Questions tagged [reuse]

Giving materials and objects an additional life by using them again, rather than [recycling] or discarding them.

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18
votes
5answers
2k views

Large-scale reuse of glass bottles

Reading some comments on the question comparing various materials from which bottles are made, the thought arose: indeed, what prevents large scale collection and reuse of glass tare? When I was ...
16
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3answers
4k views

Should I reuse or recycle Ziploc bags?

I'm wondering whether I should wash and reuse my Ziploc bags or if it makes more ecological sense to bring them to a grocery store plastic recycling collection bin. Ideally at home we wash the bags ...
15
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2answers
1k views

Sustainability of steel versus plastic bottles

In the article Think big, start small, it's claimed that steel bottles are more sustainable than plastic ones: If you can drink the water, travel with a refillable water bottle, preferably made ...
14
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2answers
1k views

How can glass be recycled/reused locally in rural communities?

I live in a "remote" part of the USA, where it is prohibitively expensive to ship glass elsewhere for recycling. Because of the small population (the nearest city over 10k people is 110 miles away), ...
14
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5answers
955 views

How to store plastic bags for easy access?

I bring some plastic bags to my flat almost everyday. I do not throw them out, instead I reuse them on a daily basis until they wear out. But I have a problem organising them and I am yet to find a ...
14
votes
1answer
128 views

Reuse or “dollar vote”?

I'm a big fan of reusing and if I really need to buy something, I buy it used. For example, I've been using second hand or refurbished phones for many years. However, while that is good for the ...
13
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3answers
1k views

What does “reduce reuse recycle” actually mean?

What does the slogan/sticker "reduce reuse recycle" mean? Some people seem to use it as a list of options, others as a hierarchy. But the symbol is of a cycle, so is the order really important?
13
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2answers
940 views

How many times do you need to use a cheap re-usable bag to offset its impact?

An op-ed in the Wall Street Journal argues that many re-usable grocery bags are made using more oil than old-fashioned "single-use" plastic grocery bags. This makes sense, as quite a bit more ...
13
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3answers
2k views

What can I do to give second life to half-drained batteries?

Suppose I'm replacing batteries in some powerful device like a flashlight - the flashlight will not even run on those batteries but some low power device like a TV remote or a wall clock will continue ...
12
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3answers
156 views

Reusing buckets for flower pots?

Is reusing old food buckets as flower pots actually a good sustainability practice or a bad one since I'm ruining good buckets by poking holes in the bottoms? I get the buckets for free from my ...
12
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3answers
5k views

Reusing, recycling or disposal of used or expired cooking oil

I have found the article How to Dispose of Cooking Oil where are these suggestions: reuse: filter and put into a freezer or a fridge for later reuse different purpose reuse: lava lamp, snow shovel ...
12
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1answer
186 views

Is plastic food packaging 100% reusable?

There is the prominent argument that we should buy food without plastic packaging because plastic is made of oil and thus bad. I'm wondering, however, what if the plastic packaging remains in the ...
12
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1answer
105 views

How can I extend the life of mobile phones that can't be used in my country anymore?

I own two "dumbphones" that are now useless in Australia because they rely on the 2G network, which is being phased out entirely this year (2017). The two phones work perfectly fine, an I'd rather ...
11
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1answer
2k views

Any use for Norfolk Island Pine leaves?

We have a giant (at least 30 metre high) Norfolk Island Pine in our back yard. Is there anything I could do to put the leaves to good use? They don't make good use for composting or as part of the ...
10
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5answers
226 views

What reuses are there for surplus building materials?

I am remodeling a room in my house and have a bunch of material that may end up in the garbage. I would be throwing away carpet, plaster and planks, trim and etc. I would like to not throw this ...
10
votes
4answers
5k views

How to make a fully reused/reusable plastic bottle raft?

"Recycle" is the last in reduce-reuse-recycle triad, and though it's an obvious choice for plastic bottles, there are ways to make the most of every bottle. I drink from every bottle for some time and ...
9
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4answers
386 views

What are useful uses for orange peel?

