Recycling items instead of throwing them out not only lessens our impact on planet Earth, but gives you the ability to find uses for items that otherwise get thrown away. A wide range of uses apply to everyday items such as tires, barrels, curtains and virtually everything else you use in your home, garden or office.
In the Garden
Ordinarily discarded items can be used in the garden, such as refrigerators, tires, wooden pallets and even old bathtubs. Instead of tossing these items out, incorporate them into your garden or landscape to serve eco-friendly and ornate purposes.
An old refrigerator can be submerged into the ground, and the door can be either removed or left on it to trap in air and moisture. This serves as a place to fill with compost, worms and nutrient-rich soil for your gardening needs.
An old bathtub, especially a rustic-looking old-fashioned claw-foot tub, serves as an interesting addition to a decorative garden scene. It can be filled with soil and then plants can be planted in it, turning it into a pretty planter.
Wooden pallets can be used to elevate container gardens. They are easy to paint and customise to fit your garden environment. When tires have lost their tread and you replace them, you can pry them from the rims and use them as planters for growing potatoes and other similar vegetables.
For Your Fashion
Create fashion apparel and accessories out of items you'd normally throw away, such as fresh or artificial flowers from bouquets and arrangements, odd buttons and even old discarded clothing. Eco-fashion crafts not only serve as fun craft projects to complete, but you reduce the amount of garbage that gets thrown away, therefore lightening your carbon footprint.
For example, you can make a feminine brooch out of an artificial flower head, a hot glue gun, a length of silk ribbon and a safety pin. Simply tie the ribbon into a simple bow, glue the flower head onto the knot of the ribbon and then attach it to the front of your outfit with the safety pin.
Make crafty beads out of the petals of fresh flowers, such as roses, carnations and sunflowers. Roll each petal into a tiny ball by crushing it between your thumb and forefinger. Slide a threaded needle through the balled up petals, and then hang them somewhere to dry for a week. The end result is a variety of small, hardened beads that can be used to make your own eco-friendly jewellery.
Old jeans, tshirts and other apparel pieces can be cut-up and sewn into handbags and other accessories. If you're crafty with a sewing machine and know how to use and create sewing patterns you can also design entirely new outfits out of old ones.
For the Home
The old saying goes, "One man's trash is another man's treasure." This can ring true when it comes to recycling items for home decor. For example, you can create charming home decor pieces from such discarded items as old furniture, wrought-iron items and even eccentric items such as boat anchors and broken toys.
An old wrought-iron birdcage one would ordinarily find in a junkyard or thrift store serves as a decorative accent when placed on a table and filled with fresh flowers or potpourri. It can even house lit candles to create a calm and interesting atmosphere.
Making a wall-hanging from rusted barbed wire and driftwood is another eco-friendly way to decorate your surroundings. Using a wood-burning tool you can engrave the name of your family or your favourite proverb into the driftwood. Use a wood varnish from a hardware store to stain it and give it a neater appearance and then wrap the barbed wire around the edges of the top of the plaque. It can hang on a hook on your wall or door, made from recycled goods.
Finding materials to make your eco-friendly, recycled goods is easy when you're naturally creative and find ways to make new things out of old things. Yard sales, thrift stores, junk yards and your own storage areas provide you with a plethora of materials for constructing a wide array of items for an endless variety of uses.