5 Ways to use Recyclables as Household Items

We make choices almost daily about what things to keep and what to throw away. In the spirit of being environmentally friendly it is helpful to reuse as many items as possible for daily living. Here are a few ways we can substitute a recycled item for a new purchase.

Ways to use recyclables as household items - Preschool Toolkit

Crafting with kids is a great way to make use of recyclable materials. But I find myself looking for other ways to use items that simply get thrown away. These are some of my attempts at repurposing recyclables!


In the Kitchen

Using recyclables for household use

Left: Store-bought glass cookie jar                   

Right: Recycled glass peanut butter jar

     Use for storing crackers or cookies.

Using recyclables for household use

Left: Recycled plastic produce box with lid       

Right: Store-bought plastic bowl with cover

Use for storing pasta or muffins.

Using recyclables for household use

Left: Store-bought plastic colander              

Right: Recycled plastic berry box

                 Use for rinsing fruits and vegetables.

Using recyclables for household use

Left: Recycled glass jam jar                       

Right: Store-bought drinking glass

            Use for drinking water and juice.

Using recyclables for household use                                         
Store-bought serving dish         

                                                                 Back: Recycled plastic cracker package

                                                                        Use for serving cheese and mini baguettes.


In the Arts and Crafts Corner

Using recyclables for household use
Store-bought wood craft sticks   

                                                               Right: Recycled clothespins and frozen treat sticks.

                                                                        Use for kids crafts.

Using recyclables for household use

Left: Recycled plastic muffin tin       

               Right: Store-bought plastic paint tray

    Use for painting activities.

Some recyclables have characteristics which may limit their usability:

1) flimsy plastic that is not sturdy enough to hold food or drink 
2) narrow impressions in the plastic that are hard to clean

Use these items as paint pots in the art corner, or as containers to hold crayons and glitter.

Along with our expectations that manufacturers generate environmentally friendly packaging, as consumers we can also be diligent and creative in how we make, restore, buy and discard items everyday.

Consider these tips for recycling:
  • purchase items without plastic packaging whenever possible
  • shop with your own cloth bags
  • balance prepackaged foods with foods prepared at home
  • shop for lightly used items such as clothes, furnishings and appliances when appropriate

Many of these practices we already know or follow, but sometimes it is good to remind ourselves what we are currently doing to be environmentally friendly and reflect on what more we can do.

Can you suggest other items you have repurposed with success?


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