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Recycling Inspiration

Last Updated Aug 27, 2013 · Written by Kat Tate

We all know recycling is good for the environment. But what you might not know is that there are many clever and easy ways to recycle common household goods. So before you throw it away, check out our list of recycling ideas.

Recycling: the Basics

You should already be recycling packaging such as bottles, newspapers, cans, jars and cardboard. In fact, many governments in Australia make it mandatory to recycle these items.
Ask your local council when recycled goods are picked up (many councils provide households with specific recycling bins) and ensure you put all recycled items out for collection on that day.

Beyond the Basics

It’s not just packaging that can be recycled. There are many other items you can reuse to reduce your waste and save money.

Here are a few of our favourite recycling ideas:
  • Lipstick: combine old or unused lipsticks with Vaseline to create a new lipgloss.
  • CDs: turn old CDs into retro-style coasters. Glue two CDs together and paste a circle of felt underneath.
  • Milk cartons: freeze these to use as esky ice blocks. Or cut out the bottom and plant a tree seedling inside.
  • Corks: kids love stamps, and corks are an inexpensive way to create them. If you’re not feeling creative, send the corks off for recycling.
  • Jeans: rather than throw out your old denim, keep them aside to patch up other jeans.
  • Takeaway containers: keep these and reuse them to store odds and ends such as buttons, ribbons or tea.
  • Books: stack a pile of books in the living room and use it as a funky side table.
  • Baby wipe containers: like takeaway containers, these can be used to store small items.
  • Wine bottles: stick a candle inside and voila - you have a unique candle holder!
  • Plant pots: these have many uses including an ash tray, for the kids to make sand castles, to scoop pet food, or to store fruit in the house
  • Mouse pads: turn those promotional pads into something useful – a place mat, stopper for cabinet doors or to place under furniture to avoid carpet marks.
  • Plastic utensils: it’s easy for these to stack up. Rather than throw them away, keep them for picnics, camping or road trips. You can also place them in your kids’ lunchboxes (ensure they bring them home!) or they can be used for craft activities such as cutting play-dough.

These are just a few clever ways to reuse and recycle common items in the home. Next time you’re about to throw something away, stop and ask yourself if you can use it in a creative way. The environment will thank you.
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