8 Creative Recycling and Reuse Ideas You Can Do (With Your Kids!) to Make Your Home Cleaner and Greener

If you want to teach your children to live a cleaner, greener a more sustainable lifestyle, reducing the amount of waste your household generates is a good place to start. With a little bit of creativity and planning, you can slash the amount of trash you throw away, all while saving money – and possibly the planet.

  1. Capture rainwater by connecting your downspouts to rain barrels. Recycle the water you capture for use in the garden and yard.
  2. Compost your food scraps and use the rich soil to build a better garden. If you do not have room for a full-size composter, a kitchen size unit is all you need.
  3. Recycle your plastic jugs and soda bottles and use them to store water for emergencies. You can use that stored water to flush toilets and fill bathtubs during a prolonged blackout.
  4. Give your old clothing a new lease on life by donating it to charity, consigning it at a resale shop or handing the pieces down to a friend or family member.
  5. Do some apparel and home decorating recycling by shopping at local thrift stores and resale shops. You may be surprised at what you find there.
  6. Refinish and up-cycle your old furniture instead of throwing it away. A new coat of paint or stain and some elbow grease can leave your old furniture looking better than new. This works great for furniture your children outgrow. Turn an old changing table into a dresser.
  7. Turn fancy bottles into art projects, candle holders and other household crafts. Wine bottles make great vases and candle holders, while plastic detergent bottles are perfect for kid-friendly crafts.
  8. Trap troublesome flies with homemade traps. Plastic bottles make great fly traps – just fill them half full of water, add an attractant or commercial bait and wait for the bugs to meet their fate.

If you want to live a cleaner and greener lifestyle, start by taking a look in your trash can. You may be surprised at just how much your family throws away, and every item you remove from that waste stream is a step in the right direction. These ideas can get you started, but the rest is up to you.

Parent Resources

ReuseThisBag.com is a great resource for recycling with your kids

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