Last week I wrote about ways in which you can reduce energy use and other ways in which you can save yourself money and the planet while working your next travel nursing assignment . Today I will expand on ways you can be green by reusing, or repurposing items – taking a once useful item and using it again to suit your new need. It’s a lot easier than it sounds and all it takes is just a little creativity.
Check out website for the magazine, Real Simple and there you will find a section dedicated to new uses for everyday things. Today the site gives you 10 new uses for a lemon. I like lemon and use it a lot, but mostly for cooking and adding a little zing to my beverages, especially during the summer. But who knew you could use a lemon to whiten fingernails? Not me. This is just one example of how you can use everyday ordinary items in more than one way that you may be use to. It’s like drying out paper towels to use again, instead of just the one time – stretching out your dollars.
So what are some other things you can use, or reuse that will save you money? How about saving the big glass jars to use at a later date for storing leftovers like soup and other sauces – instant Tupperware! Now all you have to do is add a ribbon or some other decoration and you have the perfect start to a care package for a sick friend. Other things you can do with old glass jars is to use them to store other household and hardware items. Just slap a piece of masking tape and label it – though I think you’ll know what’s inside if it’s clear glass.
Cleaning with newspaper
Perhaps you subscribe to the newspaper wherever you are and hopefully you are recycling each and every issue and not just tossing them into the garbage. One thing you can do instead of recycling them is save them and use the paper to clean windows and glass. Never have I seen cleaner glass than when I use the newsprint. Save your cloth and paper towels for other messes. You can also make your own glass cleaner which would obviously be better for the environment, by mixing white vinegar and water. Though it may not smell as nice as the popular glass cleaners out there, it does however have the same results. Crystal clear!
Reusing clothing and other fabrics
You should never ever have to throw away any article of clothing, there are tons of other ways you can reuse the fabric. If clothes don’t fit you anymore or you’re just tired of your wardrobe you can always donate them to a local charity. If the clothing is ruined and unwearable, you can save them and use them as rags for cleaning. You can also use them to make bedding for your pet. Take a large button-up shirt and tie the ends of the sleeves and then fill with other soft articles of clothing and turn it into a pillow or bed for your pets. This way it has a familiar scent that your pets will enjoy all the while giving them a nice soft place to rest their head. No more having to keep buying those fancy beds that get stained and ruined, instead just make your own and once you’re homemade bedding has run its course, make another.
Thrift stores, estate sales, swap meets & garage sales oh my
One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. There’s nothing more fun than taking a lazy Sunday to cruise your local yard and estate sales. It’s so much fun rummaging through peoples pasts and all the while discovering things you never knew you needed, like the barely used ping-pong table I got for $50 – that unfortunately will not fit down my basement steps! Besides random purchases like that, these sales and thrift stores have an abundance of furniture and clothing that just might be perfect for you. Half the time the stuff you find is unique and built better than anything you can find new and that is affordable. All it takes is some creativity to recondition the furniture and presto! You have a new dresser that goes perfectly with your decor!
There are so many ways you can give new life to things others may deem dead. The fun is in the creativity it sparks within and how you can repurpose the things you already have. If you have some ideas you’d like to share with other travelers out there, by all means leave a comment below.