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Trash Diet: Part 4 – Reusable Stuff

Today is the last official post for our trash diet (although I’m sure I’ll be posting more green living projects in the future).  Our final topic on how to reduce your waste is probably the easiest to implement – reusing.  There are so many areas where families can reuse and it makes so much sense to do so.  It’s good for both the earth and your bank account!

Click through for my favorite posts and products for getting in the reusing habit, as well as a recap of our diet success.

Reusable bags – These days there are reusable bags on the market in every shape and size and for every purpose.  For grocery shopping, I like the type that roll up into a ball and can be easily stored in a purse or diaper bag.  These are especially fun because they transform into small animals, which is sure to get the little ones excited about reusing.

Other shopping bag option include these reusable produce bags and I love this tutorial on how to make a grocery bag dispenser (in case you slip up and have to come home with some plastic).

Along with shopping bags, small food storage bags can also be reusable.  The Lunchskins brand is especially stylish.  If that’s not your cup of tea, a simple Amazon search will prove that options abound.  Or, even better, try making your own with this DIY.


Reusable food & drink storage –  Bottled water is both wasteful and expensive but we all know how important it is to stay hydrated throughout the day.  Fortunately, there are all kinds of cool reusable bottle options.  Insulated tumblers make me feel like I’m sipping on an iced latte all day (at least that’s what I tell myself) and I love the bold color options.  If you’d prefer filtered water, check out these Brita bottles with built-in filters.


If you have a baby or a tot at home, you’re probably very familiar with some variety of squeezable fruit.  The stuff is portable, often includes veggies, and the fun factor of the squeeze pouch is universally appreciated by kids – it’s pure magic.  Yet I still limit my kiddos to one a day because they’re expensive and wasteful.  I’ve often thought that I could easily (and cheaply) whip up mega batches of the stuff at home if only I had a reusable squeeze pouch to put it in.  Then I saw this guy over at ohdeedoh and wondered if my prayers had been answered.


Lastly, Cool Mom Picks recommends this reusable (and odor-proof) option for temporarily storing all the sticky/stinky/gooey stuff that comes with having small people in your care.  Basically it’s a stylish and green alternative to the car trash bag.
Diapers – Let me just say right off the bat that I do not use cloth diapers.  This is a surprisingly polarizing issue amongst some parents so I don’t want you to think I’m taking sides.  That being said, if this is something you’re interested in finding out more about, ohdeedoh recently posted on it here.


And even if you’re not ready to take the plunge into cloth diapering, you can still dip your toes in the pool.  Check out this great tutorial for chemical free and washable baby wipes.



Cleaning Supplies – This one is a weakness of mine.  I just love the convenience of keeping a stash of Clorox wipes in the bathroom and kitchen.  Whenever I’m in those rooms I do a quick wipe down before leaving and it keeps things fresh between cleans.  That’s why I was so excited to find reusable DIYs for both Clorox wipes and Pledge wipes.


I also recently ran across this post suggesting that we really only need 1/2 a dryer sheet per load.  I don’t know if that’s true or not but it’s worth a shot.


So that wraps up our month-long trash diet.  In case you’re wondering about the products we used, here’s my short and sweet review:


Glad Composting Bags – My favorite of all the products I received.  They really went a long way in cutting down on any mess or odor in the compost bin.
Large Kitchen Composting Bucket – A handy little bin for the counter.  I think the charcoal filter is a nice feature and it fit nicely into my cupboard with very little odor.


Glad Forceflex Kitchen Bags – As a person who often over-stuffs the garbage, these extra stretchy and odor-blocking bags were useful (especially in the diaper pail).  According to GLAD, they also use less plastic – which is a plus.


Glad Kitchen Recycling Bags – Honestly, I didn’t really use these.  Our recycling doesn’t allow any plastic bags so we tend to just use regular trash bags and empty them into our bin.


Double Bin Stainless Steel Trash and Recycle Bin – Again, I didn’t use this much.  Our recycling efforts were so successful that we don’t need two equal size compartments – a large recycling bin in the kitchen and a small, under-sink garbage can works great for us.  Plus, while the motion sensor is cool, the kids wouldn’t stop playing with the feature and the required batteries aren’t very environment friendly.


I’m so glad this opportunity came along as it really spurred us into becoming a more green household.  Hopefully you also found some inspiration here along with a few new ideas.

Similar Stuff:
Our Trash (Crash) Diet
Trash Diet: Top 10 Recycled Art & Toy Projects
Everything You Need to Know to Start Composting
Trash Diet: Buying Used, Repurposing, and Going Handmade



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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Carrie August 11, 2011 at 8:03 pm

I always use only 1/2 a dryer sheet and it works great! Good links, thanks!


Bubbles August 11, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Muahahaha no dryer sheets here! Vinegar in the fabric softener bit in the washer (or in a downy ball, if your washer doesn’t have a softener dispenser thingy). We also make our own laundry soap. (Grated Ivory, borax, and washing soda is what we go with.)
Those homemade “Clorox” wipes are great, though. The regular kind are my cleaning weakness.


Emily August 11, 2011 at 10:21 pm

dryer sheets, smhyer sheets. I’m a wool dryer ball gal all the way!

thanks for the link to the reusable wipes!


Carolyn August 12, 2011 at 12:14 pm

I stopped using dryer sheets a while back and hardly miss them – and it saves a lot of money to skip them. I snatch out the things that would make everything static-y like fleeces and my husband’s nylon running gear, and dry those on a drying rack instead. I also try to run the dryer once for every two loads of wash, since it is a total electricity hog – the more stuff I can line dry, the better. I sure don’t have the time to line dry tons of tiny toddler clothes, though, so this compromise works for our family.


renebee December 6, 2012 at 5:21 am

they don’t even sell dryer sheets in my (1st world) country.Your clothes are fine without them, better yet just dry them on the washing line…..


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