March 10, 2015


Lately I've been questioning the general effort and focus regarding reusing and repurposing things into art, craft or utilitarian creations.  Is it just me, or have any of you noticed that we often re-create with items that can be recycled anyway?
©linda nelson 2015
©Linda Nelson 2015
Don't get me wrong; lidded glass jars come in handy, and tin cans look fabulous when slapped with a coat of chalk paint and embellished with a sparkly bauble.  Turning an old T-shirt into a grocery tote bag is a wonderful idea.  Sure, let's keep doing these things.  I enjoy doing them very much so.

But, shouldn't our focus lean towards repurposing things that would never be allowed into a recycling container?  I love all those wood palette projects, I really do; but, when I obtain one, I simply return it to the vendor and get my $10 deposit fee back.

A paper towel roll whirly wig?  Really?  It's plain cardboard, for goodness' sake.  Compost it, don't make something with it.  Oops....... I have quite a few blog posts about reusing corrugated cardboard.

Why aren't we focusing more on reusing things that are not recyclable?  I want to make the effort.  It won't be easy because those things are probably not my favorite go-to materials, but I am willing to challenge myself... with baby steps.  What about you?  I'd love to hear your thoughts.


  1. I agree with you...And yet, I am happy when people attempt to use what they have instead of throwing it away and buying something else. I also love that most of the materials that can be recycled are easily accessible to children for their creative endeavors.

    Personally I love to recycle anything. The goal is to take what some would see as trash and make something beautiful or useful out of it. I do think the ultimate challenge is to create something beautiful and lasting from something simple and disposable.

    At our house, my husband and daughter save me all kinds of stuff that other people would throw away (which sometimes creates another kinds of clutter issue). I have gutted old tvs, phones, and electronics for interesting components, gathered containers, discarded clothing, and broken china and stashed buckets of walnuts, bark and twigs in my greenhouse. There is little I don't save... So what kind of materials are you thinking of Linda?

    1. You and I share the same mindset for repurposing/reinventing, whether for creative, or just practical purposes. I don't have any particular materials on my mind, just things that technically are not recyclable, nor are in acceptable condition for being donated. Moldy, cracked and dry rotted vinyl patio cushions, for example. How would one avoid throwing something like that out? Old, warped and smelly Tupperware with missing lids? Asbestos shingles? Torn and worn vinyl sheet flooring? See what I mean? What do you do with stuff like THAT? Perhaps some garbage is just unavoidable at times.


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