded and turned into walkways at parks. Plastic bottles can get shredded and turned into fabric.
But there’s more that you can do to help with recycling. The other part is known as upcycling or repurposing. Some items can’t be decycled and end up as landfill. For example, an old toilet. You could repurpose the toilet base as a planter, birdbath, waterfall, or break the ceramic up and design a tile mosaic. For some insanely creative ideas, but not ones you may want, check out 6 Totally Insane Designs Made from Repurposed Toilets.
For some additionally creative ideas to repurpose very common items, check out this article on 50 creative ways to repurpose, reuse and upcycle old things. It includes:
- Use old CD spindle holders into a bagel storage device.
- Use old picture frames as trays.
- Use Lego pieces as key holders.
- Use an old pipe with valves as a coat rack.
- Use old books as shelves.
- Use an old fashioned back of the door shoe organizer in your pantry to organize snacks.
You can find old furniture at yard sales. Often, and older table will be of solid wood, and just requires a little elbow grease to strip off the old paint, sand it down, and repaint or restain it a color that matches your home.
Chairs can be reupholstered.
Old teacups can be turned into small succulent gardens that fit in a windowsill.
Old shirts can be cut into strips and turned into a quilt or fabric wall hanging.
An old bar stool can be turned upside down. Add in castor wheels and some canvass, and you have a roll-around carrier for wrapping paper.
So, when you clean out your garage this Spring, get creative and rethink your old junk into useful items again.