Making Old Things New: Recycling + Repurposing in the Home



Growing up as a kid in the 1990s, Reduce//Reuse//Recycle was the mantra on every pencil, paper cover for your Tennessee history books, and those classic green and white stickers you placed so proudly on your bedroom mirror. (And your mother so promptly asked you to remove them.)

Today, “going green” can be mean more than simply paper or plastic. It can be integrated into pretty much every day life in creative, fun ways. Since Earth Day is Tuesday, April 22nd, let’s discuss a few ways you can recycle and repurpose, right in your own home:


While we have recycle bins for paper cracker boxes, plastic milk jugs, and junk mail, sometimes our children will sneak down the hall and grab a few items for an “art project.” I have found many a castle built from a cereal box or oatmeal container. Or, they get right down to business and create a bowling alley right in our living room:


As a newspaper columnist, we have stray copies of the sports section and outdated coupons constantly. We use these to line the birdcage where our baby chicks reside until they are old enough to join the roost in the chicken coop. You can find a use for most any item in your recycle bin, then they are ready to go to the dump and made into new items.

Regarding food, we are huge around these parts about “waste not, want not.” When we eat supper, we eat the leftovers for lunch the following day. If we STILL have a little bit left over, we toss it in what we call the “chicken bucket” and feed our bread crusts and old bananas to our farm animals. The animals love us for it, and we are thankful for every bite we cook and try hard not to waste. (If you are looking for some great crockpot recipes, check out Lauren’s KMB post from last week.)


edenbedRegarding furniture, the only thing “new” we have in our home are the couches (and they certainly have seen better days!) All of our furniture is either purchased used, gifted to us from family members, and home decor is repurposed.  Our TV stand is an antique dresser from the 1940s. We have a taller green dresser in the kitchen where I store homeschool supplies and other paperwork. You can find how we repurposed a hideous kitchen chandelier into an awesome one with mason jars.  Old glass Coca Cola bottles grace our windowsills, and my daughter’s bed is the same twin bed that both my mother and I slept on as children; she is the 3rd generation to rest upon it. Her quilt was mine as a child.

Regarding fashion, most everything I wear is either clearance from Target or Old Navy, or a Goodwill find. You can find name brand dresses, sweaters, shoes, and accessories for practically nothing when you have fun perusing thrift stores and Goodwill stores. Plus, you are reusing and repurposing, saving money and creating unique styles on a budget:

bracelet and shoes

How do you recycle and make old things new in your home? Wanna see what we did with our old rusted yard swing? You can check it out {here}.

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Hey friends! I’m Christie and the proud mama of three amazing children, Eden, August, and Titus. We love to watch 80s commercials on YouTube before bed, grilling on the back deck, a good round of Clue, and loudly playing basketball and jumping on the trampoline, keeping our neighbors on their toes. We currently have zero pets because they all seem to run away, I cannot keep real plants alive, and the kids will be in high school, middle school, and elementary school in the fall, so all thoughts and prayers are welcomed and appreciated. Being a part of Knoxville Moms has been such a blast and I have met some incredible women that have since become some of my dearest friends. Take a look at their stories, you’ll love them just as much as I do!



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