Lately, I'm getting more or less addicted to oranges and I'm collection way too much orange peel compared to what my starting compost heap can handle.. Is there something I do with it, other than ...
8
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4answers
350 views

What to do with broken nylon tights?

I happen to break some nylon tights(pantyhose) each season, is there any alternative to just throw them in the garbage? I keep a couple of them for wearing under the jeans in exceptionally cold days, ...
8
votes
3answers
745 views

How can ceramics be recycled?

How can ceramics be recycled? Does the answer vary greatly depending on glaze or other factors, and if so, how can those factors be determined (i.e. how can I tell if a glaze contains lead or not)? ...
8
votes
2answers
427 views

How to account for environmental impact of second hand goods

I've been trying to understand and reduce my impact on the environment, and particularly to understand what a really sustainable lifestyle would look like. I (roughly) get the concepts of ecological ...
8
votes
2answers
531 views

Reusing or recycling old CD's and DVD's

I have some stacks of old CD's and DVD's. The piles includes traditional CD's and DVD's, as well as writable and re-writable discs of various types. In order to prevent these from ending up in a ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

How to minimise waste when making preserves safely and cheaply?

When reusing preserving jars, the most commonly available metal lids (with a rubber or soft plastic seal) are really just meant for a single use. I did find some reusable plastic lids (BPA and ...
8
votes
1answer
219 views

How can I clean old cooking oil for use in candles?

I have a tupperware of old cooking oil in the fridge that I've been debating throwing away - but I would rather re-use it than just toss it. Can I render it and make it into jar candles? It's ...
8
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1answer
118 views

How to benefit from air-conditioning water

I'm doing research on the water of the air conditioning, and a dissertation on how it could be collected and where it could be used. I already started by collecting some figures and I did some ...
7
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5answers
192 views

How to sustainably dispose of or break down used cooking oils?

I have recently wondered what I should be doing with my used kitchen oils having seen a news article about an enormous fatberg clogging the sewer in London. Obviously putting it down the sink really ...
7
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2answers
2k views

How good is it to reuse water from plant pots?

I'm living in an apartment, and after I water my plants the water goes to plates below the pots. The pots are in a metallic structure above the plates, so I can take the plates to reuse the water (...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

How to avoid planned obsolescence when buying a second hand smartphone

Since I think buying a second hand smartphone will please the environment more than buying a new one I am planning to buy one. I already considered things like quality, battery etc. But there is still ...
7
votes
3answers
510 views

When buying beer is refilling growlers better than recycling bottles and cans?

I'm trying to decide if it's worth buying all my beer in reusable growlers (32-64 oz. / 0.9-1.9 liter reusable glass containers). I live in New York, so doing so requires me to go out of my way but is ...
7
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0answers
97 views

Are any large restaurant chains pursuing better alternatives to recyclable packaging?

Yesterday Kraft Foods announced that by 2025 all of its packaging will be recyclable. (Note that while they include "reusable" and "compostable" in the announcement, they talk almost exclusively about ...
6
votes
7answers
740 views

Mismatched socks? What to do with hundreds of them?

I may be unique here but over the years I have collected perhaps hundreds of mismatched socks of various sizes and colors. Some are good cotton and others are like new. Since I have a large family and ...
6
votes
4answers
16k views

How can I build a spinning wheel?

I have a large wolf-dog hybrid who sheds, a lot! I have to brush him every day. A friend came by, saw the massive amount of fur he's shedding and remarked that it would be great for spinning into ...
6
votes
4answers
216 views

How can I reuse or upcycle used, leftover, tiny bath soap bar bits?

After the bath soaps have been used, tiny bits remain. Note that this is not about re-using half-used or little-used soaps such as found in hotels. I am aware there are charities such as Sundara Fund ...
6
votes
4answers
486 views

What are some ways to affordably furnish a temporary apartment?

