While many of us simply throw away old products without a second thought, the truth is that many of those recyclable products can be given new life with just a little imagination. There are a number of different products which, instead of being thrown away, can be reused, if not by you, then perhaps by your neighbors or another family member. If the item needs a simple repair, it may be worth your while to do that repair and give it new life, or to donate it to someone who can repair it and make new use of it, instead of simply throwing it away and buying a new item. Buying new when used will do is expensive, and wasteful.

Some of the many old items that can enjoy a new life include candles, picture frames, many varieties of fabrics, pieces of wood, carpets and mats. Making a few simple changes can give these recyclable products a whole new look, and a whole new life. For instance, a used cup can be turned into an attractive and inexpensive candleholder. Old hardback books that you no longer want can be donated to local book sales or libraries, where they can find eager new readers. In addition, hollowing out an old hardback book is a great way to make a secret hiding place for valuables. Few thieves will think of looking on the bookshelf for cash, jewels and other valuable items. In addition, you can create attractive shadow boxes out of unwanted cardboard boxes.

Old shirts, jackets and other unwanted items of clothing can be used to make great pet beds. All you need to do is to stitch the open end of the neck and the hands of the shirt or jacket together and stuff it with cotton or foam. Then close up the other end to create a simple and inexpensive doggie bed. Other old unwanted garments can be used to cover the arms of old chairs, while unused fabrics can be used to create roll up carriers for tools and other items.

One great way to collect all these items for recycling is to create a box that family members can throw their unwanted items into. As these items accumulate, go through the box and determine which items can be given a new lease on life. This recycling program can be a great family project, and kids in particular love putting old items to new and innovative uses.

Ring in Your Tablescape

Here is an economical project that will not only assist in our efforts to protect the planet, but provide you with a nice little table decoration to boot! Did you know that empty paper towel and tissue tubes make great napkin holders? Just cut them down to about an inch wide per ring and decorate to your heart’s content. You can decorate for holiday-specific tablescapes or any special day celebrations such as birthdays or anniversaries.

Another plus is that this is also a great project to have the kids get involved with. Kids love to be creative and use their imaginations. Have the little ones decorate the rings for their own birthday parties. For each of their little guests, they can paint the rings in bright colors and after they’ve dried, you can help your children write out each child’s name on the napkin holder with glue and glitter. The kids can even take them home as a party favor! Or wrap them in foil and glue on brightly colored plastic jewels for that romantic, candle-lit dinner. Imagine how the candlelight will reflect off the shiny wrapping and bounce from jewel to jewel! For fall holidays, attach rustic colored silk leaves and tiny pinecones. For winter holidays, glue on little berries and have the children make tiny paper snowflakes to be attached. Wrap them with ribbon, personalize them for place markers at a dinner party or luncheon – the possibilities are endless!

So let your imagination run wild with recyclable products. Fashion those napkin rings made from empty paper towel and tissue tubes using your own personality and creativeness to give any dining occasion that special, added flair. Just because something is made inexpensively, it doesn’t have to look it. And you will also have the satisfaction of knowing that you have done something to help in the protection of our environment by recycling those tubes.

Author's Bio: 

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