As a kid the recycling and reusing message was really drummed into us, whether it was at school in the class room, or even at home watching shows like Captain Planet.
The message was always around the benefits that recycling and or reusing things had on the planet, which is true, but it also can have a really big impact on your bank balance as well.
Now i’m all for saving the planet and trying to do my part, but the key thing I want to focus on is the money saving benefits that recycling and reusing things can have in everyday life.
Have you ever through about just how much energy goes into getting water to flow out of your tap? Think about it for a minute.
Water is captured and held in a dam. It is then pumped to treatment plants and from there it is further pumped to your tap. When you are washing yourself, the water fall from your tap to the drain so that you can use it for a split second. The majority of that water is barely used at all, but the energy used to get the water to that point is massive.
So why not make better use of it. Try and capture your waste water and use it for gardening, washing your car, or washing the dog etc. There is no reason why that water only needs to be used once.
My wife and I also have a water tank that captures rain water whenever it rains. It cost us a few thousand dollars for a 5000L tank, but over the long run it will save us far more than that. The water it captures is used by our washing machine and our toilets so that we don’t always rely on the town water supply.
We all know that plastic bags are bad for the environment, so why not reuse them wherever you can. My wife and I get our groceries delivered to us, which helps to save a heap of time, but it does mean that we end up getting a lot of plastic bags. Rather than throwing the bags into landfill, I use them to contain my food when I go to work. This saves me buying freezer bags and it also means that I am reusing the plastic bags.
I also use the larger plastic shopping bags to keep a change of clothes whenever I decide to go to the gym, or if we are going to the beach and I want to make sure my wet clothes don’t leak all over the car.
Whenever we build up too many bags, my wife takes them to a bag recycling centre so that they can be reused.
Plastic Soft-drink bottles
Something I used to do all the time was use old 2L Coke bottles as mini greenhouses. I would cut the bottle in half, fill the bottom with dirt, plant the seed and then work the top over the bottom. What normally happens is that a small gap on one side is created that allows air to flow.
Then once the seedling starts to shoot, the temperature differential between the outside and the inside of the bottle allows condensation to form and the seedling then self hydrates until it gets too big for the bottle and is read to be transplanted.
I hate throwing away old clothes – it just seems to wasteful. Instead I like to keep them and use them for odd jobs, like say fixing things around the house or painting. There is no point ruining good clothes when you have plenty of old ones that will do the job.
I find that a toothbrush can make a great scrubbing tool whenever you need to scrub a small area – like say the corner of a shower. Quite often larger tools just can’t reach into the same tight spaces that a toothbrush can.
Almost everyone has food scraps that go straight into the bin. Instead of throwing them out, you could instead turn most of it into compost by using a compost bin. Compost is great for feeding your plants and will save you money on fertilisers.
Newspaper is going out of fashion pretty fast these days as people get information online, however, the paper itself can still be quite useful for wrapping up fragile items before packing them before a move. I know a colleague of mine also uses newspaper for his dogs to go to the toilet on.
Whenever you order something online, it will normally come packed with packing peanuts included to help keep your item safe during its travels. My wife and I reuse the packing peanuts we receive whenever we sell an item from our own online shop. It doesn’t save us a great deal of money, but it is better than throwing them in the bin.
Finally, cardboard boxes. They can be reused for all kinds of things, from packing items, storing items and most popular with my son – a play toy. I don’t know how many times we have bought my son something and all he wants is to play with the box that it came it.
Have you got any more recycling and reusing ideas?