Have you (after decluttering) had needs arise where you had to make do, used what was at hand and now that is your go to solution? An example, after purging all the accumulated laundry cups I started making my own liquid soap using an old repurposed kitty litter bucket. I had received a mason jar glass with a handle, decided to use that and it works great.I don't miss having a special plastic cup specifically dedicated to laundry soap and if I decide to go with dry detergent this scoop-mug will work for that, too. It can even go back to serving beverages if I come up with some other laundry solution. Necessity is the mother of invention, what "inventions" have you discovered?
Most of mine have to do with babies and toddlers. Instead of buying specialized baby stuff, we make-do with normal household stuff:
1. a box fan for white noise
2. a mug of hot water as a bottle warmer or wipes warmer (we use cloth wipes made from a old flannel sheet)
3. regular wash cloths instead of baby wash cloths
4. regular towels instead of cute baby towels
5. an old towel instead of a changing pad & changing pad cover
6. the washing machine doubles as the diaper pail
7. blender as baby food blender, ice cube tray for portioning and freezing home made baby food
8. muslin swaddle blankets as receiving blankets, swaddles, nursing cover, stroller cover, car seat cover, play mat, sunshade
9. hand towels as burp cloths (much more absorbent anyway)
10. boiling water in a pan as baby sterilizer
11. a reusable shopping tote instead of a diaper bag
12. line drying clothes indoors instead of a humidifier
13. jars as breast milk storage
14. large bath towel instead of having an extra fitted crib sheet (tuck firmly under matress)
Wow, good repurposing! The only kiddie applicable swaps we did was to use those stretchy hooded bath towels as light blankets, they wrapped up baby so well. In addition, we basically had cloth diapers for burb cloths and any other quick clean ups. We also didn't buy a kiddie pool but used old dish pans and measuring cups for water play...
If you have baby supplies on hand but baby is grown up there are great opportunities for repurposing. When I decided to move from disposable dryer sheets to more permanent solution I used the following: $Store liquid softener (recyclable jug), small plastic lidded container (recyclable portable wipes) and stack of cheap baby wash cloths (lower grade microfiber). Method: Pour about 1/3-1/2 C. liquid softener into bottom of container box, place 8-10 folded (5×8) baby wash cloths, squish in liquid to point of saturated, but not dripping wet. After tossing wet laundry in dryer, grab 1 or 2 (depending on size of load), give them a squeeze over container then add to dryer. Dry clothes as udual. Replace dry cloths in box when through sorting dry clothes. Keep lid shut to keep dust out. Top up with additional softener as needed.
7Here's an item I mentioned elsewhere which fits in this topic for repurposing. When through with your cloth breast shields (when done nursing), repurpose them as small wipes to clean wounds or remove make-up. They stack nicely in a cannister and since they're washable they work out great for these tasks.
Here's one that reroutes a recyclable item back into the use stream. A local pizza shop monthly generates several extra large glass jars (per sliced olives used to top their pizzas). I saw they were just going to recycle these useful glass jars and arranged to collect them. Now I have a stash of uniform looking containers that are good enough for storing pasta, grains, flours, all dry bulk items. Since they have a wide opening, I can use them for transporting and serving potluck salads, and dispensing our crackers, popped corn, chips, cereal, etc. A serving container with no plastic wrap needed, yay! So look beyond your own shopping for reusable storage, think about nearby community businesses who have 'waste' to recycle.
@Catherine Sultana: A few of my friends have been saving glass jars for me. I also asked for glass jars at the deli down the street, and the guy came out of the back carrying three HUGE jars, these are about 2-gallon sized? I took two of the three. He said they always had more if I wanted them. :p
Probably not "zero waste," but I paint all the lids silver so they look a little more uniform in the pantry.
Sweeping up the leftover leaves from last Fall, I realised that my "go-to" started as a "make-do". First I sweep up a pile then rather than using a dustpan I reach for my snow shovel and use my broad broom to push the matter on to the shovel. Then I lay the broom across and carry shovel with leaves and broom arrangement to the compost heap. When done I give the compost a good wetting down (keeps leaves from relocating back to the driveway) and it's done. No wheelbarrow, definitely no tarp or bag needed. When I have lots of leaves I pile them onto an old plastic sled and use that to transport them to my preferred dumping spot.