Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Reusable Chic

I am not a huge fan of throw-away products.  And for those of you who say "But I recycle" I have to say we of course do as well, but plastic is incredibly expensive to recycle and produces toxins.  Glass is easy (grinding, melting, re-forming) and paper is as well.  And so while I occasionally get a plastic water bottle, I'm looking into reusable bottles (I know I'm late to the game).  I was just recommending a glass one to a friend when I thought, I should just get one of these!  It's fairly little, so it would fit into my bag to carry.  I have a glass carafe by the bed that I drink a whole carafe of water every night from, and it's *magically* refilled in the morning (my husband always makes sure I have a glass of water next to my bed and the carafe has made it even easier!).  I then proceed to drink the whole carafe throughout the day if I'm home, but if I go with him I need a better option than a plastic container that's to be thrown into the trash.  

This got me thinking about other items that we use reusable products for.  My husband always takes our stainless flatware with him to work (the set that used to belong to my great great aunt) so that he doesn't have to use the plastic utensils there.  His lunch is in either the plastic rubbermaid containers or our glass pyrex dishes (we're slowly replacing the plastic with glass).  The only thing I've failed to keep on hand for him is some of our older cloth napkins, but with us cleaning and me organizing up a storm those should be ready for him as well starting next week (he's off this week to spend time with me).  

We use cloth napkins in our home.  They just make more sense.  We reuse them for up to a week (obviously depending on whether or not they even got dirty), so it's not a constant cycle.  And for the most part we never have paper towels on hand, using cloth dishtowels for cleanup instead (I say for the most part because we are about to buy a couple rolls for the paint stripping projects we're working on).  

But in an effort to use more and more items that aren't for the trash or recycle I'm asking what you do in your own home on this topic?  Any good tips?  Any re-using ideas?  I'd love to hear them!  After all, using real items always feels more chic and well as helping the planet! 


  1. I reuse old socks (with holes in them) for dust rags. They work so well because you can just put them on your hand and get into any little cracks and crevices. Then you just throw them in the laundry and can reuse them.

  2. That is a brilliant idea and one I would have never thought of!

  3. I just bought a glass bottle last week - made by Lifefactory and I adore it. I'm never going back to metal or plastic.

    I also use cloth napkins and always use microfiber cloths instead of paper towels whenever I can.

    I never throw out empty spice jars - I just refill them with bulk spices. And I try to reuse plastic produce bags by bringing them with me to the market.

    Mainly, I've been trying not to buy things that come in lots of packaging. For instance, I used to buy mushrooms that came in a clamshell wrapped in plastic, but now I only buy loose.

    It's the little changes we make that add up!