Swatches of patterned textile shaped into a recycling symbol. Upcycle your unused or unneeded goods by making DIY crafts.

Before Recycling: Turn Trash into Treasure

There is more to recycling than just owning a recycling bin. In fact, tossing items in the recycling bin should be used as a last resort in being environmentally friendly. Processing your recycling still causes pollution and waste even if it is only a percentage of what new manufacturing causes. These tips and tricks will allow you to prevent as much of that as possible.


It turns out that your parents weren’t entirely wrong when they said some things were better in the “old days.”¬† Yard sales and secondhand stores are treasure hunts for wood furniture, unique kitchenware, jewelry, and even clothing. As fashions change, some pieces will become a better investment in the long run as long as you know what to look for!

Upcycle and Repair

One person’s trash is another’s treasure! Before you throw away something that does not fit the room or needs an easy repair, turn to Google and see if the internet has a solution to reuse it. For more intense upcycling, refer to this Upcycling for Beginners guide to get a feel for what you can do!

Holiday Decor 

The end-of-year holiday season is a perfect example of an opportunity to reuse items. You might have some heirloom decorations you store carefully and use every year. If you are buying new decorations, invest in good-quality decorations that will last a long time or neutral ones that will go with your home if you choose to re-paint. To mix it up, add a few seasonal gourds to your table display that can later be used as a side dish for dinner.

Get Creative in the Kitchen

Another place you can be on the lookout to reuse items is during cooking. Some recipes only call for certain parts of vegetables to be used. But instead, aim to use everything! Carrot tops and other pieces you normally discard can be used to create a broth. Almost any kind of onion can be re-sprouted in a shallow dish of water. Most herbs can be replanted in soil. Even potatoes that have sprouted eyes can be replanted to produce potatoes for future meals.¬†Everything that doesn’t get used up can be composted.

Western National Apartments wants to be your partner in green living! To explore our floor plans, find your perfect location, or ask a question, please contact us here.

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