Enviro Tips

Part 2 – Reuse – 10 Ideas for Reusing Consumables

8 Ideas for Reusing Consumables

Yeh, we get it. There are some necessities that you can’t eliminate altogether! Simply use a reusable option like the ones we got started on below. Save the environment and keep some money in your pocket too!


1. Glass Jars


Glass jars are so versatile, air tight and they don’t leak so perfect for either liquid or food storage.

Some uses for glass jars:

food storage – nuts, flours, citrus peels (to make a natural cleaner)
candle/tea light holders
grow herbs (see number 2 in this video)
homemade body scrubs or sauces

2. Snap lock bags


Biodegradable Snap Lock Bags

Prue’s Tip – Use these to store portioned foods in the freezer. e.g. cooked rice, legumes, lentils etc.

3. Baking Paper

Baking Paper
Use it multiple times before throwing away. Did you know that generic baking paper can not be recycled due to the waxes on it?

Compostable Baking Paper made from recycled materials

Shyloe’s Tip – For sandwiches switch to these Reusable Sandwich Wraps.

4. Berry punnets and milk bottles

Greenhouse punnet Milk bottle tray greenshouse

Create a mini greenhouse with the punnets

1. Add wet paper towel or newspaper then seeds on top.
2. Wait until seeds sprout
3. Spray with a bottle daily to keep the moisture and humidity in
4. Once sprouted plant the little sprouts in the same tub by adding soil.
5. Sit in an empty milk carton which will catch any excess water from the punnet.


5. Giveaway or sell


Give away or sell unwanted items for free on gumtree – your trash is another’s treasure! You will be surprised how quickly people jump on the opportunity to pick up free items. Most of the time people are very grateful too.

Prue’s Tip – I always ensure that the the items are required to be picked up from me. This is great for a pre move or spring clean out. You can get cash for old laptops that don’t work or giveaway no longer functioning appliances as people use them for parts.

Items I collect and giveaway once I have a bunch:
Boxes, Cardboard & Bubble Wrap – Advertise for moving boxes
Empty Glass Jars
Empty plastic containers


6. Silica packets


These come in new shoes, medication, vitamins and pretty much anything that need to be moisture free. Keep them in an air tight container.

Phone got wet? Silica can save the day!

1. Submerge phone into silicone packets (add uncooked rice if not fully covering phone)
2. Leave inside for 24-48 hours.
3. Check to see if it lives another day.

Prue’s Tip – I have successfully revived my iPhone twice after dropping it in the toilet by using the above solution.


7. Plastic or Paper Bags


Haven’t got enough jars yet to BYO to a bulk food store? That’s ok, they usually have eco friendly paper bags to use and you can re-use these too!

Prue’s Tip – I use the bags to organise my freezer smoothie drawer to maximise space. I put different frozen fruits and veg in each one. Beats using containers that take up the same amount of space regardless of how much is in them. Lately I have also been keeping any old nacho chip bags to use as well.

8. Eco friendly & Homemade gifts

Body Scrub
Give Eco friendly or home made gifts

Shyloe’s Tip – Try making my body scrub recipe listed in Part 1 of this series.

9. Wrapping Paper, Gift Bags, Ribbons, Tissue Paper

Wrapping paper etc

Save your money for something else and re-use these items rather than purchasing new. An idea for wrapping paper if you don;t have any used would be to use newspaper or even paper that’s been used on one side only and draw on the other side.

Wrapping presents
Making cards
Padding for when moving house
Craft or scrap booking
Food Photos (See Prue’s tip below)

Prue’s Tip – I use ribbons and wrapping paper and to add contrast in my instagram food photos.

10. Paper


Did you know?

Reusing one ton of paper can save 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 380 gallons of oil, 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space and 4,000 kilowatts of energy-enough to power the average U.S. home for six months-and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one metric ton of carbon equivalent.

Re-Use before throwing it in the recycling bin! Keep a pile of paper or envelopes that has only been used on one side and use it for things like…

Shopping lists
Scrap paper or study notes
Board games like Pictionary
Messages for room mates or partner
Arts & craft for kids i.e. paper mache

Prue’s Tip – I keep our stack of paper to be re-used near the new paper so that it’s easy to remember to use it over the new paper whenever possible.

Want More? Check out these:

Part 1 – Reduce – 13 Ways to Reduce Your Impact on the Environment
Part 3 – Recycle – 18 Ways You Could be Recycling

Did we miss something? Comment your favourites below!

*heads up – this article contains affiliate links

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