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The Second ‘R’ – Reuse
You may have a box of things you keep that are broken or that you don’t have a use for that you hang on to in-case you find another use for them; or you may find bargains on old furniture or go trash picking and get things that you can refinish – in either case you are working towards reusing the item. Learning to reuse items, or re-purpose them for a use different then what they are intended for is essential in waste hierarchy.
One of the best examples for how this is being done today is the modular construction of homes and office buildings that is being created out of discarded shipping containers. These large, semi-truck sized metal containers represent a huge waste problem. Repurposing them as homes and offices saves them from the landfills and doesn’t require the additional expenditure of nature resources to melt down and reconfigure the metals used to create them.
You may either reuse those items for your own use or donate so that others can use them. You can reuse below items like:
1. Old jars and pots: Old jars and pots can be used to store items in kitchen. They can also be used to store loose items together such as computer wires.
2. Tyres: Old tyres can either be sent to recycling station or can be used to make tyre-swing.
3. Used wood: Used wood can be used as firewood or can be used woodcrafts.
4. Newspaper: Old newspapers can be used to pack items when you’re planning to move to another home or store old items.
5. Envelopes: Old and waste envelopes can be used by children to make short notes.
6. Waste paper: Waste paper can be used to make notes and sketches and can be send to recycling center when you don’t need them anymore.
Items that can be donated to others include:
1. Old books: Your old books can be used by poor children or can be donated to public libraries.
2. Old clothes: Your unwanted clothes can be used by street children or can be donated to charity institutions.
3. Old electric equipment: Old electric equipment can be donated to schools or NGO’s so that they can use them.
4. Rechargeable batteries: Rechargeable batteries can be used again and again and helps to reduce unnecessary wastage as opposed to regular batteries.
Apart from this, you can build a compost bin and reuse many waste items like used tea bags. The waste then degrades and turns into compost that help your plants grow and shine.