It’s week 3 of Plastic-Free July! We are halfway through the month and hope that the tips we shared these last couple weeks on ‘Refuse‘ and ‘Reduce’ helped you work towards your future plastic-free lifestyle. As a reminder, each week during Plastic-Free July, we will focus on each of the 5 R’s of Zero-Waste and provide practical tips to incorporate them into your life. Just to refresh your memory, the 5 R’s are Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot. This week, our focus is on the third “R” – Reuse.

The 5 R’s are interconnected and often represented as a circular guide, as seen on the left. This means some tips provided can be used interchangeably between the R’s and may be repeated. Last week, we discussed reducing the amount of single-use plastics consumed. Now we’ll look at the next step – reusing the plastics that you have that were unable to be refused or reduced. This is often done by upcycling plastics you already own to extend their lifecycle, or by simply using reusable alternatives to disposable products.

Check out these tips below on ways you can reuse plastics:

Make a Garden

Use plastic bottles to make a hanging garden or mount them on a wall. All you need is plastic bottles, scissors, twine, and a place to hang or mount them. You can even reuse more plastics by using yogurt containers to start the seedlings, poking drainage holes in the bottom and using a plastic lid to catch the drips, then just transfer them to your plastic bottle planters!

Save Your Floors

Do you rent your home or apartment or want to save your floors? Or have those late-night urges to just re-arrange your entire room? Try using plastic lids underneath the furniture to help prevent scratches and allow them to easily slide across the floor.


Keep Your Pets Occupied

Do you have a dog or puppy that loves to chew? Try making them a water bottle toy! This may not last long for those who are intense chewers, but for others, it can be a fun, low-cost toy to keep them occupied while you get things done around the house! Simply take an empty plastic water bottle (remove the cap!) and place it into an old sock and tie off the open end. Then watch as they enjoy their new, crunchy chew toy!


Bread Tags and Their Many Uses

Did you know bread tags can be used for much more than keeping your bags of bread shut? Some other ways they can be used are as wine glass tags, power cord labels, marking the end of a tape roll, and even as a wired earbuds holder (even though I am sure most people have wireless earbuds nowadays). 


Swap those disposables for reusables!

Another way to reuse is by seeking out reusable alternatives to those disposable items we all buy. Check out the list below for some ways you can make the switch from disposable and reusable:

  • Dish sponge – try cotton cloths instead
  • Tea bags – look for loose tea leaves instead, you can even find cute infusers for them
  • Coffee pods – try a French press instead
  • Plastic cling wrap – store leftovers in a reusable container or try beeswax wraps
  • Plastic water bottles – use a reusable water bottle instead
  • and so much more!

Monday, July 17, 2023 in ,
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