Naturally Resourceful: The Second R, Reuse

I just finished this container of stevia:

Empty Stevia container

The easiest thing to do would be to toss it in the garbage. The second easiest thing to do would be to put it outside in the recycling bin. Everyone knows the phrase Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Reducing is a challenge for many of us Americans. We like stuff and having a lot of it!  Recycling,  we have gotten much better at. Reusing… I’m not sure most of us think about that one on a regular basis.

We don’t have a culture that supports fixing or reusing things. Everything is made so cheaply now that we don’t even think twice about running out and picking up whatever we need. You would be hard-pressed to find a convenient fix-it shop to take your broken electronics device to these days. Even if you could, buying a brand new one would probably cost little more than the repair. The same goes with storage containers. We don’t need to hold onto to bottles, coffee cans or jars these days because you can just bop over to the container store and get something cuter… or the dollar store if you are more thrifty.

I get it too! I really do. Who wants a bunch of empty bottles and jars hanging around? It can create clutter, especially if you have a small place. Stores already have staked a premium on our storage spaces by offering Buy One Get One deals (or buy 10 for $5!) We have a hard enough time storing containers with the contents still in them.

I have been trying to cultivate a more mindful practice of figuring out how I can reuse these containers before I use up the contents. The nice thing about this stevia container is that it already had a food product in it. So, I can reuse it for food again. (Since it is plastic, I would avoid using it for salad dressing or any other acid-based sauce that may cause leaching.) It’s also a great size. It’s small enough to fit in my lunch bag. It has a nice tight-fitting lid. So, there are no worries about anything falling out of it.

Here are some more items I can store in it:

  • Small craft supplies.
  • Contents from a larger container like a huge box of baking soda or bag of sugar.
  • Dried herbs from a garden.
  • Sewing tools like pins and safety pins.
  • Hair accessories like bobby pins or small barrettes.
  • DIY beauty treatments like bath salts, facial scrubs and scented oil.
  • Hardware supplies like nails, tacks and fasteners.
  • Office supplies like paper clips.
  • And more!

Do you reuse containers? Please share any unique tips you have. I would love to hear from you

Many blessings,



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2 thoughts on “Naturally Resourceful: The Second R, Reuse

  1. Cheryl

    My family and I try to reuse stuff all the time!!! I’m trying really hard to cut down on junk and clutter, but I can’t stand throwing away perfectly good stuff.. It’s a fight!! Lol.

    I try not to buy anything that is in plastic in the first place…if it does come in plastic I’ll try to get at least one or two extra uses before tossing in the recycle bin… A lot of little containers are perfect for my granddaughter to play with… Building with them like blocks… Water play… Rice play… Pretend cooking… Great article!!!

    P.S. Everyone needs to take a trip to their local landfill… If that doesn’t help to get you on the reuse bandwagon nothing will!! 🙂

    1. Cynthia Lenz Post author

      I love your ideas Cheryl! Encouraging your granddaughter to use her imagination is a wonderful way to reuse. And definitely using things again a few times before recycling is a great suggestion! 🙂

      Visiting the landfill is a worthwhile trip to see the waste we create. “Out of sight; out of mind” thinking may very well be our undoing.


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