Re-use Ideas You Didn’t Think Of (And Some You Already Knew)

There are plenty of recycling re-use suggestions to choose from online, but how many things you can put into a glass jar before you run out of stuff and space? We’ve put together some re-use suggestions you might not have considered – and some you may already be putting into practice. These are just ideas and you can adapt them to suit your home. If you’re inspired to create your own, we’d love to hear about them. Please share your tips on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

empty carton used for small planterCreate Carton Planters

Cartons are very useful packaging because they’re lightweight and can hold liquids without leaking. That’s why they also make for great starter planters! Lay the carton horizontal so the largest side is face up and then cut an opening. Place soil and seeds inside, and you have a mini starter garden! It can live on a windowsill, or balcony, while the plants start to sprout and you have a fun at-home project to tend to.



crumpled piece of aluminum foilGive Aluminum Foil a Comeback

Let’s give a shout to the versatility of aluminum foil: it’s a great food saver, a handy tool for cooking and baking in the oven, and can be used as a drip layer to cut clean-up time in half. Aluminum foil can also be rinsed and re-used! Of course, if it’s taken some heavy damage during a meal-prep spree, it may not be salvageable but if you were just using it to wrap food, give it a rinse and use it for round two. When it’s officially used up, rinse one more time, remove any stuck on food bits, and recycle in your blue bin.


large cardboard boxes for electronicsSave Your Boxes For Storage

An empty cardboard box has the most obvious re-use role as storage but what do you do with them when they’re not filled up? Well, you could cut them down to pieces smaller than 30×30” (76×76 cm) and recycle with your paper – or you could flatten them and store under your bed (or mattress) for future use. It never hurts to have some spare storage around the house.



three plastic stand-up pouches with zipper lockUse Stand-Up Pouches as Snack Bag

Spring is in the BC air and you might be considering taking a hike or going for a long bike ride to break up the extra time we’re spending at home these days. Bringing snacks in a re-usable container is a good idea. Rinsing out a re-sealable stand-up pouch and using that for snacks is another option. You might have one in your stash of depot-only recycling waiting for the next depot trip so why not give it a second life? They’re easy to carry and it’s one less thing in your recycling.


three empty metal cansUse Metal Cans To Hold Oil and Grease

This is a common re-use trick but it’s so good it bears repeating. Rinse an empty metal can from your blue bin and keep it to collect used cooking oil or grease, keeping it out of your kitchen sink drain. The metal can withstand the high temperatures of the oil and grease, and is compact enough to fit discreetly in your freezer until you’ve filled it. Our friends at the Recycling Council of BC can provide information on how to safely dispose of used oil and grease when you’re ready.



plastic yogurt containerTurn Plastic Tubs into Measuring Cups

They won’t be exact measurement unless your recipe calls for a ‘yogurt container-sized scoop’ of flour. But rinsed plastic tubs that once held yogurt, margarine, or spreads, can be re-used to scoop laundry detergent or pet food. No fuss, no muss.



What are some of your favourite re-use opportunities? Leave a comment on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram post and let us know!