Reuse jars for storage

Re-use and repurpose – finding ways to extend an item’s lifespan

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“I grew up in a family that was fairly conscious of waste,” says Harriet Newman, who now makes sure she repurposes everything she can before recycling. “My mum was always really good at trying to make sure everything had as full a lifespan as possible.”

For Harriet, it’s about reusing items instead of throwing them away. “I repurposed a large wooden set piece from a theatre show I worked on into a compost bin, so it cost me nothing in the end.”

Harriet and her husband Joe aim to have less outgoing waste while extending the life span of what they buy. “Anything that comes in a plastic container, we look for ways that we can use that container around the home instead of throwing it out. All our pantry jars are large Pam’s peanut butter jars – they’re really handy for storing things like baking supplies, dried fruit and nuts.”

They buy less ‘new’ stuff and use more of what already exists around them. It also helps save money, which is great as they’re expecting their first child soon. “We’ve purchased a cloth nappy package from Real Nappies to kick us off on reusable nappies,” Joe says, “and as Harriet sews a lot, we have started making a lot of things from home to help. More spare cloth nappies, cloth wipes, transforming existing sheets into cot sheets, repurposing old clothing like woollen sweaters into baby clothing etc.”

They advise starting small, to just make things a habit. “If you try to do everything all at once, it’s exhausting. You don’t know where to start, and just want to give up because it’s all too hard. Pick one thing to do, and once it becomes a routine, find one more thing to add.”

Joe and Harriet’s tips to help you on your journey:

Tip 1:  Reuse jars for your pantry – they’re really handy for storing things like baking supplies

Tip 2: Buy less ‘new’ stuff and use more of what already exists

Tip 3: Reusing items instead of throwing them away

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