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October 20 is National Reuse Day

What better way to celebrate National Reuse Day than by spending time reflecting on how you can up your reuse game!

What is reuse?

Let’s start with a refresher on reuse. What is it, and why is it important? The United States EPA has a quick video on the Story of Reuse (YouTube) to get you started. Sesame Street even has a great earworm for you with Elmo is a Reuse Grouch with Oscar (YouTube)! Reusing items multiple times before they eventually end up in the trash or the recycling bin is a great way to extend the life of your items. Reuse also helps keep useable goods out of our waste stream and reduce the need for manufacturing and transporting new goods.

You will often hear reuse and recycling used interchangeably in TV shows and media stories. So what is the difference? SimplyInfo (YouTube) has a simple explanation. The objective of reusing is “to extend the life of a product” while the objective of recycling is “to use basic material in the creation of various products.” Reuse doesn’t change the original form of an item but could change what it is used for. Recycling is the process of using the material from the recycled item to create a new product.

People walking in a forest in autumn

How to reuse more

Here are some of our favorite tips from past blogs:

  1. Reuse is critical to helping save the environment because it cuts the amount of waste going into our landfills and it conserves resources needed to manufacture, package, transport and dispose of unneeded new items. Read our blog, Buying used stuff: Critical to helping save the environment, for more information and tips for getting started.
  2. Halloween doesn't have to mean buying new stuff that will only be used once. Learn four ways to have an eco-friendly Halloween this year and how to find unique costumes.

There are so many great ways to reuse. What will you choose to reuse next? Here are some ideas:

  • Rent or borrow lawn equipment to clean up your fall yard
  • Sell used sports equipment that no longer fits
  • Buy used equipment if you need to replace something 
  • Hand down or donate the couch that no longer fits in your space
  • Use reusable containers for your kid’s school lunches
  • Save flowerpots for next year’s garden
  • Donate clothes that no longer fit to a local thrift store
  • Post scrap lumber from your home project to Facebook Marketplace or Nextdoor so a neighbor can use it
  • Hang on to your ice cream pails to use for storage
  • Sell your used vehicle instead of trading it in for scrap

There are so many ways to reuse in every aspect of our lives – you may already be doing more than you realize!

For many more ideas, go to the Choose to Reuse homepage, scroll down to “Reuse tools & tips” and click on “previous tips” for a whole list of blog articles.

Fall routine fun and sustainable