These days we are so driven by consumerism that we often end up with so much extra stuff and nothing to do with it. The first step to creating less waste is simply to buy less, buy less often, and be mindful about what you do purchase. You might be surprised to know that 60% of your clothes are made of plastic, and that the fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world. Even if facts like that can change the way you buy, what can you do with all of your old things? Repurpose them!

There are endless ways to avoid things going to landfill. You can donate, give items to friends, resell them if they are in great condition, or turn them into something new altogether! We’ve gathered 10 great ideas on repurposing by Jonathan Engels and put them together to give you a guide on how to create less waste and creatively use old items. Check out these ideas on how to repurpose old items and give it a try yourself!

1. 9 Cool DIY Crafts & Uses for Mason Jar Lids

Mason jar lid

Image Source: James W Pearsell/Shutterstock

Unfortunately, mason jar lids, those little metal circles that seal in the contents and seal out the air, are not reusable. That means we are left with at least a little trash to deal with. However, that doesn’t mean that said trash needs to be sent to the landfill. There are loads of crafts that can be done with old mason jar lids. Check them out!

2. 5 Types of Broken Furniture You Can Turn Into Fun DIY Projects!

repurpose furniture

Image Source: Jinx!/Creative Commons

Not only are projects to repurpose broken furniture a win for the planet and its dwindling resources, but they can also be extremely fun and rewarding. The twist of using unlikely components to perform mismatched functions never ceases to delight builders and buyers. Learn how to repurpose old furniture!

3. Learn How to Repurpose, Recycle, and Reuse Old Leather

how to repurpose leather

 Image Source: Yegor Larin/Shutterstock

There are some very good reasons to avoid using leather in your home or wardrobe, It’s bad for the animals, for the planet and for your health. However, most shoes, boots, handbags, upholstery, wallets, belts, coats, jewelry, etc are made from leather, which means there is a lot of leather out there to be repurposed. Here’s how you can do it!

4. 12 Things That Can Be Repurposed as Planters

how to repurpose things as planters

Image Source: spjwebster/Flickr

While there are plenty of nice plant pots available for purchase, some of the most unique and striking growing containers come from repurposed materials. This is not only good for its quirky stylishness but also for the fact that it makes use of things that might otherwise get tossed into landfills. Here are some items you can repurpose!

5. How to Repurpose, Recycle, and Reuse Old Mattresses

how to repurpose old mattresses

Image Source: Helen’s Photos/Shutterstock

With the need for a good mattress comes the need to occasionally replace the old one.  What to do with the old one? Each year, Americans throw away some 20 million mattresses, each of which takes up an enormous amount of space. Here are some options other than landfill.

6. How to Repurpose, Recycle, and Reuse Old Chairs

how to repurpose old chairs

Image Source: Vassilis/Flickr

The great thing about aging chairs is that they often have so much character, a lifetime of memories and marks. They might have ornate legs or unique backs or special wood. There are a lot of options when it comes to old chairs, try one of these repurposing ideas!

7. How to Recycle Clothes

how to repurpose clothes

Image Source: Flickr

When it comes to garbage and handling it ecologically, clothes are one of those things that can feel difficult. It’s hard to believe, but the fashion industry has become one of the planet’s most pollutant industries. Well, we can help to right this situation. Aside from buying our garments conscientiously, we can also dispose of them responsibly. Check out these repurposing tips.

8. How to Repurpose, Recycle, or Resell Old Shoes

how to repurpose

Image Source: analogicus/Pixabay

There are avenues for disposing of these shoes without sending them to the landfill. And, that’s an effort worth making. Clothing constitutes about 5% of our landfill space, the equivalent to over 13 million tons. What many of us don’t realize though is that there are plenty of possibilities for old clothing that don’t involve the garbage dump. Just like we recycle our paper and plastic, our glass and metal, we have to get into the habit of repurposing and recycling our shirts and shoes, here’s how!

9. 5 Ways to Repurpose Hundreds of Plastic Bottles with One Project

how to repurpose plastic bottles

Image Source: Michael Coghlan/Flickr

The average American uses: 13 plastic water bottles each a month! That’s not counting soda, lemonade, ice tea, sports drinks, etc. In other words, we need to keep the repurposing effort in perspective. While some of the projects are fun and account for a handful of bottles or just a single bottle, there are larger scale ways to repurpose plastic bottles. These suggestions are focused on repurposing lots of bottles, which could make a notable difference. Check out these repurposing methods for water bottles!

10. How to Recycle or Repurpose Your Old Gadgets and Keep Them Out of Landfill

how to repurpose old devices

Image Source: Motoya Kawasaki/Flickr

Unfortunately, the world’s gadget supply only seems to be increasing as technology takes over, and in its wake, a tidal wave of electronic junk — e-waste — is both stuffing our landfills and contaminating soil and water. The more stuff we’ve got to have, the more stuff we’ve got to eventually throw out. So, what can we do to fix the situation? Here’s what to do with old gadgets!

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