Happy Earth Day, lovely humans! Although every day is an opportunity to appreciate our beautiful planet, I do love that on this holiday we can come together collectively to think about how we impact the environment and discuss more sustainable solutions.
I know sustainability can seem really overwhelming and sometimes a tad unrealistic depending on a variety of factors. I for one am not an environmental activist, vegan, minimalist or any “label” that holds me to a specific standard of social responsibility (although I have major respect for anyone who is).
Despite the lack of labels, I DO believe that each of us is personally responsible for how much or how little we contribute to the health of this planet and the people and animals that call it home.
So today, I decided to focus on sharing 30 simple and sustainable ways you can reuse everyday items and give them a second life! There are so many fun ideas in here and I hope you give some of them a try.
If you’re looking to add some eco-friendly items to your home, here is a roundup of some of my personal favorite products:
1. Cut out and frame images from a pretty calendar to use as beautiful and inexpensive art to hang on your wall.
2. Donate old comforters and towels to animal shelters.
3. Use postcards or pretty wrapping paper from gifts to make a fun collage in your journal.
4. Use potato peels to make delicious and addicting potato peel chips.
5. Use shredded paper as padding for mailing packages.
6. Repurpose an old baking sheet as a cute magnetic board for your office by adding a little spray paint and lining the inside with some pretty fabric using fabric adhesive.
7. Use the trunks of your broccoli by putting them in a cream of broccoli soup or grating them to make a slaw. You can also just peel and chop them to cook them with the florets!
8. Wrap tin cans with a strip of self-adhesive wallpaper to use as a cute desk organizer or utensil holder
9. Cut up old t-shirts and towels to use as rags for cleaning.
10. Use coffee grounds as an exfoliant.
11. Give books you’ve finished to friends who you think would enjoy them, donate them to a library, or sell them back to a used bookstore.
12. Turn a cardboard box into a useful desk organizer with these step-by-step instructions.
13. Clean and reuse jars as cute vases or for food storage. Some of my favorite vases started off as jam jars.
14. Donate your fancy dresses to organizations like Becca’s Closet that provide free prom dresses to high school students who can’t afford to buy them.
15. Turn stale bread into croutons or breadcrumbs to put on your salad. Here’s a recipe for homemade Italian breadcrumbs but you can add any herbs you want to make a delicious topping.
16. If you’re craving a craft night, add a little embroidery to an old t-shirt to make it feel like new! Here’s a tutorial to get you started!
17. Use leftover fabrics or scarves you no longer wear as eco-friendly gift wrap.
18. Use empty toilet paper rolls to organize all those loose cables and chargers in your desk drawers.
19. Give old clothes back to retailers and get yourself a discount! For example, Madewell will turn your old denim into housing insulation for communities in need, and you’ll get $20 off your next pair of jeans!
20. Make a pesto with your carrot tops to use as a delicious dip or to toss with pasta.
21. Clean plastic food containers from your groceries and use them for when you want to give some homemade cookies to a friend.
22. Turn a used-up candle into a pretty planter using these instructions.
23. Use citrus peels to garnish a cocktail, add a little aromatherapy to your next bath, or follow these instructions for making a homemade cleaning solution.
24. Turn wine bottles into beautiful vases like this one.
25. Use this brilliant idea from Alyssa Barber to use plastic strawberry containers as a way to keep your ribbon organized.
26. Use old wine for cooking. It’s still good for cooking long after it stops being good for sipping! Here a bunch of ways to use wine if you can’t finish the bottle.
28. Save your cheese rinds and vegetable scraps in a bag in the freezer to make your own homemade broth.
29. Reuse cardboard boxes as cute storage containers or bins by covering them with pretty fabric or wrapping paper.
30. Bring back borrowing! Borrow books from the library, use a clothing rental service, or reach out to a friend or neighbor when you find yourself needing something that you’ll probably only use once. It’s a good excuse to meet up with a friend you haven’t seen in a while!
I hope you all found this list helpful! Now go get some fresh air and have a wonderful Earth Day.