If you are conscious of your carbon footprint, you may be aware of the need to reduce, reuse, recycle and repurpose. Cutting down on the amount of waste we produce is one of the best ways to live green, but how do we do it?
Well, we all know about the importance of recycling, but if you love the planet as much as we do, there could be more to do when it comes to looking out for our eco-system- that’s where repurposing comes in.
What is repurposing?
Repurposing, reusing or up-cycling is the process of taking everyday items or materials (often found around the house) and finding ways to reuse them so they avoid the scrap pile and damage to our environment. At Gosh! we believe in treating the planet kindly, which is why we’ve come up with some of the best ways to repurpose and reuse old household items.
How do Gosh! reuse and repurpose?
At Gosh! we like to practice what we preach, which is why we’ve taken steps to ensure our company is as sustainable as it can be. Not only do all of our products come in packaging that is fully recyclable, but we are also proud to have received a Greener Path Award for ‘Zero Waste to landfill’ issued by ACM Environmental PLC.
This award is to celebrate businesses who demonstrate exemplary effort and achievement in minimising waste, boost recycling and increasing landfill diversion while seeking out innovative and sustainable ways to handle waste streams.
Any food waste we do produce at Gosh! goes to renewable energy and produces bio-fuel. The bio-fuel produced each year can power the equivalent of 1600 homes for a weekend.
The best ways to repurpose household items
Glass jars are a great place to start when you’re looking to get your first taste for repurposing. The chances are you already have a fair few knocking around the house if you’re using jams, olives, pasta sauces and more.
There are loads of ways to reuse glass jars, turn them into candle holders, plant pots, reuse for seeds, grains, homemade sauces or oils. Why not buy battery powered fairy lights and fill the jars with them to create a magical ornament for your bedroom. If you want to really get creative you could invest in some glass paints and decorate the old jars as you wish- great for personal presents if you’re stuck for ideas.
Egg cartons are another house hold item that many of us are going to have going spare at some point. As they’ve got a fairly specialised design, many of us may not think twice about throwing them out, however, there are plenty of ways to repurpose them!
Making bird feeders is a great way to make use of old egg packaging. Simply take the lid off, fill with bird seed and place somewhere our feathered friends can find it. The cartons can also be perfect for padding out packaging, or as a palette for paints.
Planting seeds is one of the best ways you can reuse egg cartons. Lay some soil and add seeds to each cup in which the eggs sat and wait for the seedlings to emerge. As many egg cartons are compostable, you can tear apart each cup and plant it as is when the seeds are ready.
Our packing at Gosh! also doubles up as perfect planting trays. Check out this video over on our Instagram to find exactly how to grow your own at home. If you’re up for the challenge, get tagging us in your planting pics with #goshgrowyourown. If we’re really impressed we may even send you some of our favourite Gosh! goodies.
Many of us throw away wine corks, but just like the other items on our list, there are some inventive ways in which you can put them to use.
Why not try making some wine cork signs. Stick a wooden chopstick into the bottom of the cork and label the cork as desired. This can be a great addition to your vegetable or herb garden, easily placed into soil.
Making wine cork stamps is also fun and creative. Carve a design into one end of the cork, cover with paint or ink and stamp to your hearts content. These can be a great way to personalise cards or envelopes.
Repurposing bottle caps is a great way to let your DIY side out. If you have some lying around that have a fair amount of depth to them, they can be a great way to make your own tea lights. Simply fill the cap with the right amount of wax and a wick to complete your creation.
They can also be turned into fun fridge magnets. Paint your caps in the best design you can come up with and stick a magnet to the bottom of the cap. Once this is done you are able to place your magnets anywhere they’ll go!
Newspapers are really useful to have around the house as there are many ways to repurpose it. It is great for packaging presents, papier-mâché, covering the floor when painting, safely disposing of broken glass and much more.
You could even substitute your paper towel for newspaper when cleaning up mess at home.
Toilet paper rolls
Toilet rolls can be repurposed into a great number of things, and we’ve all got them kicking about.
Coat them in peanut butter and roll them in seeds to create an easy bird feeder. Use them as storage for pens, pencils and other office supplies. Decorate a couple of them, stick them together and turn them into binoculars for the kids to play with. If you’re stuck for packaging you could also cover the rolls in wrapping paper and turn them into gift boxes for giving smaller presents.
Clothes, bedding and towels
Old clothes, bedding and towels are perfect for up-cycling! Turn any one of them into cleaning cloths when you don’t feel the need to wear or use them anymore. This idea is great for the environment but can also save you a heap of money on cleaning equipment.
If you get creative you can find ways to reinvent you wardrobe using a bit of DIY. You could turn old trousers and jeans into shorts with a pair of fabric scissors. Tie-dye your old t-shirts to add an extra bit of colour into your outfit, perfect for the summer months. If you’re really good with a sewing machine you could even have a go at making a quilt.
Whether you’re collecting plastic containers from shop bought products, or the occasional take away, they can become a really useful reusable item.
Plastic containers can be reused as tupperware, making great lunch boxes to send the family away with. They can also be the perfect place to store homemade concoctions in, including soups, sauces and much more.
You don’t have to limit yourself to storing food either, plastic containers can be great place for other household items like pens, pins and other office supplies.
How to repurpose your food
Repurposing doesn’t have to focus on household items alone. Finding ways to repurpose meals or ingredients can be an amazing way to cut back on the amount of food waste your household is producing.
Say for example you buy a pack of Gosh!’s delicious veggie sausages, you could use the sausages to create a number of different dishes rather than cooking one, getting bored of it and throwing it out. We have a long list of recipes with our products at their core. For veggie sausages you should definitely check out:
- Cumberland Sausages with Parsnip Mash
- Gosh! Sausage Salad Rolls
- Chilli Dog with Gosh! Veggie Sausages
We hope we’ve given you some inspiration on how to transform your every day waste into useful and fun items. At Gosh! we love an excuse to get creative as much as we love the planet, so if you have any more ideas on how to up-cycle used products, we would love to hear from you! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tag us in your creations over on Instagram using @gosh_food.
If you’re environmentally conscious and you want to explore some other ways to help the environment, you should check out our blogs on How to Help the Environment at Home and Easy Zero Waste Swaps For Eco-Friendly Living.