Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Reinvent!

In my opinion, the word “reinvent” should absolutely be added to the “R’s” of recycling- as in Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Reinvent!

Okay, I know, it is similar to reuse, but really, when I think of the word “reuse” it just implies to me that I should use the same thing repeatedly-such as cloth grocery bags. Recycle is also a similar term, but it always conjures images in my head of blue curb-side bins and pop cans. Reinvent, on the other hand, involves giving new spunk and life to an old, or apparently unusable, item to make it useful once more!

Recently I have come across some fun ideas that will hopefully inspire you to look for ways to reinvent items in your own home. The first one I want to share is this fun project on This Vintage Chica, for “upcycling” (as she calls it) an old painting drop cloth into outdoor pillows. Pretty ingenious, huh? Cute and useful-now that’s my kind of project!

The next creative idea for reinventing is by a mama known as Montana Mama around the blogosphere, and I found it on her blog, I Love Lamp. Her idea involves turning regular old pre-fold diapers into pre-fitted diapers with a few simple trims, seams, and pieces of elastic. Her straight-forward directions allow even the novice of seamstresses to complete this project and turn their “old-style diapers” (as some would say) into a version of pre-folds that even dads should be able to easily figure out how to use.

The last project I want to mention is a little one that I embarked on myself in the last week. You see, I am currently pregnant and have a very limited maternity wardrobe. So, imagine my disappointment when I significantly stained one of my only maternity T-shirts after wearing it just once! My solution? Dye it! You can check out the whole project on my blog, Mama Kenz Studio.

So, what do you have lying around your home that is just screaming for a little reinvention? Are your old kitchen canisters dying to be splashed with a little fresh paint and turned into planters? Do you have a few old pairs of pants with frayed hems or holes in the knees that could easily be converted into shorts or capris for summer?

Take a look around and give something a new life this spring. You will feel so satisfied, and not to mention cleverly green, when you do!

An original 5 Minutes for Going Green post. Follow the rest of MacKenzie’s musings on being a birth and postpartum doula while pregnant, totschooling her son, and still finding time to knit, at Mama Kenz Studio.

3 Responses to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Reinvent!
  1. Tim
    April 13, 2009 | 7:46 pm

    I love the pic of the light bulb with the small tree in it. Would make a cool logo. Love also the “upcycle” idea. That could catcvh on.

    Having said that, there’s a lot to be done at home, by way of no just improving, but transfrming and sometimes it’s just a matter of awareness.

    For example- It’s now possible one’s home off the power grid entirely. I think the more this becomes known, the more common it will become. I’m currently in an apartment because my wife works close by where we live, but once we move out west in a couple years, it’s my plan to have the house producing it’s own energy.

    Wouldn’t it be cool to get more than half the homes out there doing that? Eventually it would reach a “tipping” point where others sucking energy from power companies would feel like they are losing out- and losing energy money. And they would be.

  2. Kimm at Reinvented
    April 13, 2009 | 8:49 pm

    Hi! I love this post. I wanted to let you know that my blog, “Reinvented”, is about this very thing. I focus mostly on home decor, using found items, garage sale or thrift store finds to update and use in our homes.
    Check it out sometime, and let me know what you think!

  3. diana
    April 15, 2009 | 10:22 am

    Have you heard of the 5 Rs? Add yours and you get the 6Rs!