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Honestly guys … I’m feeling a little tired right now, a little overworked ,and just stressed out . My kids have been really challenging and I’m at my breaking point .
When I start feeling this overwhelmed my zero waste shopping turns into just shopping .
I was in a rush this weekend, skipped the bulk store, and ordered all my groceries online…
I ordered way more packaged food than normal. That is life unfortunately .
My mental health has to come first .
My zero waste failures have got me thinking about all the ways I reuse all the “waste” I bring into my home.
I know all you parents out there have days , weeks , months , or even years like this .
So when your zero waste life isn‘t exactly zero waste ,don’t stress ! There are so many ways you can reuse things .
Mama don’t worry . You’ve got this !
10 Items You Should be Reusing to Reduce Your Household Waste
1. Bread Bags , Frozen Food Bags , Cereal Bags , & Chip Bags
Really just any bag !
As much as I try to make all my bread I’m not super women . We eat a lot of bread in this house and I don’t have time to make a loaf of bread each day .
All these bags can be reused for so many things !
I took the wheels off my coffee table …
( because little fingers and wheels 😬) I put the wheels in a bread bag ,labelled it, and put it in storage.
Previously I would have used a brand new ziplock bag for this .
The cheese in my fridge is currently wrapped in a frozen veggie bag !
Why buy plastic wrap and plastic baggies when you have all these other bags you could use !
If you have ziplock bags why not wash and reuse them !?
2. Plastic Grocery Bags
I mentioned this in my last post but I think it’s a good one.
Who doesn’t have a huge stash of plastic grocery store bags somewhere in their house?
Most of us reuse them for garage bags etc. but have you ever thought about reusing them as grocery bags?
Reducing waste isn’t about looking a certain way . As much as beautiful reusable bags are nice they aren’t necessary if you have a stash of plastic bags still.
You can take your bags to the grocery store and use them as produce and grocery bags ! They are strong . You might be surprised how long they will last .
After a year of reducing waste my stash of plastic bags is getting pretty small!
I’m not saying there is anything wrong with reusable bags, I have tons. This is just a great option if you are looking to use up what you have!
3. Take Out Containers
I have gotten really good at reducing the amount we order take out … but life does happen!
Every time we order food and it arrives wrapped in plastic my heart breaks just a little !
I don’t reuse styrofoam because I’m not sure how to wash it but everything else I wash and reuse.
Take out containers are great to have for when you have guests for dinner . You can send them home with leftovers and you don’t have to worry about getting your container back !
Its also great to keep some in your car to use for your leftovers at restaurants.
I sometimes even pack my husbands lunch in them.
4. Jars and Containers
I haven’t mastered my own pasta sauces and salsas yet … And by that I mean I haven’t tried . It’s on my list of things to learn but for now I buy all my sauces and such in glass jars .
These jars are amazing for storing food and bulk shopping !
I typically soak my jars in water for a few hours to get the labels off then wash them in the dishwasher .
You can store nails, nut and bolts , elastics , homemade lotions , and even reuse them for homemade sauces . You can use them for pretty much anything your heart desires !
If you haven’t switched to bamboo toothbrushes yet … I highly recommend it ! The handles can go right in your compost unlike the typical plastic toothbrushes.
Toothbrushes are amazing cleaning tools ! They work great for cleaning grout and any difficult places. They also make fun paintbrushes for kids ! Let your kids experiment and have fun … You can even get a cool splatter effect with them !
6. Coffee Grounds
I mix used coffee grounds and coconut oil in a jar and use it to exfoliate. Works great and leaves my skin looking refreshed !
You can even use it to help scrub things clean! Grab an old toothbrush and some coffee grounds and scrub your sink and the tile on your floor.
Coffee grounds also make a great fertilizer for your garden !!
I have even heard of people using them to repel bugs . Just place your coffee grounds in a bowl or sprinkle them around your outside sitting area and they shouldn’t come near you .
Coffee grounds also work great to eliminate odour . Place a bowl in your fridge or fill a sock with coffee grounds and stick it in your shoes. It should leave everything smelling nice and fresh !
7. Laundry Detergent Scoops
Really anything with a scoop !
These scoops make great toys for your kids . What kid doesn’t love to scoop things ! They are perfect for sensory bins or playing in the dirt, sand , or snow!
My personal fav way to use them is for scooping flour when baking.
8. Spice Containers
I reuse my old spice containers for bulk spices ! Works great and saves me from buying new containers .
You can also use them for your homemade dry shampoo or anything powdered.
9. Dish Soap Bottles
I recently started using old dish soap squirt bottles for my cloth wipe solution . It works amazing!
My sons fav toy last summer was an old sesame oil bottle that he used as a squirt gun .
They are also great for storing homemade paints or to squirt the perfect amount of pancake mix into your frying pan .
Get creative . I’m sure theres tons of other ways you could use them .
10. Aluminum Foil
As long as your aluminum foil is clean and hasn’t had raw meat on it just keep reusing it !
I’ve been reusing the same piece for a month ! Once it starts to rip I use it to wrap up leftover food or as a bowl cover .
Thats just 10 things you could be reusing ! There are so many other things like toilet paper rolls , old linens and towels , furniture , old toys ect ! All it takes is a little imagination .
If your conscious of what you’re throwing out you will want to reuse everything !
Its so worth it to take the time to repurpose old stuff. Not just for the environment but for your wallet too !
What are your favourite items to reuse?