TAKE2 Victoria’s climate change pledge
TAKE2 shares tips to take action on climate change and help keep the global temperature rise under two degrees.
Did your gran wash out empty jars and use them as glasses? Remember dad using mum’s laddered pantyhose to tie the tomato plants to stakes in the backyard? Did old clothes get torn into strips and woven into rag mats for the bathroom at your nonna’s place?
The concept of taking old stuff and finding new uses for it isn’t new at all. In fact, throwing things away, sometimes after a single use, without giving a thought to reusing it somehow is the newer, but not so climate-friendly behaviour.
Thinking laterally about how we can reuse our stuff, even when it no longer fits the purpose for which we originally bought it, reduces rubbish sent to landfill and is good for climate change.
If we reuse old jars as glasses, for example, we produce less of the pollution that causes climate change from taking those glasses to the tip or recycling centre, then going to the shop to buy more glasses.
Don’t get us wrong. Recycling stuff is great. But the old ‘Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.’ mantra is still the way to go. Use less in the first place, then reuse our stuff for new purposes and when we can’t do either, then recycle.
TAKE2 has trawled the internet to bring you five great ways to reuse stuff most of us throw away (or recycle) every day without a thought.
A point to make before we proceed though. Some upcycling and crafty uses for old junk you’ll find online can get complicated and involve buying bags of straws, sequins, paint and glue guns. If you complete one craft project reusing two old tin cans but you’re left with loads of old craft supplies lying around the house, it probably defeats the purpose.
But if you are the crafty type, try to save things like small pieces of wrapping paper, used ribbons and leftover school supplies in a craft box for your next upcycling project.
Now for our five creative reusing projects.
1. Milk bottle magazine holders. Any two to three litre plastic bottle should do the trick. These simple but nifty creations will help you neatly store children’s small story books, comics and magazines.
2. Old tins become new garden pots. This one’s certainly not new, but maybe forgotten by a couple of generations. No need to buy small terracotta or plastic pots for small plants or seedlings, just clean out old tins and punch a few drain holes in the bottom. Easy peezy.
3. Suspend old jars from shelves for storage. This DIY project talks about using the jars in the kitchen for storage. My dad used to do something very similar in his shed. He had a different instant coffee jar for each type of nut, bolt, screw and nail. Well organized and thrifty!
4. Old toilet rolls to sort your cables. We LOVE this one. Particularly good for those of us who are a little challenged in the home handicrafts area. A simple but effective way to store those phone, tablet and laptop cables without getting them all tangled up.
5. Mittens for your kittens. There are loads of ideas online for how the more creative among us can reuse stretched, stained or holey old jumpers. Turning them into pairs of mittens for the kids is just one.
For more information on sustainable purchasing, join TAKE2 today.
Bank Australia is a founding partner of TAKE2 – Victoria's climate change pledge. You can pledge too at TAKE2.