To complete this challenge, you can...
- Take care of your things. This is one of the rules of our household (along with "don't hit" and "obey your parents.") Just like our kids, we adults also need to remember to put away our toys when we're done with them, keep our rooms cleaned, and don't jump on the furniture. We should also perform regular maintenance on any items that need it.
- Reuse what you have before buying new. This challenge could also be stated as RETHINK. As in, what other purpose could I find for this object? How could I change it so it's still usable? Get really creative, and you may surprise yourself.
To get you started with some ideas, here are a few places around the web where people are getting creative with their trash:
- Maya*made is the queen of using old materials and repurposing them into something new and beautiful. Her latest, The Reinvention Skirt, is made from thrifted t-shirts. I especially love all of her ideas for reusing cereal boxes.
- The blogger at Running with Scissors is furnishing and decorating her new home with tons of DIY projects, including reupholstering thrifted chairs, painting and refinishing garage sale bookcases, and even refurbishing old suitcases. She's an amazing model of RETHINK.
- Every day at New Dress a Day, the blogger refashions one item of old outdated clothing into something new and fashionable. The catch? She can only spend $1 every day.
- Repair before you replace.When something breaks, it's tempting to throw our hands in the air and head to the store for a new one. The old art of repair has fallen out of style, and I have to admit that it's not something I'm always good at. But like our grandparents, we should strive to "use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without."
When I was on the academic team in high school (yes, now you do know a little too much about me), our coach forced us to warm up with a brainstorming game where we'd be shown an object and then each take a turn thinking up a new use for that object. Amazingly, you can find a new use for just about everything if you get your creative juices flowing.
So I thought it would be fun to play a little game. My husband and I brainstormed a list of trash:
- broken dishes
- plastic pots (the kind small plants come in)
- CD cases