Advantages of Reusing over Recycling

While recycling paper, plastic, and metal is a great to reduce waste and help the environment, reusing materials is even better. With recycling you have to break the item down into raw materials to make something new, but reusing eliminates the labor and energy needed for manufacturing.

Sometimes an item can be reused in the same capacity. Another option is to convert it to a different use.


I’ve mentioned recycling many times in the past as being an important part of green living, but let’s not forget about re-using. Both recycling and re-using are green, but re-using is just a few shades brighter. Recycling means you have to break down the item into raw materials in order to make something new. But re-using an item doesn’t expend added energy to break it down. Sometimes an item can be re-used in the same capacity. A classic example is the old glass milk bottles that were delivered to doorsteps each morning. The old bottles were taken away, cleaned and filled with fresh milk. Re-using can also mean taking something and using it in another way. This is a great example. This old door was made into a headboard for this bed. So, re-using’s not just green; it’s a great way to exercise your creativity.


  1. I also like to keep things out of the landfill. We took various sizes of PVC pipe that was being thrown out and cut it into different sizes to make a unique fence. The tallest piece is about 3 foot and the smallest end is one foot. We joined these pieces with rust proof screws on the insides. The back of the fence is flat and the front is sculptured from the different sizes of pipe. This fence took a little time, a little imagination, and very little money. It can be painted or left white (the sun keeps it really white). We have had many people ask where we had our fence manufactured!


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