Reducing what we use and reusing what we do use conserves energy and natural resources that is used to make products. The less we use the more money we save too!
Here are a few simple tips to reduce and reuse:
- Cloth Napkins – Start using cloth napkins at home. This is a very easy way to reduce the use of single-use paper napkins or towels. You can purchase them from many local stores including thrift stores or practice your sewing by making your own.
- Make Every Thread Count – Another easy and inexpensive way to reduce waste is to wear your clothes for longer. Instead of tossing it out, try wearing your clothes for three months longer than normal. It takes 1,500 gallons of water to make just one t-shirt and one pair of jeans. That’s the same amount of water one person drinks in 13 years!
- Rent instead of buy – How many items do you own that you use once or twice a year or maybe even less? Instead of buying that pressure washer that you’ll use once every couple of years try renting it. Did you know many home improvement stores offer rentals of all kinds of items from drills to pressure washers to pickup trucks. Also, the Beaverton City Library has a Library of Things where you can check out all kinds of items for free.
- Repair – Button fell off? Ripped jeans? Toaster stopped working? Many items can be repaired for much less than replacing it. Some repairs like darning a sock, sewing a button or even hemming a pair of pants are relatively simple and don’t require any fancy machinery. If repair is beyond your comfort zone there are several repair shops around, visit iFixit.com for all things electronic or check out a Repair Fair near you.
- Repurpose It – Remember how we talked about making every thread count? Repurposing clothes and other textiles are other ways to do that. Cotton shirts make great rags and old worn sheets can make wonderful napkins. The options are nearly endless from making reusable tote bags, to scarfs to dog toys. Simply do an internet search for “reuse old clothes” and you’ll find hundreds of fun, creative ideas.
- Shop Second-Hand – Second-hand stores and garage sales are great places to find gently used items from kitchenware to home décor to tools, books and more. Not only will you save money, it can be a lot of fun, kind of like a treasure hunt.