Earlier this June, we talked about what upcycled and sustainable living means (in case you missed it, check it out here.)
There are many factors to consider when it comes to living a lifestyle that can help make our planet sustainable. We have to examine how we live, what products we use, and alternative methods to our lifestyle choices. For anyone who hasn’t begun the process toward a more sustainable lifestyle, it can be quite overwhelming. We suggest starting small when it comes to sustainable living. There are many ways to live a life more focused on giving back to the earth instead of adding to the overuse or waste of materials. Let’s begin with ways we can apply that thinking to our own lives:
Upcycle Candles Into Drinking Glasses
Did you know? Leftover candles make excellent drinking glasses! The Calyan Tumbler Candleis the perfect candle for this upcycling project. When you burn through your candle, wash out the remaining wax (we recommend letting it soak in hot water, then remove the remaining wax with a scrub brush.) You are left with a beautiful drinkware glass!
Get Rid of Paper Towels
In our last blog, we mentioned that paper towels make up some of the largest municipal waste in the United States. Imagine all of the trees we could save if we stopped using paper towels? While paper towels are handy to have around, there are other ways to clean up messes that do not produce methane waste. T-shirt towels make a great replacement for paper towels. They clean just as well (if not better) and are a great way to upcycle in our day-to-day. We recommend using our Bag O’ Rags if you are ready to say goodbye to paper towels.
Make Vegetable Broth
There are a couple of ways you can upcycle vegetable waste. One great way is to make broth. A lot of store-bought broth is kept in containers that are lined with plastic or BPA. Making vegetable broth is both simple and delicious. Check out the Minimalist Baker's easy one-pot recipe to make your own.
This tip is definitely for gardeners and plant-lovers! You can also take your vegetable scraps (among many other food leftovers) and compost them. This removes the need to add harmful chemicals to our earth. Composting enriches plant soil, leaving it less prone to disease and pests. Check out the EPA’s guide on how to compost here.
Americans throw away approximately 10.5 million tons of clothing each year! Many kinds of clothing are made from synthetic fibers like polyester, and nylon which can sit in a landfill for hundreds of years waiting to decompose. An easy way to reduce clothing waste is to shop second-hand and donate clothing you no longer wear to thrift stores or organizations that accept donations like theSalvation Army (click here to find a drop off center near you). If you are a Jacksonville local, Beam Thrift and Hope’s Closet are incredible thrift stores that also give back to the community. Shopping at thrift stores also helps you save money when you feel the urge to go on a shopping spree. Plus, it is a lot of fun to see all the unique clothing and treasures you can find.
If you have unused, 100 percent cotton t-shirts, you can donate them to Rethreaded! Our Grace Scarf, Threads For Hope Bracelet, andBag O’ Rags are all products created from upcycling cotton t-shirts. Over the past few months, we also used cotton t-shirts to create ourCotton Mask, to help people stay safe during COVID-19. These four products all serve a different purpose, yet they were created by upcycling one material that would normally end up in a landfill.
We hope you feel inspired to add some sustainable practices to your daily life. When we start small, we can make a big difference!
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