Now, this one is quite unexpected. It turns out that you can grow loofahs (also known as luffas), dry them out, and use them as sponges to wash dishes. You might think a loofah isn’t a plant, but the wrinkly white thing hanging in your shower actually borrowed the name from this plant.
It’s a member of the pumpkin, gourd, and squash family, related to the cucumber. They’re fully biodegradable, and just a few plants will give you enough material to last you for months to years, depending on how much washing you do. They also have lots of potassium. Bonus.
Replace the Heads of Toothbrushes
Brushing your teeth once or twice a day is one of the things that billions of people around the world consider critical to their health, but even if you're using the bare minimum of two brushes a year, that's still a regular amount of waste that's going into landfills. While bristles will eventually come apart and stop being useful, there are still ways to make things easier on the planet.
There are now toothbrushes that have removable and replaceable heads. So while you will still have to get rid of the bristles (though there are probably some ways to reuse those as well), you don't have to worry about the handle going into the trash.
Not Just the Comics Page Anymore
Wrapping paper, while fancy, can also be expensive. There's also a lot of it being wasted every year, so plenty of people and stores have figured out ways to reduce this waste. This shopping bag even says right on the front that it makes for great wrapping paper, and we'd have to agree.
It's a good pick for birthdays, the holiday season, or any other event, thanks to the simple, attractive design on the paper. Really, anything that you get as far as brown paper bags can be repurposed into wrapping paper.
Make Use of Old Lids AND Old Frames
Picked up a couple of picture frames from the second-hand store? Nice. They'll look perfect in the hallway. But, uh-oh, they don't have any hanging hardware on the back. “What to do?” you ask yourself, as you eat cold pinto beans straight out of the can.
Well, the pull tabs that a lot of aluminum cans come with nowadays can double as hanging hardware, and they're easy to attach. You'll have to flatten the lids down first, but then you can just glue them onto the back of the frames as we see here. Simple, easy, and zero waste.
Shipping Made Greener
If you're the kind of person that does a lot of shipping, whether a small business or a cottage industry, you're probably looking for ways to cut down on costs. Do double-duty by reducing plastic waste at the same time by grabbing discarded plastic, packing the goods inside, and sealing it shut with a sewing machine.
You can cut and shape the bags to be big or small enough, and then all you'll need is some thread. Really, a sewing machine is going to be your best friend if you want to save waste and reuse old stuff.