Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle the Small Stuff

handmade doll with blue hair
Recycling is a way of life at my house. My grandparents were born into simple farming families at the turn of the 20th Century, my parents grew up during the Great Depression of the 1930s and I am a starving artist that must make every cent count. Reducing, reusing and recycling are just one way that generations of my family have saved money and made the most of every dollar spent.

It doesn't take a big effort to make a big difference. When it comes to recycling, small steps can go a long way. Just look in your recycle bin for inspiration. What items do you find in the trash? Is there some way of using it instead of tossing it? You may be surprised at what you can do!

One of my favorite trash to treasure projects is to Recycle Egg Shells and Make Sidewalk Chalk. We eat a lot of eggs at our house and usually the egg shells end up in the worm composting bin or in flower pots. Except when the grandkids come to visit. That's when I grind up those shells, add a little flour and mix in some water. In a few days, the kids and I draw up a storm. You see, recycling is fun!

BritFlorida finds creative ways to save space through recycling. After reading her story, you may be motivated to Create Mini-Storage in Your Home With Cardboard Tubes. BritFlorida uses the cardboard tubes from rolls of toilet paper and paper towels to store small clothing items, hide cords from electronic devices, keep jewelry from getting tangled, separate the knives from the forks and organize the medicine cabinet.

Got a bunch of glass jars? Need extra storage space?  Lyndamakaracreations has some Simple Glass Painting Ideas for Recycled Jars. All you need to do is save a few jars from the recycle bin and buy some enamel craft paint.

My new home is covered in wood floors and I need a few rugs to soften the load on my feet while working at my new standing height desk. JaneNew uses old sheets to Crochet Rag Rugs.This sounds like a fun activity to do while watching TV at night.

And, because I'm such a book worm and have so many books piled up in bookshelves and corners, LBrummer came to my rescue with a list of Book Page Crafts to create handmade cards and altered art using book pages. I see some new pictures hanging on the walls of my new home very soon.

I hope you enjoyed our simple steps to recycling. Do you have a favorite every day item that you recycle? I'd love to hear about your adventures in the Fast & Easy Recycling Lane. Leave a note in the Comments section below and, if you've written a story about your recycled project, share the link to your story.
Until next time, recycle the small stuff and make a big difference!


Posted by Coletta Teske
Coletta Teske

About This Contributor

Coletta Teske writes reviews on books, business management, writing, crafting, cooking, and gardening. She is also an avid recycler and shares her tips on recycling. She delights in upcycling an old object, recycling or transforming discarded items into a new treasure.


  1. You have once again shown that we can reduce our trash pile by repurposing many of the items that would end up in the recycling or trash bins. I love the glass jars! Thanks so much for sharing the link to how to paint them and make delightful containers from them.

    1. Thank you, Ruthi! It's fun finding new purposes for those old things that are just waiting to be trashed. I love the creative ways that Squidoo writers have found to turn their trash into treasures.

  2. I love finding ways to save money and there are only a few things I enjoy more than craft ideas that turn trash into treasure :) Definitely my kind of fun!

    1. Thank you for visiting, Cynthia! Saving money is the best benefit from recycling. It's a tough economy and money doesn't come easy. And, recycling promotes creativity!

  3. Yup, I love these ideas! So simple and anyone can do them. Thanks for the inspiration, Coletta!

  4. Thank you, Mandee! Simple and easy is the best.


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