Last Updated on September 18, 2020 by Nina Ahmedow
Why do I want to talk about reusing packaging? Well, travel and sustainability are closely connected. On my recent trip to Ioannina, I spent much more time in nature than on other trips I’ve taken this year. And whenever I spend a lot of time in nature I am reminded of how spectacular this planet is.
But we don’t appreciate the planet we live on nearly enough, and that’s how we end up with things like climate change. Spending time outdoors serves as a good reminder of this. And while we can’t influence what big companies are doing, there are so many small things we can all do to at least try.
I’ve previously written about my efforts to cut down on plastic. Most recently, I’ve mentioned two eco-friendly period products. Today, I would like to talk about another aspect of zero waste that can also save us a lot of money, and that’s reusing packaging.
It’s difficult to avoid all the packaging these days, so the least we can do is to reuse it. This helps reduce the waste that is sent to landfills and also the resources that are needed for producing more and more packaging.
Easy Ideas for Reusing Packaging
When I recently moved to a new place there were some things I needed to buy, of course. But there was also some stuff that I wanted to avoid spending money on. I realized that for storing food items I could go old school (none of this minimalism and zero waste stuff is new, we’re merely going back to the basics) and reuse packaging.
Instead of throwing out sauce jars, I use them to store seeds, nuts, or homemade dips and sauces. You don’t have to buy food containers or things like wrapping paper when you already have perfectly usable options at home that you have paid for. This is important because too often going zero waste and becoming minimalist are portrayed as part of a new fancy lifestyle for rich people. But actually those of us from lower-income backgrounds should use these concepts to our advantage. We are often the most vulnerable to marketing campaigns that try to sell us things.
Another thing that you can reuse easily are plastic bags. I always bring my own bags for grocery shopping. But if you don’t have one or forget it you can at least reuse the plastic bag you have to get. That’s your trash bag right there. Again, this is not a new idea by millennial hipsters. Growing up we never bought actual trash bags. We simply reused the plastic bags from our trips to the grocery store. And instead of buying a tote bag, you can always reuse plastic bags as well.
Reusing packaging also works for electronics or online purchases. These items usually come in a cardboard box. Cardboard boxes are great for sending packages. But if you’re into gardening they are also great for planting flowers or herbs. Those who are really good at DIY can even use cardboard boxes to store office supplies.
Plastic containers make great lunch boxes while margarine tubs are excellent for freezing fresh herbs. The possibilities are endless.
As you can see there are several ways to reuse packaging in an effort to help the environment and also save money. I’m trying to improve in this area as I absolutely feel that we can all do our bit to reduce the waste that is sent to landfills.
Do you ever reuse packaging? Please share your tips in the comments below.