I will be living in an unfurnished apartment for my final year of college. I'm a pretty handy guy with access to power tools and experience with designing my own basic (cheap) furniture. However, I'd ...
6
votes
1answer
241 views

Recycled and Used Fashion

After four years living in San Francisco, I'm really feeling the urge to update my wardrobe. I've never been much of a fashionista, but that's partly because of the damage I assumed caused to the ...
6
votes
2answers
87 views

Does the Reduce-Reuse-Recycle rule always apply?

Does the triple-R rule (or its extended version like Reduce-Reuse-Repair-Recycle) apply to everything, in that order, as the most sustainable process? Just wondering if you could think of any ...
6
votes
2answers
144 views

Recycling video (VCR) tapes in the UK

Like many I have a large pile of redundant VCR tapes. We're moving house so I'm having to landfill them as the local recycling facilities won't take them. Does anyone know of a recycling (or bulk re-...
6
votes
1answer
189 views

More uses for bacon grease

We (my family) consume good amounts of bacon which produce a lot of bacon grease. I don't like wasting anything that I could reuse or repurpose, including this. I use this byproduct in many different ...
6
votes
1answer
181 views

Uses for Winter Creeper (Euonymus fortunei), also known as just Euonymus?

The property we are gradually developing into a forest garden is absolutely overrun with Purple Winter Creeper (Euonymus fortunei). It's quite the invasive and suffocates most other species in the ...
6
votes
2answers
206 views

Scavenging heat from exhaust flues

I am building a set of greenhouses. they will be 2700 sq.ft. each. I intend to grow year round in one and extend the season in the other two with them being dormant for 6 weeks mid winter. We will be ...
5
votes
1answer
266 views

What needs to be done to reuse newspapers for insulation?

I seen a couple of shows that were pointing newspaper as a very good insulator, that attracted my interest so I was wondering if any of you have any input on this?
5
votes
1answer
182 views

Forgot rechargeable batteries in the charger

I left rechargeable AA batteries in the charger for 3 times as much as it's recommended, that is for 36 hours. Can I still use them? Did it damage them?
5
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6answers
146 views

Best Uses for Scrap Aluminum

Much to my dismay, my apartment building recently canceled their recycling program. My household generates a fair amount of waste aluminum cans that we were previously sending to the local recycling ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

How to clean a reusable plastic coffee cup, such as KeepCup?

I've owned a KeepCup for about a year and though I clean it after use it really is starting to stink. I've tried scrubbing it with a scouring pad and detergent and leaving it to soak overnight, but ...
5
votes
1answer
109 views

How many times do you need to re-use cloth napkins to offset their impact?

My local municipality has a "Waste Watchers" program that provides resources for reducing the quantity of waste sent to landfills. One of their tips is to use cloth napkins instead of paper napkins. ...
5
votes
1answer
67 views

Environmental concerns of a plastic bottle boat?

Having found several images of boats constructed primarily of plastic bottles, the boy scout within me was interested by the idea. However, I know that plastic bottles biodegrade in sunlight, and the ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

When bringing your own reusable bags for produce that needs weighing, what's the lightest option?

When purchasing fresh fruit and veges and other foods from the supermarket that are weighed during check out, I have tended to use the very thin plastic bags provided (when it's necessary to use a bag ...
4
votes
2answers
109 views

How do I get rid of numerous small pieces of charcoal?

There's a small piece of land used for burning tree branches on bonfire (because that's the easiest way to get rid of them). Most of the material gets burnt to ashes but some of it only turns into ...
4
votes
4answers
139 views

Ideas for Altoid cans?

My wife is 'addicted' to Altoids. We have hundreds of empty cans and have already recycled thousands. I was thinking I could put them to good use at home. Looking for ideas. 'altoid tins' by 'secret ...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

How can we dispose or recycle hair clippings from barber shops?

Near by my home there are barber shops where they throw hair clippings in the dustbin and when the contents are burned it gives a bad smell. How I can suggest them to properly dispose or recycle the ...
4
votes
1answer
76 views

Is there an efficient way to dispose of credit cards?

I have about 10 credit cards which I ended up not using for various reasons and I feel bad for having to throw them away in the trash, this is the case for many other things, but seems quite ...